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Nagas as a ‘Society against Voting?’

Consensus-Building, Party-less Politics and a Culturalist Critique of Elections in Northeast India

Jelle J. P. Wouters

gains are at issue’. What legal and procedural codes of representative democracy and party politics disrupted was the communitarian and political commensality of village life, whose ideals of communal harmony, consensus-building and complimentary

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“Four Guys and a Hole in the Floor”

Racial Politics of Mobility and Excretion among BC-Based Long Haul Truckers

Amie McLean

social justice.” 54 By examining white truckers’ narrative engagements with racial mobility politics in the trucking industry, I have sought to map out the foundational context and procedural dynamics in and through which the normative status of the white

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Laurent J.G. van der Maesen

rationale of political/legal, economic, cultural, and environmental processes in societies that aim to cope with their interpretations of mainstream contemporary challenges. The distinction between these processes concerns the main subject of the procedural

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The Traveling Model That Would Not Travel

Oil, Empire, and Patrimonialism in Contemporary Chad

Stephen P. Reyna

This article concerns a type of change involving implementation of 'traveling models'—procedural cultural plans of how to do some-thing done somewhere elsewhere. Specifically, it concerns the World Bank's traveling model of oil revenue distribution in support of Chadian development. It finds that this model is failing and that dystopia is developing in its stead. A contrasting explanation, which examines the contradictions and consequences of Chadian patrimonialism and US imperialism, is proposed to account for this state of affairs. Finally, the analysis is shown to have implications for conceptualizing patrimonialism and planning development.

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Judicial Review in Context

A Response to Counter-majoritarian and Epistemic Critiques

Marcus Schulzke and Amanda Carroll

This essay defends judicial review on procedural grounds by showing that it is an integral part of American democracy. Critics who object to judicial review using counter-majoritarian and epistemic arguments raise important concerns that should shape our understanding of the Supreme Court. Nevertheless, critics often fail to account for the formal and informal mechanisms that overcome these difficulties. Critics also fail to show that other branches of government could use the power of Constitutional interpretation more responsibly. By defending judicial review in the American context, this essay demonstrates that judicial review is not inherently undemocratic.

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The Great War in Comics

Workings and Imagery

Maaheen Ahmed

Within Europe and beyond, the centenary of the Great War began to be commemorated in 2014. As with any act of retelling history and re-creating memories, the events orchestrated around this centenary involve a certain tailoring of narratives and a process of forgetting that reflects more on the present milieu than the past. As noted by the sociologist and philosopher Elena Esposito, recent neurophysiological findings posit memory ‘as a procedural capability realizing a constant recategorisation’. Especially relevant for this issue of European Comic Art is her claim that the memory of society as a whole ‘is constituted, first of all, by the mass media and ruled by their always changing forms’. As emphasised by the articles in this issue, popular media during and after the First World War (music hall, illustrated magazines, comics, cartoons, pulps) were propagators of images that have persisted, often with altered significance, into our times.

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Assaf Meydani

In recent decades, the role that national supreme courts have played in shaping and determining institutional change has been studied from a number of angles. However, this vast literature has not produced a dynamic model that is capable of illuminating the impact of supreme courts on national policy or institutional change. This article proposes such a dynamic model using perspectives based on the 'shared mental model' and the concept of 'political entrepreneurship'. Adapting hypotheses from the neo-institutionalism literature, it develops a procedural model for analyzing how political rules are changed formally in a democratic system. The analysis also explores the political entrepreneur role that supreme courts play in developing institutional change and addressing social problems. This model is then used to study the Supreme Court in Israel.

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Simeon Mitropolitski

Modern political theory, while defining a democratic political regime, puts an emphasis on institutions and procedures. According to this view, whether a particular country is democratic or not depends on the ability of the opposition to oust the incumbent government without leaving the framework of existing institutions and procedures. Cultural values that sustain the democratic polity, including the spirit of political equality, are given much less attention. These values are assumed to be already present, either as a reflection of our similar physical constitution or as a reflection of the presence of democratic political regimes. This research challenges both the monopoly of the procedural understanding of democracy and the lack of particular interest regarding the construction of egalitarian political culture. I claim, first, that the rise of an egalitarian political culture contributes to the establishment of a democratic political regime and, second, that the establishment of modern schools in the late sixteenth century contributed to the construction of this egalitarian political culture.

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Salvatore Vassallo

On 3 and 4 April 2005, elections were held to elect the councils of 13 of

the 15 ordinary regions. In Basilicata the election took place two weeks

later, on 17 and 18 April, to allow the Unità Popolare list to take part in

the campaign. This list had initially been barred from running because

of procedural defects in the presentation of its lists of candidates, but

it was later readmitted by the Council of State. In Molise, on the other

hand, no election was held because in June 2001 the Council of State

had invalidated the regional election of the previous year on the ground

that some lists (Democratic Union for Europe, Greens, Italian Democratic

Socialists, and Party of Italian Communists) had been allowed to

run despite not having satisfied the requirements. This required holding

a new election, which took place in November 2001.

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What is interpretation?

A cultural neurohermeneutic account

Steve Reyna

This essay answers the question: what is interpretation? It does so by proposing that interpretation involves certain brain operations. These utilize perceptual and procedural culture stored in neural networks. The parts of the brain performing interpretation are said to constitute a cultural neurohermenetic system, hypothesized to function according to an interpretive hierarchy. It is argued that such an approach has two benefits. The first of these is to provide a non-sociobiological, non-reductionist way of analyzing interactions between culture and biology. The second benefit is to provide conceptual tools for explaining how the micro-realm within individuals (I-space) makes connections in the macro-realm (E-space) of events in social forms. Conceptualization of such connections forms a basis for a variety of social analysis termed complex string being theory.