How do contemporary political parties envision intergroup relations in South Africa? The visions of political parties are important for peace as these can either mirror or shape people’s views and behavior. The transition from apartheid to democracy was eased by the idea of the Rainbow Nation, which encapsulates a recognition of diversity and a sense of colorblindness whereby South Africa belongs to “all who live in it,” as the preamble to the constitution states. Using the relational peace framework, this chapter contributes to the literature on nation-building by investigating how contemporary political parties (the African National Congress, Democratic Alliance, Economic Freedom Fighters, and Freedom Front Plus) discuss intergroup relations of peace and violent conflict and how they describe a vision of future intergroup relations. Parties based on civic nationalism champion a common identity and aim for a society where ethnicity and race are politically irrelevant. By contrast, both multiculturalism and ethno-nationalism recognize ethnicity as important for intergroup relations. The relational peace framework helps identify which dyads are seen as important in the political party manifestos – who is seen as a legitimate counterpart and who is excluded from discussions related to nation-building and intergroup peace. The assessment of the manifestos using the framework’s elements proves fruitful in capturing the type of nation-building. The analysis of 2019 election manifestos shows a variety of competing visions. These disagreements on who belongs to the South African nation pose a challenge to the legitimacy of the state and peace.
Rebuilding relationships between different actors in societies broken by prolonged social conflict is an important part of peacebuilding. This process is particularly challenging where levels of violence are still high and state security actors continue to occupy a powerful position even after a peace accord is signed. In this difficult transition period between war and peace, military and civilian actors, in the government as well as in civil society and the communities, often struggle with the task of redefining their relationships to each other. Applying the relational peace framework, this chapter looks particularly at how representatives of the military and of different civilian state and non-state actors in post-accord Colombia perceive their relationships to each other today, how they view the military's role in post-accord peacebuilding, and what they identify as challenges to relational peace. The findings, based on field interviews conducted in 2017 and 2018, show significant differences in how the actors assess their interactions, think of each other, and evaluate their current and future relationship. Identified as a peace between agonists characterized by a lack of mutual respect, trust, and cooperation, the interaction between the actors in the dyad shows important obstacles to achieving a higher level of relational peace in the future. In the end, however, friendship might be neither attainable nor desirable as the ultimate form of relational peace for civil–military relations.
The COVID-19 pandemic exposed significant inequities around the world; from disparities of access to healthcare and vaccines, to border policies and other domestic regulations. It also exposed just how much the modern world is enmeshed in and entrapped by the digital world – not only in Russia. The COVID-19 pandemic demonstrated that Russians share pandemic-related concerns with people around the world: they too seek to cope by buying their go-to “panic” foods, they too have their COVID memes and even surprisingly similar conspiracy theories. Everyday foreign policy during these times of the pandemic reflects similar tendencies around the world and shows how even minute consumption decisions shape who we are in times of crisis. The chapter also reflects on the history of healthcare in the Soviet Union and its continuing influence on health-related decisions in post-Soviet Russia.
Fancy a Putin-themed T-shirt or pair of knickers? This chapter is devoted to the phenomenon of Putin branding that has emerged both off- and online. President Putin’s likeness has become a veritable brand that serves to project alignment with the Kremlin’s foreign policy. The domestic market has embraced this campaign: stores featuring “patriotic collections” selling T-shirts with Putin became ubiquitous. The visage of President Putin has become a symbol of the rebirth of the great power identity. Virility, hyper-masculinity, and emasculation of others are among several aspects consistent with a patriarchal and sexualized perspective on international politics. Putin branding has, however, dangerous consequences given that disagreement with state policy is interpreted as a sign of disloyalty to the man who came to embody the nation.
This chapter moves from the general attempts to fill the missing middle in English politics to the particular historical antecedents to city-region devolution in Greater Manchester and the Liverpool City Region. Through the concept of path dependency, the chapter explores the historical roots of devolution through City Deals, the devolution deals and the first 2017 metro-mayoral elections to illustrate how the office of metro-mayor became defined.
Greater Manchester and the Liverpool City Region were among the first to develop the practice of English urban devolution. They were in the forefront of attempts to ‘level up’ the northern region and to address the problem of regional inequalities. The analysis studies how the metro-mayors evolved the office by examining the policy fields of economic development, transport, skills, health, housing and spatial reform and the environment. In the case of Greater Manchester, it also explores health and the reform of public services. The study then examines the crucial issues of power, resources, partnerships, central–local relations and local democracy, concluding with an assessment of the future prospects for a deeper and more fundamental change in the character of the English state.
Both metro-mayors declared an aim of ‘doing politics differently’ in sharp contrast to the Westminster politics they were disillusioned with. This chapter explores their attempts to do politics differently by looking at different dimensions of democracy. This includes looking at the opportunities and constraints the metro-mayors faced in providing accountability, representing the diversity of their populations and their attempts at doing policy with people rather than doing policy to their citizens. The chapter concludes by examining four case studies of participation beyond representation.
After demonstrating that economic development was the central purpose behind the establishment of Mayoral Combined Authorities the chapter examines the development of polices to promote economic growth at the sub-regional levels of Greater Manchester and the Liverpool City Region. As national and local government leaders concurred that the resolution of the problem of regional economic imbalances was necessary, at the level of the metro-mayors there is a serious concern to rectify the absence of inclusivity in leaving the issue to the free market.
The environment has grown in salience during the first terms of both metro-mayors. This is in response to external pressures including the 2021 COP26 conference. Environmental policy is one where, buttressed by strong advocacy coalitions and enthusiastic citizens, the inputs explained by the issue-attention cycle are often countered by countervailing resistance. This comes from motorists, potential charge-payers for the creation of clean air zones, companies such as Peel Holdings or housing developers seeking profits and even individual councils seeking to pursue their own development plans. The metro-mayors have reiterated their commitment to green polices and have symbolically brought forward the target dates of the national government to produce net-zero city regions.