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Lawrence Hamilton

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

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War, Politics and Race

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.

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Tom Rockmore

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.

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Bertjan Wolthuis

Recently several critics of mainstream political thought have advocated a realist understanding of politics, particularly in opposition to John Rawls’ political liberalism. Mainstream normative political thought is depicted by these critics as

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The Future of Representative Politics

On Tormey, Krastev and Rosanvallon

Mihail Evans

Internationally, the wave of protests that came in the wake of the what has been called the 2008 economic crisis have rightly been seen as a suggestive of dramatic challenges to how politics operates. In this paper I look at two very different studies of these

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Civic Integration at Issue

An Essay on the Political Condition of Migrants

José María Rosales

This article deals with the civic integration of migrants, focusing on the process immigrants undergo to become nationals of new states. Discussing some recent advances in immigration policies in European Union countries, it questions the gap that separates their normative principles from institutional practices. Many existing citizens would not meet the administrative requirements imposed on migrants to gain legal residence and nationality. Furthermore, the experience of non-nationals living in Europe suggests that integration challenges remain, well after naturalisation is achieved, as new citizens face ongoing discriminatory burdens at various levels, including the labour market and politics. Part of an ongoing study on the civic condition of migrants, the article argues that a liberal approach to immigrant integration should not cease with the granting of citizenship. It should address the urgent task of protecting new citizens from discrimination that impairs their rights in practice.

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Portrait of the Artist as Colonised Subject

Fanon, Rancière and the Struggle Toward Decolonisation on the Aesthetic Front

Matthias Pauwels

This article engages with Frantz Fanon’s writings on different responses by artists among colonised peoples to the fact of their colonisation. Fanon develops a dialectical account in which an initial stage of assimilation of Western techniques and paradigms is followed by a phase of immersion in African artistic traditions. These two phases then function as prelude to a third, combative stage which is presented as the most efficacious and authentic way for artists to play their part in decolonisation. The article problematises the temporal logic and implicit hierarchies of Fanon’s account. It does so by using Jacques Rancière’s redemptive reading of early working class mobilisations in 1830s and 1840s France, prior to the advent of Marxian proletarian politics, as a counterpoint. The article here finds a different, more affirmative, nondialectical and non-historicist way of evaluating the liberatory potential of artistic practices by the colonised prior to combative decolonisation.

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What’s a Political Theorist to Do?

Rawls, the Fair Value of the Basic Political Liberties, and the Collapse of the Distinction Between ‘Ideal’ and ‘Nonideal’ Theory

Susan Orr and James Johnson

The primary task of political theory on one common view is to first articulate ideals or principles and only then consider how the practices and institutions that constitute the political world as we know it might be brought into line with the

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Christopher J. Allsobrook

In two recent books – Freedom Is Power: Liberty through Political Representation ( FIP ) and Are South Africans Free? – Lawrence Hamilton has developed and elaborated what he calls a ‘radically new’ conception of freedom. He argues that

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Political Theory and Political Science

Can This Marriage Be Saved?

Terence Ball

The too-often unhappy 'marriage' of political theory and political science has long been a source of anguish for both partners. Should this troubled partnership be dissolved? Or might this marriage yet be saved? Ball answers the former question negatively and the latter affirmatively. Playing the part of therapist instead of theorist, he selectively recounts a number of episodes which estranged the partners and strained the marriage. And yet, he concludes that the conflicts were in hindsight more constructive than destructive, benefiting both partners in heretofore unexpected ways and perhaps paving a path toward reconciliation and rapprochement.