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Books > Social sciences > Politics & government > Political science & theory

Against Orthodoxy - Social Theory and Its Discontents (Paperback): S. Aronowitz Against Orthodoxy - Social Theory and Its Discontents (Paperback)
S. Aronowitz
R603 Discovery Miles 6 030 Ships in 10 - 15 working days

The book contains groundbreaking and immersive essays on crucial 20th Century scholars on social theory, discussed and analyzed from a radical, critical theory perspective. Aronowitz provides his unique and lauded critical eye toward the leading thinkers of our age, crafting an immersive set of essays on radical thought.

Violence and Civility - On the Limits of Political Philosophy (Hardcover): Etienne Balibar Violence and Civility - On the Limits of Political Philosophy (Hardcover)
Etienne Balibar; Translated by G.M. Goshgarian
R694 R608 Discovery Miles 6 080 Save R86 (12%) Ships in 10 - 15 working days

In Violence and Civility, Etienne Balibar boldly confronts the insidious causes of violence, racism, nationalism, and ethnic cleansing worldwide, as well as mass poverty and dispossession. Through a novel synthesis of theory and empirical studies of contemporary violence, the acclaimed thinker pushes past the limits of political philosophy to reconceive war, revolution, sovereignty, and class. Through the pathbreaking thought of Derrida, Balibar builds a topography of cruelty converted into extremism by ideology, juxtaposing its subjective forms (identity delusions, the desire for extermination, and the pursuit of vengeance) and its objective manifestations (capitalist exploitation and an institutional disregard for life). Engaging with Marx, Hegel, Hobbes, Clausewitz, Schmitt, and Luxemburg, Balibar introduces a new, productive understanding of politics as antiviolence and a fresh approach to achieving and sustaining civility. Rooted in the principles of transformation and empowerment, this theory brings hope to a world increasingly divided even as it draws closer together.

Guilty as Sin - Uncovering New Evidence of Corruption and How Hillary Clinton and the Democrats Derailed the FBI Investigation... Guilty as Sin - Uncovering New Evidence of Corruption and How Hillary Clinton and the Democrats Derailed the FBI Investigation (Hardcover)
Edward Klein
R656 R593 Discovery Miles 5 930 Save R63 (10%) Ships in 7 - 11 working days

When FBI Director James Comey announced in July that Hillary Clinton would not be indicted for mishandling classified information, America was stunned. Had the scandal-happy Clintons escaped justice once again? Not so fast, says investigative reporter and bestselling author Ed Klein. There is far more behind Comey's shocking press conference than meets the eye -- and a minefield of email evidence between Hillary and the White House. In his astonishing new book, Klein uncovers the real story behind Hillary's email scandals and the dirty political games that have kept her one step ahead of the law - for now. Klein reveals what the FBI's team of 150+ investigators really found on Clinton's server. How Comey originally threatened to resign over White House attempts to intervene in the investigation, and his secret plan to go around the Justice Department if needed. How an unprecedented Congressional investigation during an election year is uncovering new shocking evidence of corruption on a level some would call treason. And what Bill and Hillary still have left in their bag of tricks in their desperate quest to get back into the Oval Office.

The Making of Modern Liberalism (Paperback): Alan Ryan The Making of Modern Liberalism (Paperback)
Alan Ryan
R671 R526 Discovery Miles 5 260 Save R145 (22%) Ships in 10 - 15 working days

"The Making of Modern Liberalism" is a deep and wide-ranging exploration of the origins and nature of liberalism from the Enlightenment through its triumphs and setbacks in the twentieth century and beyond. The book is the fruit of the more than four decades during which Alan Ryan, one of the world's leading political thinkers, reflected on the past of the liberal tradition--and worried about its future.

This is essential reading for anyone interested in political theory or the history of liberalism.

