Civic obligations are actions we
should perform as a tribute to the rights we enjoy as part of a politicalcommunity. We may be said to have the right to vote and also the civic
obligation to do so. (In some countries, such as Australia, this is a legal
obligation which incurs a fine if breached.)
Social obligations are an extension of
civic obligations. They involve a broadly similar
Religion and spirituality in environmental direct action
Bronislaw Szerszynski and Emma Tomalin
citizens. By contrast, the spiritual technologies of the self explored here, we argue, are less amenable
to such a critical reading.
5 Such mythmaking is of course a perennial feature of politicalcommunities (see
Anderson (1983); Hobsbawm and Ranger (1983)).
6 These myths do have their origins in Native American culture, but the form in which
activists know them originates in the ‘Rainbow Family’, an alternative social movement originating in the United States in the early 1970s, originally influenced by
Native American traditions which were later
In his discussion of human rights, Ruggie points
to the importance of interests and context: ‘Human rights
are more than a mere rationalization of structures of
power. Yet their international normative status remains closely
dependent upon the projection of power, the defense of interests,
and the nature of politicalcommunity existing among states
publicly run banking system can provide for this
debt-free, with no premiums required. In other words, everyone is
covered by virtue of being a member of the politicalcommunity.
Seventh, a Party of the 99% should fund retirement at a
democratically agreed-upon age. Presently, because of the economic
insecurity wrought by the 2008 financial crisis and the defunding of
pension plans by governments and municipalities bankrupted by debt,
retirement is out of reach for many. Consequently, the elderly are
forced to continue working longer (see Table 5.1).
While many may be
re-constitution of singlehood
into a social category that one may wish to identify with—and form a politicalcommunity with—can positively yield material and discursive changes. Here, I join
DePaulo (2006), Reynolds (2008), and Moran (2004)4 in their call for the politicization of singlehood and the need for a nuanced feminist engagement with the concept.
This book is also a call for such needed intervention.
In this vein, some recent developments may inspire the hope of social change. At
the time of writing, the 2016 American presidential election campaign was
between primordialism and modernism. It distinguishes between levels of
continuity and discontinuity and thus avoids the perception that they must be
mutually exclusive. Continuity-in-discontinuity is supported by the view that
there is no single ontology of the nation but rather that the nation is constituted
at a number of levels of abstraction. At the most material, or locale, level it is
possible to see a great deal of discontinuity, dislocation and change in the
meanings given to the politicalcommunity. Viewing national
been equalled by the
Democrats in 1986.
As far as the Contract is concerned, the evidence for its
central importance to the subsequent electoral success is, at
best, shaky. It is probable that the existence of the Contract
helped the Republicans’ overall image, but awareness of the
document appears to be limited outside of the politicalcommunity. In polls taken at the time, 71 per cent of those questioned had never even heard of the Contract with America,
and of those who had, only 7 per cent said it was more likely
to make them vote Republican, and 5 per cent
the primary targets of surveillance and suspicion to a degree that seemed to place Muslims beyond the boundary of Western politicalcommunities, treating them as racialised Others (Razack 2008 ). Post-9/11 Islamophobia compounded late-twentieth-century Western cultural racisms that already stigmatised Islam as incompatible with liberal democracy, along lines inflected by specific national histories and experiences but with common assumptions that Islam was incompatible with a secular Europe or West. These myths themselves stemmed from the sixteenth- to eighteenth
Dimitris N. Chryssochoou, Michael J. Tsinisizelis, Stelios Stavridis and Kostas Ifantis
as does civic over state/Union competence, and social over empirical legitimacy.
Theory and reform in the European Union
Finally, and whether or not further integration is to be pursued through ‘a
Hayekian discovery procedure’ or through a ‘pre-thought-out blueprint’,36 the
search for legitimate forms of collective governance in Europe is central to the
construction of a politicalcommunity founded on more active and inclusionary
virtues of belonging such as civic self-reliance and institutionalised participation: a European res publica, that
significant barrier posed by the unilateralist impulses and unipolar
fantasies of American diplomacy.
1 See Halford Mackinder, ‘The Geographical Pivot of History’, Geographical Journal,
23:4 (1904), pp. 421–44.
2 See Karl W. Deutsch et al., PoliticalCommunity and the North Atlantic Area:
International Organizations in the Light of Historical Experience (Princeton, NJ:
Princeton University Press, 1953). A good introduction to the current debate is
found in Emanuel Adler and Michael Barnett (eds), Security Communities
(Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1998).