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Brusselss idea of a wider Europe implies that Europeanisation is not limited to EU member states. The EU can, so it claims, also exert impact beyond its borders. One of the channels of external EU influence is cooperation between Europarties and parties outside the Union. Through mutual visits and joint activities, non-EU parties become internationally socialised, i.e., are exposed to the Europarties norms as well as values, and experience the rules as well as practices that shape European party-building. What are the incentives for Europarties and non-EU parties to cooperate with each other? What kind of, and how much, impact did cooperation have on party development in post-Soviet Georgia, Moldova, and Ukraine? Based on eighty interviews with party officials, international donors and academics, Maria Shagina outlines the set of motivations that trigger cooperation between Europarties and non-EU parties, analyses the impact of cooperation on party ideology, organisational structure, and inter-party behaviour in Georgia, Moldova, and Ukraine, and explores the implications of this cooperation on the standardisation, consolidation, and democratisation of the non-EU party systems. Her findings shed light on how prestige and domestic factors impede the penetration of EU norms and values in the non-EU party structures, and point to the failures of Europarties to adequately address problems of party-development in Eastern Europe. The book reveals the ways in which cooperation with Europarties has paradoxically contributed to the ossification of the status quo and impaired the development as well as the consolidation of democracy in the three Eastern Partnership states.
Hundreds of Israeli soldiers, called up to take part in controversial campaigns like the 1982 invasion of Lebanon or policing duties in the Palestinian territories today, have refused orders. Many of these 'refuseniks' have faced prison sentences rather than take part in what they regard as an unjust occupation in defence of illegal Jewish settlements. In this inspirational book, Peretz Kidron, himself a refusenik, gives us the stories, experiences, viewpoints, even poetry, of these courageous conscripts who believe in their country, but not in its actions beyond its borders. We read about the cautious, even embarrassed, response of the authorities. And we see the wider implications of the philosophy of selective refusal - which is not the same thing as pacifism -- for conscientious citizens in every country where conscription still exists. Here is a real model for the peace movement in Israel and worldwide.
Amidst the turmoil of economic crisis, Greece has become the first European experiment of Left rule in a sea of neoliberalism. What happens when a government of the Left, committed to social justice and the reversal of austerity, is blackmailed into following policies it has fought against and strongly opposes? What can the experience of the Syriza government tell us about the prospects for the Left in the 21st century? In this engaging and provocative book, Costas Douzinas uses his position as an 'accidental politician', unexpectedly propelled from academia into the world of Greek politics as a Syriza MP, to answer these urgent questions. Weaving together theoretical insights as a leading radical thinker with his inside knowledge of events and personalities, he examines the challenges facing Syriza since its assent to power in 2015 and draws out the theoretical and political lessons from one of the boldest and most difficult experiments in governing from the Left in an age of austerity. Examining issues ranging from the coup against the Syriza government to the impact of the refugee crisis, from Grexit to Brexit and the future of Europe, this timely book will be of immense importance to anyone seeking to understand the Greek struggle and its implications for resistance, politics and culture in the contemporary world.
Is the purpose of political philosophy to articulate the moral values that political regimes would realize in a virtually perfect world and show what that implies for the way we should behave toward one another? That model of political philosophy, driven by an effort to draw a picture of an ideal political society, is familiar from the approach of John Rawls and others. Or is political philosophy more useful if it takes the world as it is, acknowledging the existence of various morally non-ideal political realities, and asks how people can live together nonetheless? The latter approach is advocated by "realist" thinkers in contemporary political philosophy. In Value, Conflict, and Order, Edward Hall builds on the work of Isaiah Berlin, Stuart Hampshire, and Bernard Williams in order to establish a political realist's theory of politics for the twenty-first century. The realist approach, Hall argues, helps us make sense of the nature of moral and political conflict, the ethics of compromising with adversaries and opponents, and the character of political legitimacy. In an era when democratic political systems all over the world are riven by conflict over values and interests, Hall's conception is bracing and timely.