Advaita as a Global International Relations Theory (Hardcover): Deepshikha Shahi Advaita as a Global International Relations Theory (Hardcover)
Deepshikha Shahi
R3,083 Discovery Miles 30 830 Ships in 10 - 15 working days

The academic discipline of International Relations strives to attain a 'global' spirit to narrow the cognitive gaps between the West and the Rest. On the one hand, there is the hegemonic presence of mainstream universalist Eurocentric IR theories, and on the other the counter-hegemonic presence of particularist Post-colonial and De-colonial non-Eurocentric IR theories. Nevertheless, both theoretical traditions endorse 'epistemological dualism' that essentially separates the 'theorizing-subject' from the 'theorized-object'; thereby failing to bridge the gaps. This book uses the monist schema of 'subject-object merger' in the ancient Indian philosophy of Advaita to inaugurate a Global IR theory. In the global theoretical schema of Advaitic monism, the apparent particularist reality is supplemented (not contradicted) with the hidden universalist reality - the net result of which is a reconciliation of dualism with monism at the theoretical-practical level. The possibilities of this reconciliation have not been estimated at either level and as such, this untapped intellectual strategy stands to enrich both Eurocentric IR and non-Eurocentric IR. Shahi establishes Advaita as an alternative epistemological-methodological tool to re-imagine the complex realities of contemporary international politics. This fully fledged Global International Relations Theory will appeal to students of international relations, political theory, administrative theory and philosophy.

Capabilities in a Just Society - A Theory of Navigational Agency (Hardcover): Rutger Claassen Capabilities in a Just Society - A Theory of Navigational Agency (Hardcover)
Rutger Claassen
R2,022 R1,878 Discovery Miles 18 780 Save R144 (7%) Ships in 10 - 15 working days

What sort of entitlements should citizens have in a just society? In this book, Rutger Claassen sets out a theory of what he terms 'navigational agency', whereby citizens should be able to navigate freely between social practices. This shows how individuals can be at the same time free and autonomous in striving for their own goals in life, but also embedded in social practices in which they have to cooperate with others. He argues that for navigational agency, people need three sets of core capabilities: those which allow human empowerment in civil society, a decent level of socio-economic subsistence, and political participation in democratic decision-making procedures. The idea of navigational agency, the book argues, provides an alternative to currently dominant versions of the capability approach to social justice, and strengthens its liberal foundations.

Community, Scale, and Regional Governance - A Postfunctionalist Theory of Governance, Volume II (Hardcover): Liesbet Hooghe,... Community, Scale, and Regional Governance - A Postfunctionalist Theory of Governance, Volume II (Hardcover)
Liesbet Hooghe, Gary Marks
R854 Discovery Miles 8 540 Ships in 10 - 15 working days

This is the second of five ambitious volumes theorizing the structure of governance above and below the central state. This book is written for those interested in the character, causes, and consequences of governance within the state. The book argues that jurisdictional design is shaped by the functional pressures that arise from the logic of scale in providing public goods and by the preferences that people have regarding self-government. The first has to do with the character of the public goods provided by government: their scale economies, externalities, and informational asymmetries. The second has to do with how people conceive and construct the groups to which they feel themselves belonging. In this book, the authors demonstrate that scale and community are principles that can help explain some basic features of governance, including the growth of multiple tiers over the past six decades, how jurisdictions are designed, why governance within the state has become differentiated, and the extent to which regions exert authority. The authors propose a postfunctionalist theory which rejects the notion that form follows function, and argue that whilst functional pressures are enduring, one must engage human passions regarding self-rule to explain variation in the structures of rule over time and around the world. Transformations in Governance is a major new academic book series from Oxford University Press. It is designed to accommodate the impressive growth of research in comparative politics, international relations, public policy, federalism, environmental and urban studies concerned with the dispersion of authority from central states up to supranational institutions, down to subnational governments, and side-ways to public-private networks. It brings together work that significantly advances our understanding of the organization, causes, and consequences of multilevel and complex governance. The series is selective, containing annually a small number of books of exceptionally high quality by leading and emerging scholars. The series targets mainly single-authored or co-authored work, but it is pluralistic in terms of disciplinary specialization, research design, method, and geographical scope. Case studies as well as comparative studies, historical as well as contemporary studies, and studies with a national, regional, or international focus are all central to its aims. Authors use qualitative, quantitative, formal modeling, or mixed methods. A trade mark of the books is that they combine scholarly rigour with readable prose and an attractive production style. The series is edited by Liesbet Hooghe and Gary Marks of the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, and the VU Amsterdam, and Walter Mattli of the University of Oxford.

