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Alessia Donà

Despite a situation of economic crisis and political uncertainty, the year 2013 will be remembered for the highest female parliamentary representation ever reached in Italy, for the adoption of new legislative measures to combat violence against women, and for increased female participation in the labor market. This chapter provides an overview of these three main events. First, by conducting a process-tracing analysis, the chapter reconstructs the steps taken toward new legislative measures against gender-based violence. Second, the chapter explores the Italian labor market, where the harsh crisis put women back into the workforce. Lastly, the possible policy implications of a renewed, younger, and more gender-balanced Parliament are discussed. The main argument is that the events of 2013 may represent a turning point for Italian women's rights, but only if traditional gender roles are challenged.

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Pivots and Levers

Political Rhetoric around Capitalism in Britain from the 1970s to the Present

Neil Foxlee

the bloody revolution of France,” the Epithet suggests one of the reasons for our being warned; and that, not less clearly, and more forcibly, than if the argument had been stated at length. —Richard Whately Using the example of political debate

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Othello in Oman

Aḥmad al-Izkī’s Fusion of Shakespeare and Classical Arab Epic

Katherine Hennessey

pointing out some unexpected thematic similarities. Rather, the juxtaposition performs a clever and well-placed intervention in ongoing socio-political debates on the Arabian Peninsula surrounding issues of identity, citizenship and political participation

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Uniting Europeans by Values

A Feasible Enterprise?

Jan Berting

The draft-Constitution of the European Union mentions several values on which the Union is based. The status of these values is rather ambiguous, as the Constitution speaks about 'values', about 'developing common values' and about values which are common to all nation-states. Strangely enough, in the political debates that followed the presentation of the draft-Constitution, the specific role of values in the making of the EU was not elucidated. These debates show us a rather muddled state of affairs. Six different themes can be distinguished that are interrelated in complex ways.

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Gianfranco Pasquino

In 2002, the president of the Italian Republic, Carlo Azeglio Ciampi,

was repeatedly drawn into political debates. This had rarely happened

in the past, so all comparison with his predecessors seems

somehow unfitting. Ciampi was forced to take a stand on a large

number of important political and institutional issues, including the

actions of the government and the opposition’s response to these

actions—which in the latter case took the form of forceful demands

for his intervention—as well as conflict within Parliament and among

institutions. Nevertheless, much to the disappointment of the centerleft

opposition, Ciampi tended to act with great tact and reserve,

making general appeals in an attempt to appease all concerned.

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Towards an Immortal Political Body

The State Machine in Eighteenth-Century English Political Discourse

Pasi Ihalainen

The importance of bodily and mechanical analogies in everyday political argumentation has been seldom discussed in the academic literature. This article is based on a contextual analysis of the uses of bodily and mechanical analogies in parliamentary and public debates in eighteenth-century England, as they can be retrieved from full-text databases of printed literature. The author demonstrates the continuous use of bodily analogies for much of the century particularly in defence of traditional conceptions of a unified political community. The article considers the expanding use of mechanical analogies as well, tracing their evolution in political debates and the effect of the American and French revolutions in their usage.

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Mathieu Flonneau

Adding to discussion started by Gijs Mom and Peter Merriman in Yearbook 6, this text is a plea for scholars to claim a role in the politicization of mobility. Globalization is profoundly upsetting previous mobility practices and raising important questions about democratic, equitable access to mobility. This essay argues that a historic understanding of mobility can shed light onto how representations of different users and modes of transportation affect current political debates. Historical readings remind citizens to be wary of seductive, novel, and high-tech mobility solutions—concepts that have persisted, in a variety of forms, for centuries. Today's “smart mobility” and sustainable development, for all their promise, must be compared to historic trends and weighed against today's low-tech modes of travel that persist in the face of modernity.

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Stefano Braghiroli and Luca Verzichelli

Looking through a chronology of 2010, it is objectively difficult to find

one event that brings the two center-left parties represented in Parliament

into the center of the Italian political debate as leading players.

In spite of the obvious and growing difficulties for the government

majority—with Silvio Berlusconi’s leadership looking seriously shaky,

possibly for the first time since 1994—the opposition parties have not

seemed able to develop sufficient synergies and strategies to convince

public opinion of the existence of a credible alternative government.

Only one and a half years after the elections that had given the newly

born Partito Democratico (PD, Democratic Party) and its then coalition

partner, Antonio Di Pietro’s Italia dei Valori (IdV, Italy of Values), the

responsibility of being a real alternative to the powerful Berlusconiled

center-right, the political picture looked radically changed, but the

path ahead of the two parties appeared to be even more hazardous.

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Suzanne Berger

The future of democracy under globalization is the most burning political debate in France today.1 It lies at the heart of the quarrels between souverainistes and federalists; it is the focus of the assault on neoliberalism and on the media led by Pierre Bourdieu and of the attack on globalization mounted in the pages of Le Monde diplomatique.2 In parallel with these intellectual battles of the past decade, there has been a rising tide of social mobilization and protest over globalization in France. The highwater marks start with the vast strike wave of December 1995, described by a Le Monde journalist as the first strikes in an advanced industrial nation against globalization.

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The Choice of Ignorance

The Debate on Ethnic and Racial Statistics in France

Patrick Simon

For more than a century, statistics describing immigration and assimilation in France have been based on citizenship and place of birth. The recent concern for racial discrimination has given rise to a heated controversy over whether to introduce so-called "ethnic categories" into official statistics. In this article, I make an assessment of the kind of statistics that are available today and the rationale behind their design. I then discuss the main arguments put forward in the controversy and argue that antidiscrimination policies have created a new need for statistics that outweigh the arguments against the use of "ethnic statistics." In fact, beyond the technical dimension of this controversy lies a more general political debate about the multicultural dimensions of French society.