Elizabeth Anscombe’s 1958 essay “Modern Moral Philosophy” is a cutting intervention in modern philosophy that shows the full power of good evaluative and analytical critical thinking skills.
Though only 16 pages long, Anscombe’s paper set out to do nothing less than reform the entire field of modern moral philosophy – something that could only be done by carefully examining the existing arguments of the giants of the field. To do this, she deployed the central skills of evaluation and analysis.
In critical thinking, analysis helps understand the sequence and features of arguments: it asks what reasons these arguments produce, what implicit reasons and assumptions they rely on, what conclusions they arrive at. Evaluation involves judging whether or not the arguments are strong enough to sustain their conclusions: it asks how acceptable, adequate, and relevant the reasons given are, and whether or not the conclusions drawn from them are really valid.
In “Modern Moral Philosophy,” Anscombe dispassionately turns these skills on figures that have dominated moral philosophy since the 18th-century, revealing the underlying assumptions of their work, their weaknesses and strengths, and showing that in many ways the supposed differences between their arguments are actually negligible. A brilliantly incisive piece, “Modern Moral Philosophy” radically affected its field, remaining required – and controversial – reading today.
John Stuart Mill’s 1861 Utilitarianism remains one of the most widely known and influential works of moral philosophy ever written. It is also a model of critical thinking – one in which Mill’s reasoning and interpretation skills are used to create a well-structured, watertight, persuasive argument for his position on core questions in ethics.
The central question, for Mill, was to decide upon a valid definition of right and wrong, and reason out his moral theory from there. Laying down valid, defensible definitions is a crucial aspect of good interpretative thinking, and Mill gets his in as early as possible. Actions are good, he suggests, if they increase happiness, and bad if they reduce happiness.
But, vitally, it is not our own happiness that matters, but the total happiness of all those affected by a given action. From this interpretation of moral good, Mill is able to systematically reason out a coherent framework for calculating and judging overall happiness, while considering different kinds and qualities of happiness.
Like any good example of reasoning, Mill’s argument consistently takes account of possible objections, building them into the structure of the book in order to acknowledge and counter them as he goes.
Thomas Paine’s 1776 Common Sense has secured an unshakeable place as one of history’s most explosive and revolutionary books. A slim pamphlet published at the beginning of the American Revolution, it was so widely read that it remains the all-time best selling book in US history.
An impassioned argument for American independence and for democratic government, Common Sense can claim to have helped change the face of the world more than almost any other book. But Paine’s pamphlet is also a masterclass in critical thinking, demonstrating how the reasoned construction of arguments can be reinforced by literary skill and passion. Paine is perhaps more famous as a stylist than as a constructor of arguments, but Common Sense marries the best elements of good reasoning to its polemic. Moving systematically from the origins of government, through a criticism of monarchy, and on to the possibilities for future democratic government in an independent America, Paine neatly lays out a series of persuasive reasons to fight for independence and a new form of government. Indeed, as the pamphlet’s title suggested, to do so was nothing more than ‘common sense.’
Michael E. Porter’s 1980 book Competitive Strategy is a fine example of critical thinking skills in action. Porter used his strong evaluative skills to overturn much of the accepted wisdom in the world of business. By exploring the strengths and weaknesses of the accepted argument that the best policy for firms to become more successful was to focus on expanding their market share, he was able to establish that the credibility of the argument was flawed.
Porter did not believe such growth was the only way for a company to be successful, and provided compelling arguments as to why this was not the case. His book shows how industries can be fragmented, with different firms serving different parts of the market (the low-price mass market, and the expensive high-end market in clothing, for example) and examines strategies that businesses can follow in emerging, mature, and declining markets. If printing is in decline, for example, there may still be a market in this industry for high-end goods and services such as luxury craft bookbinding.