American Crossings - Border Politics in the Western Hemisphere (Paperback): Maiah Jaskoski, Arturo C. Sotomayor, Harold A.... American Crossings - Border Politics in the Western Hemisphere (Paperback)
Maiah Jaskoski, Arturo C. Sotomayor, Harold A. Trinkunas
R805 R702 Discovery Miles 7 020 Save R103 (13%) Ships in 10 - 15 working days

In summer 2014, US agencies responsible for the border with Mexico were overwhelmed by tens of thousands of unaccompanied children arriving from Central America. Unprepared to address this unexpected kind of migrant, the US government deployed troops to carry out a new border mission: the feeding, care, and housing of this wave of children. This event highlights the complex social, economic, and political issues that arise along borders. In American Crossings, nine scholars consider the complicated modern history of borders in the Western Hemisphere, examining borders as geopolitical boundaries, key locations for internal security, spaces for international trade, and areas where national and community identities are defined. Among the provocative questions raised are, Why are Peru and Chile inclined to legalize territory disputes through the International Court of Justice, undermining their militaries? Why has economic integration in the "Tri-Border Area" of Argentina, Brazil, and Paraguay increased illicit trade supporting transnational terrorist groups? And how has a weak Ecuadorian presence at the Ecuador-Colombia border encouraged Colombian guerrillas to enforce the international borderline?

People's Peace - Prospects for a Human Future (Paperback): Yasmin Saikia, Chad Haines People's Peace - Prospects for a Human Future (Paperback)
Yasmin Saikia, Chad Haines; Contributions by Lisa Sowle Cahill, David Cortright, Donald L. Fixico, …
R1,029 Discovery Miles 10 290 Ships in 7 - 11 working days

People's Peace lays a solid foundation for the argument that global peace is possible because ordinary people are its architects. Saikia and Haines offer a unique and imaginative perspective on people's daily lives across the world as they struggle to create peace despite escalating political violence. The volume's focus on local and ordinary efforts highlights peace as a lived experience that goes beyond national and international peace efforts. In addition, the contributors' emphasis on the role of religion as a catalyst for peace moves away from the usual depiction of religion as a source of divisiveness and conflict. Spanning a range of humanities disciplines, the essays in this volume provide case studies of individuals defying authority or overcoming cultural stigmas to create peaceful relations in their communities. From investigating how ancient Jews established communal justice to exploring how black and white citizens in Ferguson, Missouri, are working to achieve racial harmony, the contributors find that people are acting independently of governments and institutions to identify everyday methods of coexisting with others. In putting these various approaches in dialogue with each other, this volume produces a theoretical intervention that shifts the study of peace away from national and international organizations and institutions toward locating successful peaceful efforts in the everyday lives of individuals.

SDG3 - Good Health and Wellbeing - Re-Calibrating the SDG Agenda (Paperback): Tamara Savelyeva, Stephanie W. Lee, Hartley Banack SDG3 - Good Health and Wellbeing - Re-Calibrating the SDG Agenda (Paperback)
Tamara Savelyeva, Stephanie W. Lee, Hartley Banack
R1,099 Discovery Miles 10 990 Ships in 10 - 15 working days

Sustainable Development Goal 3 (SDG3) supplements the 2030 UN Agenda by inspiring ideologies and implementation concerning global health and wellbeing. This book offers insider-view analysis and unique access points into SDG3 implications, community-based responses and innovative proposals, including considerations of Earth as a key stakeholder in sustainability conversations. Written by leading experts in the field, the book presents essays and case studies on sustainability frameworks of Canadian First Nations, cultural groundworks of Aboriginal Australians, HIV/AIDS in Ethiopia, IT-health data analytics in Hong Kong, health-promoting schools in Scotland, Laos, Hong Kong, Australia, and WHO projects in Europe and the Pacific. The book serves as a representative and provocative resource for those wishing to further explore the scope of research, developments, bottom-up interventions and far-reaching visions relating to SDG3.

