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With a focus on real-world problems and debates, Issues in Political Theory is the clearest and most engaging introduction to political theory and how it is applied to address a range of global challenges. Its team of expert contributors introduce students to important concepts, key thinkers, and major texts in political theory, while extended case studies at the end of each chapter show students how to apply theoretical ideas to real contemporary issues and debates. The text is supported by online resources, which include additional case studies intended to give students confidence in using theory to shed light on key issues, and a range of additional teaching and learning resources.
Essays on the contemporary continuum of incarceration: the biopolitics of juvenile delinquency, predatory policing, the political economy of fees and fines, and algorithmic policing. What we see happening in Ferguson and other cities around the country is not the creation of livable spaces, but the creation of living hells. When people are trapped in a cycle of debt it also can affect their subjectivity and how they temporally inhabit the world by making it difficult for them to imagine and plan for the future. What psychic toll does this have on residents? How does it feel to be routinely dehumanized and exploited by the police? -from Carceral Capitalism In this collection of essays in Semiotext(e)'s Intervention series, Jackie Wang examines the contemporary incarceration techniques that have emerged since the 1990s. The essays illustrate various aspects of the carceral continuum, including the biopolitics of juvenile delinquency, predatory policing, the political economy of fees and fines, cybernetic governance, and algorithmic policing. Included in this volume is Wang's influential critique of liberal anti-racist politics, "Against Innocence," as well as essays on RoboCop, techno-policing, and the aesthetic problem of making invisible forms of power legible. Wang shows that the new racial capitalism begins with parasitic governance and predatory lending that extends credit only to dispossess later. Predatory lending has a decidedly spatial character and exists in many forms, including subprime mortgage loans, student loans for sham for-profit colleges, car loans, rent-to-own scams, payday loans, and bail bond loans. Parasitic governance, Wang argues, operates through five primary techniques: financial states of exception, automation, extraction and looting, confinement, and gratuitous violence. While these techniques of governance often involve physical confinement and the state-sanctioned execution of black Americans, new carceral modes have blurred the distinction between the inside and outside of prison. As technologies of control are perfected, carcerality tends to bleed into society.
The Spanish invasion of Mexico in 1519 left the capital city, Tenochtitlan, in ruins. Conquistador Hernan Cortes, following the city's surrender in 1521, established a governing body to organize its reconstruction. Cortes was careful to appoint native people to govern who had held positions of authority before his arrival, establishing a pattern that endured for centuries. William F. Connell's "After Moctezuma: Indigenous Politics and Self-Government in Mexico City, 1524-1730" reveals how native self-government in former Tenochtitlan evolved over time as the city and its population changed.
Drawing on extensive research in Mexico's Archivo General de la Nacion, Connell shows how the hereditary political system of the Mexica was converted into a government by elected town councilmen, patterned after the Spanish "cabildo, " or municipal council. In the process, the Spanish relied upon existing Mexica administrative entities--the native ethnic state, or "altepetl" of Mexico Tenochtitlan, became the" parcialidad" of San Juan Tenochtitlan, for instance--preserving indigenous ideas of government within an imposed Spanish structure. Over time, the electoral system undermined the preconquest elite and introduced new native political players, facilitating social change. By the early eighteenth century, a process that had begun in the 1500s with the demise of Moctezuma and the royal line of Tenochtitlan had resulted in a politically independent indigenous cabildo.
"After Moctezuma" is the first systematic study of the indigenous political structures at the heart of New Spain. With careful attention to relations among colonial officials and indigenous power brokers, Connell shows that the ongoing contest for control of indigenous government in Mexico City made possible a new kind of political system neither wholly indigenous nor entirely Spanish. Ultimately, he offers insight into the political voice Tenochtitlan's indigenous people gained with the ability to choose their own leaders--exercising power that endured through the end of the colonial period and beyond.
