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At the centre of John Rawls's political philosophy is one of the most influential thought experiments of the twentieth century: which principles of justice would a group of individuals choose to regulate their society if they were deprived of any information about themselves that might bias their choice? In this collection of new essays, leading political philosophers examine the ramifications and continued relevance of Rawls's idea. Their chapters explore topics including the place of the original position in rational choice theory, the similarities between Rawls's original position and Kant's categorical imperative, the differences between Rawls's model and Scanlon's contractualism, and the role of the original position in the argument between Rawls and other views in political philosophy, including utilitarianism, feminism, and radicalism. This accessible volume will be a valuable resource for undergraduates, as well as advanced students and scholars of philosophy, game theory, economics, and the social and political sciences.
German sociologist Max Weber’s 1919 lecture Politics as a Vocation is widely regarded as a masterpiece of political theory and sociology. Its central strength lies in Weber’s deployment of masterful interpretative skills to power his discussion of modern politics.
Interpretation involves understanding both the meaning of evidence and the meaning of terms – questioning definitions, clarifying terms and processes, and supplying good, clear definitions of the author’s own. As a sociologist accustomed to working with historical evidence, Weber based his own work on precisely these skills, solidly backed up by analytical acuity.
Politics as a Vocation, written in a Germany shocked by its crippling defeat in World War I, saw Weber turn his eye to an examination of how the modern nation state emerged, and the different ways in which it can be run – interpreting and defining the different types of rule that are possible. It is testament to Weber’s interpretative skills that Politics is famous above all in sociological circles for its clear definition of a state as an institution that claims “the monopoly of legitimate physical violence” in a given territory.
Territory continues to be an essential part of modern political discussion, evidenced in the recent decentralization of state structures and rise of sub-state nationalist and regionalist parties. With extensive empirical evidence alongside contemporary theory, this multidisciplinary Handbook makes the case for an outright rejection of state-centric views on territorial politics. Original research by political scientists, geographers, sociologists, lawyers, historians and public policy specialists demonstrates how territory continues to have an impact across institutional and political structures, as well as on culture, identity and citizenship. Over four sections, contributions cover institutions and ideas; elections and political parties; public policy concerns; and geographical perspectives, including conflict resolution and gendered approaches to territorial politics. With perspectives from European, North American, Sub-Saharan African, South Asian and Australasian case studies, Klaus Detterbeck and Eve Hepburn provide a state-of-the-art international Handbook of Territorial Politics. Incorporating public policy, comparative politics, multilevel governance and political geography, this Handbook provides scholars and students with a compelling collection on territorial politics that will prove invaluable.
Political revolutions, economic meltdowns, mass ideological conversions and collective innovation adoptions occur often, but when they do happen, they tend to be the least expected. Based on the paradigm of 'leading from the periphery', this groundbreaking analysis offers an explanation for such spontaneity and apparent lack of leadership in contentious collective action. Contrary to existing theories, the author argues that network effects in collective action originating from marginal leaders can benefit from a total lack of communication. Such network effects persist in isolated islands of contention instead of overarching action cascades, and are shown to escalate in globally dispersed, but locally concentrated networks of contention. This is a trait that can empower marginal leaders and set forth social dynamics distinct from those originating in the limelight. Leading from the Periphery and Network Collective Action provides evidence from two Middle Eastern uprisings, as well as behavioral experiments of collective risk-taking in social networks.
Western political theory typically incorporates certain assumptions about sex and gender as natural, unvarying and "pre-political." This book critically examines these assumptions and shows how recent scholarship undermines the illusion that bodies exist outside politics and beyond the reach of the state. Leading political theorist Mary Hawkesworth's cutting-edge intersectional account demonstrates how popular conceptions of human nature, public and private, citizenship, liberty, the state, and injustice relegate women, people of color, sexual minorities, and gender-variant people to inferior status despite constitutional guarantees of equality before the law. Hawkesworth argues that traditional political theory has contributed to the perpetuation of pernicious forms of injustice by masking the state's role in the creation of subordinated and stigmatized subjects. The book draws insights from critical race, feminist, postcolonial, queer, and trans* theory to give a compelling, original, and highly readable introduction to historical and contemporary debates on gender and political theory for students.
A major new text on gender and politics by two leading authorities, which introduces the main issues and debates about the politics of gender and its role in both domestic and international politics and feminist approaches to political analysis.
