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The Place of Politics

The Notion of Consciousness in Rabbi Yitzchak Ginsburgh's Political Thought

Assaf Tamari

The notion of consciousness change as a political concept has re-emerged as a central issue in recent Israeli political discourse in diverse and seemingly remote groups. The following is a study of some of the contexts and implications of according primacy to consciousness change in political thought, through the tensions between the highly individualistic character of this discourse and its collective language and aims. I focus on one study case, Rabbi Yitzchak Ginsburgh, a key figure in both extreme settler groups and current New Age Hasidic revival. Analyzing his political writings, I explore his notion of consciousness as the true place of politics. Finally, I return to the question of the context in which Rabbi Ginsburgh's binding of the political to consciousness should be read, and propose liberal individualism, and the direct line it draws between the individual's consciousness and that of the state, as an alternative hermeneutical perspective.

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Alberto Melloni

What impact did the so-called Vatileaks scandal have on Italian politics? And how deep were the connections between the Vatican and the Italian transition of political assets in 2012? This in-depth analysis shows that the problems of the Church in relation to the state came much before the 2012 crisis, namely, during the time of the reluctant submission of Catholic hierarchies to Berlusconism.

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Daniela Piana

This chapter focuses on the relationships between politics, justice, and the media. Italian politics has had an unusual interaction with the justice system, channeled and amplified by the media over the last 20 years or so. In particular, this chapter analyzes the Supreme Court of Cassation's ruling that convicted Silvio Berlusconi for tax fraud. The interpretation of this event is framed in a broader context, namely, the system of inter-institutional accountability of the Italian political system as it has been transformed during the last two decades. Particular attention is devoted to the weaknesses within this system that seem to allow room to maneuver for those institutions charged with oversight, among which courts are of the utmost importance.

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Aimé Césaire et la politique

Sept leçons de leadership

Fred Constant

The Caribbean has yielded many leaders with statesmanship abilities that are on par with the very best in the world; it is to one of these that the present essay is devoted. Specifically, it attempts to understand the nature of the political leadership that Aimé Césaire has epitomized for more than fifty years in his native Martinique and abroad. In doing so, it examines what accounts for his political appeal and his capacity to pursue his political vision. The essay also suggests some insights that the rest of the world could draw from Césaire's experience.

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Jean-Paul Willaime

Strongly marked by the weight of the past, the French approach to State-Religion-Society relations has distinct qualities, and especially a strong confrontational and emotional dimension. This essay address the evolution of these relations and their tensions by focusing on three subjects that make manifest the relationship between politics and religion in important ways, namely, schools, sects, and Islam. The arena of the school is especially significant in three respects: the link between public and private schools; the question of what should be taught about religion, and the display of religious expression by students. The essay considers these matters within the context of wider transformations in religion (secularization) and politics (disenchantment and changes in the state's role in society). It concludes by situating recent developments in the context of globalization and especially Europeanization.

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Devin Zane Shaw

In this essay, I propose a mutually constructive reading of the work of Jacques Rancière and Jean-Paul Sartre. On the one hand, I argue that Rancière's egalitarian political thought owes several important conceptual debts to Sartre's Being and Nothingness, especially in his use of the concepts of freedom, contingency and facticity. These concepts play a dual role in Rancière's thought. First, he appropriates them to show how the formation of subjectivity through freedom is a dynamic that introduces new ways of speaking, being and doing, instead of being a mode of assuming an established identity. Second, Rancière uses these concepts to demonstrate the contingency of any situation or social order, a contingency that is the possibility of egalitarian praxis. On the other hand, I also argue that reading Sartre with Rancière makes possible the reconstruction of Sartre's project within the horizon of freedom and equality rather than that of authenticity.

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Scientists in Time of War

World War II, the Cold War, and Science in the United States and France

Dominique Pestre

Before addressing its central concern—the convergence of science, war, institutions, and politics in the postwar period in France and the United States—, this essay evokes how scientific knowledge had been of importance to warfare and economic elites in the preceding centuries. In the 1940s and 1950s, scientific activities were profoundly redefined. A culture of laboratory solutions, of calculus, and management won the day. For the scientists, that meant versatility and a willingness to work between disciplines and métiers and to confront the nation's main concerns. It also led to increasingly technocratic versions of politics. Due to science, the state became a managerial apparatus, a "modernizer" arbitrating among different scenarios. Contrary to what happened in the United States, science was not center stage in France in the 1940s and early 1950s. The habitus of scientists was that of the prewar period, and they were still not technique-oriented. They had a more cultural definition of their trade and were not opportunists whose aim was to become pragmatically efficient in the world of business and military action. From the mid-1950s, things started to evolve due to a strong economic recovery and because French scientists had now caught up with the latest developments. The final break, however, occurred in France only when de Gaulle abandoned the Algerian war and elected for an autonomous nuclear deterrence system. By putting la stratégie de l'arsenal at the core of national development, de Gaulle significantly transformed French science, society, industry, and the military.

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Political Labels and Post-Politics

A Comparative Analysis of the Party Spectrum in Israel, Hungary, and Poland

Artur Skorek

In the last three decades, the major axis of political polarization in the Western world has undergone reorientation. Traditional left- and right-wing parties were faced with the need to redefine themselves ( Fukuyama 2020: 11–12 ). It is

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Political Regeneration

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

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Dismissive Diaries, Desiccated Journeys, and Reductive Fictions

Sri Lanka in the Writings of Donald Friend, Shiva Naipaul, and Julian West

S. Walter Perera

Sri Lanka remains a popular site for international travelers despite its recent political instability. In examining texts based on sojourns spent in Sri Lanka by Donald Friend, Shiva Naipaul, and Julian West, this article argues that, though supposedly more informed about the island than their predecessors, these visitors from the latter half of the twentieth century eschew enlightened approaches in their writing for those that continue to exoticize, demonize, or stereotype the island's people, culture, environment, and politics. That their backgrounds and countries of origin are dissimilar makes little difference in their attitudes. The narrative strategies that they employ, which are often calculated to attract a certain kind of Western reader, irretrievably enervate their works and render futile the hopes expressed by recent postcolonial critics: that contemporary writing based on travel could lead to greater intercultural understanding between travelers and the local inhabitants that they encounter on their journeys.