The new book from Larry Siedentop, acclaimed author of Democracy in Europe, Inventing the Individual is a highly original rethinking of how our moral beliefs were formed and their impact on western society today 'Magisterial, timeless, beautifully written ... Siedentop has achieved something quite extraordinary. He has explained us to ourselves' Spectator This ambitious and stimulating book describes how a moral revolution in the first centuries AD - the discovery of human freedom and its universal potential - led to a social revolution in the west. The invention of a new, equal social role, the individual, gradually displaced the claims of family, tribe and caste as the basis of social organisation. Larry Siedentop asks us to rethink the evolution of the ideas on which modern societies and government are built, and argues that the core of what is now our system of beliefs emerged much earlier than we think. The roots of liberalism - belief in individual liberty, in the fundamental moral equality of individuals, that equality should be the basis of a legal system and that only a representative form of government is fitting for such a society - all these, Siedentop argues, were pioneered by Christian thinkers of the Middle Ages, who drew on the moral revolution carried out by the early church. It was the arguments of canon lawyers, theologians and philosophers from the eleventh to the fourteenth century, rather than the Renaissance, that laid the foundation for liberal democracy. There are large parts of the world where other beliefs flourish - fundamentalist Islam, which denies the equality of women and is often ambiguous about individual rights and representative institutions; quasi-capitalist China, where a form of utilitarianism enshrines state interests even at the expense of justice and liberty. Such beliefs may foster populist forms of democracy. But they are not liberal. In the face of these challenges, Siedentop urges that understanding the origins of our own liberal ideas is more than ever an important part of knowing who we are. LARRY SIEDENTOP was appointed to the first post in intellectual history ever established in Britain, at Sussex University in the 1970's. From there he moved to Oxford, becoming Faculty Lecturer in Political Thought and a Fellow of Keble College. His writings include a study of Tocqueville, an edition of Guizot's History of Civilization in Europe, and Democracy in Europe, which has been translated into a dozen languages. Siedentop was made CBE in 2004. PRAISE FOR THE BOOK 'One of the most stimulating books of political theory to have appeared in many years ... a refreshingly unorthodox account of the roots of modern liberalism in medieval Christian thinking' John Gray, Literary Review 'A brave, brilliant and beautifully written defence of the western tradition' Paul Lay, History Today 'An engrossing book of ideas ... illuminating, beautifully written and rigorously argued' Kenan Malik, Independent 'A most impressive work of philosophical history' Robert Skidelsky
Long regarded as the most accurate rendering of Plato's Republic that has yet been published, this widely acclaimed work is the first strictly literal translation of a timeless classic. In addition to the annotated text, there is also a rich and valuable essay,as well as indices,which will better enable the reader to approach the heart of Plato's intention. This new edition includes a new introduction by acclaimed critic Adam Kirsch, setting the work in its intellectual context for a new generation of readers.
"Explains the dynamics of federalism in today's policymaking process"
The checks and balances built into the U.S. Constitution are designed to decentralize and thus limit the powers of government. This system works both horizontally--among the executive, legislative, and judicial branches--and vertically--between the federal government and state governments. That vertical separation, known as federalism, is intended to restrain the powers of the federal government, yet many political observers today believe that the federal government routinely oversteps its bounds at the expense of states.
In "Safeguarding Federalism," John D. Nugent argues that contrary to common perception, federalism is alive and well--if in a form different from what the Framers of the Constitution envisioned. According to Nugent, state officials have numerous options for affecting the development and implementation of federal policy and can soften, slow down, or even halt federal efforts they perceive as harming their interests.
Nugent describes the general approaches states use to safeguard their interests, such as influencing the federal policy, contributing to policy formulation, encouraging or discouraging policy enactment, participating in policy implementation, and providing necessary feedback on policy success or failure. Demonstrating the workings of these safeguards through detailed analysis of recent federal initiatives, including the 1996 welfare reform law, the Clean Air Act, moratoriums on state taxation of Internet commerce, and the highly controversial No Child Left Behind Act, Nugent shows how states' promotion of their own interests preserves the Founders' system of constitutional federalism today.
"Links modern political theorists with the Romans who inspired them"
Roman contributions to political theory have been acknowledged primarily in the province of law and administration. Even with a growing interest among classicists in Roman political thought, most political theorists view it as merely derivative of Greek philosophy.
