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Issues concerning women The environment 120 9 ➤ The background and origins of the environment as a political issue ➤ A review of the ways in which the environment became a more prominent issue ➤ Description and assessment of New Labour environmental policies after 1997 DEFINING THE TERM ‘ENVIRONMENT’ The term ‘environment’ is a broad one and we need first to establish which aspects are covered here. For the purposes of this chapter, we will recognise the following meanings. ● Matters concerning the physical environment, including air and water quality

in Understanding British and European political issues
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Ash dieback and plant biosecurity in Britain

11 Monstrous materialities: ash dieback and plant biosecurity in Britain Judith Tsouvalis The aim of the edited volume Science and the politics of openness is to raise awareness of the double-sided controversial nature of initiatives aimed at improving relations between science, policymaking, politics and publics. Efforts have been made to strengthen public trust in expert knowledge. These include dialogues organised between scientists and concerned publics on contentious, ethically complex issues, inviting specific publics to help decide the trajectories of

in Science and the politics of openness

.indd 73 22/02/2019 08:34 74 change and the politics of certainty form ‘state humanitarianism’. What has been lost, he claims, is what humanitarianism can contribute that nothing else can: a concern for human dignity and direct acts of solidarity and sympathy with those suffering oppression. An increase in talk of humanitarian norms has been accompanied by a sell-out of independent humanitarianism. Rieff argues for an acceptance of the limits to effective action and a recognition that it is the tragedy of the human condition that there is always more that could be

in Change and the politics of certainty
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events of September 11 could take place. He pointed out that ‘the social world … is not something that we observe, it is something we inhabit, and we can never stand in relationship to it as neutral observer’.3 Of course, as mentioned in the previous chapter and discussed more fully in the next, neither is the ‘natural’ world. The two cannot be distinguished in any case. Smith called on us not to evade our inevitable ethical responsibility but to speak truth to power, whilst at the same time quoting Max Weber on the dangers of political intervention: ‘whoever wants to

in Change and the politics of certainty
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Northern Issues concerning Ireland women Northern Ireland 129 10 ➤ The background to the Northern Ireland problem ➤ The build up to and the importance of the Good Friday Agreement ➤ The effect of the devolution process on Northern Ireland ➤ The workings of the Northern Ireland Assembly ➤ The effects of decommissioning of arms and demilitarisation ➤ The future of Northern Ireland BACKGROUND TO THE PROBLEM How Northern Ireland came about Until 1921 Ireland was a single political entity under British rule. It elected MPs to parliament in London, but was

in Understanding British and European political issues

FOR STUDY One of the errors which is often made in studying the institutions of the European Union is to attempt a comparison with national political systems. This carries a number of difficulties. The EU is not like a national state (though it may be ever closer to becoming one). There are crucial distinctions which must be borne in mind. These include the following. The EU remains an organisation of nations rather than a full-scale supranational body. The members are not yet prepared to abandon national interests completely. Instead, they have shown a willingness

in Understanding British and European political issues

was signed in 1957 with just six members. EFTA The European Free Trade Association (EFTA) contained seven members: Britain, Portugal, Sweden, Denmark, Norway, Austria and Switzerland. It had no political organisation and was therefore no more than a group of countries which agreed to reduce tariffs between them and so increase trade. Britain’s agreements with the Commonwealth countries were preserved. 250 Understanding British and European political issues EFTA reflected the large amount of trade which was carried out among the seven members, but it was never

in Understanding British and European political issues
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9781526119032 PRINT.indd 1 22/02/2019 08:34 2 change and the politics of certainty abstractions of geometry – useful as they are – into the approximations that produce a workable edifice. And yet such abstractions form ‘the categories and assumptions’ that constrain ‘attempts to think otherwise about political possibilities’.3 Importantly, we are not encouraged to examine them, but to take them for granted. Rather than seeing our assumptions as ‘historically specific understandings of space and time’, we treat them as common sense.4 The ‘we’ here stands outside history

in Change and the politics of certainty
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were allowed to vote in 1918 and 21-year olds (the age of male suffrage) followed in 1928. But women’s suffrage was not the breakthrough which it might at first appear. It had been hoped, and even assumed, that once women were given a political voice many other benefits would automatically follow. With politicians now accountable to women and seeking their votes, surely they would begin to listen to demands for further concessions. Furthermore, the movement had been almost exclusively middle class in character. There was little interest in the plight of women in

in Understanding British and European political issues

194 change and the politics of certainty 10 From one world to another Changing class is like emigrating from one side of the world to the other, where you have to rescind your passport, learn a new language and make gargantuan efforts if you are not to lose touch completely with the people and habits of your old life. – Lynsey Hanley1 It is time to write again about my own experience. The book began with an essay written in response to a request from Naeem Inayatullah at a dinner after his talk in Aberystwyth in March 2007, and it was first published in 2011

in Change and the politics of certainty