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New polity dynamics
Dimitris N. Chryssochoou, Michael J. Tsinisizelis, Stelios Stavridis, and Kostas Ifantis

This chapter provides a critical summary of the Amsterdam and Nice reforms, reflecting on the Union's post-Nice agenda and the current debate on the future of Europe. It notes that the intense debate that occurred during the period leading up to the Treaty of Amsterdam continued with a publication of the Commission under ‘Agenda 2000’. The chapter also provides the possible prospects for the Intergovernmental Conference (IGC) 2004, which are the allocation of competences, simplification of the treaties and the remodelling of the legislature.

in Theory and reform in the European Union
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
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
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
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)
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
A child of the Kosovo crisis?
Paul Latawski and Martin A. Smith

One of the most frequently cited ‘lessons’ of the Kosovo crisis has been the alleged extent to which it spurred West European leaders to address a perceived need for Europe to carry out more for its own military security. Member states of the European Union (EU) decided to establish a ‘European Security and Defence Policy’ (ESDP) in the months following Operation Allied Force. This chapter considers the long- and short-term origins of the ESDP and assesses the extent to which the Kosovo crisis was the key driver leading to the decisions by EU members formally to create it in 1999. The most basic of what may be called the ‘permissive facilitators’ for the development of the ESDP can be found in the nature of the EU itself. The idea encapsulated in the concept of ‘functional integration’ exercised significant influence on political leaders in continental EU countries. This chapter also focuses on the ESDP during and after the Cold War, the Western European Union, and the role of the UK and France in the adoption of the ESDP.

in The Kosovo crisis and the evolution of post-Cold War European security
Paul Latawski and Martin A. Smith

Transatlantic relations have been a core issue in security in Europe—especially West Europe—since the end of World War II. This chapter examines the nature of the transatlantic relationship and its Cold War evolution. It then considers its development during the years since 1989. It argues that the crises in Bosnia and Kosovo have played a key role in helping to refine and reshape the nature and basis of the relationship during the period since the Cold War ended. The ‘transatlantic relationship’ was essentially a product of World War II. Prior to American involvement in that conflict—informally from 1940 and officially from December 1941—the United States had, with one exception, chosen to remain aloof from European security affairs. The onset of the Cold War had the effect of both extending and institutionalising the military-ideological relationship that had developed between the United States and the UK since 1941. This chapter also looks at the ‘Atlantic Community’, the Atlantic civic community, South East Europe, the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation and challenges to the Atlantic Community.

in The Kosovo crisis and the evolution of post-Cold War European security
Open Access (free)
Kevin Harrison and Tony Boyd

Events have made 'fascism' a term of political abuse rather than one of serious ideological analysis. Moreover, self-proclaimed fascists have claimed that fascism is beyond intellectual analysis and have despised those who favour rational examination of their beliefs. Fascism is particularly resistant to rational enquiry, partly because fascists themselves scorn the intellect and partly because it has become a portmanteau term of political abuse. This chapter examines fascist values and the concrete actions of some of the regimes that have declared themselves fascist, notably Adolf Hitler's Germany and Benito Mussolini's Italy. It considers movements often described as fascist in modern Britain and elsewhere and consider whether facism is still a viable political creed. Fascist ideas can be grouped under the following: conflict, struggle and war; non-materialism; irrationalism and anti-intellectualism; nation and race; the leader and the elite; the state and government; and fascist economic and social theory.

in Understanding political ideas and movements