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Andrew Vincent

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.

in Political concepts
Raymond Hinnebusch

This chapter notes that the incongruity of identity and territory continues to destabilise the politics of the Middle East and to significantly qualify the Westphalian model. While Arab states have consolidated their sovereignty in the face of supra-state ideology, in the making of foreign policy, legitimacy requires their leaders must still balance between the two. Inter-Arab politics arguably remains qualitatively different from ‘international’ politics. Irredentist conflicts continue to bedevil two near-nation-states, Turkey and Israel. Meanwhile, Iran embraces its communal mosaic and projects its foreign policy under an Islamic banner.

in The international politics of the Middle East
The evolving European security architecture
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.

in Theory and reform in the European Union
Adrian Hyde-Price

This chapter outlines a conceptual framework for understanding the role of the European Union (EU) as an international actor. This analytical model rests on three 'legs' - interests, institutions and identities. A constant theme throughout has been the limitations of the dominant neo-realist approach to foreign policy analysis, and the need to consider both the material and ideational factors defining Europe's Common Foreign and Security Policy (CFSP). Attention has been drawn both to the role of institutional politics in shaping policy outcomes, and to the importance of culture and identity to foreign policy behaviour. The chapter provides an overview and analysis of some of the non-realist approaches to international relations and foreign policy, and proposes an analytical framework with which to explore the complex interplay of factors affecting European foreign policy. This framework is based on a synthesis of elements of social constructivism, the new institutionalism and neo-classical realism.

in Rethinking European Union Foreign Policy
Open Access (free)
David Boucher

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.

in Political concepts

This text aims to fill a gap in the field of Middle Eastern political studies by combining international relations theory with concrete case studies. It begins with an overview of the rules and features of the Middle East regional system—the arena in which the local states, including Egypt, Turkey, Iran, Israel and the Arab states of Syria, Jordan and Iraq, operate. The book goes on to analyse foreign-policy-making in key states, illustrating how systemic determinants constrain this policy-making, and how these constraints are dealt with in distinctive ways depending on the particular domestic features of the individual states. Finally, it goes on to look at the outcomes of state policies by examining several major conflicts including the Arab-Israeli conflict and the Gulf War, and the system of regional alignment. The study assesses the impact of international penetration in the region, including the historic reasons behind the formation of the regional state system. It also analyses the continued role of external great powers, such as the United States and the former Soviet Union, and explains the process by which the region has become incorporated into the global capitalist market.

Is the CFSP sui generis?
Jakob C. Øhrgaard

The study of European integration has in the past been plagued by the so-called sui generis problem: 'the EU is considered somehow beyond international relations, somehow a quasi-state or an inverted federation, or some other locution'. This chapter suggests one way of seeking theoretical parsimony without sacrificing the defining empirical knowledge which has been generated about Common Foreign and Security Policy (CFSP) over the years. It argues that while the sui generis nature of CFSP presents an acute problem for international relations theory, it is less pronounced with regard to traditional integration theory. The chapter concludes that traditional neo-functionalist integration theory, while in some respects problematic when applied to intergovernmental cooperation, nevertheless provides the most promising basis for further theorising about CFSP. The key features of the original European political cooperation (EPC) framework are present in the provisions of the CFSP, despite the introduction of a number of 'federal detonators'.

in Rethinking European Union Foreign Policy
Open Access (free)
Richard Bellamy and Andrew Mason

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.

in Political concepts
Open Access (free)
Luke Martell

This part introduces the key themes and some of the main interpretations of what the Third Way is and the routes down which it may be going. Third way approaches to economic and social policy have become part of the political agenda of many countries, whoever is in power. Despite many opportunities to damage the Third Way New Labour Government, the opposition Conservative Party failed to make anything but the most marginal inroads into Labour's huge parliamentary majority. The Third Way offers an antidote to the individualist values of the New Right.

in The Third Way and beyond
Open Access (free)
Kevin Harrison and Tony Boyd

This chapter focuses on three fundamental political issues, including 'politics', 'power' and 'justice', which appear in almost all political discussions and conflicts. It also looks at some of the new issues involved in politics that might be of significance in the future: politicised religion, disabled rights, gay rights and animal rights. Next, the chapter looks at some major political thinkers and their ideas about power. It then discusses how ideological change occurs and focuses on the importance of rationality in politics. Following this, the chapter presents some key concepts discussed in this book. The book discusses some key concepts involved in political theory and debate, such as the state, the nation, liberty, equality, democracy, rights, which form the underpinning for the political ideologies and movements. It examines what is meant by ideology, what forms it takes, how it is transmitted and its impact in both international and domestic British politics.

in Understanding political ideas and movements