Older people’s interest organisations and collective action in Ireland
Author: 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.

Author: Meir Hatina

Arab liberal thought in the modern age provides in-depth analysis of Arab liberalism, which, although lacking public appeal and a compelling political underpinning, sustained viability over time and remains a constant part of the Arab landscape. The study focuses on the second half of the twentieth century and the early twenty-first century, a period that witnessed continuity as well as change in liberal thinking. Post-1967 liberals, like their predecessors, confronted old dilemmas, socioeconomic upheavals, political instability, and cultural disorientation, but also demonstrated ideological rejuvenation and provided liberal thought with new emphases and visions. Arab liberals contributed to public debate on cultural, social, and political issues, and triggered debates against their adversaries. Displaying such attributes as skepticism, ecumenism, and confidence in Arab advancement, they burst onto the public scene in questioning the Arab status quo and advocating alternative visions for their countries. Their struggle for freedom of religion, secularism, individualism, democracy, and human rights meant more than a rethinking of Islamic tradition and Arab political culture. It aimed rather at formulating a full-fledged liberal project to seek an Arab Enlightenment. This book fills a major gap in the research literature, which has tended to overlook Middle Eastern liberalism in favor of more powerful and assertive forces embodied by authoritarian regimes and Islamic movements. The book is essential reading for scholars and students in the fields of Islamic and Middle Eastern studies, intellectual history, political ideologies, comparative religion, and cultural studies.

This book provocatively argues that much of what English writers of the seventeenth, eighteenth, and nineteenth centuries remembered about medieval English geography, history, religion, and literature, they remembered by means of medieval and modern Scandinavia. These memories, in turn, figure in something even broader. Protestant and fundamentally monarchical, the Nordic countries constituted a politically kindred spirit in contrast with France, Italy, and Spain. Along with the so-called Celtic fringe and overseas colonies, Scandinavia became one of the external reference points for the forging of the United Kingdom. Subject to the continual refashioning of memory, the region became at once an image of Britain’s noble past and an affirmation of its current global status, rendering trips there rides on a time machine. The book’s approach to the Anglo-Scandinavian past addresses the specific impact of Nordic materials in framing conceptions of the English Middle Ages and positions the literature of medievalism less as the cause of modern Anglo-Nordic interests than as the recurrence of the same cultural concerns that animated early modern politics, science, and natural history. Emphasising multilingual non-literary traditions (such as travel writing and ethnography) and following four topics – natural history, ethnography, moral character, and literature – the focus of Northern Memories is on how texts, with or without any direct connections to one another, reproduced shared tropes and outlooks and on how this reproduction cumulatively furthered large cultural ideas.

First published in Spanish in 2001, this book is a study of the development of Spanish national identity (‘the idea of Spain’) from the end of the eighteenth to the twentieth centuries. It breaks away from an academic obsession with the sub-nationalism of Catalonia and the Basque Country to examine the predominant form of national consciousness, against which they reacted. The book traces the emergence and evolution of an initial collective identity within the Iberian Peninsula from the Middle Ages to the end of the ancien regime based on the Catholic religion, loyalty to the Crown and Empire. The adaptation of this identity to the modern era, beginning with the Napoleonic Wars and the liberal revolutions, forms the crux of this study. None the less, the book also embraces the highly contested evolution of the national identity in the twentieth century, including both the Civil War and the Franco Dictatorship. It ranges widely over diverse subjects such as representations of the past in Spain, the role of the arts and sciences in creating national consciousness, the impact of religion and Catholic ideas, the use of cultural symbolism, and the significance of contemporary events and political movements.

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The changing place of minorities in British and American society

Drawing on collaborative research from a team at Harvard and Manchester universities, this book asks how two very different societies are responding to the tide of diversity that is being felt around the rich world. Injustice, it turns out, still blights the lives of many UK and US minorities – particularly African Americans – and there are signs that the new diversity strains community life. Yet in both countries, public opinion is running irreversibly in favour of tolerance. That augurs well for the future – and suggests that a British Obama cannot be ruled out.

Conservative cultures and the challenge of mass politics in early twentieth-century England
Author: David Thackeray

This book offers a new interpretation of the Conservative party’s revival and adaptation to democratic politics in the early twentieth century, a period in which the British electorate more than tripled in size.