Stand out of our Light - Freedom and Resistance in the Attention Economy (Paperback): James Williams Stand out of our Light - Freedom and Resistance in the Attention Economy (Paperback)
James Williams
R375 Discovery Miles 3 750 Ships in 10 - 15 working days

Former Google advertising strategist, now Oxford-trained philosopher James Williams launches a plea to society and to the tech industry to help ensure that the technology we all carry with us every day does not distract us from pursuing our true goals in life. As information becomes ever more plentiful, the resource that is becoming more scarce is our attention. In this 'attention economy', we need to recognise the fundamental impacts of our new information environment on our lives in order to take back control. Drawing on insights ranging from Diogenes to contemporary tech leaders, Williams's thoughtful and impassioned analysis is sure to provoke discussion and debate. Williams is the inaugural winner of the Nine Dots Prize, a new Prize for creative thinking that tackles contemporary social issues. This title is also available as Open Access.

The Origins of Genocide - Raphael Lemkin as a historian of mass violence (Paperback): Dominik J. Schaller, Jurgen Zimmerer The Origins of Genocide - Raphael Lemkin as a historian of mass violence (Paperback)
Dominik J. Schaller, Jurgen Zimmerer
R1,041 Discovery Miles 10 410 Ships in 10 - 15 working days

This year the United Nations celebrated the 'Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide', adopted in December 1948. It is time to recognize the man behind this landmark in international law. At the beginning were a few words: "New conceptions require new terms. By 'genocide' we mean the destruction of a nation or of an ethnic group". Rarely in history have paradigmatic changes in scholarship been brought about with such few words. Putting the quintessential crime of modernity in only one sentence, Raphael Lemkin (1900-1959), the Polish Jewish specialist in international law, not only summarized the horrors of the National Socialist Crimes, which were still underway, when he coined the term "genocide" in 1944, but also influenced international law. As the founding figure of the UN Genocide Convention Lemkin is finally getting the respect he deserves. Less known is his contribution to historical scholarship on genocide. Until his death, Lemkin was working on a broad study on genocides in the history of humankind. Unfortunately, he did not manage to publish it. The contributions in this book offer for the first time a critical assessment not only of his influence on international law but also on historical analysis of mass murders, showing the close connection between both. This book was published as a special issue of the Journal of Genocide Research.

The Wrath of Capital - Neoliberalism and Climate Change Politics (Hardcover): Adrian Parr The Wrath of Capital - Neoliberalism and Climate Change Politics (Hardcover)
Adrian Parr
R1,778 R1,554 Discovery Miles 15 540 Save R224 (13%) Ships in 10 - 15 working days

Although climate change has become the dominant concern of the twenty-first century, global powers refuse to implement the changes necessary to reverse these trends. Instead, they have neoliberalized nature and climate change politics and discourse, and there are indications of a more virulent strain of capital accumulation on the horizon. Adrian Parr calls attention to the problematic socioeconomic conditions of neoliberal capitalism underpinning the world's environmental challenges, and she argues that, until we grasp the implications of neoliberalism's interference in climate change talks and policy, humanity is on track to an irreversible crisis.

Parr not only exposes the global failure to produce equitable political options for environmental regulation, but she also breaks down the dominant political paradigms hindering the discovery of viable alternatives. She highlights the neoliberalization of nature in the development of green technologies, land use, dietary habits, reproductive practices, consumption patterns, design strategies, and media. She dismisses the notion that the free market can solve debilitating environmental degradation and climate change as nothing more than a political ghost emptied of its collective aspirations.

Decrying what she perceives as a failure of the human imagination and an impoverishment of political institutions, Parr ruminates on the nature of change and existence in the absence of a future. The sustainability movement, she contends, must engage more aggressively with the logic and cultural manifestations of consumer economics to take hold of a more transformative politics. If the economically powerful continue to monopolize the meaning of environmental change, she warns, new and more promising collective solutions will fail to take root.

