The ideas of economists and political philosophers, both when they are right and when they are wrong are more powerful than is commonly understood. Indeed, the world is ruled by little else. Practical men, who believe themselves to be quite
Thematizing the Activity of Politics in the Plenary Debates of the German Bundestag
With this article, 1 I continue my long-term studies on the conceptualization of politics by analyzing the vocabulary of politicians in parliamentary debates. I use conceptual history both as an empirical study and as a medium of theorizing on
Beyond Explicit Motivations and Oppositional Actions
Sadiya Akram and David Marsh
Wood and Flinders re-center political participation on the idea of “nexus politics.” The effort is laudable because it contributes to other ongoing efforts at broadening our understanding of the nature of ‘political’ participation. Unfortunately, in our view, the authors misspecify new forms of political participation that have emerged by: (1) failing to take Henrik Bang’s work seriously; (2) focusing exclusively on motivation/intention, so that an action is “political,” only if the person acting sees it as “political”; (3) seeing all political participation as necessarily oppositional.
While there has always been intellectual and methodological overlap between conceptual historians and political theorists, scholars in both fields have recently gone further to foster a greater degree of cross-pollination. 1 In particular, the
The author argues that conceptual history is becoming increasingly indispensable due to the historical trend in political practices to move from a politics of answers to given questions to a politics of thematizing the questions themselves, that is, of agenda-setting. The very understanding of a certain question as contingent and controversial marks a politicizing change in the agenda. From the perspective of the history of concepts, the formulation of questions themselves become politically key issues, given that rhetorical problems of the renaming and reinterpretation of the meaning, significance and normative color of concepts play a key role in the decisions regarding inclusion and exclusion. Assuming that concepts function as “pivots” in the contemporary controversy, there is at least some possibility for change in terms of rendering the controversy intelligible by means of the instruments of conceptual history. If conceptual history were ever to play a direct political role, it might concern teaching politicians the styles of both a conceptual reading of politics and a political reading of the uses of concepts.
Reflections on Violence in the 'War on Terror'
Saul Newman and Michael P. Levine
The authors argue that the 'war on terror' marks the ultimate convergence of war with politics, and the virtual collapse of any meaningful distinction between them. Not only does it signify the breakdown of international relations norms but also the militarization of internal life and political discourse. They explore the 'genealogy' of this situation firstly through the notion of the 'state of exception'—in which sovereign violence becomes indistinct from the law that is supposed to curtail it—and secondly through Foucault's idea that politics is essentially a form of warfare. They suggest that these two ways of approaching the question of violence can only be understood through a racist dimension, which forms the hidden underside of the 'war on terrorism'. In other words, our contemporary situation is characterized by the mobilization not only of fundamentalist and conservative ideologies, but, increasingly, racial antagonisms and prejudices directed towards the Muslim other.
9/11 represents less a tear in the fabric of history, or a break with the past, than an inflection in ongoing historical processes, such as the continued expansion of capitalism that at some recent time has supposedly attained a level of globalization. This paper considers the relation of war and politics with respect to three instances arising in the wake of 9/11, including the war in Afghanistan, the war in Iraq, and finally the global war on terror (GWT). I argue that these wars are superficially dissimilar, but that on a deeper level they all relate to a single ideological position that is an important motivation in current US foreign policy, and that this position is further related to capitalism.
significantly, newspapers and periodicals played an important role in transforming humanism from a pedagogical concept into a political concept in the 1840s. Furthermore, the shifting meanings attributed to humanism in the press between 1808 and 1850—from
José Bonifácio and Temporal Experiences in the Luso-American World in the Early Nineteenth Century
Maria Elisa Noronha De Sá and Marcelo Gantus Jasmin
creation of Brazil’s political autonomy as a country independent from Portugal and the forming of what is conventionally known as the Brazilian nation. We do not refer to these texts here to “represent” the essence of this actor’s political thinking; we
Dueling in the Greek Capital, 1870–1918
and political rights. Only a citizen par excellence could defend his personal interests and at the same time act as guarantor of the general interests of society. 5 This article draws on some forty duels that took place in Athens between 1870 and