This chapter analyses the progress towards modernisation made under John
Smith’s leadership, principally through an examination of his relationship
with the trade unions and One Member One Vote. Although Smith’s reforms had
a positive impact on the image of the party, they made only small
differences to the internal balance between Labour and the unions. These
reforms were more symbolic than revolutionary. The trade unions traded a
small share of their conference block vote (from 90 to 70 per cent) and a
small decrease in their vote within the electoral college (from 40 to 33 per
cent), for arguably an increased role as individual trade unionists, if not
as a collective movement, in candidate selection. Yet the OMOV decision
paved the way for further internal reform; however, such reform was by no
means inevitable under Smith and occurred under a different leader – Tony
This chapter examines the major changes made under Labour’s Policy Review of
1987–92. This Review fundamentally reversed the party’s positions on nuclear
disarmament, public ownership and the repeal of Conservative trade union
laws. The extent to which the Policy Review distanced Labour’s policies away
from the party’s socialist roots, or narrowed the ideological gap between
the Conservative Party and Labour, remains an area of significant
historiographical debate. This chapter firmly argues that, rather than
playing ‘catch-up’ with the successes of the Conservatives’ 1979, 1983 and
1987 election victories, the Policy Review updated Labour’s policy positions
for the late twentieth-century within the parameters of the party’s history.
Whilst the Review did not succeed in its ultimate objective of preparing the
party for victory at the next election (ultimately held in 1992), the
consultation, engagement and publicity surrounding the Review
re-established, reinvigorated and redefined the Labour Party for the 1990s.
In essence, the Review provided the foundations from which New Labour could
The facts that the UN and other similar inter-governmental organisations (IGOs) are operational and that their decisions affect the lives of millions, have led to greater demands for accountability of IGOs and access to justice for victims when they have caused. This chapter looks at how the primary and secondary rules of international law are upheld in different forms and mechanisms of accountability, including courts. The inadequacies of the International Court of Justice as a constitutional court have led to victims seeking justice before regional and national courts. The chapter explores the practicalities of accountability both at an institutional level and at a more local level. It concludes with an examination as to how far the UN has evolved in terms of accountability for wrongs committed by those working for it by considering sexual abuse committed by peacekeepers in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
The first tentative indications that times were changing came in the 1960s and, more particularly, the 1970s. The sustained civil rights protests of these years contributed to growing interest by scholars in examining the strategies of protest and accommodation adopted by African Americans in earlier periods. The daily lives of black slaves in the antebellum South became an especial focus for academic study. Historian Daniel Leab's line of enquiry typified what by the 1980s had become a dominant trend in studies by cultural historians, namely to explore the origins, character and significance of stereotyped depictions of African Americans in US popular culture. The 1990s saw both rapid and unprecedented developments in the academic study of popular culture. In part this interest can be seen as reflecting the cult of celebrity that enveloped the leading stars of sport, music, film and television entertainment at the close of the century.
Israel has been made an alibi for a new climate of antisemitism on the left. Much of the animus directed at Israel is of a plainly antisemitic character. It relies on anti-Jewish stereotypes. This can be shown with near mathematical precision; in this article, Geras endeavours to show it by discussing four forms of the Israel alibi phenomenon. The first form is the impulse to treat such of the antisemitism as there is acknowledged to be as a pure epiphenomenon of the Israel-Palestine conflict. The second form is the plea that antisemitism should not be ascribed to anyone without evidence of active hatred of Jews on their part; without some clear sign of antisemitic intent. Gunter Grass's poem may serve to introduce a third form of alibi antisemitism that is rhetorical status of Israel. The fourth and final alibi phenomenon relates to the climate of complicity in Israel.
In his chapter from Josh McPhee’s important exhibition and book Paper Politics (2009) about socially and politically engaged printmaking in the US, artist and activist Eric Triantafillou takes his cue from street art in San Francisco’s Mission District and raises pertinent questions about the role of such art in a society that ‘only claims to be democratic’ (288). He asks what a truly political art might mean today, especially when such art is frequently appropriated by the system that it itself criticises. It then becomes a mere ‘aesthetic commodity’ (289).
After discussing America's historical and relationship with the screen, this chapter considers the broad political role played by fictional shows as the US transitioned into a new television age at the start of the twenty-first century. The examples drawn upon to begin to unpick the interweaving of America's politics and television are Friends and House of Cards. Through the twentieth century, America's political narratives were (re-)told and contested on the screen. The chapter reflects on the happenstance of Hollywood. Hollywood, changing audiences, and the invention of VHS helped to kill off the theatrical model. Television production shifted from New York to Hollywood, as studios realised they could join rather than beat the new medium. In its second golden age, fictional television helps to shape values, identities, and worldviews.
The shape and viability of the policies of American presidents have hinged upon victory and defeat in the discursive battlefield of world politics, of which popular culture generally and fictional television specifically are a vital part. To establish a framework in which to explore the relationship between the world politics of the US and fictional television, this chapter first outlines a conceptualisation of the relationship between world politics and fictional television. It then suggests how and why world politics should be thought of as a discursive battleground, and where television fits into this imagining. The chapter also highlights how well placed television is to fight and to win within this discursive war. It outlines a methodology for the study of fictional television, which guides the subsequent analysis in this chapter of some of America's most important television shows.
The notion of a ‘printmare’ – in analogy to a nightmare – is the pretext and theme for the artist and tutor at London’s Royal College of Art, Nicky Coutts. In a poetically conceived and intricately argued reflection, she considers the multiple nature and mutual enfolding of prints and humans, humans and animals, reality and imagination, past and future print and other technologies.
The group of historians now known as the Annales 'school' has produced some of the most exciting innovations in twentieth-century history writing. This chapter discusses the development, changes, and specific criticisms of the works of Annales historians. The study of mentalités has been viewed as the Annales' means of addressing the objectivity-subjectivity dilemma that historians continually confront. The Annales historians' search for underlying structures, their attempt at total history and their use of the methods and subjects of the social sciences has led to a great expansion of the subjects of history. With their examination of mentalité, they have furnished the historical profession with a new mode of reconstructing the past. Their work encouraged the 'turns' to social history and from social history to cultural history, to micro-history, world history, and environmental history, as well as to the history of emotions.