Sexuality: A Very Short Introduction (Paperback): Veronique Mottier Sexuality: A Very Short Introduction (Paperback)
Veronique Mottier
R127 R118 Discovery Miles 1 180 Save R9 (7%) Ships in 6 - 10 working days

Is our sexuality determined primarily by our genes? Or is it shaped by the social norms and expectations we happen to be born into. This Very Short Introduction provides an accessible, thoughtful and thought-provoking introduction to major debates around sexuality in the modern world, highlighting the social and political aspects of sexuality. It critically explores different ways of defining and thinking about sexuality and shows that many of our assumptions about what is "natural" in the sexual domain have, in reality, varied greatly in different historical or cultural contexts. The volume also examines ways in which governments have tried to regulate citizens' sexualities in the past-through policies and laws concerning public health, HIV/Aids, prostitution, and sex education-paying special attention to the particular zeal with which women's sexuality has been policed. The volume concludes by discussing political activism around sexuality more widely, focusing on the ways in which feminists, lesbians and gay men, as well as religious fundamentalists have transformed our ways of thinking about sexuality in the past few decades.
About the Series: Combining authority with wit, accessibility, and style, Very Short Introductions offer an introduction to some of life's most interesting topics. Written by experts for the newcomer, they demonstrate the finest contemporary thinking about the central problems and issues in hundreds of key topics, from philosophy to Freud, quantum theory to Islam.

The Structure of Liberty - Justice and the Rule of Law (Paperback, 2nd Revised edition): Randy E Barnett The Structure of Liberty - Justice and the Rule of Law (Paperback, 2nd Revised edition)
Randy E Barnett
R702 Discovery Miles 7 020 Ships in 10 - 15 working days

In this book, legal scholar Randy Barnett elaborates and defends the fundamental premise of the Declaration of Independence: that all persons have a natural right to pursue happiness so long as they respect the equal rights of others, and that governments are only justly established to secure these rights. Drawing upon insights from philosophy, economics, political theory, and law, Barnett explains why, when people pursue happiness while living in society with each other, they confront the pervasive social problems of knowledge, interest and power. These problems are best dealt with by ensuring the liberty of the people to pursue their own ends, but this liberty is distinguished from "license" by certain fundamental rights and procedures associated with the classical liberal conception of "justice" and "the rule of law." He then outlines the constitutional framework that is needed to put these principles into practice. In a new Afterword to this second edition, Barnett elaborates on this thesis by responding to several important criticisms of the original work. He then explains how this "libertarian" approach is more modest than either the "social justice" theories of the left or the "legal moralism" of the right.

What Do We Owe to Refugees? (Paperback): David Owen What Do We Owe to Refugees? (Paperback)
David Owen
R333 Discovery Miles 3 330 Ships in 7 - 11 working days

Who are refugees? Who, if anyone, is responsible for protecting them? What forms should this protection take? In a world of people fleeing from civil wars, state failure, and environmental disasters, these are ethically and politically pressing questions. In this book, David Owen reveals how the contemporary politics of refuge is structured by two rival historical pictures of refugees. In reconstructing this history, he advocates an understanding of refugeehood that moves us beyond our current impasse by distinguishing between what is owed to refugees in general and what is owed to different types of refugee. He provides an account of refugee protection and the forms of international cooperation required to implement it that is responsive to the claims of both refugees and states. At a time when refugee protection is once again prominent on the international agenda, this book offers a guide to understanding the challenges this topic raises and shows why addressing it matters for all of us.

The General Will - The Evolution of a Concept (Hardcover): James Farr, David Lay Williams The General Will - The Evolution of a Concept (Hardcover)
James Farr, David Lay Williams
R2,382 Discovery Miles 23 820 Ships in 10 - 15 working days

Although it originated in theological debates, the general will ultimately became one of the most celebrated and denigrated concepts emerging from early modern political thought. Jean-Jacques Rousseau made it the central element of his political theory, and it took on a life of its own during the French Revolution, before being subjected to generations of embrace or opprobrium. James Farr and David Lay Williams have collected for the first time a set of essays that track the evolving history of the general will from its origins to recent times. The General Will: The Evolution of a Concept discusses the general will's theological, political, formal, and substantive dimensions with a careful eye toward the concept's virtues and limitations as understood by its expositors and critics, among them Arnauld, Pascal, Malebranche, Leibniz, Locke, Spinoza, Montesquieu, Kant, Constant, Tocqueville, Adam Smith and John Rawls.