Focusing on the works of key Roman thinkers, Dean Hammer recasts the legacy of their political thought, examining their imaginative vision of a vulnerable political world and the relationship of the individual to this realm. By bringing modern political theorists into conversation with the Romans who inspired them--Arendt with Cicero, Machiavelli with Livy, Montesquieu with Tacitus, Foucault with Seneca--the author shows how both ancient Roman and modern European thinkers seek to recover an attachment to the political world that we actually inhabit, rather than to a utopia--a "perfect nowhere" outside of the existing order.
Brimming with fresh interpretations of both ancient and modern theorists, this book offers provocative reading for classicists, political scientists, and anyone interested in political theory and philosophy. It is also a timely meditation on the hidden ways in which democracy can give way to despotism when the animating spirit of politics succumbs to resignation, cynicism, and fear.
Moral duties are regularly attributed to groups. In the media or on the street, we might hear that a specific country has a moral duty to defend human rights, that environmentalists have a moral duty to push for global systemic reform, or that the affluent have a moral duty to alleviate poverty. Do such attributions make conceptual sense or are they mere political rhetoric? And what does that imply for the individual members of these groups? Group Duties offers the first comprehensive answer to these questions. Stephanie Collins defends a Tripartite Model of group duties - so-called because it divides groups into three fundamental categories. First, we have combinations - collections of agents that don't have any goals or decision-making procedures in common. These groups cannot bear moral duties. Instead, we should re-cast their purported duties as a series of duties, one held by each agent in the combination. Each duty demands its bearer to 'I-reason': to do the best they can, given whatever they happen to believe the others will do. Second, there are groups whose members share goals but lack decision-making procedures. These are coalitions. Coalitions also cannot bear duties, but their alleged duties should be replaced with members' several duties to 'we-reason': to do one's part in a particular group pattern of actions, on the presumption that others will do likewise. Third and finally, collectives have group-level procedures for making decisions. They can bear duties. Collectives' duties imply duties for collectives' members to use their role in the collective with a view to the collective doing its duty. With the Tripartite Model in-hand, Collins argues that we can target our political demands at the right entities, in the right way, for the right reasons.
The seventeenth and eighteenth centuries represent a period of remarkable intellectual vitality in British philosophy, as figures such as Hobbes, Locke, Hume, and Smith attempted to explain the origins and sustaining mechanisms of civil society. Their insights continue to inform how political and moral theorists think about the world in which we live. From Moral Theology to Moral Philosophy reconstructs a debate which preoccupied contemporaries but which seems arcane to us today. It concerned the relationship between reason and revelation as the two sources of mankind's knowledge, particularly in the ethical realm: to what extent, they asked, could reason alone discover the content and obligatory character of morality? This was held to be a historical, rather than a merely theoretical question: had the philosophers of pre-Christian antiquity, ignorant of Christ, been able satisfactorily to explain the moral universe? What role had natural theology played in their ethical theories - and was it consistent with the teachings delivered by revelation? Much recent scholarship has drawn attention to the early-modern interest in two late Hellenistic philosophical traditions - Stoicism and Epicureanism. Yet in the English context, three figures above all - John Locke, Conyers Middleton, and David Hume - quite deliberately and explicitly identified their approaches with Cicero as the representative of an alternative philosophical tradition, critical of both the Stoic and the Epicurean: academic scepticism. All argued that Cicero provided a means of addressing what they considered to be the most pressing question facing contemporary philosophy: the relationship between moral philosophy and moral theology.
Dotan Leshem recasts the history of the West from an economic perspective, bringing politics, philosophy, and the economy closer together and revealing the significant role of Christian theology in shaping economic and political thought. He begins with early Christian treatment of economic knowledge and the effect of this interaction on ancient politics and philosophy. He then follows the secularization of the economy in liberal and neoliberal theory. Leshem draws on Hannah Arendt's history of politics and Michel Foucault's genealogy of economy and philosophy. He consults exegetical and apologetic tracts, homilies and eulogies, manuals and correspondence, and Church canons and creeds to trace the influence of the economy on Christian orthodoxy. Only by relocating the origins of modernity in Late Antiquity, Leshem argues, can we confront the full effect of the neoliberal marketized economy on contemporary societies. Then, he proposes, a new political philosophy that re-secularizes the economy will take shape and transform the human condition.
