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Approaches to Labour politics and history

This book is an attempt to take stock of how some of the British Labour Party's leading interpreters have analysed their subject, deriving as they do from contrasting political, theoretical, disciplinary and methodological backgrounds. It explores their often-hidden assumptions and subjects them to critical evaluation. The book outlines five strategies such as materialist; ideational; electoral; institutional; and synthetic strategies. Materialist, ideational and electoral explanatory strategies account for Labour's ideological trajectory in factors exogenous to the party. The 'new political history' is useful in understanding Labour within a less reductive framework than either the 'high' or 'from below' approaches and in more novel terms than the Left-Right positions adopted within Labour. The book assesses the contribution made to analysis of the Labour Party and labour history by thinkers of the British New Left. New Left critiques of labourism in fact represented and continued a strand of Marxist thinking on the party that can be traced back to its inception. If Ralph Miliband's role in relation to 'Bennism' is considered in comparison to his earlier attitudes, some striking points emerge about the interaction between the analytical and subjective aspects in his interpretive framework. Miliband tried to suggest that the downfall of communism was advantageous for the Left, given the extent to which the Soviet regimes had long embarrassed Western socialists such as himself. The Nairn-Anderson theses represented an ambitious attempt to pioneer a distinctive analysis of British capitalist development, its state, society and class structure.

Open Access (free)
Stan Metcalfe and Alan Warde

with economic matters highlights their mutually instituted nature in market capitalism. The second chapter, by Andrew Sayer, provides a critical evaluation of the idea of the market as the definitive form of co-ordination and of the socially embedded nature of market processes. Sayer draws attention, first, to the multiple uses of the word ‘market’ and to the difference between the market in general and markets in particular. The inclusiveness of the market definition determines the scope of what is to be explained and how. As an exemplar, Sayer addresses the

in Market relations and the competitive process
Author: Kerry Longhurst

Mobilising the concept of strategic culture, this study develops a framework for understanding developments in German security policy between 1990 and 2003. Germany's contemporary security policies are characterised by a peculiar mix of continuity and change. From abstention in the first Gulf war, to early peacekeeping missions in Bosnia in the early 1990s and a full combat role in Kosovo in 1999, the pace of change in German security policy since the end of the Cold War has been breathtaking. The extent of this change has recently, however, been questioned, as seen most vividly in Berlin's response to ‘9/11’ and its subsequent stalwart opposition to the US-led war on terrorism in Iraq in 2003. Beginning with a consideration of the notion of strategic culture, the study refines and adapts the concept to the case of Germany through a consideration of aspects of the rearmament of West Germany. It then critically evaluates the transformation of the role of the Bundeswehr up to and including the war on terrorism, together with Germany's troubled efforts to enact defence reforms, as well as the complex politics surrounding the policy of conscription. By focusing on both the ‘domestics’ of security policy decision making as well as the changing and often contradictory expectations of Germany's allies, this book provides a comprehensive analysis of the role played by Germany's particular strategic culture in shaping policy choices. It concludes by pointing to the vibrancy of Germany's strategic culture.

Anti-Islam and anti-Muslim sentiments
Hilary Pilkington

This chapter critically evaluates characterisations of the EDL as ‘Islamophobic’. It outlines debates about how we might define and measure ‘Islamophobia’, focusing on the question of whether Islamophobia is a new, and distinct, phenomenon or consists primarily in anti-Muslim attitudes, which are adequately understood within the existing notion of cultural racism. It provides a detailed exploration of the nature and content of perceptions of, and attitudes towards, Islam among EDL activists and shows how Islam is singled out as a ‘problem’ in a way that other aspects of multicultural society are not. In order to sustain claims to non-racism, therefore, a strategic distinction between Islam and Muslims is drawn; the object of hostility, it is claimed, is Islamic doctrine or teachings not its followers as individuals or racialised groups. However, being anti-Islam does not exclude being anti-Muslim also. Drawing on observational evidence as well as interviews, the chapter demonstrates considerable slippage in distinctions between Islam and Muslims as the object of hostility as well as, especially in the context of demonstrations, the use of generalised terms of abuse towards Muslims.

