constitution went to
Philadelphia in the summer of 1787 driven by the fear that the future of
republican government in North America was bleak. They believed that
the thirteen state governments established on republican principles in
1776, after the colonies had declared their independence from the
British crown, had let loose democratic passions that were inimical to
order and the rights of property. The future, Madison and his colleagues
feared, was first anarchy and then tyranny.
To save republican government, the founders of the United States
rejected the whole tradition
, how the local milieu impacted upon the character
of the conflict and why left-wing volunteers – including dozens of Albanian
and Kosovars – as well as others from all over the world, travelled to fight,
and establish support networks for the ‘international brigades’? If war does
evoke passions for groups and establishes connectedness between peoples,
how can these features be incorporated into the study of global politics? And
how has the history of the Spanish Civil War been infused with representations of violence, from the torments of Picasso’s Guernica, which
revolutionary left and right.
Where the military’s support for democracy was at best tepid, this was
undeniably difficult. But in practice many elected politicians were
unwilling to face what the situation required, mistakenly presuming
that democracy could be maintained without a successful claim to a
monopoly of legitimate violence.
M1218 - THOMPSON TXT.qxp:GRAHAM Q7.3
Might, right, prosperity and consent
Beyond direct coercion, European governments had to find a means
to contain the tumultuous passions generated by the war. These passions
changed during the course of the 1980s and the 1990s so the passions
generated by economic questions appear to have dimmed, to use Carl
Schmitt’s language,3 breeding rather fewer friend–enemy distinctions
than they did in the 1970s when the post-1945 expectations of what a
modern democratic nation-state could deliver began to collide with economic realities. Of course, on occasion, as in France in 1995 and in the
Northern League’s response to Italy’s bid to qualify for monetary union,
such passions did still flare. But they did not anywhere induce an enduring
to recognise the loss and waste that came out of conflict and the passion
to heal and to reconcile.
Northern Ireland played Ireland’s starring role in the first industrial
revolution. It has a strong entrepreneurial tradition, a rich multifaceted
culture drawing on the deep wells of Irish, British and Scottish tradition.
But just at the point where its most educated generation ever appeared,
it slid into the Troubles and so has never until now had the chance to
reveal its fullest potential, harnessing all its talent, in a unified civic
society, working together
bequeathed sites of rule and structures of administration, these were in various conditions of disrepair. The indigenous political classes had to agree constitutions, reconfigure institutions and
secure a monopoly of legitimate violence for the army and police whilst
ensuring their own political control of that coercive power. Having
reinvented political authority, they had to use it to advance an idea of
nationhood that could encourage obedience from its subjects whilst
dampening the rebellious passions generated during the struggle for
independence. In trying to do so
transported beyond oneself by a passion, but also to be beside oneself with rage
or grief. I think that if I can still address a “we”, or include myself within its terms, I
am speaking to those of us who are living in certain ways beside ourselves, whether in
sexual passion, emotional grief, or political rage.’ See Precarious Life: The Powers of
Mourning and Violence (London: Verso, 2004), p. 24.
Ibid., p. 72.
Ibid., p. 68.
Ibid., p. 74.
Alphonso Lingis, ‘Introduction’ in Emmanuel Levinas, Otherwise Than Being, p. xxix.
Michael J. Shapiro, ‘The Ethics of Encounter
demonstrate how individuals and networks, and the
links that bind them, form groups. This helps the analyst to explore the complex relationships which shape groups, and locate them locally, regionally
and sometimes, internationally. In essence then, some elements of SNA provide a recognition of, but also a failure to address the passions which drive
actions – passions that may well be reflected in myth, legend and ritual. It
is this element – the more localised ‘lifeworlds’ – the sense of belonging,
emotional attachment, or connectivities which other writers in
the Democratic Unionist Party and Sinn Fein in 2007 –
hence there is much that is tentative and even a little plaintive in some of
the comments. But all of them carry a sense of commitment and passion.
To deal with the local first: it is important to note the different stages
in the life cycle of a conflict. One of the gurus on the literature of peace
studies, Johan Galtung, describes these as diagnosis, prognosis and
therapy. It was primarily the SDLP, under the leadership of John Hume,
‘developed industrial democracies have their own mythologies,
constellations of compelling ideas and emotions that organize collective
passions’’ (Tismaneanu 1998 , 26). As was shown in chapter
4 , each myth functions as a symbol for a wider system of ideas, or
ideology. Nationbuilding efforts in the Berlin republic seek to emphasise a
return to German unity following Cold War division. The ideological void
created by the