"Islam in the Balance: Ideational Threats in Arab Politics" is an
analysis of how ideas, or political ideology, can threaten states
and how states react to ideational threats. It examines the threat
perception and policies of two Arab, Muslim majority states, Egypt
and Saudi Arabia, in response to the rise and activities of two
revolutionary "Islamic states," established in Iran (1979) and
As American politics has become increasingly polarized, gridlock at the federal level has led to a greater reliance on state governments to get things done. But this arrangement depends a great deal on state cooperation, and not all state officials have chosen to cooperate. Some have opted for conflict with the federal government. Conservative Innovators traces the activity of far-right conservatives in Kansas who have in the past decade used the powers of state-level offices to fight federal regulation on a range of topics from gun control to voting processes to Medicaid. Telling their story, Ben Merriman then expands the scope of the book to look at the tactics used by conservative state governments across the country to resist federal regulations, including coordinated lawsuits by state attorneys general, refusals to accept federal funds and spending mandates, and the creation of programs designed to restrict voting rights. Through this combination of state-initiated lawsuits and new administrative practices, these state officials weakened or halted major parts of the Obama Administration's healthcare, environmental protection, and immigration agendas and eroded federal voting rights protections. Conservative Innovators argues that American federalism is entering a new, conflict-ridden era that will make state governments more important in American life than they have been at any time in the past century.
An all-star cast of scholars and politicians from Europe and America propose and debate the creation of a new European parliament with substantial budgetary and legislative power to solve the crisis of governance in the Eurozone and promote social and fiscal justice and public investment. The European Union is struggling. The rise of Euroskeptic parties in member states, economic distress in the south, the migrant crisis, and Brexit top the news. But deeper structural problems may be a greater long-term peril. Not least is the economic management of the Eurozone, the nineteen countries that use the Euro. How can this be accomplished in a way generally acceptable to members, given a political system whose structures are routinely decried for a lack of democratic accountability? How can the EU promote fiscal and social justice while initiating the long-term public investments that Europe needs to overcome stagnation? These are the problems a distinguished group of European and American scholars set out to solve in this short but valuable book. Among many longstanding grievances is the charge that Eurozone policies serve large and wealthy countries at the expense of poorer nations. It is also unclear who decides economic policy, how the interests of diverse member states are balanced, and to whom the decision-makers are accountable. The four lead authors-Stephanie Hennette, Thomas Piketty, Guillaume Sacriste, and Antoine Vauchez-describe these and other problems, and respond with a draft treaty establishing a parliament for economic policy, its members drawn from national parliaments. We then hear from invited critics, who express support, objections, or alternative ideas. How to Democratize Europe offers a chance to observe how major thinkers view some of the Continent's most pressing issues and attempt to connect democratic reform with concrete changes in economic and social policies.
This book elaborates, illuminates, and illustrates a confident and attractive account of social and political liberalism in light of a rich understanding of flourishing and fulfilment rooted in a version of natural law theory. Examining issues in ethics, law, and politics - including consumer responsibility, the assignment of grades by teachers, deception by lawyers, war and empire, and the use of victim-impact statements in parole decisions - Gary Chartier shows how natural law theory can effectively support pluralism, diversity, social equality, integrity, peace, and freedom.
On the occasion of Habermas's 80th birthday, the German publisher Suhrkamp brought out five volumes of Habermas's work that spanned the full range his philosophical work, from the theory of rationality to the critique of metaphysics. For each of these volumes, Habermas wrote an introduction that crystallized, in a remarkably clear and succinct way, his thinking on the key philosophical issues that have preoccupied him throughout his long career. This new book by Polity brings together these five introductions and publishes them together for the first time. The result is a unique and comprehensive overview of Habermas's philosophy in his own words. In the five chapters that make up this volume, Habermas discusses the concept of communicative action and the grounding of the social sciences in the theory of language; the relationship between rationality and the theory of language; discourse ethics; political theory and problems of democracy and legitimacy; the critique of reason and the challenge posed by religion in a secular age. The volume includes a substantial introduction by Jean-Marc Durand-Gasselin which provides the reader with all the necessary background to understand Habermas's distinctive and original contribution to philosophy. Philosophical Introductions will be an indispensable text for students and scholars in philosophy and in the humanities and social sciences generally, and for anyone interested in the most important developments in philosophy and critical theory today.
