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Centralized or Decentralized

Which Governance Systems are Having a “Good” Pandemic?

Jennifer Gaskell and Gerry Stoker

democracies ( Wigura and Kuisz 2020 ), which suggest that it might be timely to evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of different governance arrangements leveraged to tackle the crisis. In this article we examine what we can learn about the operational

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The Rise and Decline of the State, by Martin van Creveld. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1999. Reviewed by Roger Deacon

Sustaining Affirmation: the Strengths of Weak Ontology in Political Theory, by Stephen K. White. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2000, 160 p. Reviewed by Jocelyn Maclure

Perception, Knowledge and Belief: Selected Essays, by Fred Dretske. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2000. ISBN 0 521 77742 9. Reviewed by Deane Baker

Body Talk: Philosophical Reflections on Sex and Gender, by Jacquelyn N. Zita. New York: Columbia University Press, 1998. Reviewed by Michael Lambert

The Study of History: A Bibliographical Guide, compiled by R.C. Richardson. 2nd edition. Manchester & New York: Manchester University Press, 2000. Reviewed by Roger Deacon

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Michael Banton

If social units are to be classified it must be by reference to some distinctive characteristic or characteristics that they share. Administrative classifications are usually based on the characteristics identified in the everyday language that reflects practical knowledge. Classifications that will assist the growth of social scientific knowledge have to be based on the identification of theoretically relevant characteristics. Classification precedes the naming of categories. Experimental research into the relative strength of civic and ethnic preferences could uncover the variables that underlie popular notions of nation, race and ethnic group.

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Ian Roxborough

What will be the future of war? No-one can tell for sure, and so there is much speculation and many contending views. In this article I discuss one of those views, the notion that war of the future will primarily be a protracted form of terrorism, insurgency, and low-intensity conflict within 'failed' states and civilizations, which will sometimes lapse into ethnic cleansing and genocide. It will be 'dirty war'. The antagonists will be rage-filled 'warriors'. War will be fought in the wastelands of the Third World. Wars will occur because of state failure, rather than because of state strength and expansion. They will feature 'irregular' forces rather than the disciplined hierarchical armies that have been the defining characteristic of recent Western military history. Frequently, the military forces of developed societies will be drawn into these conflicts. This is a plausible view of the future, one that is influential in Washington, and a number of serious academics2 subscribe to it.

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Oscar A. Gómez

Recognizing the influence crises have in shaping global governance nowadays, the present work explores the possible contribution of human development thinking countering the perverse effects of shock-driven responses to major emergencies. This is done by focusing on contributions by Sen, Dreze, Haq and Stewart related to famines, violent conflict and the idea of human security, analyzed using a selection of four criteria, namely, describing the position of crisis inside human development thinking, issues of modeling and measurement, the stance toward agency, and the actors gathered around the discourse. After strengths and weaknesses are considered, the article suggests a tangential involvement through other human concepts, so human development ideas do not get muddled by the logic of shocks and fulfill the great responsibility of helping us avoid the many shortfalls of a security-obsessed view of humanity.

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Zhuoyao Li

Recent discussions by Martha Nussbaum and Steven Wall shed new light on the concept of reasonableness in political liberalism and whether the inclusion of epistemic elements in the concept necessarily makes political liberalism lose its antiperfectionist appeal. This article argues that Nussbaum’s radical solution to eliminate the epistemic component of reasonableness is neither helpful nor necessary. Instead, adopting a revised understanding of epistemic reasonableness in terms of a weak view of rationality that is procedural, external and second-order rather than a strong view that is substantial, internal and first-order can help political liberalism maintain an epistemic dimension in the idea of reasonableness without becoming perfectionist. In addition, political liberalism can defend a stronger account of respect for persons against liberal perfectionism on the basis of the revised understanding of epistemic reasonableness. Both arguments serve to demonstrate the strength of the political liberal project.

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Christine Hobden

Citizens increasingly engage with political issues in new ways by addressing politicians via social media, campaigning at international forums, or boycotting corporate entities. These forms of engagement move beyond more regulated electoral politics and are rightly celebrated for the ways they increase representation and provide new channels of accountability. Yet, despite these virtues, political engagement beyond voting inevitably tends to entrench and amplify inequality in citizen influence on political decision-making. The tendency toward inequality undermines relational equality between citizens and muddies the channels of political accountability and responsibility. This article unpacks the ostensible tension and argues that it reveals to us another strength in views which hold the state to be citizens’ collective project and provides argumentative resources to motivate democracies to give due attention to ensuring that democratic participatory channels remain fit for purpose in an ever-changing society.

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Foucault

Critical Theory of the Police in a Neoliberal Age

Andrew Johnson

In Discipline and Punish the police is a state institution isomorphic with the prison. In his Collège de France lectures, Foucault unearths a 'secret history of the police' where greater attention is paid to public health, social welfare and regulating the marketplace than investigating and arresting criminals. This broad overview of Foucault's writings on the police exhibits a 'splintering-effect' in his modalities of power. To resolve this apparent contradiction, a nominalist reading that conflates Foucault's divergent paradigms of power results in a more multifaceted history and a ubiquitous mode of power with diverse and precise techniques. There are strengths and weaknesses in Foucault's theory when applied to modern neoliberal police. Foucault should not be employed for one-dimensional criticisms of modern police or as an analytical cure-all.

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The Individual and the Social

A Comparative Study of Quality of Life, Social Quality and Human Development Approaches

David Phillips

The overall aim of this paper is to compare the human development (HD) and social quality (SQ) approaches in the context of quality of life in general and in relation to development in particular. It commences with a broad overview of several perspectives including: prudential values; Sen's capability approach; Berger-Schmitt and Noll's overarching quality of life construct; Phillips' quality of life construct; and Doyal and Gough's theory of Human Needs. en HD and SQ are introduced. HD emphasises well-being, enlarging people's choices, living a long and healthy life, being educated and enjoying a decent standard of living. All this is predicated on the UNDP's insistence that it is people who comprise the real wealth of nations: HD emphasises the well-being of individuals. Two sets of tensions are then discussed: first between the ability to exercise individual freedom and the constraints upon freedom imposed by the provision of compulsory education of children which facilitates that freedom (an institutional threshold to 'the social'); and secondly, the relationship between personhood, social relationships and collective capabilities (an interactive threshold to the social). This is followed by an exploration of whether HD's individualistic orientation is a weakness or whether its explicit incompleteness is a strength. The paper concludes with a discussion of possible ways forward in developing the HD construct, either by incorporating the notion of 'the social' within its framework or else via strategies of using it in partnership with the social quality theory that can both extend it and provide it with a richer theoretical justification.

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What Determines the Boundary of Civil Society?

Hume, Smith and the Justification of European Exploitation of Non-Europeans

Elias L. Khalil

Civil society consists of members obligated to respect each other's rights and, hence, trade with each other as equals. What determines the boundary, rather than the nature, of civil society? For Adam Smith, the boundary consists of humanity itself because it is determined by identification: humans identify with other humans because of common humanness. While Smith's theory can explain the emotions associated with justice (jubilance) and injustice (resentment), it provides a mushy ground for the boundary question: Why not extend the common identity to nonhuman animals? Or why not restrict the boundary to one's own dialect, ethnicity or race? For David Hume, the boundary need not consist of humanity itself because it is determined by self-interest: a European need not respect the property of outsiders such as Native Americans, if the European benefits more by exploiting them than including them in the European society. While Hume's theory can provide a solid ground for the boundary question, it cannot explain the emotions associated with justice. This paper suggests a framework that combines the strengths, and avoids the shortcomings, of Smith's and Hume's theories.