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Open Access (free)
David Owen

This chapter begins by considering a recent minimalist view of democracy and explores two important contemporary models of democracy: the interest-aggregating model and the deliberative model. It also considers a supplement to each of these models in the form of 'contestatory' democratic mechanisms. This supplement to both the major models is not least important because it contributes in maintaining an effective sense of political belonging among minority groups. Consequently, under non-ideal conditions, a concern with promoting democratic stability in the sense of a strong identification of citizens with their democratic institutions entails that we have good reasons to adopt a contestatory supplement to our basic democratic fora. The chapter concludes by indicating at what is arguably the main contemporary challenge to democratic theory and practice in the era of globalisation.

in Political concepts
Open Access (free)
Kevin Harrison and Tony Boyd

This chapter focuses on 'liberal democracy', and examines the idea of democracy as 'the sovereign people' governed by consent. It explores arguments for and against democracy, and some reflections on the future of democracy in the twenty-first century. The chapter identifies a number of features of democracy. These features include democracy as a system of government, democracy and legitimising government, majority rule and democracy, equality of citizenship rights, public opinion in democracies, and the rule of law and democracy. There are two forms in democracy, including 'defensive democracy' and 'citizen democracy'/'republican democracy'. Defensive democracy sees a tension between citizens and the state, and a distinction between public and private spheres of life. Citizen democracy assumes greater involvement than merely voting with citizens taking an active part in the political system.

in Understanding political ideas and movements
Henrik Larsen

Social constructivist discourse analysis has, since the early 1990s, become increasingly popular across the social sciences, including international relations. This chapter outlines the possibilities for the use of discourse analysis in the study of European foreign policy. It introduces the main features and assumptions of discourse analysis within the general field of social constructivism, and presents the main implications of discourse analysis for concrete empirical research. The chapter describes the main dimensions of discourse analysis using the categories of Milliken: representation, policy practice and play of practice. It highlights the use, and potential use, of discourse analysis in relation to four different aspects of European Union (EU) foreign policy. They are: is the EU constructed as an actor; as what kind of actor; what kind of values does it draw on; and how are EU foreign policy decision-making procedures constructed? .

in Rethinking European Union Foreign Policy
Mads Qvortrup

This chapter outlines the major philosophical problem for Rousseau: the burden of modernity. It gives an account of Rousseau's place in the emerging world of modernity, and his opposition to secularism and scientism. It shows how his general philosophical—and theological—opposition to modernity underpinned his moral philosophy. Unlike liberal or utilitarian thinkers, Rousseau sought to base his moral judgements on emotions and sensibility, not on rational calculations. It is shown how this made him overcome the poverty of ethical theory that has characterised modernity—and how Rousseau invented post-modernism (with a pre-modern face). The chapter also contains a section on Rousseau's economic philosophy, in which it is shown that he—like Adam Smith—succeeded in transcending the economic theories of mercantilists and physiocrats. An analysis of the relationship between Rousseau and Burke is also presented. Often seen as adversaries, the chapter shows that Rousseau and Burke, in fact, were in agreement on the majority of issues, including opposition to revolutionary change, reverence for religion, and a preference for gradual reform.

in The political philosophy of Jean-Jacques Rousseau
Jonathan Colman

In the months January-July 1966 there was particular strain in the relationship between Harold Wilson and Lyndon B. Johnson. The Labour government won the general election of 31 March with a comfortable majority of ninety-four, but this margin of victory gave rise to a vigorous 'New Left' within the Labour Party which would bedevil Wilson's commitment to Washington. Wilson's concerns in 1966 about the bombing of Hanoi and Haiphong had little impact on the thinking of the White House. Wilson repeated the statement of dissociation in the House of Commons. There had been forewarnings that British dissociation from US actions in Vietnam would strain the Anglo-American relationship. British problems led Washington to see Britain more and more, as Henry Brandon put it, 'with humiliating sadness - her prestige and her power position have not been so low for a long-long time'.

in A ‘special relationship’?
Brent E. Sasley

This chapter is a clarification of the difference between political liberalization and democratization. It formulates the theoretical arguments, namely that regimes and societies are two important referent objects of security which, though neglected by traditional security studies literature, are consequential; and that the two are inextricably linked. This is followed by the chapter's empirical case study, the Palestinians and the Palestinian Authority. The chapter offers some preliminary thoughts on the usefulness of this addition to security studies in the light of the Middle Eastern context. An examination of regime-society relations in the developing world in general and the Middle East in particular highlights the inadequacies of traditional formulations of security. Demands for social, economic and political rights across the Middle East have threatened the positions, indeed the very safety and perhaps even the survival, of regimes that have been in power for many years.

in Redefining security in the Middle East
Kerry Longhurst

This chapter studies the practice of conscription, which is a different aspect of security policy that is characterised by non-change. It demonstrates the power of strategic culture to prevent policy change and studies the continuation of compulsory military service in Germany. It also presents evidence on the obvious mis-match between the arguments that support conscription and the changed strategic environment in Germany. This chapter reveals that conscription is considered as an important factor in maintaining aspects of the previous security policy of the Federal Republic.

in Germany and the use of force
Kevin Harrison and Tony Boyd

Environmentalism and ecologism constitute one of the most recent ideological movements. This chapter examines the genesis of the movement in the explosion of concern at the apparent threat to the planet in the 1960s, and its subsequent evolution as an ideological force and political movement. It presents the various elements, spiritual and scientific, which have influenced the 'green' movement. The chapter also examines the critique of the ecologist position. It explores a number of themes that are fundamental to the ecological perspective: human nature and nature; green views on politics; and green economics. The green position is open to challenge in several key areas. These are: intellectual incoherence; scientific implausibility; and practical difficulties. Politically the greens have received little electoral support, especially in Britain, but green assumptions and values are increasingly becoming part of the wider political culture. Many European countries have green political parties.

in Understanding political ideas and movements
Open Access (free)
In the beginning was song
Mads Qvortrup

This chapter presents an account of Rousseau's philosophy of music. Music was Rousseau's main passion, and this passion spilled over into his political writings in more ways than one. The whole tenor of his prose had a musical aura about it. His works were composed rather than written—which, perhaps, explains his eloquence. Readers of Rousseau's work in the original French have been struck by the rhythmical patterns. This musical quality was not unintended. Through the melodious tone he wanted to prove a philosophical point. Musicheld the key to restoring our original emotions, that natural ‘goodness of man’, which manifested itself in the natural compassion with suffering, weak, and unfortunate individuals. It is, perhaps, indicative that Rousseau—the thinker of natural goodness of man and a composer—never tired of stressing that music and song was man's first impulse.

in The political philosophy of Jean-Jacques Rousseau
Open Access (free)
Kevin Harrison and Tony Boyd

This chapter explores the term 'equality', defined in two ways: first, that which concerns equality as a starting point to life; second, equality as an outcome. It considers equality before the law, equal political rights and equal social rights. The chapter examines individual and group equality, and equality in terms of the class structure and international relations. It discusses the position of 'equality': has its value decreased in general esteem because of the almost universal acceptance of liberal capitalism and its emphasis on 'freedom' as the prime political and social goal. The chapter presents some anti-egalitarian arguments against the idea of foundational equality and some of the relevant egalitarian retorts. The two major areas governed by distributional equality are equality of opportunity and equality of outcome. The chapter focuses on the concept of 'group rights' to tackle these forms of inequality in society: gender equality; racial equality; and class equality.

in Understanding political ideas and movements