'Magisterial... a tour de force.' Anthony Giddens 'Essential reading.' Jamie Bartlett 'Prepare to be terrified, exhilarated and occasionally inspired.' Catherine Mayer 'Timely and incisive.' Greg Williams, Wired A groundbreaking examination of the new centres of power and control in the twenty-first century. The old gods are dying. Giant corporations collapse overnight. Newspapers are being swallowed. Stock prices plummet with a tweet. Governments are losing control. The old familiarities are tumbling down and a strange new social order is rising in their place. More crime now happens online than offline. Facebook has grown bigger than any state, bots battle elections, technologists have reinvented democracy and information wars are breaking out around us. New mines produce crypto-currencies, coders write policy, and algorithms shape our lives in more ways than we can imagine. What is going on? For centuries, writers and thinkers have used power as a prism through which to view and understand the world at moments of seismic change. The Death of the Gods is an exploration of power in the digital age, and a journey in search of the new centres of control today. From a cyber-crime raid in suburbia to the engine rooms of Silicon Valley, and from the digital soldiers of Berkshire to the hackers of Las Vegas, pioneering technology researcher Carl Miller traces how power - the most important currency of all - is being transformed, fought over, won and lost. As power escapes from its old bonds, he shows us where it has gone, the shape it now takes and how it touches each of our lives. Astounding opportunities are at our fingertips. But are we more powerful as individuals than ever before? Or more controlled?
In recent years, feminist and queer theory have effectively disavowed both "the human" and revolutionary politics. In the face of massive geopolitical crisis, posthumanists have called for us to reconsider fundamentally the superiority and centrality of mankind and "the human," and question how Man can presume to change the world by revolutionary action, particularly when Marx's dreams seem to have been swept into the dustbin of history. This provocative book reaffirms what is most basic in feminism - the attack on the "universality" and sovereignty of Man - but contends that the only way this can mean anything other than pessimistic rhetoric is to embrace human agency and the struggle against colonialism and capitalism. In a series of "creolized" readings - Foucault with Ali Shari'ati, Lacan with Fanon, and Spinoza with Sylvia Wynter - the authors demonstrate what is at stake in the ongoing debate between humanism and posthumanism, putting this debate in the context of contemporary global crises and the possibilities of revolution. In its defense of "political spirituality," this book pushes for a new trajectory in response to the gross inequalities of today, one that offers us a very different view of revolution and its present-day potential.
"There's never been a more pressing time to question every aspect of our inadequate democracy" - Polly Toynbee "This important book shows the many challenges democracy faces in a world of populism and radical digital change" - Margaret Hodge 2018 saw celebrations of the centenary of the Representation of the People Act which marked a decisive step towards full universal suffrage - this collection of essays explores the problems of democracy and suggests ways it might now be extended and deepened. Investigates if democracy is an unfinished revolution and if democratic politics is currently in retreat Demonstrates how democratic politics is once again under attack - this time from populist nationalists, authoritarian rulers and new forms of political communication Argues that if we lose the art of active citizenship, we will lose the freedoms and the rights which democracy has bestowed
The use of referendums around the world has grown remarkably in the past thirty years and, in particular, referendums are today deployed more than ever in the settlement of constitutional questions, even in countries with little or no tradition of direct democracy. This is the first book by a constitutional theorist to address the implications of this development for constitutional democracy in a globalizing age, when many of the older certainties surrounding sovereignty and constitutional authority are coming under scrutiny. The book identifies four substantive constitutional processes where the referendum is regularly used today: the founding of new states; the creation or amendment of constitutions; the establishment of complex new models of sub-state autonomy, particularly in multinational states; and the transfer of sovereign powers from European states to the European Union. The book, as a study in constitutional theory, addresses the challenges this phenomenon poses not only for particular constitutional orders, which are typically structured around a representative model of democracy, but for constitutional theory more broadly. The main theoretical focus of the book is the relationship between the referendum and democracy. It addresses the standard criticisms which the referendum is subjected to by democratic theorists and deploys both civic republican theory and the recent turn in deliberative democracy to ask whether by good process-design the constitutional referendum is capable of facilitating the engagement of citizens in deliberative acts of constitution-making. With the referendum firmly established as a fixture of contemporary constitutionalism, the book addresses the key question for constitutional theorists and practitioners of how might its operation be made more democratic in age of constitutional transformation.
