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Bill Jordan

Political theory has responded to the central questions about redistributive welfare systems, their justification, and the institutional means for implementing them, raised by the political economy. This chapter traces the transition from welfare to social exclusion, and the various theoretical responses it has elicited. The idea that political justice should deal in issues about the distribution of roles and resources, presupposes a political community which corresponds to an economic system for production and exchange. The libertarian challenge to liberal and communitarian political theorists over welfare and social exclusion is to reconstruct a convincing version of social justice, one which retains the appealing aspects of individual autonomy, but deals with its undesirable social consequences. The liberal response attacks the libertarian account of justice by pointing out that it is not only when rights are violated that freedom is restricted.

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‘War is never civilised’

Civilisation, civil society and the Kosovo war

Mikkel Vedby Rasmussen

War is never civilised', British Prime Minister Tony Blair declared on 10 June 1999, 'but war can be necessary to uphold civilisation.' In the context of the debate on the futures of European order, Blair's construction of the Kosovo war may be seen as an illustration of Samuel Huntington's scenario of some forthcoming 'clash of civilisations'. Adam Ferguson coined the term 'civil society' in An Essay on the History of Civil Society. Ferguson suggested that civil society was the vehicle of civilisation, being the result of what Norbert Elias was to term the 'civilising process'. Like other constitutive texts of the post-Cold War world, Huntington suggests that the end of the Cold War has been a moment of becoming. The West will have to realise, Huntington argues, that 'its Europe' is fundamentally different from 'Orthodox Europe', the Europe of Russia and, indeed, of Serbia.

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‘vvv.nato.int.’

Virtuousness, virtuality and virtuosity in NATO’s representation of the Kosovo campaign

Andreas Behnke

Jean Baudrillard's diagnosis of the Gulf War applies to the expression of organised violence in contemporary politics. This chapter describes that Kosovo campaign lends evidence to the suspicion that war as such no longer 'takes place', but that it has transmogrified into a different game with a different logic. As Paul Patton argues in his Introduction to Baudrillard's The Gulf War, virtual war, the war over truth rather than territory, is an integral part of modern warfare. North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO) has conducted an epistemic war to secure its privileged moral status, fighting against the systemic anarchy of the international system, the inherent ambivalence and undecidability that necessitates and demands the political designation of identity. The chapter analyses NATO's virtuoso campaign to virtualise Operation Allied Force in order to represent itself as the virtuous actor in the messy reality of war.

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Cas Mudde

This chapter discusses the formation of an anti-Establishment party. On 28 May 1979, the VNP was disbanded and the political party Vlaams Blok (Flemish Block, VB) was founded as a fusion of the VNP and the nationalist wing of the VVP. The VB is a party with an elaborated ideological programme built around the core of Flemish nationalism. It considers the ethnic community as the main organisational unit of groups of people. Each ethnic community should live according to its own nature, that is, they should live separately in their own states. This means that the multinational state Belgium is rejected. What matters first and foremost is loyalty to the Flemish ethnic community.

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The US Republicans

Lessons for the Conservatives?

Edward Ashbee

This chapter considers the character of US conservatism during the 1990s and the different strands of opinion that emerged in the wake of the 1992 defeat. It also considers the factors that shaped the victorious George W. Bush campaign in 2000, and the implications of these events for the Conservative Party in Britain. Using themes drawn from the Republican governors and the Bush campaign, Duncan Smith argued that the language employed by Conservatives had to take a positive form and shift away from the expenditure cuts that welfare reform might generate. Bush's defeat in the 1992 election, therefore, led some observers to a very different conclusion to that drawn by Newt Gingrich and his co-thinkers. It showed that subsequent Republican candidates had to distance themselves from the more doctrinaire and radical forms of conservatism. The religious (or Christian) right was an important and integral component of the US conservative movement.

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Lennart J. Lundqvist

This chapter focuses on the so-called ecology cycle and Sweden's strategies for temporally rational ecological governance. It discusses the criteria for temporally rational ecological governance and relevance of land use planning and restrictions for ecological governance. This chapter proposes management by objectives (MBO) as a flexible way of moving towards commonly formulated and shared views of a future state of affairs. It also argues that temporally rational ecological governance is not just about how to arrange political institutions to take account of different life cycles and time scales important to the balance of ecosystems, it is also about ‘just in time’ political accountability.

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Francisco E. González and Desmond King

Maintaining the United States' integrity abroad necessitated the remedying of its own democratic deficit; this duality illustrates the overlapping effects of domestic and international politics in the formation of American nationhood. This chapter assesses the conventional timing of the United States' democratization, a prelude to considering how best to conceive the core beliefs and values of American nationhood. The chapter then examines how international pressures influenced the democratization enacted in the 1960s. It concludes the present role of the United States as a domestic and international emblem of liberal democracy. The United States' role as a defender of Western democracy against extremist ideologies has both fanned the resurgence of anti-Americanism and underlined its international presence. The chapter considers then these domestic and international roles in turn.

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The United Kingdom

Between political controversy and administrative efficiency

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Kenneth A. Armstrong and Simon Bulmer

European integration has represented one of the most fundamental challenges for politics in the United Kingdom since 1945. Integration has highlighted the problems of, and possibilities for, the re-orientation of foreign policy as part of the United Kingdom's post-war descent from world power status. The authors have argued that two broad patterns of European policy conduct can be identified in the United Kingdom. Under circumstances of a small parliamentary majority, they argued that continued British sensitivity to issues of sovereignty could result in issues of European policy being handled in a highly symbolic, rhetoricised manner. However, they also argued that much European policy did not trigger these sovereignty concerns and was consequently conducted at a more technical level. There are two apparently contradictory patterns evident in the management of British European policy. One is a pattern of centralisation and the other trend is more centrifugal.

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Anna K. Dickson

This chapter seeks to identify the main determinants of the European Union (EU) trade policy in relation to the developing countries. It asks why the EU has adopted trade liberalisation rather than any other option for the future of its relations with the African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) states, and in stark contrast to the previous policies. The chapter looks at the general policy environment in which EU policy towards the Lomé countries has been made. It then looks at the trade-related directorates and their contribution and response to the phenomenon referred to here in shorthand as 'trade liberalisation'. This includes trends towards the removal or elimination of trade preferences and the ideology underlying this, which is reflected in and created by the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade/World Trade Organisation (GATT/WTO). The chapter provides an analysis of the political interests at stake in the trade liberalisation debate.

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Understanding political ideas and movements

A guide for A2 politics students

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Kevin Harrison and Tony Boyd

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.