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.
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
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.
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.
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.
Critical Theory of the Police in a Neoliberal Age
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.
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.
In Cosmopolitan Justice1 Moellendorf carries on the work begun by theorists such as Charles Beitz and Thomas Pogge,2 further developing a cosmopolitan model of justice. Like Beitz and Pogge, he too modifies the Rawlsian approach to support a model of global justice that is more focused on individuals rather than states and proposes much bolder principles that are to define just interaction at the international level. Moellendorf also goes further than either of these theorists has hitherto gone in showing how a cosmopolitan model of justice could actually be applied to a range of pressing problems of global justice (including immigration, protectionism, justified intervention, debt cancellation, and dealing with the costs of global warming) and this is one of the key strengths of the book. With the exception of justified intervention, I will not discuss these applications here, though Moellendorf’s treatments of all these issues contain insights worthy of more attention. Rather, my focus in this paper will be on some central theoretical aspects of what cosmopolitan justice demands of us.
The consent theory of power, whereby ruling elites depend ultimately on the submission, cooperation and obedience of the governed as their source of power, is often linked to debates about the effectiveness of non-violent political action. According to this theory, ruling elites depend ultimately on the submission, cooperation and obedience of the governed as their source of power. If this cooperation is with-drawn, then this power is undermined. Iain Atack outlines this theory and examines its strengths and weaknesses. Atack argues that incorporating the insights of other theories of power, such as Gramsci's theory of hegemony and Foucault's views on 'micro-power', can provide us with a more sophisticated understanding of both the effectiveness and the limits of nonviolent political action than the consent theory of power. Gramsci's contribution deepens the analysis in terms of our understanding of the origins of individual consent in the context of larger economic and political structures, while Foucault adds a different dimension, in that his micro-approach emphasizes the ubiquity and plurality of power, rather than its embodiment or reification in large-scale structures.
action appeared rooted in the shift from ‘serial’ to ‘group’ praxis, in which the ‘relation to the other is a source of strength rather than of weakness’. More often than not, this transformation in consciousness was provoked by ‘a situation which