We are living through a period of dramatic political change Brexit, the election of Trump, the rise of extreme right movements in Europe and elsewhere, the resurgence of nationalism and xenophobia and a concerted assault on the liberal values and ideals associated with cosmopolitanism and globalization. Suddenly we find ourselves in a world that few would have imagined possible just a few years ago, a world that seems to many to be a move backwards. How can we make sense of these dramatic developments and how should we respond to them? Are we witnessing a worldwide rejection of liberal democracy and its replacement by some kind of populist authoritarianism? This timely volume brings together some of the world's greatest minds to analyse and seek to understand the forces behind this 'great regression'. Writers from across disciplines and countries, including Paul Mason, Pankaj Mishra, Slavoj i ek, Zygmunt Bauman, Arjun Appadurai, Wolfgang Streeck and Eva Illouz, grapple with our current predicament, framing it in a broader historical context, discussing possible future trajectories and considering ways that we might combat this reactionary turn. The Great Regression is a key intervention that will be of great value to all those concerned about recent developments and wondering how best to respond to this unprecedented challenge to the very core of liberal democracy and internationalism across the world today. For more information, see: www.thegreatregression.eu
'The capacity to affect and to be affected'. This simple definition opens a world of questions - by indicating an openness to the world. To affect and to be affected is to be in encounter, and to be in encounter is to have already ventured forth. Adventure: far from being enclosed in the interiority of a subject, affect concerns an immediate participation in the events of the world. It is about intensities of experience. What is politics made of, if not adventures of encounter? What are encounters, if not adventures of relation? The moment we begin to speak of affect, we are already venturing into the political dimension of relational encounter. This is the dimension of experience in-the-making. This is the level at which politics is emergent. In these wide-ranging interviews, Brian Massumi explores this emergent politics of affect, weaving between philosophy, political theory and everyday life. The discussions wend their way 'transversally': passing between the tired oppositions which too often encumber thought, such as subject/object, body/mind and nature/culture. New concepts are gradually introduced to remap the complexity of relation and encounter for a politics of emergence: 'differential affective attunement', 'collective individuation', 'micropolitics', 'thinking-feeling', 'ontopower', 'immanent critique'. These concepts are not offered as definitive solutions. Rather, they are designed to move the inquiry still further, for an ongoing exploration of the political problems posed by affect. Politics of Affect offers an accessible entry-point into the work of one of the defining figures of the last quarter century, as well as opening up new avenues for philosophical reflection and political engagement.
The ever-changing field of foreign policy is explored first by examining the theoretical and historical perspectives, then the variety of actors, context and goals, and concludes with an interesting range of relevant case studies. In this way, the editors take a balanced approach, presenting the theoretical and practical sides of foreign policy. The expert contributors to the text are a mixture of academics and practitioners which supports this balance. Relevant foreign policy issues such as climate change and EU-Russia energy dynamics are explored in the case study section, showing the growing importance of foreign policy in the real world. An Online Resource Centre accompanies the text and includes: For lecturers: key themes from the case studies in the book, PowerPoint slides For students: a timeline showing the evolution of foreign policy analysis, web links, a flashcard glossary
Many still consider Ludwig Wittgenstein’s 1953 Philosophical Investigations to be one of the breakthrough works of twentieth-century philosophy.
The book sets out a radically new conception of philosophy itself, and demonstrates all the attributes of a fine analytical mind. Taking an argument from Plato and subjecting it to detailed (and very clear) analysis, Wittgenstein shows his understanding of how the sequence and function of differing parts of a highly-complex argument can be broken down and assessed. In so doing, he reaches a logical position of simultaneous agreement and disagreement with Plato’s philosophical position.
Philosophical Investigations is also a powerful example of the skill of interpretation. Philosophical problems often arise from confusions in the use of language – and the way to solve these problems, Wittgenstein posits, is by clarifying language use. He argues that philosophers must study ordinary uses of language and examine how people use it as a tool in their everyday lives. In this highly-interpretative way, the meaning of a word or sentence becomes relative to the context (people, culture, community) in which it is used. Rather than debate abstract problems, Wittgenstein urges philosophers to concern themselves with ordinary life and the concrete situations in which humans find themselves.
What do we know about war crimes and justice? What are the discursive practices through which the dominant images of war crimes, atrocity and justice are understood? In this wide ranging text, Michael J. Shapiro contrasts the justice-related imagery of the war crimes trial (for example the solitary, headphone-wearing defendant at the Hague listening with intent to a catalogue of charges) with ?literary justice?: representations in literature, film, and biographical testimony, raising questions about atrocities and justice that juridical proceedings exclude. By engaging with the ambiguities exposed by the artistic and experiential genres, reading them alongside policy and archival documentation and critical theoretical discourses, Shapiro?s War Crimes, Atrocity, and Justice challenges traditional notions of ?responsibility? in juridical settings. His comparative readings instead encourage a focus on the conditions of possibility for war crimes as they arise from the actions of states, non-state agencies and individuals involved in arms trading, peace keeping, sex trafficking, and law enforcement and adjudication. Theory springs to life as Shapiro draws on examples from legal discourse, literature, media, film, and television, to build a nuanced picture of politics and the problem of justice. It will be of great interest to students of film and media, literature, cultural studies, contemporary philosophy and political science
'Islamophobia' is a term that has existed since the nineteenth century. But in recent decades, argues Pascal Bruckner in his controversial new book, it has become a weapon used to silence criticism of Islam. The term allows those who brandish it in the name of Islam to 'freeze' the latter, making reform difficult. Whereas Christianity and Judaism have been rejuvenated over the centuries by external criticism, Islam has been shielded from critical examination and has remained impervious to change. This tendency is exacerbated by the hypocrisy of those Western defenders of Islam who, in the name of the principles of the Enlightenment, seek to muzzle its critics while at the same time demanding the right to chastise and criticize other religions. These developments, argues Bruckner, are counter-productive for Western democracies as they struggle with the twin challenges of immigration and terrorism. The return of religion in those democracies must not be equated with the defence of fanaticism, and the right to religious freedom must go hand in hand with freedom of expression, an openness to criticism, and a rejection of all forms of extremism. There are already more than enough forms of racism; there is no need to imagine more. While all violence directed against Muslims is to be strongly condemned and punished, defining these acts as 'Islamophobic' rather than criminal does more to damage Islam and weaken the position of Muslims than to strengthen them.