Porter also made excellent use of the critical thinking skill of analysis in writing Competitive Strategy. His advice that executives should analyze the five forces that mold the environment in which they compete – new entrants, substitute products, buyers, suppliers, and industry rivals – focused heavily on defining the relationships between these disparate factors and urged readers to check the assumptions of their arguments.
Porter avoided technical jargon and wrote in a straightforward way to help readers see that his evaluation of the problem was strong. Competitive Strategy went on to be a highly influential work in the world of business strategy.
Aristotle’s Metaphysics is a collection of essays on a wide range of topics, almost certainly never put together by Aristotle himself. This helps to explain why the material covers such a very wide range of material, from meaning to mathematics, from logical sequences to religion. It includes very useful treatments of the nature of axioms (or primary truths) such as the law of non-contradiction and the laws of logic.
In looking at these, Aristotle provides sustained guides to clear thinking as would be evidenced in analysis and evaluation of arguments and the production of good reasoning. He also provides some valuable discussion of interpretation by looking at homonyms (as in ‘this knife is sharp’ and ‘this note is sharp’) and what he calls ‘paronyms,’ which lie between homonyms and synonyms: an example is the word ‘healthy’. Metaphysics is also useful to study for its frequent examples of hypothetical reasoning, including their use in mathematics (‘if x, then y…’) and science (‘if a moves b, then b moves c...’, so what moves a?). In addition, we find Aristotle analysing Plato’s arguments and subjecting them to sustained (critical) evaluation. While Metaphysics shows Aristotle in many well-developed critical thinking modes, it is first and foremost a work of exquisite reasoning, creating strong arguments that continue to be debated and deployed today, nearly 2500 years after they were written.
Ferdinand de Saussure’s Course in General Linguistics is one of the most influential texts of the 20th-century – an astonishing feat for what is, at heart, a series of deeply technical lectures about the structure of human languages.
What the Course’s vast influence shows, fundamentally, is the power of good interpretative skills. The interpretative tasks of laying down and clarifying definitions are often vital to providing the logical framework for all kinds of critical thinking – whether it be solving problems in business, or esoteric academic research. At the time sat which Saussure gave his lectures, linguistics was a scattered and inconsistent field, without a unified method or rigorous approach. He aimed to change that by setting down and clarifying definitions and distinctions that would provide a coherent methodological framework for the study of language.
The terms laid down in the Course did exactly that – and they still make up the core of linguistic terminology a full century later. More than this, however, Saussure also highlighted the centrality of linguistic interpretation to understanding how we relate to the world, founding “semiotics”, or the study of signs – a field whose influence on academics across the humanities and social sciences is unparalleled.
John Locke’s 1689 Two Treatises of Government is a key text in the history of political theory – one whose influence remains marked on modern politics, the American Constitution and beyond.
Two Treatises is more than a seminal work on the nature and legitimacy of government. It is also a masterclass in two key critical thinking skills: evaluation and reasoning. Evaluation is all about judging and assessing arguments – asking how relevant, adequate and convincing they are. And, at its heart, the first of Locke’s two treatises is pure evaluation: a long and incisive dissection of a treatise on the arguments in Sir Robert Filmer’s Patriarcha. Filmer’s book had defended the doctrine that kings were absolute rulers whose legitimacy came directly from God (the so-called “divine right of kings”), basing his arguments on Biblical explanations and evidence. Locke carefully rebutted Filmer’s arguments, on their own terms, by reference to both the Bible and to recorded history. Finding Filmer’s evidence either to be insufficient or unacceptable, Locke concluded that his argument for patriarchy was weak to the point of invalidity.
In the second of Locke’s treatises, the author goes on to construct his own argument concerning the sources of legitimate power, and the nature of that power. Carefully building his own argument from a logical consideration of man in “the state of nature”, Locke creates a convincing argument that civilised society should be based on natural human rights and the social contract.
