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Identity, Islamism and politics

The state as actor

Ali Riaz

4 Identity, Islamism and politics: the state as actor T he state plays a pivotal, perhaps the central role, in ethnic identity politics, and this is truer for welfare states like Britain. Whilst the members of the ethnic community, especially their leaders, define the parameters of the group identity, instrumentalize these features through various means and claim the representation, the state provides the legitimacy to these identities within the social and political realms. Werbner has aptly described the actions of community members and actions of the state

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Matt Qvortrup

M801 QVORTRUP TEXT MAKE-UP.qxd 5/4/07 1:42 PM Page 41 Gary Gary's G4:Users:Gary:Public:Gary Part II Empirical foundations of citizen politics Having outlined the theoretical aspects of studying politics and the history of the philosophical thinking on the subject I turn now to the empirical study of citizen politics. I do so by dividing citizen engagement into two distinct categories: • activities involving voting; and • other civic/political activities. In both cases what we seek to discern are the factors that determine political engagement and activity

Open Access (free)

David Rieff

established global order has been greatly exaggerated, then you will doubt that those changes are likely to pose any existential challenge to the humanitarian international, be it in terms of the efficacy of what relief groups do in the field or in terms of the political and moral legitimacy they can aspire to enjoy. But if, on the contrary, you believe that we are living in the last days of a doomed system – established in the aftermath of World War II and dominated by the US – then the humanitarian international is no more likely to survive (or to put

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Matt Qvortrup

M801 QVORTRUP TEXT MAKE-UP.qxd 5/4/07 1:42 PM Page 5 Gary Gary's G4:Users:Gary:Public:Gary' Part I Theoretical aspects of citizen politics Democracy is what social scientists call a social construct. It is not a phenomenon which can be studied experimentally or in the way that phenomena are studied by the natural sciences. What then is democracy? In chapter 1 I consider some of the problems involved in the study of so loosely defined a concept and phenomenon as ‘democracy’ in terms of the methods of political science. After a critical introduction to the

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James L. Newell

3 The causes and explanations of political corruption Introduction How can we explain or account for corruption? If scholars have attempted to overcome the difficulties of measuring corruption, the reason why they have done so is quite simply because of the desire to find out what causes corruption, and you cannot test hypotheses about what causes corruption unless you can measure it. In turn, the desire to find out what causes corruption stems from the fact that corruption is perceived as a problem, and you cannot begin to deal with a problem until you know

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Series:

Carl Lavery

Jean Genet has long been regarded as one of the most influential artists of the twentieth century. Since the publication of Jean-Paul Sartre's existential biography Saint Genet: Actor and Martyr in 1952, his writing has attracted the attention of leading French thinkers and philosophers. In the UK and US, his work has played a major role in the development of queer and feminist studies, where his representation of sexuality and gender continues to provoke controversy. This book aims to argue for Genet's influence once again, but it does so by focusing uniquely on the politics of his late theatre. The first part of the book explores the relationship between politics and aesthetics in Genet's theatre and political writing in the period 1955 to 1986. The second part focuses on the spatial politics of The Balcony, The Blacks and The Screens by historicising them within the processes of modernisation and decolonisation in France of the 1950s and 1960s. The third part of the book analyses how Genet's radical spatiality works in practice by interviewing key contemporary practitioners, Lluís Pasqual, JoAnne Akalaitis, and Ultz and Excalibah. The rationale behind these interviews is to find a way of merging past and present. The rationale so explores why Genet's late theatre, although firmly rooted within its own political and historical landscape, retains its relevance for practitioners working within different geographical and historical contexts today.

Open Access (free)

Rodney Barker

This book presents the rich fabric of language, clothing, food, and architecture which forms the diverse religious, political, cultural and ethnic identities of humanity. The colour of a scarf, the accent of a conversation, can unite people or divide them, and the smallest detail can play its part in signalling who are allies and who are enemies, as much for elites as for citizens in a democracy. Human identity is neither rigidly determined nor unpredictable and spontaneous, but between those two extremes is the forum on which the public life of humanity is generated. After a century in which an assumption was held across the ideological spectrum from left to right and from Marxists to economic individualists that the rational pursuit of material gain underlay social and political activity, the fundamental importance of the cultivation and preservation of identity is re-emerging across the whole spectrum of politics in which Britain is one example only. Yet while identity is the dimension in which public life is conducted, it is inherently paradoxical: on the one hand people cultivate their identity by association with a group, or religion, or nation, whilst on the other hand they distinguish themselves from their associates within those groups by presenting an intensified or purer form of the qualities which otherwise unite them. So identity simultaneously generates equality and inequality, between identification by association, and identity by exclusion and differentiation; it is both the engine of public life, and the cause of its confusion and conflict.

This Open Access edition was funded by London School of Economics and Political Science.

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Niilo Kauppi

2 A structural constructivist theory of politics and of European integration In this chapter, I explore in detail structural constructivism as a theory of European integration. By structural constructivism I refer to a mostly French research tradition that develops some of Pierre Bourdieu's theoretical tools (Bourdieu 1989, 14-25; Ansart 1990; Katshanov and Shmatko 1996, 90-104; Kauppi 1996, 53-68, 2000). Bourdieu's structural constructivist theory of politics offers powerful instruments for a critical analysis of political power. In European studies, the theory

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Class, performance and socialist politics

The political campaigns of early labour leader

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Marcus Morris

13 Class, performance and socialist politics: the political campaigns of early labour leaders Marcus Morris T he political world of late Victorian Britain was in many ways a dramatic show, with politicians’ campaign performances appealing to a disparate audience. Many politicians conceptualised themselves as performers, including labour and socialist politicians, who are the focus of this chapter. They deliberately sought character types and roles for themselves to play, often along class lines. The use of theatrical techniques, including the manipulation of

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Romantic narratives in international politics

Pirates, rebels and mercenaries

Alexander Spencer

This book is a story about the importance of stories in International Relations. It brings insights from Literary Studies and Narratology into IR and political science by developing a new discourse analytical method of narrative analysis. Focusing on the three narrative elements of setting, characterization and emplotment, the book argues that narratives are of fundamental importance for human cognition and identity construction. Narratives help us understand the social and political world in which we live. The book emphasizes the idea of intertextual narratability which holds that for narratives to become dominant they have to link themselves to previously existing stories. Empirically the book looks at narratives about pirates, rebels and private military and security companies (PMSCs). The book illustrates in the case of pirates and rebels that the romantic images embedded in cultural narratives influence our understanding of modern piracy in places like Somalia or rebels in Libya. Dominant romantic narratives marginalize other, less flattering, stories about these actors, in which they are constituted as terrorists and made responsible for human rights violations. In contrast, in the case of PMSCs in Iraq the absence of such romantic cultural narratives makes it difficult for such actors to successfully narrate themselves as romantic heroes to the public.