This book seeks to review the state of political issues early in the twenty-first century, when New Labour is in its second term of office. As part of the updating process it became necessary to choose which political issues are important. The book includes the main issues which appear in current Advanced Level Politics syllabuses. In the case of Edexcel, which offers a specific political issues option in its A2 specification, all the specified issues have been included. The book deals with the process of constitutional and political change which are issues in themselves. It also includes material on constitutional reform (incorporating the recent development of human rights in Britain), and devolution. The book includes the global recession and other recent political developments and looks at the important issues in British politics since 1945. It examines the key issues of British politics today: economic policy, the Welfare State, law and order, environment policy, Northern Ireland, issues concerning women, European integration and the European Union, and the impact of the European Union on Britain. The book also deals with the European Union and Britain's relationship to it. Finally, it must be emphasised that Britain's relationship to the European Union is in itself a political issue which has fundamentally changed the party system.
to turn it into a politicalissue, which runs the risk of raising the
On the other hand, by endowing the hostages with greater commercial and political
value, mobilisation campaigns may serve to protect their lives and pressure
those with the power to facilitate their release. British journalists have noted
that the lack of information and public advocacy on behalf of aid workers David
Haines and Allan Henning, who were abducted in Syria by
Gender Equality and Culture in Humanitarian Action
Ricardo Fal-Dutra Santos
Engaging Men in the Fight against Gender Violence: Case Studies from
Africa ( New York :
Palgrave Macmillan ), pp.
69 – 100 .
Tickner , J.
A. ( 2001 ),
Gendering World Politics: Issues and Approaches in the Post-Cold War
Era ( New York :
Uses and Misuses of International Humanitarian Law and Humanitarian
framework – the distinction between combatants and non-combatants was
theorised by Enlightenment philosophers and legal experts (Grotius, Rousseau and
Vatel, most notably). The safeguards granted to prisoners of war by the 1929
Convention were already a part of the 1785 Treaty of Amity and Commerce between
Prussia and the United States, and long before the humanitarian conventions were
formalised as such, the treatment of POWs had become a key politicalissue with the
Issues concerning women
➤ The background and origins of the environment as a politicalissue
➤ A review of the ways in which the environment became a more prominent
➤ Description and assessment of New Labour environmental policies after
DEFINING THE TERM ‘ENVIRONMENT’
The term ‘environment’ is a broad one and we need first to establish which
aspects are covered here. For the purposes of this chapter, we will recognise
the following meanings.
Matters concerning the physical environment, including air and water quality
Law and order
➤ Review of the problem of crime in recent decades
➤ Descriptions of the various attempts which have been made to reduce crime
➤ Analysis of different governments’ attitudes to crime
➤ Descriptions of legislation passed to deal with law and order issues
➤ Analysis of theories concerning the causes of crime
➤ Speculation as to how law and order issues may be dealt with in the future
Before examining the politicalissue of law and order as it has unfolded since
1979, we need to define the scope of the subject. The following elements
of politicalissues is revealed in most of the
chapters of this book. A great deal of politics is, as one ancient
philosopher declared, about defining terms and then applying them to
society. There is a statement at the beginning of almost every chapter, for
example, that warns the reader that this or that concept is
‘contested’, ‘open to considerable debate and
argument’ or ‘a difficult one to grasp
Rights appear in every plausible theory
of justice and dominate contemporary political rhetoric. Critics, as a
matter of course, raise two objections to this proliferation of rights talk.
First, they argue that no clear justification exists for rights. As a
result, every politicalissue can be turned into a demand for rights. This
inflation of rights claims has devalued the currency of
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.
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.