Frederick Jackson Turner's 1893 essay on the history of the United States remains one of the most famous and influential works in the American canon.
That is a testament to Turner's powers of creative synthesis; in a few short pages, he succeeded in redefining the way in which whole generations of Americans understood the manner in which their country was shaped, and their own character moulded, by the frontier experience. It is largely thanks to Turner's influence that the idea of America as the home of a sturdily independent people – one prepared, ultimately, to obtain justice for themselves if they could not find it elsewhere – was born. The impact of these ideas can still be felt today: in many Americans' suspicion of "big government," in their attachment to guns – even in Star Trek's vision of space as "the final frontier." Turner's thesis may now be criticised as limited (in its exclusion of women) and over-stated (in its focus on the western frontier). That it redefined an issue in a highly impactful way – and that it did so exceptionally eloquently – cannot be doubted.
Few works can claim to form the foundation stones of one entire academic discipline, let alone two, but Thucydides's celebrated History of the Peloponnesian War is not only one of the first great works of history, but also the departure point from which the modern discipline of international relations has been built. This is the case largely because the author is a master of analysis; setting out with the aim of giving a clear, well-reasoned account of one of the seminal events of the age – a war that resulted in the collapse of Athenian power and the rise of Sparta – Thucydides took care to build a single, beautifully-structured argument that was faithful to chronology and took remarkably few liberties with the source materials. He avoided the sort of assumptions that make earlier works frustrating for modern scholars, for example seeking reasons for outcomes that were rooted in human actions and agency, not in the will of the gods. And he was careful to explain where he had obtained much of his information. As a work of structure – and as a work of reasoning – The History of the Peloponnesian War continues to inspire, be read and be taught more than 2,000 years after it was written.
Michael R. Gottfredson and Travish Hirschi’s 1990 A General Theory of Crime is a classic text that helped reshape the discipline of criminology. It is also a testament to the powers of clear reasoning and interpretation.
In critical thinking terms, reasoning is all about presenting a solid and persuasive case – and as many people instinctively understand, the most persuasive reasoning is that which bases itself on a single, simple hook. In Gottfredson and Hirschi’s case, this hook was what has come to be known as the “self-control theory of crime” – the idea that the tendency to commit crime is directly related to an individual’s level of self-control.
While the dominant schools of thought of the time tended to focus on crime as the product of complex environmental factors, with little attempt to unify different theories, Gottfredson and Hirschi sought to interpret things so as to provide a single overarching concept that explained why crimes of all sorts were committed. Moreover, while other theories of crime concentrated on understanding and explaining specific types of law-breaking, the self-control model could, in Gottfredson and Hirschi’s view, be seen as the basis for understanding the root cause for all crime in all contexts. While such simplicity inevitably attracted as much criticism as agreement, subsequent studies have provided real-world corroboration for the General Theory’s persuasive reasoning.
Henry Kissinger’s 2014 book World Order: Reflections on the Character of Nations and the Course of History not only offers a summary of thinking developed throughout a long and highly influential career–it is also an intervention in international relations theory by one of the most famous statesmen of the twentieth century. Kissinger initially trained as a university professor before becoming Secretary of State to President Richard Nixon in 1973 – a position in which he both won the Nobel Peace Prize and was accused of war crimes by protesters against American military actions in Vietnam.
While a controversial figure, Kissinger is widely agreed to have a unique level of practical and theoretical expertise in politics and international relations – and World Order is the culmination of a lifetime’s experience of work in those fields. The product of a master of the critical thinking skill of interpretation, World Order takes on the challenge of defining the worldviews at play in global politics today. Clarifying precisely what is meant by the different notions of ‘order’ imagined by nations across the world, as Kissinger does, highlights the challenges of world politics, and sharpens the focus on efforts to make surmounting these divisions possible. While Kissinger’s own reputation will likely remain equivocal, there is no doubting the interpretative skills he displays in this engaging and illuminating text.
