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Political change and its limits

Democratisation with Chinese characteristics

Neil Collins and Andrew Cottey

3835 Understanding Chinese:Layout 1 12/7/12 11:05 Page 101 4 Political change and its limits: democratisation with Chinese characteristics Many countries claim to be democracies and the criteria for inclusion in the democratic category are necessarily very broad. They must accommodate a plethora of institutional and cultural circumstances. Variations include political systems centred on parliaments, presidencies and popular initiatives. The reason that democracy is invoked so often as an ideal is that it confers legitimacy on the exercise of power which, in

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(Re)making political institutions

A regional political class for itself

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Klaus Stolz

4 (Re)making political institutions: a regional political class for itself As we have seen in the last chapter, political institutions established in Catalonia and Scotland have allowed for a professionalisation of Catalan and Scottish politicians and are shaping the patterns of their careers. Thus, regionalisation has not only brought about a territorial differentiation of politics but has also come with a new functional division of labour. Regional self-government is more or less delegated to political professionals trusted with this task. These professional

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Geoffrey K. Roberts

4 The public and electoral politics Public participation – and non-participation – in electoral politics Electoral politics involves the public in many ways. Outcomes of elections, especially in relation to the composition of coalition governments and the policies which such governments then feel free to pursue, clearly impact upon the public. In addition, there are two obvious ways in which members of the public can directly participate in elections. They may participate as candidates, activist supporters of a party or candidate, financial contributors to a

Open Access (free)

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Geoffrey K. Roberts and Patricia Hogwood

A perfect companion to European politics today, written by the same authors, this book presents past events, prominent personalities, important dates, organisations and electoral information in an accessible, easy-to-read format. The book is split into five sections for ease of use: a dictionary of significant political events, a chronology of major events in Europe since 1945, a biographical dictionary, a dictionary of political organisations and electoral data. In addition to being a comprehensive reference tool, this book is intended to provide a sound historical background to the development of Western European politics.

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How to save politics in a post-truth era

Thinking through difficult times

Ilan Zvi Baron

In 1989, in the American journal The National Interest, Francis Fukuyama's conclusion was about the triumph of Western democratic liberal capitalism over communism. The forces of liberal capitalism that he saw as representing the end of history have unleashed a powerful wave of anger directed at the winning elites. This book is written with two purposes in mind. The first is to try to make some sense of what appears to be a world that is falling apart around us. The second is to try to advance an argument about where we go from here. One of the arguments of the book is that the Brexit and Trump results are a consequence of a series of failures. The book explores debates about methodology and political theory, and about the importance of context and thus of narratives. It discusses points from this debate between the behaviouralists and those in political theory. The book discusses the electoral results of Trump and of Brexit, offering an interpretation of what these results mean in the context of a post-fact world of identity politics. It argues for the importance of political responsibility and of how by recasting and re-emphasising the politics of responsibility becomes possible to address the current failures of our political leaders and political systems. The book suggests three elements to politics: the relationship between knowledge and power, with a particular emphasis on the role of interpretation; political responsibility or the politics of responsibility; and the significance of narratives or meaning (hermeneutics).

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Towards a regional political class?

Professional politicians and regional institutions in Catalonia and Scotland

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Klaus Stolz

Focusing on professional politicians, this book investigates the interrelationship between political career patterns and political institutions in two of the most widely discussed cases of regionalism: Catalonia and Scotland. It deals with two different yet closely related sets of questions. Firstly, how do professional politicians pursue their careers in the regional context? And secondly, how do they shape and reshape the political institutions in which they pursue these careers? The book is based on extensive empirical research including a comprehensive data set on the careers of Catalan and Scottish parliamentarians, systematic surveys of regional representatives as well as in-depth interviews with a wide range of politicians and experts in both regions. Exploring the effects of political professionalisation on regional democracy, it goes beyond traditional studies of regionalism and decentralization, while its focus on the regional career arena introduces a territorial dimension to the study of political careers.

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The politics of old age

Older people’s interest organisations and collective action in Ireland

Martha Doyle

The politics of old age in the twenty-first century is contentious, encompassing ideological debates about how old age is conceptualised and the rights and welfare entitlements of individuals in later life. Synthesising key theoretical writings in political science, social/critical gerontology and cultural sociology, the book provides an insight into the complexity of older people’s identity politics, its relationship with age-based social policy and how the power of older people’s interest organisations, their legitimacy and existence remain highly contingent on government policy design, political opportunity structures and the prevailing cultural and socio-economic milieu. The book situates the discussion in the international context and outlines findings of an Irish case study which explores the evolution of older people’s interest organisation in Ireland from their inception in the mid-1990s to the end of the first decade of the twenty-first century. The book is essential reading for policymakers and organisations interested in ageing, policy and the political process and for students of ageing, social policy and political sociology.

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Geoffrey K. Roberts

1 Elections, parties and the political system There are many ways of analysing German politics. Recent studies have, for example, focused on policymaking, on institutions (Helms 2000), and on the interface between German politics and the politics of the European Union (Bulmer, Jeffery and Paterson 2000; Sturm and Pehle 2001). All these approaches are valid, but none captures all the intricate interconnections and multiple dimensions of the political process in Germany. The once-popular focus on electoral politics has been neglected of late, yet it can be

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Political expression

People, parties and pressure groups

Janet Clark

3 Political expression: people, parties and pressure groups The people who gave their backing to the formation of the National Council for Civil Liberties came together in a shared distaste for government policies and police actions that whipped up public opinion to fear hunger marchers as the perpetrators of loot and pillage. While public concern over police powers had, as noted, been around since the early nineteenth century, this marked the beginning of an organised civil rights movement. Yet the organisation, the conditions that inspired it and the personal

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Matt Qvortrup

M801 QVORTRUP TEXT MAKE-UP.qxd 5/4/07 1:42 PM Page 43 Gary Gary's G4:Users:Gary:Public:Gary 3 An empirical approach to citizen politics Citizen politics Once upon a time British democracy was a beacon to the rest of the world, a shining example to be emulated. Gabriel Almond and Sydney Verba wrote of the British political scene in the 1960s: The participant role is highly developed. Exposure to politics, interest, involvement and a sense of competence are relatively high. There are norms supporting political activity, as well as emotional involvement in