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Win or bust

The leadership gamble of William Hague

Mark Garnett

Writing in 1977, Conservative MP Nigel Fisher identified 'two qualifying conditions' for Tory leaders: 'a lengthy spell in Parliament and considerable Cabinet experience'. Before the advent of economic liberalism the Tory Party believed in hierarchy, so it was hardly a surprise that its members should place special emphasis on the leadership role. William Hague had good reason to be petrified of Margaret Thatcher, who during the leadership campaign had saddled him with what was perhaps the least welcome endorsement in British political history. John Redwood's supporters underlined the resemblance during the leadership campaign, referring to Hague as 'John Major with A levels'. Lord Parkinson rightly praises Hague's reorganisation of his party. No one can argue that Hague was an electoral asset to his party.

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Enver Kisriev

This chapter explains the essential differences between Dagestan and Chechnya within the examined parameters of the ethno-cultural, historical and socio-political themes. The existing difference between Dagestan and Chechnya in the period of communist leadership was that in Dagestan throughout the whole of its Republican status the highest leaders were, as a rule, representatives of the core nationalities. The Dagestani model of political structure was formed free of any influence from the concept of consociational democracy. The ruling elite of the Caucasian Republic, consisting of representatives of the basic Dagestani nationalities, having lost their base in the power structures which had collapsed, re-established it in the systems of confidence between personal friends, relatives, co-regionalists and especially among co-ethnics. With all of the pro-Chechen political action and nationalist rhetoric of Dzhakhar Dudaev, his power not only failed to strengthen but actually lessened from the beginning of his leadership.

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Where the grass is greener

Criteria for ecologically rational governance

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Lennart J. Lundqvist

This chapter examines the extent to which policy measures taken in Sweden to achieve ecologically sustainable development shape and/or rearrange the structures and processes of governance in such a way that the collective outcome is ecologically rational and democratically acceptable. It explains the specific criteria for what constitutes a system of ecological governance with an institutional logic of ecological rationality and discusses the relations between society and the natural environment. The multiple spatial scales of society-environment relationships indicate that an ecologically rational system of governance is a multi-level endeavour.

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Where the buck stops

Governmental power and authority in democratic ecological governance

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Lennart J. Lundqvist

This chapter examines how the emerging system of ecological governance in Sweden affects the political authority of democratic national government. It explains that governments engaging in efforts to bring about sustainable development are expected to encounter political opposition and competition among conflicting values and interests. It contends that sustainable development presents complications to both the normative delineation of legitimate political authority and the empirical views of government's role in governance. This chapter suggests that the balance between authority and autonomy in Swedish ecological governance may have to be reconsidered as the cross-generational striving for sustainable development proceeds in the years to come.

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Amikam Nachmani

This chapter focuses on Turkey's relations with Greece. There are several factors that combine to explain the surprising turn for the better in Greek–Turkish relations, one of which is the political and strategic changes occurring around Turkey from the late 1980s, which have intensified since the Gulf War. Another is the violent earthquakes that both Turkey and Greece experienced in 1999, after which each sent humanitarian aid to help ease their neighbour's plight. However, the chapter suggests that, despite the improvement in Greek–Turkish relations, there remain several serious differences between the two countries, particularly over questions of sovereignty and flying rights over the Aegean Sea.

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What matters is what works

The Third Way and the case of the Private Finance Initiative

Eric Shaw

This chapter outlines the Private Finance Initiative (PFI), and highlights its political and ideological importance. It reviews research findings on the operation of the PFI in the health service. The chapter explores that there is little substance to the Government's claim that the PFI is on strictly pragmatic grounds the most effective way of renewing the capital infrastructure of the National Health Service (NHS). It also explores the reasons for its adoption and focuses on the character and contours of the Third Way as New Labour's operational code. To New Labour a defining feature of the Third Way is its pragmatism, its commitment to evidence-based policy-making: in the pithy precept so often reiterated, 'What matters is what works'. The Third Way prescribes for the State a major role in social life, but less as a direct provider than as purchaser and regulator.

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‘What kind of people are you?’

Labour, the people and the ‘new political history’

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Lawrence Black

The 'new political history' alerts historians to the manifold relations between the politics and the people. 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. O'Farrell's blithe account of the 1980s' Labour Party shows that a range of prejudices and assumptions about lifestyle continued to flourish. The New Left theorised Labour's shortcomings in relation to those of the working class. The defensive consciousness and the paucity of theory were embodied in Labour. Besides theoretical shifts, regional studies stressing the specificity of social structures and the contingencies of local politics, and excavating a sense of popular politics are in practice. Those practices have suggested that the social explanations not alone suffice in explaining political character and patterns.

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What is the nation?

Towards a teleological model of nationalism

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David Bruce MacDonald

This chapter introduces a useful analytical model to help understand the nature of Serbian and Croatian myths, the types of imagery they invoke, and how they are structured. This will lay the groundwork for a more detailed study of how national myths have been used instrumentally in Serbia and Croatia to promote self-determination, the shifting of borders and populations, and the installation of despotic and corrupt regimes. For the ancient Hebrew nation, a cyclical form of teleology, composed of a Golden Age, a Fall, and a Redemption, constituted what Northrop Frye and others have termed a ‘covenantal cycle’. Covenants imply faith in an omnipresent, omnipotent god, able to guide the nation in times of distress and hardship. Ideas of Covenant, chosenness, Golden Age, Fall, and Redemption have formed the core of several modern nationalisms. Another important aspect of cyclical teleology has been the constant battle between good and evil throughout history — the ‘chosen’ nation versus its many enemies. The links between such mythology and Serbian and Croatian nationalism will become obvious.

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Colin Craig

This chapter argues that the War on Drugs has to be understood as a smoke screen for a wider war, on society in general, and on minorities in particular. This smoke screen has enabled US administrations to push forward aggressive foreign policy under the guise of fighting a metaphorical war, especially but not exclusively in Latin America. It is sustained by the myth of drug addiction and searches for 'cures' and 'treatments' that belie the fact that it is our everyday conditions of living which is the problem. Different governments, many of which have ignored the plight of millions of those caught up in the Drug War, such as HIV sufferers, fight the War on Drugs on many fronts. These governments choose surveillance strategies to police the bodies and minds of their populations. Noam Chomsky advocates the development of 'harm reduction' policies and radical re-thinking of the drug laws.

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Neil McNaughton

This chapter discusses the origins and principles of the Welfare State, and traces the changing attitude of the parties and their policy makers to it. The term welfare is not a precise one so that a Welfare State may contain a variety of different services. In Britain, where the system is broad based, there are a large number of services included in the term. These are: personal health services, public health provision, social services, subsidised housing, education and social security. The chapter examines three political traditions: Liberalism, Conservatism and Democratic Socialism (i.e. Labour). A future Conservative government, especially under its new leader, Iain Duncan Smith, may well decide to replace state health or education provision with private-sector arrangements. They have a sense that the Welfare State is not appropriate for a modern, pluralist society as there is sufficient prosperity for people to be able to make private arrangements.