Thomas Paine’s 1791 Rights of Man is an impassioned political tract showing how the critical thinking skills of evaluation and reasoning can, and must, be applied to contentious issues.
Divided into two parts, Rights of Man is, first, a response to Edmund Burke’s arguments against the French Revolution, put forward in his Reflections on the Revolution in France – also available in the Macat Library – and, second, an argument for how to run a fair and just society. The first part is a sustained performance in evaluation: Paine takes Burke’s arguments, and systematically exposes the ways in which Burke’s reasons against revolution are inadequate compared to the necessity of having a just society run according to a universal notion of people’s rights as individuals. The second part turns to an examination of different political systems, setting out a powerfully-structured argument for universal rights, a clear constitution enshrined in law, and a universal right to vote.
Though Paine is in many ways a stronger rhetorician than he is a clear thinker, his reasons for preferring democracy to hereditary forms of government are compelling, coherent and clear. Rights of Man is a masterclass in how to use good reasoning to present a persuasive argument.
This volume offers a selection of the works of one of the most persuasive and sophisticated theorists of the free economy and the free society, Arthur Asher Shenfield. Arthur Asher Shenfield was a classical liberal and an astute critic of misguided government intervention in a free economy. He produced sophisticated refutations of both full-blooded socialism and the milder varieties of collectivism and welfarism pioneered in Scandinavia and Western Europe. He was a keen observer of American affairs and included here is a selection of his essays on constitutionalism and law in the United States. These essays trace the decline in legal protection that America has given economic agents and examine the rise of socialist influences in the American judiciary system. Shenfield also offers a robust account of the legal and economic effect of US and European anti-trust law, as well as discussing the adverse effect on economic efficiency caused by trade unions. In these essays, Arthur Asher Shenfield has made the law and economics of a free society accessible to businessmen and policymakers as well as to scholars and students of classical liberal philosophy and law.
Today's digital revolution is a worldwide phenomenon, with profound and often differential implications for communities around the world and their relationships to one another. This book presents a new, explicitly international theory of media ethics, incorporating non-Western perspectives and drawing deeply on both moral philosophy and the philosophy of technology. Clifford Christians develops an ethics grounded in three principles - truth, human dignity, and non-violence - and shows how these principles can be applied across a wide range of cases and domains. The book is a guide for media professionals, scholars, and educators who are concerned with the global ramifications of new technologies and with creating a more just world.
Hamid Dabashi’s 1997 work Theology of Discontent reveals a creative thinker capable not only of understanding how an argument is built, but also of redefining old issues in new ways. The Iranian Revolution of 1978–9 was front-page news in the West, and in some ways remains so today. Though it was an uprising against authoritarian royal rule, with a coalition of modernisers and Islamists, the revolution saw the birth of a new Islamic Republic that seemed to reject pro-Western democracy. Dabashi wanted to analyze the real reasons for this change, while examining how Islamic ideologies contributed to the revolution and the republic that followed.
Theology of Discontent examines different Islamic thinkers, analyzing how views with seemingly little in common contributed to the modern Iranian belief system. Beyond its insightful analytical dissection of these eight thinkers, Theology of Discontent also shows Dabashi’s creative thinking skills. Reframing the debates about Iran’s relationship with the West, he traced the ways in which Iranian identity formed in reactive opposition to Western ideas. In many ways, Dabashi suggested, Iran was trapped in a cycle of deliberately asserting its difference from the West, a process that was fundamental to the development of its own unique brand of revolutionary Islamism.
Anarchy, State, and Utopia: An Advanced Guide presents a comprehensive and accessible introduction to the ideas expressed in Robert Nozick s highly influential 1974 work on free-market libertarianism considered one of the most important and influential works of political philosophy published in the latter half of the 20th-century. * Makes accessible all the major ideas and arguments presented in Nozick s complex masterpiece * Explains, as well as critiques, Robert Nozick s theory of free market libertarianism * Enables a new generation of readers to draw their own conclusions about the wealth of timely ideas on individualism and libertarian philosophy * Indicates where Nozick s theory has explanatory power, where it is implausible, and where there are loose ends with further work to be done
Mary Wollstonecraft’s 1792 Vindication of the Rights of Women is an incendiary attack on the place of women in 18th-century society.
