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Barbara Prainsack

and norms. When solidarity is enacted at the individual level, from person-to-person, we can speak of “tier 1 solidarity.” When actions of mutual support become so common that they turn into “normal,” expected behavior in some groups, we see an

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Instead of a Novel

Sophia Yablonska's Travelogues in the History of Modern Ukrainian Literature

Olena Haleta

always correspond to established norms and patterns, were also “a recognition of and a response to the fact that definitions of achievements are often idiosyncratic and reflections of current ideology” and inspired “rethinking the usual criteria for

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Francisca de Haan, Maria Bucur, and Krassimira Daskalova

This is the third volume of Aspasia, with a focus on the gender history of everyday life. The questions in which we were interested included: How have broad institutional frameworks – religious, social, economic, political, and cultural – related to the ways in which average women and men negotiated their gender identities, and, vice versa, how have (changes in) gender identities and relations influenced broader institutional frameworks? Our call for papers also asked more specific questions: How have assumptions of religious institutions about gender norms shaped the everyday religious practices and spirituality of laywomen and men? How have sexual norms impacted how women and men perform and negotiate their sexual identity in their daily lives? What changes did state socialism bring to women’s and men’s gender identities and daily lives, and how did that change over time?

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Editorial

African Philosophy and Rights

Motsamai Molefe and Chris Allsobrook

A useful way to approach the discourse of rights in African philosophy is in terms of Kwasi Wiredu’s (1996) distinction between cultural particulars and universals. According to Wiredu, cultural particulars are contingent and context-dependent. They fail to hold in all circumstances and for everyone (Wiredu 2005). Cultural universals are transcultural or objective (Wiredu 2005). Examples of cultural particulars include dress styles, religious rituals, social etiquette and so on. One example of a cultural universal is the norm of truth. One may imagine a society with different methods of greeting, dress, and raising children, but one cannot imagine a robust society which rejects the norm of truth as the basis of social practices.

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Helena Goscilo and Yana Hashamova

Invariably invoked in gender studies, such fundamental terms and concepts as sexual difference, masculinity and femininity, fatherhood and motherhood, as well as patriarchy, teem with complexities and ambiguities. Gender as a category in feminist psychoanalytic discourse grew out of a series of debates about how and where to formulate the problem of cultural construction. Do cultural socialisation and the internalisation of norms determine gender? Is gender part of a linguistic network that precedes and structures the formation of the ego and the linguistic subject? After approximately four decades of feminist and gender scholarship, the competing answers outnumber the repeated questions in the lively multi-vocal debate that shows no sign of abating.

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Véronique Pujas

The debate in 1999 on how to finance the Italian party system centred

on two aberrations from the European norm that are linked to

the wider issue of the unfinished transition of the Italian political

system. The first of these aberrations is that the Italian political

class has yet to find a definitive remedy for the illegal funding of

the country’s political parties. Although public funding has been

envisaged since the law of 1974, subsequent legislation has

always been determined by circumstances and has never

addressed the real needs of parties. The second problem concerns

the control of three television channels by the state, on the one

hand, and of three further channels by a media entrepreneur and

political leader, Silvio Berlusconi, on the other. In the opinion of

many observers, this situation comprises an interweaving of interests

harmful to democratic pluralism.

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Jean-Paul Gagnon and Mark Chou

This general issue of Democratic Theory begins with an important contribution by George Vasilev (La Trobe University) that reflects on Chantal Mouffe’s notion of democratic agonism. Mouffe has, primarily as part of her critique of deliberative democracy, asserted that consensus necessarily creates exclusion. What is important is that democratic dialogue remains open-ended. For her this means that democrats should view themselves as adversaries rather than antagonists who bring discussions to a close. Vasilev critiques Mouffe’s assertion by arguing that she holds a one-sided understanding of consensus that creates a less credible form of adversarial politics. By crafting a “norm of consensus”, Vasilev thus demonstrates that consensus formation can ensure the very condition of democratic freedom itself. In doing this, Vasilev’s argument brings a fresh perspective to ongoing debates in deliberative and agonistic democracy.

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Massimo Bordignon and Gilberto Turati

In respect of fiscal decentralization, the year 2007, and more generally

the Parliament, saw some progress, above all in relation to the regulation

of intergovernmental pacts, legislative proposals, and the institutional

relationship between different levels of government. There

were also some failures, particularly with regard to the continual intervention

by the central government in the matter of local taxes. The

year also saw the emergence of substantial problems in relation to

local debt. These had been on the increase in recent years, partly as

a consequence of the introduction of new financial instruments and

partly because of explosive growth in some areas of local expenditure,

notably in the health sector. The central government tackled some

of these problems effectively—for example, those in areas affected

by the new norms on infrastructure and the Health Pact—while its

approach toward others was ineffectual. In general, the difficulties and

internal contradictions of the parliamentary majority constrained its

legislative capacity, opening up the possibility that its more innovative

proposals—in particular, those relating to the constitutional reform of

2001—would not be implemented.

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Edited by Raili Marling

punitive organizations, but also, most significantly, from women’s oral histories. The war intensified the control of women’s bodies and especially their sexuality, and violence against women who were perceived as transgressing norms was a widespread form

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Melissa Feinberg

revolutionaries who wanted to break decisively with traditions of all kinds. To what extent, Bucur asks, did their activities include a rebellion against traditional gender norms? This is not a question most historians of modernism have found important. Yet, Bucur