Sheldon Wolin was one of the most influential and original political thinkers of the past fifty years. In Fugitive Democracy, the breathtaking range of Wolin's scholarship, political commitment, and critical acumen are on full display in this authoritative and accessible collection of essays. This book brings together his most important writings, from classic essays to his late radical essays on American democracy such as "Fugitive Democracy," in which he offers a controversial reinterpretation of democracy as an episodic phenomenon distinct from the routinized political management that passes for democracy today. Wolin critically engages a diverse range of political theorists, and grapples with topics such as power, modernization, the sixties, revolutionary politics, and inequality, all the while showcasing enduring commitment to writing civic-minded theoretical commentary on the most pressing political issues of the day. Fugitive Democracy offers enduring insights into many of today's most pressing political predicaments, and introduces a whole new generation of readers to this provocative figure in contemporary political thought.
This is an introductory American politics text covering the constitutional framework of American government, political behavior and informal institutions, the formal institutions of American government, and a concluding chapter on public policy. Every chapter highlights the most current thinking in political science research and discusses related public policy. This text teaches students to think analytically by presenting current political science theories and research in answering the engaging, big questions facing American politics today. It serves as an introduction to the discipline by reflecting the theoretical developments and types of empirical inquiry conducted by researchers. New to the Third Edition: 2016 and 2018 election updates and analysis of their political and policy impact Social media's growing influence on politics The impact of the alt-right and rising populism on elections and policy New trends in public opinion Weakening of the Voting Rights Act Campaign finance upheaval The changing congressional landscape Updated tables, figures, and photos present the empirical details of American politics, helping students gain quantitative literacy Landmark court cases, now highlighted and linked to key concepts Refreshed feature boxes reinforce the book's dedication to helping students understand the scientific approach to politics, incorporating intriguing new topics including genetics and public opinion, the biology of political participation, and evolution and the bureaucracy
In this sweeping and provocative work, political economist William Davies draws on a four-hundred-year history of ideas to reframe our understanding of the contemporary world. He argues that global trends decades and even centuries in the making have reduced a world of logic and fact into one driven by emotions-particularly fear and anxiety. This has ushered in an age of "nervous states," both in our individual bodies and our body politic. Eloquently tracing the history of accounting, statistics, science, and human anatomy from the Enlightenment to the present, Davies shows how we invented expertise in the seventeenth century to calm the violent disputes-over God and the nature of reality-that ravaged Europe. By separating truth from emotion, scientific, testable facts paved a way out of constant warfare and established a basis for consensus, which became the bedrock of modern politics, business, and democracy. Informed by research on psychology and economics, Davies reveals how widespread feelings of fear, vulnerability, physical and psychological pain, and growing inequality reshaped our politics, upending these centuries-old ideals of how we understand the world and organize society. Yet Davies suggests that the rise of emotion may open new possibilities for confronting humanity's greatest challenges. Ambitious and compelling, Nervous States is a perceptive and enduring account of our turbulent times.
In this ground breaking analysis, Terry Moe treats Hurricane Katrina as a natural experiment that offers a rare opportunity to learn about the role of power in the politics of institutional reform. When Katrina hit, it physically destroyed New Orleans' school buildings, but it also destroyed the vested-interest power that had protected the city's abysmal education system from major reform. With the constraints of power lifted, decision makers who had been incremental problem-solvers turned into revolutionaries, creating the most innovative school system in the entire country. The story of New Orleans' path from failure to revolution is fascinating, but, more importantly, it reveals the true role of power, whose full effects normally cannot be observed, because power has a 'second face' that is hidden and unobservable. Making use of Katrina's analytic leverage, Moe pulls back the curtain to show that this "second face" has profound consequences that stifle and undermine society's efforts to fix failing institutions.
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