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In 2002, the French party system seems to be demonstrating a fluidity, if not outright instability, equal to any period in the Fifth Republic's history. This book explores the extent to which this represents outright change and shifts within a stable structure. Portrayals of French political culture point to incivisme, individualism and a distrust of organizations. The book focuses on three fundamental political issues such as 'politics', 'power' and 'justice', which appear in almost all political discussions and conflicts. It identifies different 'types' of state in political theory and looks at the major challenges to practical state sovereignty in the modern world. Discussing the concept of the nation in the United Kingdom, the book identifies both cultural and political aspects of nationhood. These include nation and state; race and nation; language and the nation; religion and national identity; government and nation; common historical and cultural ties; and a sense of 'nationhood'. Liberal democracy, defensive democracy and citizen democracy/republican democracy are explained. The book also analyses John Stuart Mill's and Isaiah Berlin's views on 'negative' and 'positive' freedom. Conservatism is one of the major intellectual and political strains of thought in Western culture. Liberalism has become the dominant ideology in the third millennium. Socialism sprang from the industrial revolution and the experience of the class that was its product, the working class. Events have made 'fascism' a term of political abuse rather than one of serious ideological analysis. Environmentalism and ecologism constitute one of the most recent ideological movements.

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than establishing definitions is to trace the ways in which single women have been regarded in Western culture, specifically Britain and America, over the past two centuries. I feel myself on some kind of mission to reclaim the word ‘spinster’ as, if not positive, at least neutral, though I think this may be doomed. Most dictionaries have a note that the term is usually derogatory. Even the lovely sounding Italian name for spinster – Zitella – has ‘pej.’ in brackets after the word in the dictionary. hH In my father’s family, there have been women who never married

in Austerity baby

and honey-soaked dates; add fresh cheese and put cloves, cubebs and sugar on top. Then lay on a face with plenty of ground pistachio; the filling will be coloured red, yellow and green. Dress the head in black, in the manner of a woman’s hair, and place it on a black dish. A man’s face should be visible on the top.] ‘Eating people is wrong.’2 Western culture has always treated the eating of human flesh as taboo. Reluctant or not, cannibals evoke fear, loathing or, at best, horrified pity; by disturbing the neat, almost sacred, divide between edible and inedible

in Pulp fictions of medieval England
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Conservatism is one of the major intellectual and political strains of thought in Western culture over the last two centuries. Originating as something of a ‘reaction’ to the radical, liberal and, later, socialist movements during the early period of industrialisation in Britain and Europe, conservatism remains a powerful ideological force in Western societies today. We explore

in Understanding political ideas and movements

on the monumental work of David Brion Davis, in particular The Problem of Slavery in Western Culture , New York, Oxford University Press, 1988 [1966], and Slavery and Human Progress , New York, Oxford University Press, 1984. 23 Brion Davis, The Problem of Slavery in Western Culture , pp. 118

in The other empire
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anything but simple. The main point of serious investigation of the significant products of Western culture – and this can include everything from Bach, to jazz, Shakespeare, to new forms of independent film – has become, for some recent theory, to explore the extent to which these products contribute to or escape from repressive discourses of race, gender, class, etc. Many approaches put in question by such theory aim, in contrast, to understand how great culture opens up worlds of the imagination which provide new resources of meaning in all kinds of different social

in The new aestheticism
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Incest and beyond

continual transformations. As Jerrold E. Hogle states, the genre’s durability is due to the way ‘it helps us address and disguise some of the most important desires, quandaries, and sources of anxiety, from the most internal and mental to the widely social and cultural, throughout the history of western culture since the eighteenth century’. 5 The argument regarding incest and its relation to sexuality

in Gothic incest
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). More recent and notorious is Ian Gregson’s 1994 article for New Welsh Review entitled ‘An Exhausted Tradition’ in which he implies that Thomas’s work is lacking in ‘its alertness to issues currently concerning Western culture in general’ and in which he argues that Thomas and Seamus Heaney are both ‘products of comparatively static rural cultures whose preoccupations are largely irrelevant to anyone brought up with television’ (23, 22). In contrast to Gregson and others, and central to my overall argument in the chapters which follow, is my contention that the poetry

in R. S. Thomas

responsibilities of those who care for particular others, often dependent and vulnerable, in intimate, domestic or familial – “private” – contexts’ (Walker 1998 : 51). In many ways, it is not surprising that feminist critique has been centred on ‘autonomous man’, ‘that centerpiece of modern Western culture and protagonist of modern moral philosophy’, and the discourses of rights and justice

in Recognition and Global Politics
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underpins women’s struggles for empowerment (Fuss 1989). However, even movements of democracy create their ideal woman erased of all differences – authenticity of culture is inscribed on women’s bodies and roles. Women have sought to democratize this discourse on two counts – first, by challenging the ‘orientalist’ and imperialist discourse of rescue of the women of particular (non-Christian/Western) cultures (Liddle and Rai 1998); and second by challenging the codes of silence that their own communities impose on them in the name of antiracism. By challenging both these

in Democratization through the looking-glass