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Understanding Chinese politics

An introduction to government in the People’s Republic of China

Neil Collins and Andrew Cottey

The Chinese political system is the subject of much media and popular comment in part because China supports an economy with an apparently inexorable dynamic and impressive record of achievement. This book provides a comprehensive introduction to China's political system, outlining the major features of the Chinese model and highlighting its claims and challenges. It explores the central role of the Communist Party in the country's politics and the way in which the Party controls most elements of the political system. The collapse of the imperial system in 1911, the subsequent decades of turmoil and war and the coming to power of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) in 1949 constitutes a truly revolutionary period in Chinese political history. The People's Republic of China (PRC) represents an unanticipated challenge to the logic of history. The key organising principle of the political system of the PRC is the leadership of the CCP. China remains a Leninist party-state. The book also examines the role of the National People's Representatives Congress (NPC) and then the State Council and the associated structures of central government departments. Greater democracy is facilitated, as are other reforms, by the recasting of China's foreign policy to encourage a calmer international environment. China's re-emergence as a major power is the single most important geo-political trend of the early twenty-first century.

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The politics of participation

From Athens to e-democracy

Matt Qvortrup

We live in an age of democracy. Very few people challenge the virtues of ‘government by the people’, yet, politicians and commentators are fond of decrying the ‘crisis of democracy’. How do these views square up? This book provides the answer by surveying the philosophical history of democracy and its critics and by analysing empirical data about citizen participation in Britain and other developed democracies. In addition to analysis of major political thinkers such as Plato, Machiavelli and J.S. Mill, it analyses how modern technology has influenced democracy. Among the issues discussed in the book are why people vote and what determines their decisions. When do citizens get involved in riots and demonstrations? Are spin doctors and designer politics a threat to democracy? Do the mass-media influence our political behaviour?

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James L. Newell

This book provides an accessible account of current thinking about political corruption, recognising that the phenomenon is a serious problem: since it infringes rules defining legitimate and illegitimate means of the acquisition of wealth and the exercise of power, corruption damages the interests of the advantaged and disadvantaged alike. The advantaged find that wealth cannot be pursued and maintained safely, the disadvantaged that development is thwarted and resources redistributed from the poor to the rich. Against this background, the book takes the reader on a journey – a journey that begins with what corruption is, why its study might be important and how it can be measured. From there it moves on to explore corruption’s causes, its consequences and how it can be tackled – before finally discovering how these things are playing out in the established liberal democracies, in the former communist regimes and in what used to be commonly referred to as ‘the third world’. On the way it takes a couple of detours – first, to ascertain how the minimum of trust necessary for the corrupt transaction to take place at all is established and underwritten, and second to survey the phenomenon of scandal – to which corruption may give rise. The book is therefore offered as an informative ‘travel guide’ of potential interest to journalists and policy makers as well as to students and academics researching matters on which political corruption has a bearing.

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Top–down politics

e-democracy, citizens’ juries and designer politics

Matt Qvortrup

M801 QVORTRUP TEXT MAKE-UP.qxd 5/4/07 1:42 PM Page 67 Gary Gary's G4:Users:Gary:Public:Gary 5 Top–down politics: e-democracy, citizens’ juries and designer politics What can governments do if the citizens are unwilling to get engaged in politics through the usual channels? In recent years the answer has been provided by two mechanisms: citizen juries and e-democracy. In addition to those mechanisms, governments, in pursuit of votes, arguably, rather than the voters’ opinions, have developed methods and techniques for polling and measuring voter preferences

Open Access (free)

