In liberal democracies there is a belief that citizens ought to take an active interest in what is happening in the political world. Political debate in modern Western democracies is a complex and often rowdy affair. There are three fundamental political issues: 'politics', 'power' and 'justice', which feature in almost all political discussions and conflicts. The book assesses the degree to which the state and state sovereignty are disappearing in the modern world of 'globalised' politics, economics and culture and new international institutions. The main features of the nation and the problems of defining it are outlined: population, culture, history, language, religion, and race. Different types of democracy and their most important features are discussed. 'Freedom' is usually claimed to be the prime objective of political activity. The book discusses equality of human rights, distributional equality, equality before the law, the claims for group equality on the grounds of race, gender, class. Rights, obligations and citizenship are closely associated. Ideology is the driving force of political discourse. The book also discusses nationalism's growth and development over the last two centuries with particular reference to its main features and assumptions. It outlines the development of conservatism as a political ideology and movement in Britain during the last two centuries. An overview of liberalism, socialism, Marxism, anarchism, and Fascism follows. Environmentalism and feminism are also discussed. Finally, the book talks about how ideological change occurs and stresses the importance of rationality in politics.
, the collapse of the Soviet Union
represented a final victory for Western liberaldemocracy – an unexpected Hegelian
denouement in the knotweed of History. Their euphoria – albeit short-lived –
provided the entrance music for a new ethical order, constructed by the US, with a basis in
liberal humanitarian norms. Without any direct and immediate threat to its hegemony, the US
merged its geostrategy with a humanitarian ethics. In 1991, after the Gulf War, the US invaded
Iraq in the name of humanitarian concern. The following year, to the
deregulation of markets and frontiers and its conceited attempts to
universalise liberaldemocracy and human rights. And it will also pose an existential threat to
liberal humanitarian institutions, which have depended on the financial and political capital of
Far from promoting a final and permanent peace, the new security strategy situates the US in an
inter-state system in which war is possible at any time, in any location, with any rival, enemy
or former ally. How might we explain this apparent shift in American strategy?
A growing number
The United States
francisco e. gonzález and
Any discussion of the United States’ political democratization is fundamentally complicated by its role since 1917
as a global model and defender of liberaldemocracy, a role
that burgeoned after 1941. As a consequence of this responsibility, historically the United States’ democratization has
been both a domestic and international process. National
and international politics have presented two trajectories
that cohere into a common narrative of democratization
(King 2004). This narrative is a
Here we examine the expression ‘democracy’, and try to
disentangle its value as an objective term of analysis and its misuse as
a tool of propaganda. The focus is on ‘liberaldemocracy’.
First the various dimensions of democracy and the notion of democracy
are considered, and the idea of democracy as ‘the sovereign
people’ governed by consent is closely examined. Then the issue
the primary targets of surveillance and suspicion to a degree that seemed to place Muslims beyond the boundary of Western political communities, 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 liberaldemocracy, 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
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.
, should be the inculcation of the basic ideal of tolerance. 5 Others extend the programme to include education in mutual respect but, generally speaking, not too much more. 6 Departing from this approach, Levinson proposes teaching a more comprehensive profile of civic qualities while remaining faithful to the narrow boundaries of the liberal tradition. In her view, pupils in liberaldemocracies should learn about fundamental democratic rights, such as the freedoms of speech, assembly and religious expression, rights attaching to ownership and property, the right to
Simona Giordano, John Harris, and Lucio Piccirillo
a whole. Indeed, one could include non-humans
in the pool of those whose interests should be considered in these negotiations.
Political and scientific agendas may be at odds with one other. Many of
the contributors here point this out. Political agendas are often inspired by
the views of the majority in liberaldemocracies, or at least by the goal of
finding viable compromises in areas in which views are starkly dialectical
and dichotomous; and these two goals or aspirations may not be consistent
with the aims and methods of scientific enquiry. Yet at a perhaps
‘popular’ sovereignty (understood as either that
of a nation or of the collectivity of EU citizens).
A further particularity of the EU context is the failure of
most of the concerned actors to appreciate the implications
of the EU’s quixotic nature for models of democratization.
Although other models of reform have been articulated,
most strategies tend to rely to an unhelpful degree on what
can be called the ‘liberal democratic blueprint’ (LDB). This
is not to say that liberaldemocracy has no virtues which
could be remodelled for the EU; as Lord and Beetham (2001