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.
’ War (1618–48) and the wars of
religion. Westphalia established the key principle of modern statehood:
The distinguishing characteristic of the state. Sovereignty is the right
to have absolute and unlimited power, either legal or political, within
the territory of a state.
After around 1500, European expansion
was now much more visible and clearly defined than before. This is not
to say that the maintenance of international peace and security,
understood primarily as regional stability, did not persist as the
international community’s chief preoccupation.
Initially, the principle of non-intervention, understood
as the primary manifestation of the principle of statesovereignty, had
the post-Cold War European security landscape.
precedent’: new wars, new interventions?
When NATO undertook armed action
without an explicit mandate from the UNSC, it entered a kind of
international no-man’s land between upholding the sanctity of statesovereignty and that of human life. While NATO members asserted that the
humanitarian and strategic imperatives of saving Kosovar Albanian lives
Contesting the meaning of the 2015 refugee crisis in Sweden
changes in a country that has long prided itself on welcoming asylum
seekers. But, far from threatening Swedish statesovereignty, as the Swedish
national government and mainstream media claimed, I show that this
perceived crisis has both justified, asserted, and extended it by recourse to
national and international law on the one hand, and an associative chain
link between asylum seekers, illegal immigration, terrorism, and crisis, on
the other. At the same time, I reveal how the perceived crisis has exposed
rifts between different levels of Swedish governance, where
outside the systems of statesovereignty and global capital.
Unlike other forms of humanitarian narrative, which are
focused on humanitarian crises and projects or on the work of a
particular organisation, humanitarian life-writing tells a story of
individual education and empowerment. As a result the genre’s emphasis
is not the typical one of compassion and pathos, though images of human
legitimising speech act inside the discourse of the
international law, but it spectacularly fails to legitimise the violence
which follows its invocation. Serbia’s attempts to legitimise its
stance as a warring state defending the idea of statesovereignty was
represented as an anachronism. Indeed, in Kosovo, the end of the
legitimate warring state was at stake. Where is the political entity
This study explores the normative dimension of the evolving role of the United Nations in peace and security and, ultimately, in governance. What is dealt with here is both the UN's changing raison d'être and the wider normative context within which the organisation is located. The study looks at the UN through the window of one of its most contentious, yet least understood, practices: active involvement in intra-state conflicts as epitomised by UN peacekeeping. Drawing on the conceptual tools provided by the ‘historical structural’ approach, it seeks to understand how and why the international community continuously reinterprets or redefines the UN's role with regard to such conflicts. The study concentrates on intra-state ‘peacekeeping environments’, and examines what changes, if any, have occurred to the normative basis of UN peacekeeping in intra-state conflicts from the early 1960s to the early 1990s. One of the original aspects of the study is its analytical framework, where the conceptualisation of ‘normative basis’ revolves around objectives, functions and authority, and is closely connected with the institutionalised values in the UN Charter such as state sovereignty, human rights and socio-economic development.
Given the significant similarities and differences between the welfare states of Northern Europe and their reactions to the perceived 'refugee crisis' of 2015, the book focuses primarily on the three main cases of Denmark, Sweden and Germany. Placed in a wider Northern European context – and illustrated by those chapters that also discuss refugee experiences in Norway and the UK – the Danish, Swedish and German cases are the largest case studies of this edited volume. Thus, the book contributes to debates on the governance of non-citizens and the meaning of displacement, mobility and seeking asylum by providing interdisciplinary analyses of a largely overlooked region of the world, with two specific aims. First, we scrutinize the construction of the 2015 crisis as a response to the large influx of refugees, paying particular attention to the disciplinary discourses and bureaucratic structures that are associated with it. Second, we investigate refugees’ encounters with these bureaucratic structures and consider how these encounters shape hopes for building a new life after displacement. This allows us to show that the mobility of specific segments of the world’s population continues to be seen as a threat and a risk that has to be governed and controlled. Focusing on the Northern European context, our volume interrogates emerging policies and discourses as well as the lived experiences of bureaucratization from the perspective of individuals who find themselves the very objects of bureaucracies.