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2 Politics Introduction The problem in America is that we don’t apologise, and we don’t learn. The protests against the Iraq War worldwide were enormous. I don’t think Americans got a sense of the protest or the damage in Iraq at all. The protests were not that big a story in the USA. The American press report on every story from an American viewpoint. It is what comes naturally to them. It’s not done out of malice; they don’t know any better.1 In his introduction to an episode of the PBS programme Open Mind, recorded in January 1992, host Richard Heffner

in The cinema of Oliver Stone

This text aims to fill a gap in the field of Middle Eastern political studies by combining international relations theory with concrete case studies. It begins with an overview of the rules and features of the Middle East regional system—the arena in which the local states, including Egypt, Turkey, Iran, Israel and the Arab states of Syria, Jordan and Iraq, operate. The book goes on to analyse foreign-policy-making in key states, illustrating how systemic determinants constrain this policy-making, and how these constraints are dealt with in distinctive ways depending on the particular domestic features of the individual states. Finally, it goes on to look at the outcomes of state policies by examining several major conflicts including the Arab-Israeli conflict and the Gulf War, and the system of regional alignment. The study assesses the impact of international penetration in the region, including the historic reasons behind the formation of the regional state system. It also analyses the continued role of external great powers, such as the United States and the former Soviet Union, and explains the process by which the region has become incorporated into the global capitalist market.

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All political argument employs political concepts. They provide the building blocks needed to construct a case for or against a given political position. Is development aid too low, income tax too high, pornography violence against women, or mass bombing unjust? Any response to topical questions such as these involves developing a view of what individuals are entitled to, what they owe to others, the role of

in Political concepts
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Introduction Like all concepts in political theory, gender has a history. Unlike most of these concepts, though, the history of gender is comparatively short. The term itself originated in the nineteenth century, arising in the context of descriptive and diagnostic social sciences of human behaviour. It was only adopted into political theory, as a result of a political process of struggle, about 100

in Political concepts

Introduction Political theory has recently responded to the central questions about redistributive welfare systems – their justification, and the institutional means for implementing them – raised by the political economy of the past twenty-five years. In the post-war period, the consensus around sustaining minimum standards of income, health, education and housing assumed an entitlement to such

in Political concepts
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Introduction 1 Multiculturalism can be acknowledged, championed, challenged or rejected, but it cannot be ignored because it describes a central feature of the world in which we live. Oddly, however, for many years it was ignored, despite decades of struggle by black Americans for full political inclusion, the confederalism adopted by several European states to accommodate linguistic and religious

in Political concepts
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Introduction Many political theorists view the rule of law with suspicion. On the one hand, it can appear mere political rhetoric. For example, politicians habitually invoke the doctrine to suggest that any failure to comply with decisions made within the current political system leads to anarchy and the end of law. Opponents must play by the rules of the game and, when they lose, obey the winners. So

in Political concepts
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private indicate that it is helpful to retain and rework the concepts, but that they are better understood as different modes of interaction rather than as separate spheres. 1 Differing definitions of public and private There is no single public–private distinction. Political theorists tend to acknowledge two broad traditions for distinguishing between the public and the private – the classical and the

in Political concepts

nationalist thought. However, perhaps they are swimming against currents that are just too strong. 1 On solidarity Some contemporary political theorists regard nationalism as an anachronistic vestige of less enlightened times, or as a distraction from the real issues of politics. For example, when asked the question ‘what reasons do we have to identify with the state to which we belong?’ they may answer that we

in Political concepts
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Their basis and limits

Introduction Rights appear in every plausible theory of justice and dominate contemporary political rhetoric. Critics, as a matter of course, raise two objections to this proliferation of rights talk. First, they argue that no clear justification exists for rights. As a result, every political issue can be turned into a demand for rights. This inflation of rights claims has devalued the currency of

in Political concepts