The Labour Party is habitually considered the most ideologically inclined of all British political parties, and ideological struggle has been endemic within the party since its foundation. At the risk of oversimplification, the approach adopted here classifies works according to the principal explanatory strategies they adopt. This chapter outlines five strategies, such as materialist; ideational; electoral; institutional; and synthetic strategies. Materialist, ideational and electoral explanatory strategies account for Labour's ideological trajectory in factors exogenous to the party. In the literature specifically devoted to Labour, electoral pressures are taken almost as given, albeit rarely understood, via the systematised approach of Downs A. and Przeworski A. For some, Labour's ideological movements are viewed almost wholly in terms of responses to electoral pressures. For Przeworski pursuing politics through parliamentary institutions necessitated that social democrats reconcile themselves to the absence of a proletarian numerical majority in each Western nation.
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.
The break-up of a party confederation
The Union pour la Démocratie Française (UDF) managed to create an unprecedented alliance between liberal, Christian democrat and radical currents. This alliance took its place as the second right-wing pole next to the Gaullist Rassemblement pour la République (RPR). It was on 16 May 1998, by a single motion passed by its national congress, that Démocratie Libérale (DL) ended twenty years of 'moderate alliance' by withdrawing from the confederation. The split fundamentally separated the descendants of liberalism, regrouped in the DL splinter, from the Christian democrat successors, who formed the majority of New UDF. The split in the UDF seemed less significant for the French party system when one realised that its direct consequences, beyond the formation of the new parliamentary group, were difficult to identify. Such consequences could be seen in the shifting of these parties in political space and in the modification of intra-bloc dynamics on the right.
Coping with intertwined conflicts
Turkey's involvement in the Gulf War in 1991 paved the way for the country's acceptance into the European Union. This book traces that process, and in the first part looks at Turkey's foreign policy in the 1990s, considering the ability of the country to withstand the repercussions of the fall of communism. It focuses on Turkey's achievement in halting and minimising the effects of the temporary devaluation in its strategic importance that resulted from the waning of the Cold War and the disintegration of the Soviet Union; the skilful way in which Turkey avoided becoming embroiled in the ethnic upheavals in Central Asia, the Balkans and the Middle East; and the development of a continued policy of closer integration into the European and western worlds. Internal politics are the focus of the second part of the book, addressing the curbing of the Kurdish revolt, the economic gains made and the strengthening of civil society. The book goes on to analyse the prospects for Turkey in the twenty-first century, in the light of the possible integration into Europe, which may leave the country's leadership free to deal effectively with domestic issues.
This chapter looks at the situation of Turkey before and after the Gulf War, from the mid-1980s to the end of the 1990s, analysing the claims surrounding Turkey's unequivocal readiness to serve as the West's policeman in the Middle East. It discusses the problems of Turkey during this period, which include the decline in its strategic value, the Greco-Turkish conflict over Cyprus and the persistent territorial quarrel with Syria over the Hatay province, explaining how Turkey coped with these problems through its relations with the West.
Dimitris N. Chryssochoou, Michael J. Tsinisizelis, Stelios Stavridis and Kostas Ifantis
This chapter focuses on the politics of the Intergovernmental Conference (IGC) 2000, which led to the signing of the highly debated and controversial Treaty of Nice (NIT), and shows the way the final agreement was reached and the increasing dissonance between larger and smaller EU states during the final steps of the negotiations. It recalls other important issues that were addressed in the IGC, such as the simplification of the Treaties and the hierarchy of Community Acts. The chapter also discusses the views of the Commission and other institutions on the Nice Process, takes note of the changes that were made to the weighting system and the NIT, and studies the concept of enhanced cooperation.
This chapter considers the possibility of developing an anarchist sociology. It suggests that some of the founding rationales behind sociology in the nineteenth century might have negative impact on those being studied and their environment. One of the founding rationales behind sociology is the instrumental attitudes towards pursuing research in the name of industrial progress and social cohesion. Anarchism and sociology share something of a common intellectual background as ideas shaped by Enlightenment developments in philosophy, science and technology during the late eighteenth century. It is through the controversial discourses of postmodernism and poststructuralism that anarchism has been referenced in the social and philosophical sciences, sometimes as an argument for relativism. The chapter looks at the assumptions behind the established sociological literature on social movements. It offers some suggestions as to how anarchist theory would be of advantage to developing a more tangible understanding of this area of study.
Interpreting the unions–party link
This chapter outlines the key features of two perspectives and indicates some limitations. The two perspectives are the liberal-social democratic pluralist perspective; and the perspective of socialist and Marxist writers. Much of this perspective was inspired by Ralph Miliband's Parliamentary Socialism. A good starting point for understanding the post-war perspective on the unions-party link of liberal and social democratic pluralists is the concept of 'pluralistic stagnation', applied to British politics by Samuel Beer. The chapter illustrates the limitations by discussing neglected aspects of the crucial period that falls, roughly, between 1974 and 1983, years that cover both the collapse of the Social Contract and the labour alliance's subsequent civil war. Pluralism, as political theory, celebrated the liberal democratic political system and portrayed it as driven by the free competition of parties and interest groups, from which preferences emerged that parliamentarians and a neutral state machine implemented.
This chapter explores an apparent tension between the idea of toleration and the idea of equal opportunity. It outlines the key 'civil interests' in thinking about the issue of employment discrimination. The chapter explains why a concern for these civil interests might plausibly be thought to support a general prohibition of religiously-motivated employment discrimination. It argues that the freedom of religious associations to discriminate in employment should be limited by two principles. The first principle is that the discrimination should be on religion-relevant grounds. The second principle is that discrimination should apply only to a restricted range of jobs that have a sufficiently central relationship to the religious activities of the association. The chapter discusses the tricky question of how this principle might be operationalised, and argues that the centrality principle is by itself a sufficient limitation on the freedom of religious associations to discriminate in employment.
In contemporary debates about the idea and the problems of a multicultural society the concept of toleration plays a major but by no means clear and uncontested role. This chapter distinguishes between a general concept and various more specific conceptions of toleration. It shows that the concept of toleration is marked by two paradoxes. The first paradox consists in the problem of how it can be morally right to tolerate what is morally wrong. The second paradox says that toleration, as soon as its limits are defined by a certain content, becomes intolerant toward those 'outside'. The chapter argues that that toleration is a virtue of justice and a demand of reason. It outlines four paradigmatic conceptions of toleration such as permission conception, co-existence conception, respect conception and esteem conception.