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Kevin Harrison and Tony Boyd

This chapter attempts to examine one's own ideological beliefs, to better understand the role of ideology in politics and society. It examines its relevance to modern history both in Britain and in other parts of the world. The chapter analyses the situation in contemporary Britain and considers whether it can be reasonably asserted that there is an ideological consensus in Britain or whether we are now 'beyond ideology'. It distinguishes between 'dominant ideologies' and 'ideologies of resistance', and also between 'restrictive' and 'relaxed' ideologies. The term 'restrictive ideologies' conjures up the image of rigidity, narrowness and bigotry in the ideological cause. Liberalism, conservatism, socialism, Marxism, fascism and the other ideological traditions and movements all have a recognised body of literature expounding the main tenets of their ideological belief systems.

in Understanding political ideas and movements
Armando Barrientos and Martin Powell

This chapter aims to place the debate about the Third Way in the wider context of European social policy. It builds on Amitai Etzioni's picture to examine the route map of the Third Way. The chapter explores the different definitions of 'the Third Way', and ways of differentiating it from first and second ways. It illustrates some of the themes in the context of Merkel's different ways or paths of social democracy in Europe. Jospin claimed that social democratic plans in Europe were faithful to 'all the values that lie at the heart of socialism: citizenship, social justice, democracy, the desire for progress and the will to control this progress and our collective destiny'. A number of commentators have suggested broad characteristics/themes of the Third Way, or new social democracy.

in The Third Way and beyond
Open Access (free)
Richard Bellamy

Many political theorists view the rule of law with suspicion. On the one hand, it can appear mere political rhetoric. On the other hand, certain critics of this rhetorical position identify the rule of law with some notion of good or just law. This chapter argues that some of the problems can be avoided if we see the main task of the rule of law as the prevention of arbitrary rule. Among contemporary political theorists, the rule of law has been closely associated with the work of F. von Hayek, who gave it a pivotal role in his constitutional theory. He believed that interventionist economic policies and totalitarian politics were intimately connected: the one entailed an incremental increase in arbitrary interferences with individual liberty that ultimately led to the other. Republicans trace arbitrariness and domination to asymmetries of power.

in Political concepts
Geoffrey K. Roberts and Patricia Hogwood

This section provides, in the style of a dictionary, explanations of significant political events, groupings and developments.

in The politics today companion to West European Politics
Open Access (free)
Geoffrey K. Roberts and Patricia Hogwood

This section provides, in the style of a dictionary, details of the political careers of significant West European politicians, especially those who have been head of their country’s government or head of state.

in The politics today companion to West European Politics
Open Access (free)
Geoffrey K. Roberts and Patricia Hogwood

This section consists of lists of abbreviations (or short names) of political parties and other important organisations which play (or have played in the recent past) a significant political role, together with the names of those organisations.

in The politics today companion to West European Politics
Open Access (free)
Geoffrey K. Roberts and Patricia Hogwood

Contained within this section is a set of chronologies, divided into groups based on particular countries or groups of countries. As well as a general chronology for each country or group of countries, specialised chronologies of major developments are supplied, which cover, for example, the reunification of Germany and the transition to democracy in Spain.

in The politics today companion to West European Politics
Geoffrey K. Roberts and Patricia Hogwood

This sectioncontains a set of political data relating to the political system of each country in Western Europe.

in The politics today companion to West European Politics
Kosovo and the Balkanisation–integration nexus
Peter van Ham

In Europe's security discourse, 'Kosovo' tends to allegorise the Balkanisation of Europe, the ultimate metaphor of chaos and disintegration which supposedly is the antithesis of the real Europe of peace and stability. The challenge for the EU has been to prevent a slow drift from a postmodern politics of family resemblance to a narcissistic policy of passive self-absorption and epistemic closure. The North Atlantic Treaty Organization's (NATO's) air campaign has legitimised not only new European order (NEO) realism: it has made another step in legitimising the structure of meaning that circulates in the very debate on 'European security'. The discourse of 'European security' produces a parallel paradigm of European sovereignty, a paradigm that faces serious challenges of local resistance (of the still-resilient state), as well as external opposition.

in Mapping European security after Kosovo
Open Access (free)
The place of equal opportunity
Andrew Mason

This chapter introduces the basic elements of John Rawls's theory as they were presented in A Theory of Justice, for it is here that Rawls gives the most sustained treatment of equality of opportunity. In the widespread disagreement over which the principles of justice should govern our major institutions, Rawls draws upon the social contract tradition in order to develop a method which he hopes can secure agreement on a particular conception of justice. Rawls begins his discussion of equality of opportunity by endorsing the idea that careers should be open to talents in the sense that everyone should have 'the same legal rights of access to all advantaged social positions'. Rawls develops his argument for the priority of liberty in a way that might seem to promise an explanation of why he thinks the principle of fair equality of opportunity should take priority over the difference principle.

in Political concepts