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.
One of the deep attractions of green political theory is its claim to be focused on the very survival of the whole natural ecosystem of the planet. This chapter identifies the underlying notion of the political theory employed by most greens and examines two perspectives on green political theory: dominant perspective and ecocentric perspective. John Plamenatz defined dominant perspective as a 'systematic thinking about the purposes of government'. The ecocentric perspective argues that what is required is not so much ethics as a psychological change in 'ecological sensibility'. Both perspectives, despite their manifested differences, are premised on the significance of nature. In ancient Greek, thinking nature was intimately related to intelligence or soul. Greek thinkers would have been genuinely puzzled by later dualistic conceptions of mind and nature. Deep anthropocentrism ignores any co-dependence with nature.
Dimitris N. Chryssochoou, Michael J. Tsinisizelis, Stelios Stavridis and Kostas Ifantis
This chapter discusses the institutions that are considered central in the debate on European security, namely the Union, the Organisation on Security and Co-operation in Europe, the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation and the Western European Union. It examines the interrelationship between these institutions, and deals with European integration using the perspective of security and foreign policy. The chapter then addresses the issue of the Union's role in a post-Cold War world, as well as the institutional responses to the geostrategic and geopolitical challenges of system change in the fields of European defence, foreign policy and security. Finally, it studies European ‘security architecture’ and identifies what the Union is in terms of its international behaviour.
Cosmopolitanism points to the justification of our moral principles as having a universal basis. The type of universal principles required is generated by three different sources of cosmopolitanism: Kantianism, utilitarianism and Marxism. This chapter examines the cosmopolitan and communitarian positions. The seminal starting point in the discussions of distributive international justice, which transcends state borders and denies the nation as an ethically relevant factor, is the position of Peter Singer. John Rawls, because of his emphasis upon a political liberal conception of justice, has increasingly been allied to a communitarian or particularist position in which the elements of universalism derive from the principles which regulate communities or peoples. Onora O'Neill has argued that modern writers on ethics have tended to sever the traditional connection between justice and virtue.
This introduction presents an overview of key concepts discussed in the subsequent chapters of this book. The book introduces students to some of the main interpretations, pointing out their various strengths and weaknesses. Older texts on political concepts are sought to offer neutral definitions that should be accepted by everyone, regardless of their political commitments and values. The book considers the theoretical presuppositions of policies that are guided by a particular understanding of a concept. It compares how different conceptual underpinnings might generate different policy recommendations. The book includes a broad range of the main concepts employed in contemporary debates among both political theorists and ordinary citizens. It looks beyond the state to the issues of global concern and relations between states. The book describes the principal concepts employed to justify any policy or institution.