Equality in International Society - A Reappraisal (Hardcover): R. Hjorth Equality in International Society - A Reappraisal (Hardcover)
R. Hjorth
R1,933 Discovery Miles 19 330 Ships in 10 - 15 working days

The author re-examines the concept of equality in international society, past and present. The view that equality necessarily flows from sovereignty is considered a contingent rather than a necessary contention. A new framework for equality in international society is sketched out emphasising the normative strength of the principle of equality.

A Global Political Morality - Human Rights, Democracy, and Constitutionalism (Hardcover): Michael J. Perry A Global Political Morality - Human Rights, Democracy, and Constitutionalism (Hardcover)
Michael J. Perry
R1,961 R1,849 Discovery Miles 18 490 Save R112 (6%) Ships in 10 - 15 working days

In A Global Political Morality, Michael J. Perry addresses several related questions in human rights theory, political theory and constitutional theory. He begins by explaining what the term 'human right' means and then elaborates and defends the morality of human rights, which is the first truly global morality in human history. Perry also pursues the implications of the morality of human rights for democratic governance and for the proper role of courts - especially the US Supreme Court - in protecting constitutionally entrenched human rights. The principal constitutional controversies discussed in the book are capital punishment, race-based affirmative action, same-sex marriage, physician-assisted suicide and abortion.

Political Philosophy (Paperback): Steven B. Smith Political Philosophy (Paperback)
Steven B. Smith
R588 Discovery Miles 5 880 Ships in 10 - 15 working days

Who ought to govern? Why should I obey the law? How should conflict be controlled? What is the proper education for a citizen and a statesman? These questions probe some of the deepest and most enduring problems that every society confronts, regardless of time and place. Today we ask the same crucial questions about law, authority, justice, and freedom that Plato, Aristotle, Machiavelli, Hobbes, Locke, Rousseau, and Tocqueville faced in previous centuries.

In this lively and enlightening book, Professor Steven B. Smith introduces the wide terrain of political philosophy through the classic texts of the discipline. Works by the greatest thinkers illuminate the permanent problems of political life, Smith shows, and while we may not accept all their conclusions, it would be a mistake to overlook the relevance of their insights.

The Statesman's Yearbook Companion - The Leaders, Events and Cities of the World (Hardcover, 1st ed. 2019): Palgrave... The Statesman's Yearbook Companion - The Leaders, Events and Cities of the World (Hardcover, 1st ed. 2019)
Palgrave Macmillan
R7,690 R4,350 Discovery Miles 43 500 Save R3,340 (43%) Ships in 10 - 15 working days

This companion to the classic reference work The Statesman's Yearbook provides detailed biographies of past leaders and figureheads not found in the annual publication, and also includes comprehensive chronologies of natural disasters and key political events, as well as overviews of major global cities. In addition to facts and figures, the publication also includes infographics commemorating the anniversaries of key historical events as well as a number of synopses of relevant and related publications. Alongside The Statesman's Yearbook, The Statesman's Yearbook Companion continues to provide accurate and reliable information about politics, culture and the world.

The Politics of Exile (Hardcover, New): Elizabeth Dauphinee The Politics of Exile (Hardcover, New)
Elizabeth Dauphinee
R3,075 Discovery Miles 30 750 Ships in 10 - 15 working days

"The most thought-provoking and refreshing work on Bosnia and the former Yugoslavia in a long time.It is certainly an immense contribution to the broadening schools within international relations." Times Higher Education (THE). Written in both autoethnographical and narrative form, The Politics of Exile offers unique insight into the complex encounter of researcher with research subject in the context of the Bosnian War and its aftermath. Exploring themes of personal and civilizational guilt, of displaced and fractured identity, of secrets and subterfuge, of love and alienation, of moral choice and the impossibility of ethics, this work challenges us to recognise pure narrative as an accepted form of writing in international relations. The author brings theory to life and gives corporeal reality to a wide range of concepts in international relations, including an exploration of the ways in which young academics are initiated into a culture where the volume of research production is more valuable than its content, and where success is marked not by intellectual innovation, but by conformity to theoretical expectations in research and teaching. This engaging work will be essential reading for all students and scholars of international relations and global politics.

