Environmentalism and ecologism constitute one of the most recent ideological movements. This chapter examines the genesis of the movement in the explosion of concern at the apparent threat to the planet in the 1960s, and its subsequent evolution as an ideological force and political movement. It presents the various elements, spiritual and scientific, which have influenced the 'green' movement. The chapter also examines the critique of the ecologist position. It explores a number of themes that are fundamental to the ecological perspective: human nature and nature; green views on politics; and green economics. The green position is open to challenge in several key areas. These are: intellectual incoherence; scientific implausibility; and practical difficulties. Politically the greens have received little electoral support, especially in Britain, but green assumptions and values are increasingly becoming part of the wider political culture. Many European countries have green political parties.
This chapter explores the term 'equality', defined in two ways: first, that which concerns equality as a starting point to life; second, equality as an outcome. It considers equality before the law, equal political rights and equal social rights. The chapter examines individual and group equality, and equality in terms of the class structure and international relations. It discusses the position of 'equality': has its value decreased in general esteem because of the almost universal acceptance of liberal capitalism and its emphasis on 'freedom' as the prime political and social goal. The chapter presents some anti-egalitarian arguments against the idea of foundational equality and some of the relevant egalitarian retorts. The two major areas governed by distributional equality are equality of opportunity and equality of outcome. The chapter focuses on the concept of 'group rights' to tackle these forms of inequality in society: gender equality; racial equality; and class equality.
Events have made 'fascism' a term of political abuse rather than one of serious ideological analysis. Moreover, self-proclaimed fascists have claimed that fascism is beyond intellectual analysis and have despised those who favour rational examination of their beliefs. Fascism is particularly resistant to rational enquiry, partly because fascists themselves scorn the intellect and partly because it has become a portmanteau term of political abuse. This chapter examines fascist values and the concrete actions of some of the regimes that have declared themselves fascist, notably Adolf Hitler's Germany and Benito Mussolini's Italy. It considers movements often described as fascist in modern Britain and elsewhere and consider whether facism is still a viable political creed. Fascist ideas can be grouped under the following: conflict, struggle and war; non-materialism; irrationalism and anti-intellectualism; nation and race; the leader and the elite; the state and government; and fascist economic and social theory.
Feminism is one of the most important ideologies to emerge, although its origins can be traced far back into history. This chapter examines its historical roots and discusses the different forms of feminism. Female emancipation requires an analysis of the power relations between men and women in all areas of society. One can see this in a number of areas: sex, gender and 'sexism'; public and private spheres of life; and patriarchy. The chapter focuses on three 'waves' of feminism. The first, of about 1830-1930, was concerned chiefly with legal and political rights. The second, in the 1960s and 1970s, focused on much more fundamental personal and relationship issues. The 'third wave' in the last decade or so has been essentially a reflection on and reappraisal of what has been achieved. The chapter identifies four major strands of feminist thinking: liberal feminism; socialist feminism; conservative feminism; and radical feminism.
Most people have some idea of what the word 'freedom' means, and most approve of it. This chapter examines the term more closely, exploring such themes as freedom of opinion, freedom under the law and economic freedom. It presents brief summaries of the ideas of a number of political philosophers on the subject. The chapter analyses the views of John Stuart Mill and Isaiah Berlin on 'negative' and 'positive' freedom. It focuses on the central issue of freedom and the state, concentrating on three major areas of dispute: conscientious objection, state acquisition of private property, civil disobedience and terrorism. The chapter concludes with some observations on the cultural environment conducive to freedom and reflects on the problems of freedom in the modern world.
Continuities and contradictions underpinning Amitai Etzioni’s communitarian influence on New Labour
This chapter shows how Amitai Etzioni continues to reiterate the thoughts and impressions he had gained during his functionalist days as an organisational theorist in the 1950s and 1960s. The Third Way politics of New Labour can only emulate Etzioni's failings by imposing its own personal vision of community. In The New Golden Rule, Etzioni informs the reader that 'all forms of social order draw to some extent on coercive means, "utilitarian" means, and normative means. To establish the means through which the new communitarian society will evolve, Etzioni re-emphasises the need to amend the existing imbalance within society. Etzioni argues that American society requires a functional alternative to traditional virtue. Etzioni claims to have witnessed the rise in a counter-culture of individualism and instrumentalist reasoning that 'provided a normative seal of approval to a focus on the self rather than on responsibilities to the community'.
Like all concepts in political theory, gender has a history. This chapter includes three theories of gender: behavioural theories, power theories and performative theories. Concepts of sex and sexuality are linked to behaviour via theories of gender. Political theorists in the malestream canon have certainly noticed sex, taking sex as the two 'opposite' sexes, male and female, and considering them reproductively. Sexual behaviour became a subject of study in the fields known as psychology, psychoanalysis, sociology and anthropology and a concept was needed to indicate that biological sex itself did not produce uniform patterns of behaviour in individuals. Within the social science of human sexology, masculine women and feminine men were defined conceptually, located, observed, recorded and studied. Gender came to stand for the behavioural aspects of sex and sexuality, whether in correct correspondence with 'reproductive biology' or in deviance from it in diverse but problematic ways.
Anthony Giddens's Third Way rests on his social theory of modernisation and globalisation, and employs the notion of 'generative equality' to propose a new model for social policy. This chapter explores Giddens's idea of 'generative equality' in the form of a critique from a managerial perspective. In managerial terms, Giddens has espoused a Japanisation of state welfare provision, as productivism (Taylorism) moves to productivity (self-actualisation and empowerment). From a managerial perspective Giddens can be seen to draw from a critique of Taylorism and scientific management in his analysis of the welfare state. The values of social cohesion and productivity expressed by Giddens certainly stand in the socialist tradition, but his explanatory framework marks a significant departure from those employed by democratic socialism. Social democrats in the Labour Party have retreated into a backward defence of the welfare state.
Dimitris N. Chryssochoou, Michael J. Tsinisizelis, Stelios Stavridis and Kostas Ifantis
This chapter discusses the extent to which the change in the international system has created political outcomes that are related to post-Cold War European defence and security, and outlines the definitional features of the ‘new order’ in Europe, including the analysis of the post-11 September 2001 context. It also describes and evaluates the way the security arena of Europe has changed.
Anthony Giddens's The Third Way was advertised and widely understood as presenting a new politics of the 'Centre-Left' adapted to the circumstances of globalisation. He initially identifies three components to socialism a critique of individualism, a critique of capitalism and an economic programme designed to humanise or overthrow capitalism. This chapter analyses the text's rhetorical structure and shows how it caricatures and dismisses both socialism and social democracy. It also shows how Giddens redefines key terms in the social democratic lexicon solidarity, emancipation, security, community, redistribution, equality and welfare to suit the neo-liberal agenda. With the conceptual framework of individualism, responsibility and risk in place, and the connection made to the broad theme of furthering capitalist reproduction, Giddens makes short work of reinterpreting key social democratic watchwords in explicitly pro-market, neo-liberal, terms.