This is a bold take on the crucial role of emotion in politics. Emotions work to define who we are as well as shape what we do and this is no more powerfully at play than in the world of politics. Ahmed considers how emotions keep us invested in relationships of power, and also shows how this use of emotion could be crucial to feminist and queer political movements. Debates on international terrorism, asylum and migration, as well as reconciliation and reparation are explored through topical case studies. In this textbook the difficult issues are confronted head on. New for this edition: a substantial 15,000-word Afterword on 'Emotions and Their Objects' which provides an original contribution to the burgeoning field of affect studies; a revised Bibliography; and updated throughout.
Why do politicians think that war is the answer to terror when military intervention in Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Syria, Mali, Somalia and elsewhere has made things worse? Why do some conflicts never end? And how is it that practices like beheadings, extra-judicial killings, the bombing of hospitals and schools and sexual slavery are becoming increasingly common? In this book, renowned scholar of war and human security Mary Kaldor introduces the concept of global security cultures in order to explain why we get stuck in particular pathways to security. A global security culture, she explains, involves different combinations of ideas, narratives, rules, people, tools, practices and infrastructure embedded in a specific form of political authority, a set of power relations, that come together to address or engage in large-scale violence. In contrast to the Cold War period, when there was one dominant culture based on military forces and nation-states, nowadays there are competing global security cultures. Defining four main types - geo-politics, new wars, the liberal peace, and the war on terror she investigates how we might identify contradictions, dilemmas and experiments in contemporary security cultures that might ultimately open up new pathways to rescue and safeguard civility in the future.
How the history of racism without visible differences between people challenges our understanding of the history of racial thinking Racial divisions have returned to the forefront of politics in the United States and European societies, making it more important than ever to understand race and racism. But do we? In this original and provocative book, acclaimed historian Jean-Fr (c)d (c)ric Schaub shows that we don't "and that we need to rethink the widespread assumption that racism is essentially a modern form of discrimination based on skin color and other visible differences. On the contrary, Schaub argues that to understand racism we must look at historical episodes of collective discrimination where there was no visible difference between people. Built around notions of identity and otherness, race is above all a political tool that must be understood in the context of its historical origins. Although scholars agree that races don't exist except as ideological constructions, they disagree about when these ideologies emerged. Drawing on historical research from the early modern period to today, Schaub makes the case that the key turning point in the political history of race in the West occurred not with the Atlantic slave trade and American slavery, as many historians have argued, but much earlier, in fifteenth-century Spain and Portugal, with the racialization of Christians of Jewish and Muslim origin. These Christians were discriminated against under the new idea that they had negative social and moral traits that were passed from generation to generation through blood, semen, or milk "an idea whose legacy has persisted through the age of empires to today. Challenging widespread definitions of race and offering a new chronology of racial thinking, Schaub shows why race must always be understood in the context of its political history.
With an Introduction by Dr Richard Serjeantson, Trinity College, Cambridge Since its first publication in 1651, Thomas Hobbes's Leviathan has been recognised as one of the most compelling, and most controversial, works of political philosophy written in English. Forged in the crucible of the civil and religious warfare of the mid-seventeenth century, it proposes a political theory that combines an unequivocal commitment to natural human liberty with the conviction that the sovereign power of government must be exercised absolutely. Leviathan begins from some shockingly naturalistic starting-points: an analysis of human nature as being motivated by vain-glory and pride, and a vision of religion as simply the fear of invisible powers made up by the mind. Yet from these deliberately unpromising elements, Hobbes constructs with unparalleled forcefulness an elaborate, systematic, and comprehensive account of how political society ought to be: ordered, law-bound, peaceful. In Leviathan, Hobbes presents us with a portrait of politics which depicts how a state that is made up of the unified body of all its citizens will be powerful, fruitful, protective of each of its members, and - above all - free from internal violence.