Imagined Communities (Paperback): Jason Xidias Imagined Communities (Paperback)
Jason Xidias
R204 Discovery Miles 2 040 Ships in 10 - 15 working days

Benedict Anderson’s 1983 masterpiece Imagined Communities is a ground-breaking analysis of the origins and meanings of “nations” and “nationalism”.

A book that helped reshape the field of nationalism studies, Imagined Communities also shows the critical thinking skills of interpretation and analysis working at their highest levels. One crucial aspect of Anderson’s work involves the apparently simple act of defining precisely what we mean when we say ‘nation’ or ‘nationalism’ – an interpretative step that is vital to the analysis he proceeds to carry out. For Anderson, it is clear that nations are not ‘natural;’ as historians and anthropologists are well aware, nations as we understand them are a relatively modern phenomenon, dating back only as far as around 1500. But if this is the case, how can we agree what a ‘nation’ is? Anderson’s proposed definition is that they are “imagined communities” – comprising groups of people who regard themselves as belonging to the same community, even if they have never met, and have nothing in common otherwise.

The analysis that follows from this insight is all about examining and breaking down the historical processes that helped foster these communities – above all the birth of printing, and the development of capitalism. Brilliantly incisive, Anderson’s analysis shows how good interpretative skills can form the foundations for compelling and original insight.

On the Genealogy of Morality (Paperback): Don Berry On the Genealogy of Morality (Paperback)
Don Berry
R202 Discovery Miles 2 020 Ships in 10 - 15 working days

Friedrich Nietzsche’s On the Genealogy of Morality is a sustained feat of incisive interpretation. Well known as one of Nietzsche’s greatest works, and as one of the most important books of nineteenth-century philosophy, On the Genealogy of Morality also provided the inspiration for the methodologies of several key philosophers of the modern age. Michel Foucault and Judith Butler, among others, cite Nietzsche as an influence specifically because of the interpretative techniques laid out in this work – techniques which are a model for the ways in which interpretation can be used to power critical thinking of the highest order.

The key aspects of interpretation are understanding, clarifying, and questioning definitions; what Nietzsche brings to the process is a sense of how important context, history and culture are to understanding any term. In the case of morals, for instance, he argues that if we are to truly understand what we mean by “good” or “evil,” we cannot ever assume the two concepts have a stable meaning, outside of a given moment in history. Indeed, to understand what they mean now, and might mean in the future, we need to trace the genealogy of concepts back to their very roots – a feat of interpretation that Nietzsche undertakes masterfully.

Bowling Alone (Paperback): Elizabeth Morrow, Lindsay Scorgie-Porter Bowling Alone (Paperback)
Elizabeth Morrow, Lindsay Scorgie-Porter
R202 Discovery Miles 2 020 Ships in 10 - 15 working days

American political scientist Robert Putnam wasn’t the first person to recognize that social capital – the relationships between people that allow communities to function well – is the grease that oils the wheels of society. But by publishing Bowling Alone, he moved the debate from one primarily concerned with family and individual relationships one that studied the social capital generated by people’s engagement with the civic life.

Putnam drew heavily on the critical thinking skill of interpretation in shaping his work. He took fresh looks at the meaning of evidence that other scholars had made too many assumptions about, and was scrupulous in clarifying what his evidence was really saying. He found that strong social capital has the power to boost health, lower unemployment, and improve life in major ways. As such, any decrease in civic engagement could create serious consequences for society.

Putnam’s interpretation of these issues led him to the understanding that if America is to thrive, its citizens must connect.

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