Edited by: Brigitte Nerlich, Sarah Hartley, Sujatha Raman and Alexander Smith

This book contributes to the study of science and politics by shedding light on sometimes dark, hidden or ignored aspects of openness as a core policy agenda. While opening up of science to public scrutiny and public deliberation is good in principle, various dilemmas and problems are entailed by this move, which also should be made public and be discussed more openly. Developed as a solution to perceived crises in science/society relations, openness and transparency initiatives might hide ‘monsters’ that need to be made visible and need to be examined. Chapters in this book deal with four themes: transparency in the context of science in the public sphere; responsibility in the context of in contemporary research practice and governance, both globally and locally; experts in the context of policy-making, risk assessment and the regulation of science; and faith in the context of tensions and misunderstandings between science and religion. Each section of the book contains an opening essay by experts on a particular theme (Mark Brown, Benjamin Worthy, Barbara Prainsack/Sabina Leonelli, Chris Toumey). The book closes with an epilogue by Stephen Turner and an essay by John Holmwood. At present, openness in science is more important than ever. This book should be of interest to academics and members of the public who want to know more about the challenges and opportunities of 'making science public' - the theme of a Leverhulme Trust funded research programme on which this book is based.

Open Access (free)

Recognition and Global Politics

Critical encounters between state and world

Edited by: Patrick Hayden and Kate Schick

Recognition and Global Politics examines the potential and limitations of the discourse of recognition as a strategy for reframing justice and injustice within contemporary world affairs. Drawing on resources from social and political theory and international relations theory, as well as feminist theory, postcolonial studies and social psychology, this ambitious collection explores a range of political struggles, social movements and sites of opposition that have shaped certain practices and informed contentious debates in the language of recognition.

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The politics of writing

Julia Kavanagh, 1824–77

Eileen Fauset

Julia Kavanagh was a popular and internationally published writer of the mid-nineteenth century whose collective body of work included fiction, biography, critical studies of French and English women writers, and travel writing. This critically engaged study presents her as a significant but neglected writer and returns her to her proper place in the history of women's writing. Through an examination of Kavanagh's work, letters and official documents, it paints a portrait of a woman who achieved not simply a necessary economic independence, but a means through which she could voice the convictions of her sexual politics in her work. The study addresses the current enthusiasm for the reclamation of neglected women writers, and also brings to light material that might otherwise have remained unknown to the specialist.

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The politics of identity

Making and disrupting identity

Christine Agius and Dean Keep

1 The politics of identity: making and disrupting identity Christine Agius and Dean Keep The power of identity to manifest as a unifying and divisive force pervades social, cultural, economic and political relations. Economic crises, war and conflict, struggles over resources and equality, and questions of exclusion and belonging are premised both overtly and subtly in claims about identity. This finds expression at and between the individual and collective level. In the wake of the January 2015 terrorist attacks at the Charlie Hebdo office in Paris, people

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Understanding citizen politics

A methodological overview

Matt Qvortrup

M801 QVORTRUP TEXT MAKE-UP.qxd 5/4/07 1:42 PM Page 7 Gary Gary's G4:Users:Gary:Public:Gary' 1 Understanding citizen politics: a methodological overview Before beginning this analysis of the problems of political participation, it is necessary to briefly consider how we might study a phenomenon as complex and multifaceted as politics. There is no simple answer to that question. David Hume, the eighteenth-century Scottish philosopher, inspired by Isaac Newton, suggested that ‘[p]olitics may be reduced to a science’ (Hume 1985), yet he failed to spell out what

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Arthur Aughey

This book provides a digest of the debates about England and Englishness, as well as a unique perspective on those debates. Not only does it provide readers with ready access to and interpretation of the significant literature on ‘The English Question’, but it also enables them to make sense of the political, historical and cultural factors which constitute that question, addressing the condition of England in three interrelated parts. The first part looks at traditional narratives of the English polity and reads them as legends of political Englishness, of England as the exemplary exception, exceptional in its constitutional tradition and exemplary in its political stability. The second part considers how the decay of that legend has encouraged anxieties about English political identity, of how English identity can be recognised within the new complexity of British governance. The third part revisits these legends and anxieties, examining them in terms of the actual and metaphorical ‘locations’ of Englishness: regionalism, Europeanism and Britishness.