We cannot appreciate the Conservatives’ unique success in British politics without exploring the dramatic cultural transformation which occurred within the party during the early decades of the century. This was a seminal period in which key features of the modern Conservative party emerged: a mass women’s organisation, a focus on addressing the voter as a consumer, targeted electioneering strategies, and the use of modern media to speak to a mass audience. New insights are provided into how the Conservatives met the challenges provided by class, gender and regional identities and the means by which the party adapted to innovations made by their opponents. Rather than offering a conventional party political history, this book provides the first substantial attempt to assess the Conservatives’ adaptation to democracy across the early twentieth century from a cultural perspective.

This book will appeal to academics and students with an interest in the history of political communication, gender and class in modern Britain.

Principles and practice
Author: Jenny Benham

Few historical problems have received so much attention among those studying the modern period and so little attention among medieval scholars as that of peacemaking. In the medieval period, peace was intrinsically linked to Christianity. As peace was seen as the perfect realisation of the laws of God, peace in the medieval period also became a standard justification for war. This book develops Professor Christopher Holdsworth's ideas and to put these, and other, common themes into a wider context by examining two case studies: peacemaking involving the kings of England and their neighbours in Britain and on the continent; and that involving the kings of Denmark and their neighbours. For England, the investigation looks at the reigns of Henry II and his sons, Richard I and John, encompassing the period between 1154 and 1216. For Denmark, the focus is on the reigns of Valdemar I and his sons, Cnut VI and Valdemar II, thereby covering most of the period between 1157 and 1241. In 1177, the treaty of Winchester satisfied what both kings wanted to achieve at that particular time. At the heart of the medieval peacemaking process stood the face-to-face meeting.

Nest of Deheubarth
Author: Susan M. Johns

The book is an account of noblewomen in Wales in the high middle ages, focusing on one particular case-study, Nest of Deheubarth. Object of one of the most notorious and portentous abductions of the middle ages, this ‘Helen of Wales’ was both mistress of Henry I and ancestress of a dynasty which dominated the Anglo-Norman conquests of Ireland. The book fills a significant gap in the historiography - while women’s power has been one of the most vibrant areas of historical scholarship for thirty years, Welsh medieval studies has not yet responded. It develops understandings of the interactions of gender with conquest, imperialism, and with the social and cultural transformations of the middle ages, from a new perspective. Many studies have recently appeared reconsidering these relationships, but few if any have women and gender as a core theme. Gender, Nation and Conquest will therefore be of interest to all researching, teaching and studying the high middle ages in Britain and Ireland, and to a wider audience for which medieval women’s history women is a growing fascination. Hitherto Nest has been seen as the pawn of powerful men. A more general discussion of ideals concerning beauty, love, sex and marriage and an analysis of the interconnecting identities of Nest throws light on her role as wife/concubine/mistress. A unique feature of the book is its examination of the story of Nest in its many forms over succeeding centuries, during which it has formed part of significant narratives of gender and nation.

Steven N. Zwicker

On behalf of the Age of Andrew Marvell? Steven N. Zwicker The Age of Shakespeare, of course; the Age of Milton, no doubt; the Age of Dryden, yes, and he would have been pleased by the notion that those contentious years from the Restoration of Charles II to the end of the century belonged to him – he had, variously, said as much. But the Age of Andrew Marvell? What would the elusive poet, that shadowy and eccentric figure, have made of such an idea? He tried hard to disappear from his own time: he wrote extraordinary lyric poetry only to secrete the verse not

in Texts and readers in the Age of Marvell
Peace, progress and prestige
Author: Daniel Laqua

This study investigates internationalism through the prism of a small European country. It explores an age in which many groups and communities – from socialists to scientists – organised themselves across national borders. Belgium was a major hub for transnational movements. By taking this small and yet significant European country as a focal point, the book critically examines major historical issues, including nationalism, colonial expansion, political activism and international relations. A main aim is to reveal the multifarious and sometimes contradictory nature of internationalism. The Belgian case shows how within one particular country, different forms of internationalism sometimes clashed and sometimes converged.

The book is organised around political movements and intellectual currents that had a strong presence in Belgium. Each of the main chapters is dedicated to a key theme in European history: nationhood, empire, the relationship between church and state, political and social equality, peace, and universalism. The timeframe ranges from the fin de siècle to the interwar years. It thus covers the rise of international associations before the First World War, the impact of the conflagration of 1914, and the emergence of new actors such as the League of Nations.

With its discussion of campaigns and activities that ranged beyond the nation-state, this study is instructive for anyone interested in transnational approaches to history.