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Abstract only
Lynn Dobson

5 Political agency Introduction As is clear from the last chapter, social and political institutions are inextricable elements in Gewirth’s moral philosophy. Gewirth provides the theoretical and conceptual resources for moral exploration both at the micro-level, in his simple models of interaction between two agents, and at the macro-level, in his depictions of what kind of overall political architecture a society adhering to the fundamental principles of the PGC ought to have. But these moral considerations bearing on agents on the one hand, and the basic

in Supranational Citizenship
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Neoliberal precarity, generational dispossession and call centre labour in Portugal

Call centres are a part of the daily lives of most people across the world, as they have become a privileged site of contact between firms and their clients. Drawing on the unusual advantage of long-term ethnographic fieldwork, this book describes the emergence of a regime of ‘disciplined agency’ within the Portuguese call centre sector. The notion of ‘disciplined agency’ is the guiding thread connecting the book’s account. Departing from a historical examination of the neoliberal economic restructuring of Portuguese capitalism shaping the emergence of the call centre sector, the analysis progresses through the ascendancy of call centres as icons of precarity in contemporary Portugal, and the specific features of the call centre labour process that configure a new means of commodifying the worker. This book engages in a discussion of the particular subjectivities and forms of personal dispossession attached to the value-extraction system of ‘disciplined agency’ deployed in call centre labour, and how it is facilitated by relationally and morally embedded structures of kin, generation and class.

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Persuasion and the value of a concept to mainstreaming co-operation
Philip Grant

3 Our agencies: persuasion and the value of a concept to mainstreaming co-operation Philip Grant What is to mainstream, if not to persuade? From the straitened circumstances of his fascist prison cell, Italian Marxist thinker Antonio Gramsci famously argued that contemporary intellectuals, ‘the organic intellectuals’ he saw as necessary to the success of a communist workers’ and peasants’ movement, ought not to be orators in the classical mould, but ‘permanent persuader[s]’.1 Today the principal agent of a transition to a better world cannot be ‘the Party

in Mainstreaming co-operation
Marcel H. Van Herpen

Populists want “to give the power back to the people.” They want to make the distance between the representatives and the represented as short as possible. They abhor not only “elitist parliaments” but equally “elitist governments.” However, even populists must admit that the citizen still has influence on these democratic institutions through his or her vote. Therefore, populists consider those bodies and agencies which are invested with real power, but are not elected, as far greater enemies. These agencies are, as a rule, staffed by experts and technocrats

in The end of populism
Marriage In fifteenth-century Valencia

This book examines labouring-status women in late medieval Valencia as they negotiated the fundamentally defining experience of their lives: marriage. Through the use of notarial records and civil court cases, it argues that the socio-economic and immigrant status of these women greatly enhanced their ability to exercise agency not only in choosing a spouse and gathering dotal assets, but also in controlling this property after they wed. Although the prevailing legal code in Valencia appeared to give wives little authority over these assets, court records demonstrate they were still able to negotiate a measure of control. In these actions, labouring-status wives exercised agency by protecting their marital goods from harm, using legal statutes to their own advantage.

The key factors in this argument are the immigrant and labouring-status background of these women. Many women immigrated to Valencia on their own from smaller towns and villages. In doing so, these women moved outside of their natal families’ sphere of influence, making them less embedded and subject to the authority of their kin relations. Labouring-status women worked themselves, most often as servants, to generate the necessary funds for their dowries. These factors gave wives of this status greater agency than elite women in contracting their marriages, providing dotal assets and challenging their husbands’ authority over this property in dowry restitution cases. Without the influence of their natal families in making marital decisions, these wives were able to act independently in controlling their marital property, negotiating the structures of patriarchy to their advantage.

Interpreting power relationships
Keith Dowding

2 Agency and structure: interpreting power relationships Agents or structures? There are many different accounts of the nature of social or political power in society.1 One of the deepest divides between those accounts is whether ‘power’ is predicated on agents or on structures. Within each segment of the divide reside other divisions, notably over what constitutes an agent and what is the nature of the structure of society. These divisions are deeply implicated within the broader divide I have identified. Some accounts of agents are themselves deeply structural

in Power, luck and freedom
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Allyn Fives

4 Children’s agency Up to this point, our discussion has centred on the concept of paternalism and also the methodological challenge of how to resolve moral conflicts. In regard to methodological issues, I argued that paternalism involves moral conflicts, while, as we have seen, moral conflicts may arise in relation to other issues as well, including non-paternalistic power relations. Concerning the concept of paternalism, I defended Gert and Culver’s pluralist definition, according to which paternalistic power involves moral conflict but also is exercised only

in Evaluating parental power
The politics of co-collecting
Sean Mallon

Agency and authority: the politics of co-collecting Sean Mallon There is a seashell in the Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa (Te Papa) that was collected on one of the coral atolls of Tokelau in the 1990s and gifted to the museum in 2006 by a Tokelauan man called Kupa Kupa.1 We do not have a collection of unmodified seashells in the Pacific Cultures storeroom in the museum. We have shell cultural valuables, shell necklaces, shell trumpets, shell decorated shields and canoes, but no seashell collection. Yet this shell is one of our most interesting cultural

in Curatopia
Humans disguised as robots
Patrícia Alves de Matos

productivity – a fundamental contradiction in the call centre literature. 1 My description and analysis of this contradiction will reveal the extent to which the call centre labour regime might be defined as a regime of disciplined agency – an advanced system for the exploitation of a rarefied form of the human labour power: linguistic engagement, or human communicative competence. The deployment of such a form of labour power under the conditions of production I examine ensures the creation of a surplus value: agentive human intervention. In call centres, the ultimate

in Disciplined agency
Measuring the EU effect
Scott James

processes or to developments at the EU level? In other words, do the changes outlined in this study simply reflect the political decisions and distinctive leadership styles of Blair and Ahern (agency) or can they be attributed, at least in part, to the shared, longer-term impact of European integration (structure). The bottom-up research framework outlined in Chapter 3 suggests that we must begin by isolating examples of change at the national level, and then try to trace the causal process backwards in order to identify the principal

in Managing Europe from home