Often considered to be the earliest widely-circulated work of feminism, the book is a powerful example of what can be achieved by creative thinkers – people who refuse to be bound by the standard ways of thinking, or to see things through the same lenses that everyone else uses. In the case of the Vindication, Wollstonecraft’s independent thinking went directly against the standard assumptions of the age regarding women.
During the seventeenth century and earlier, it was an entirely standard point of view to consider women as, largely speaking, uneducable. They were widely considered to be men’s inferiors, incapable of rational thought. They not only did not need a rational education – it was assumed that they could not benefit from one. Wollstonecraft, in contrast, argued that women’s apparent triviality was a direct consequence of society failing to educate them. If they were not men’s equals, it was the fault of a society that refused to treat them as such. So radical was her message that it would take until the 20th century for her views to become truly accepted.
Widely regarded as the founder of the Islamic philosophical tradition, and as the single greatest philosophical authority after Aristotle by his successors in the medieval Islamic, Jewish, and Christian communities, Alfarabi was a leading figure in the fields of Aristotelian logic and Platonic political science. The first complete English translation of his commentary on Aristotle's Topics, Alfarabi's Book of Dialectic, or Kitab al-Jadal, is presented here in a deeply researched edition based on the most complete Arabic manuscript sources. David M. DiPasquale argues that Alfarabi's understanding of the Socratic art of dialectic is the key prism through which to grasp his recovery of an authentic tradition of Greek science on the verge of extinction. He also suggests that the Book of Dialectic is unique to the extent to which it unites Alfarabi's logical and political writings, opening up novel ways of interpreting Alfarabi's influence.
What is a focus group? Why do we use them? When should we use them? When should we not? Focus Groups for the Social Science Researcher provides a step-by-step guide to undertaking focus groups, whether as a stand-alone method or alongside other qualitative or quantitative methods. It recognizes the challenges that focus groups encounter and provides tips to address them. The book highlights three unique, inter-related characteristics of focus groups. First, they are inherently social in form. Second, the data emerge organically through conversation; they are emic in nature. Finally, focus groups generate data at three levels of analysis: the individual, group, and interactive level. The book builds from these three characteristics to explain when focus groups can usefully be employed in different research designs. This is an essential text for students and researchers looking for a concise and accessible introduction to this important approach to data collection.
Zoopolis offers a new agenda for the theory and practice of animal rights. Most animal rights theory focuses on the intrinsic capacities or interests of animals, and the moral status and moral rights that these intrinsic characteristics give rise to. Zoopolis shifts the debate from the realm of moral theory and applied ethics to the realm of political theory, focusing on the relational obligations that arise from the varied ways that animals relate to human societies and institutions. Building on recent developments in the political theory of group-differentiated citizenship, Zoopolis introduces us to the genuine "political animal". It argues that different types of animals stand in different relationships to human political communities. Domesticated animals should be seen as full members of human-animal mixed communities, participating in the cooperative project of shared citizenship. Wilderness animals, by contrast, form their own sovereign communities entitled to protection against colonization, invasion, domination and other threats to self-determination. "Liminal" animals who are wild but live in the midst of human settlement (such as crows or raccoons) should be seen as "denizens", resident of our societies, but not fully included in rights and responsibilities of citizenship. To all of these animals we owe respect for their basic inviolable rights. But we inevitably and appropriately have very different relations with them, with different types of obligations. Humans and animals are inextricably bound in a complex web of relationships, and Zoopolis offers an original and profoundly affirmative vision of how to ground this complex web of relations on principles of justice and compassion.
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