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What is the nation?

Towards a teleological model of nationalism

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David Bruce MacDonald

This chapter introduces a useful analytical model to help understand the nature of Serbian and Croatian myths, the types of imagery they invoke, and how they are structured. This will lay the groundwork for a more detailed study of how national myths have been used instrumentally in Serbia and Croatia to promote self-determination, the shifting of borders and populations, and the installation of despotic and corrupt regimes. For the ancient Hebrew nation, a cyclical form of teleology, composed of a Golden Age, a Fall, and a Redemption, constituted what Northrop Frye and others have termed a ‘covenantal cycle’. Covenants imply faith in an omnipresent, omnipotent god, able to guide the nation in times of distress and hardship. Ideas of Covenant, chosenness, Golden Age, Fall, and Redemption have formed the core of several modern nationalisms. Another important aspect of cyclical teleology has been the constant battle between good and evil throughout history — the ‘chosen’ nation versus its many enemies. The links between such mythology and Serbian and Croatian nationalism will become obvious.

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Catherine Hall

This chapter is concerned with the islands, and parts of the mainland, which were colonised by the British from the early seventeenth century and named as the British West Indies. The British West Indian colonies formed a link between North and South America and were strategically vital to the European powers. The task of the West India interest was to lobby the government and counter the abolitionists. The naming of black regiments as West Indian fractured the prevailing image of West Indian as signifying an exclusively white identity. Emancipation marked a critical break in ideas about the West Indian. James Anthony Froude's return to an insistence on white West Indians as ‘part of ourselves’ provides an endpoint to the preliminary charting of the shifting meanings of West Indian. Furthermore, the idea of West Indian is part of an older tradition of both colonial and anti-colonial thought.

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Joseph Jaconelli

Imprisonment, or internment, without trial is regarded as abhorrent and capable of being justified only by the most pressing needs of wartime or national emergency. The resolution of contested issues of fact appears to be essential to the concept of a trial. The questions are too wide in a further respect, in that the natural meaning of the word 'trial' is confined to proceedings that are criminal in nature. It is common to describe as the 'Trial of Queen Caroline' the proceedings brought in 1820 to dissolve Queen Caroline's marriage to King George IV and to deprive her of her title, rights and privileges. The investigative characteristics of a trial are to be found in the formal inquiry that is often set up in the aftermath of a disaster, though the same event may be the focus of a number of criminal prosecutions or civil actions.

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Colin Craig

This chapter argues that the War on Drugs has to be understood as a smoke screen for a wider war, on society in general, and on minorities in particular. This smoke screen has enabled US administrations to push forward aggressive foreign policy under the guise of fighting a metaphorical war, especially but not exclusively in Latin America. It is sustained by the myth of drug addiction and searches for 'cures' and 'treatments' that belie the fact that it is our everyday conditions of living which is the problem. Different governments, many of which have ignored the plight of millions of those caught up in the Drug War, such as HIV sufferers, fight the War on Drugs on many fronts. These governments choose surveillance strategies to police the bodies and minds of their populations. Noam Chomsky advocates the development of 'harm reduction' policies and radical re-thinking of the drug laws.

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Andrew Bowie

All art is situated in social contexts that involve links between cultural production and mechanisms of power. One of the assumptions of traditional literary or other artistic education is that its job is to promote the development of people's ability to judge well, a skill which is part of being able to live well. Culture thrives on critical judgement, and criticism needs models which, without becoming fetishised, can reveal the deficiencies of inferior cultural production. Immanuel Kant's aim of universality in aesthetic judgement depends on the freedom of the subject which seeks a community of agreement with others in relation to its affective and other responses to art and natural beauty. For T. W. Adorno universality is precisely likely to be the result of objective pressures for conformity of the kind which recent theory analyses in terms of the repression of the other.

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Edited by: Bill Schwarz

Caribbean migration to Britain brought many new things—new music, new foods, new styles. It brought new ways of thinking too. This book explores the intellectual ideas that the West Indians brought with them to Britain. It shows that, for more than a century, West Indians living in Britain developed a dazzling intellectual critique of the codes of Imperial Britain. Chapters discuss the influence of, amongst others, C. L. R. James, Una Marson, George Lamming, Jean Rhys, Claude McKay and V. S. Naipaul. The contributors draw from many different disciplines to bring alive the thought and personalities of the figures they discuss, providing a picture of intellectual developments in Britain from which we can still learn much. The introduction argues that the recovery of this Caribbean past, on the home territory of Britain itself, reveals much about the prospects of multiracial Britain.

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Neil McNaughton

This chapter discusses the origins and principles of the Welfare State, and traces the changing attitude of the parties and their policy makers to it. The term welfare is not a precise one so that a Welfare State may contain a variety of different services. In Britain, where the system is broad based, there are a large number of services included in the term. These are: personal health services, public health provision, social services, subsidised housing, education and social security. The chapter examines three political traditions: Liberalism, Conservatism and Democratic Socialism (i.e. Labour). A future Conservative government, especially under its new leader, Iain Duncan Smith, may well decide to replace state health or education provision with private-sector arrangements. They have a sense that the Welfare State is not appropriate for a modern, pluralist society as there is sufficient prosperity for people to be able to make private arrangements.

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Tony Fitzpatrick

This chapter examines the possible links between sustainability and distributive justice, focusing on the welfare of future generations. It discusses the argument of Wilfred Beckerman and Joanna Pasek which holds that interests of future generations cannot be protected or promoted within the framework of any theory of justice. This chapter also outlines a theory of intergenerational justice and explains what this theory might imply for welfare reform.

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Bill Jordan

Political theory has responded to the central questions about redistributive welfare systems, their justification, and the institutional means for implementing them, raised by the political economy. This chapter traces the transition from welfare to social exclusion, and the various theoretical responses it has elicited. The idea that political justice should deal in issues about the distribution of roles and resources, presupposes a political community which corresponds to an economic system for production and exchange. The libertarian challenge to liberal and communitarian political theorists over welfare and social exclusion is to reconstruct a convincing version of social justice, one which retains the appealing aspects of individual autonomy, but deals with its undesirable social consequences. The liberal response attacks the libertarian account of justice by pointing out that it is not only when rights are violated that freedom is restricted.

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Welcome to the Celtic Tiger

Racism, immigration and the state

Steve Loyal

This chapter examines the current hegemonic construction of Ireland as an open, cosmopolitan, multicultural, tourist friendly society. The hegemonic sense of Irish identity established during the 1920s and 1930s has been severely challenged by the rise of the Celtic Tiger. The chapter maps the 'dark side' of contemporary Irish society by examining briefly the experiences of racism of two groups within the field of migration, namely asylum seekers and non-nationals with work permits. The legal and administrative categories of 'asylum seeker', 'refugee' and 'economic migrant' are important in that they confer different rights and entitlements. The two central pieces of legislation which currently shape Irish immigration policy are the 1996 Refugee Act and the Immigration Bill of 1999. Through legislation and social policy, most European states attempt to define and sanction acceptable types of social behaviour and activity.