The complete rankings of our best -- and worst -- presidents, based on C-SPAN's much-cited Historians Surveys of Presidential Leadership. Over a period of decades, C-SPAN has surveyed leading historians on the best and worst of America's presidents across a variety of categories -- their ability to persuade the public, their leadership skills, the moral authority, and more. The crucible of the presidency has forged some of the very best and very worst leaders in our national history, along with much in between. Based on interviews conducted over the years with a variety of presidential biographers, this book provides not just a complete ranking of our presidents, but stories and analyses that capture the character of the men who held the office. From Abraham Lincoln's political savvy and rhetorical gifts to James Buchanan's indecisiveness, this book teaches much about what makes a great leader--and what does not. As America looks ahead to our next election, this book offers perspective and criteria that may help us choose our next leader wisely.
In this powerful and urgently needed call to action, national security expert Stephen Flynn offers a startling portrait of the radical shortcomings in America's plan for homeland security. He describes a frightening scenario of what the next major terrorist attack might look like -- revealing the tragic loss of life and economic havoc it would leave in its wake, as well as the seismic political consequences it would have in Washington. Flynn also shows us how to prepare for such a disaster, outlining a bold yet practical plan for achieving security in a way that is safe and smart, effective and manageable.
In this new world of heightened risk and fear, "America the Vulnerable" delivers a timely, forceful message that cannot be ignored.
For eighteenth- and nineteenth-century authors such as Burke, Constant and Mill, a powerful representative assembly which freely deliberated and controlled the executive was the defining institution of a liberal state. Yet these figures also feared that representative assemblies were susceptible to usurpation, gridlock or corruption. Parliamentarism was their answer to this dilemma; a constitutional model which enabled a nation to be truly governed by a representative assembly. Offering novel interpretations of canonical liberal authors, this history of liberal political ideas suggests a new paradigm for interpreting the development of modern political thought, inspiring fresh perspectives on historical issues from the eighteenth to early twentieth centuries. In doing so, Selinger suggests the wider significance of parliament and the theory of parliamentarism in the development of European political thought, revealing how contemporary democratic theory, and indeed the challenges facing representative government today, are historically indebted to classical parliamentarism.
A key theme of Gayatri Spivak's work is agency: the ability of the individual to make their own decisions. While Spivak's main aim is to consider ways in which "subalterns" – her term for the indigenous dispossessed in colonial societies – were able to achieve agency, this paper concentrates specifically on describing the ways in which western scholars inadvertently reproduce hegemonic structures in their work.
Spivak is herself a scholar, and she remains acutely aware of the difficulty and dangers of presuming to "speak" for the subalterns she writes about. As such, her work can be seen as predominantly a delicate exercise in the critical thinking skill of interpretation; she looks in detail at issues of meaning, specifically at the real meaning of the available evidence, and her paper is an attempt not only to highlight problems of definition, but to clarify them.
What makes this one of the key works of interpretation in the Macat library is, of course, the underlying significance of this work. Interpretation, in this case, is a matter of the difference between allowing subalterns to speak for themselves, and of imposing a mode of "speaking" on them that – however well-intentioned – can be as damaging in the postcolonial world as the agency-stifling political structures of the colonial world itself. By clearing away the detritus of scholarly attempts at interpretation, Spivak takes a stand against a specifically intellectual form of oppression and marginalization.
Why do Americans have such animosity for people who identify with the opposing political party? Jaime E. Settle argues that in the context of increasing partisan polarization among American political elites, the way we communicate on Facebook uniquely facilitates psychological polarization among the American public. Frenemies introduces the END Framework of social media interaction. END refers to a subset of content that circulates in a social media ecosystem: a personalized, quantified blend of politically informative 'expression', 'news', and 'discussion' seamlessly interwoven into a wider variety of socially informative content. Scrolling through the News Feed triggers a cascade of processes that result in negative attitudes about those who disagree with us politically. The inherent features of Facebook, paired with the norms of how people use the site, heighten awareness of political identity, bias the inferences people make about others' political views, and foster stereotyped evaluations of the political out-group.
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