in Loud and proud
Open Access (free)
John Callaghan, Steven Fielding and Steve Ludlam

ITLP_A02.QXD 18/8/03 9:53 am Page 1 2 Introduction John Callaghan, Steven Fielding and Steve Ludlam Interpreting the Labour Party is an attempt to take stock of how some of the British Labour Party’s leading interpreters have analysed their subject, deriving as they do from contrasting political, theoretical, disciplinary and methodological backgrounds. The book explores their often-hidden assumptions and subjects them to critical evaluation. In introducing this collection, we position the various chapters within a wider context and draw out some of their

in Interpreting the Labour Party
Open Access (free)
Linda Davies and Gemma Shields

always some uncertainty around the data informing an economic evaluation. Estimates of costs and benefits may differ across populations and healthcare providers. Plotting the cost-utility results produced with different estimates of costs and effects can help to judge whether or not an intervention is, on balance, likely to be cost-effective. In a similar vein, it is important that economic evaluations are critically evaluated to ensure that they are robust and relevant to decision makers. Like trials, economic evaluations can be prone to bias and this can raise the

in A research handbook for patient and public involvement researchers
Challenges and technological solutions to the ­identification of individuals in mass grave scenarios in the modern context
Gillian Fowler and Tim Thompson

and practice amidst politics and egos’, in R. Ferllini (ed.), Forensic Archaeology and Human Rights Violations (Springfield, IL: Charles C. Thomas Publisher, 2007), pp. 148–69. M. Djuric, D. Dunjic, D. Djonic & M. Skinner, ‘Identification of victims from two mass-graves in Serbia: a critical evaluation of classical markers of identity’, Forensic Science International, 172 (2007), 125–9. Ferrandiz, ‘Exhuming the defeated’. Baraybar, ‘When DNA is not available’. Ferrandiz, ‘Exhuming the defeated’; A.  M. Gómez López & A. Patiño Umaña, ‘Who is missing? Problems in the

in Human remains and identification
Mikko Myllykangas

suicide researchers viewed (or at least wished to view) their own nation as being part of the modern, civilised world, in which the increasing rates of suicide had become something of a yardstick of progress. However, the local idiosyncrasies of Finnish society also offered Westerlund an outside perspective from which to critically evaluate the established ‘truths’ about suicide and its connection with the modernisation process. Before examining the suicide discourse of the late nineteenth century, I look at the formation of what could be called ‘a modern concept of

in Progress and pathology
Open Access (free)
Uses and critiques of ‘civilisation’
Jeremy C.A. Smith

, then Arnason’s résumé of its theoretical and disciplinary diversity (2003), perspectives from political sciences (Hall and Jackson, 2007; Katzenstein, 2010a; Unay and Senel, 2009) and Felipe Fernández-​Armesto’s world history of civilisations (2001) served as reminders of the breadth of interest across the human sciences. Debating Civilisations focuses on the scholarship produced in this field since the 1970s. As a second major part of this project, I put forward an alternative version of civilisational analysis that critically evaluates and extends key insights of

in Debating civilisations
Open Access (free)
The Nairn–Anderson interpretation
Mark Wickham-Jones

redolent of the labourism that Nairn claimed was so influential in shaping Labour politics. ITLP_C06.QXD 18/8/03 9:58 am Mark Wickham-Jones Page 97 97 Conclusions This chapter has outlined Tom Nairn and Perry Anderson’s account of Labour Party politics. It has proved to be immensely influential over the last forty years. Their polemical dismissal of the party has become an important part of the discourse by which Labour’s failings as a reformist project are frequently and critically evaluated. To give just one example, in his best-selling The State We’re In, Will

in Interpreting the Labour Party