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Open Access (free)
Kevin Harrison and Tony Boyd

Most people have some idea of what the word ‘freedom’ means, and most approve of it. In our analysis we examine the term more closely, exploring such themes as freedom of opinion, freedom under the law and economic freedom. To further elucidate the concept we present brief summaries of the ideas of a number of political philosophers on the subject. In particular we analyse the

in Understanding political ideas and movements
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Allyn Fives

Value monism is not only a specific approach to moral conflict; it also offers a distinctive way in which to conceptualise freedom. So far, I have said very little about freedom itself. Although I did refer to competing conceptualisations of that term in the last chapter, I could not do justice to the issue there. However, the whole of the present chapter is devoted to this question, and I think this level of scrutiny is justified for at least two reasons. The first is that value pluralism tells us something about freedom that is profoundly

in Judith Shklar and the liberalism of fear
Collected essays
Author: Keith Dowding

The book collects thirteen previously published essays by Keith Dowding on social and political power, freedom, choice and luck. It is anchored by a substantial introductory essay that pulls together the different strands to demonstrate the coherence and connections between the different concepts discussed through the book. The book demonstrates the importance of the concept of power to political science and argues that comparative static definitions enable comparison of power structures in terms of agents’ resources. It shows the importance of systematic luck in understanding the power structure. However, static definitions are inherently unsatisfactory in dynamic settings. Here we need to apply game theory rather than game forms, and in dynamic settings luck is vital to our perception of freedom, responsibility and leadership. Later chapters reveal the problematic evaluation of choice and freedom and how these relate to responsibility. The book concludes by demonstrating that freedom and rights exist in different senses, which matter for our understanding of how much freedom exists in a society. It shows that Sen’s liberal paradox is ambiguous between rights as claims and rights as liberties; how fundamental his paradox is to our understanding of the conflict between rights and welfare depends on the manner in which we evaluate freedom.

This book offers historical reappraisals of freedom of speech and freedom of the press in the early modern anglophone world. Prompted by modern debates about whether or not limitations on free expression might be necessary given religious pluralism and concerns about hate speech, it brings together historians, political theorists and literary scholars, and offers a longue durée approach to the topic. It integrates religion into the history of free speech, and rethinks what is sometimes regarded as a coherent tradition of more or less absolutist justifications for free expression. Contributors examine the aims and effectiveness of government policies, the sometimes messy and contingent ways in which freedom of speech became a reality, and a wide range of canonical and non-canonical texts in which contemporaries outlined their ideas and ideals. It is shown that – on this issue at least – the period from 1500 to 1850 is a coherent one, in terms of how successive governments reflected on the possibility of regulation, and in terms of claims that were and were not made for freedom of speech. While not denying that change can be detected across this period, in terms of both ideas and practices, it demonstrates that the issues, arguments and aims involved were more or less distinct from those that characterise modern debates. As a collection it will be of interest to religious and political historians, intellectual historians and literary scholars, and to anyone interested in the history of one of the most important and thorny issues in modern society.

Editors: Maura Adshead and Tom Felle

Freedom of information (FOI) is important because it aims to makes government open, transparent and accountable. FOI legislation is based on the premise that people have the right of access to public documents, save for certain exemptions. The philosophy behind such legislation is that citizens have a ‘right to know’ how and why decisions are made by government in their name. In that context it could be argued that FOI legislation also has the potential to lead to more accountable government, less corruption and better democratic outcomes for states. This book traces Ireland’s experience of FOI legislation, from the first FOI Act in 1997, to the amendments that significantly constrained its provisions in 2003, to the proposed new revisions that will come into operation in 2013. Following from that, it looks at the operation and use of FOI from a series of perspectives: from a governmental perspective, taking views from public officials and politicians, in government and in opposition; from a state perspective, looking at the legal balancing act between keeping secrets and keeping government accountable; from a journalist perspective on the use and misuse of FOI; and from a citizen’s perspective, using FOI to develop active citizenship and engagement. Finally, taking all of these views into account, the book assesses the extent to which FOI has contributed to, and may continue to contribute to, political reform.

Open Access (free)
Albanian society and the quest for independence from statehood in Kosovo and Macedonia
Norbert Mappes-Niediek

5 ‘Freedom!’: Albanian society and the quest for independence from statehood in Kosovo and Macedonia Norbert Mappes-Niediek    of the Albanian conflicts has been widely discussed and documented in numerous publications (see, for example, the Independent International Commission on Kosovo 2000). But to understand the Kosovo and Macedonian wars, one needs to travel up into the mountains south of Vitina, keep on driving even when there is nor more asphalt on the road and enter one of the large compounds in the hills. In S, for example, one would be

in Potentials of disorder
How and why governments pass laws that threaten their power
Author: Ben Worthy

Why do governments pass freedom of information laws? The symbolic power and force surrounding FOI makes it appealing as an electoral promise but hard to disengage from once in power. However, behind closed doors compromises and manoeuvres ensure that bold policies are seriously weakened before they reach the statute book.

The politics of freedom of information examines how Tony Blair's government proposed a radical FOI law only to back down in fear of what it would do. But FOI survived, in part due to the government's reluctance to be seen to reject a law that spoke of 'freedom', 'information' and 'rights'. After comparing the British experience with the difficult development of FOI in Australia, India and the United States – and the rather different cases of Ireland and New Zealand – the book concludes by looking at how the disruptive, dynamic and democratic effects of FOI laws continue to cause controversy once in operation.

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Space and identity in Subway and Nikita
Mark Orme

emotional state of these two seemingly equivalent characters, and to explore how space is used as a vehicle for communicating a sense of ‘imprisoned freedom’ on which each film pivots. As I hope to demonstrate, the link between physical environment and personal psychology in the construction of gender and identity differs markedly in the two films at issue. By its very title, Subway is spatially delimited

in The films of Luc Besson
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Neal Curtis

2 Defending freedom If Superman’s legitimacy stems from a commitment to an open future, Captain America’s legitimacy comes from his defence of beginnings. He is the symbol of a nation and lead member of the nationalist superhero sub-genre (Dittmer, 2013) whose central identity ties him to the fight against tyranny and the preservation of the new beginning bequeathed by the American Revolution. The thinker that can help us work through this question of beginnings is Hannah Arendt.1 As we saw in the previous chapter, legitimacy for Schmitt was something

in Sovereignty and superheroes
Monastic exemption in France, c. 590– c. 1100

This book examines the history of monastic exemption in France. It maps an institutional story of monastic freedom and protection, which is deeply rooted in the religious, political, social, and legal culture of the early Middle Ages. Traversing many geo-political boundaries and fields of historical specialisation, this book evaluates the nature and extent of papal involvement in French monasteries between the sixth and eleventh centuries. Defining the meaning and value of exemption to medieval contemporaries during this era, it demonstrates how the papacy’s commitment, cooperation, and intervention transformed existing ecclesiastical and political structures. Charting the elaboration of monastic exemption privileges from a marginalised to centralised practice, this book asks why so many French monasteries were seeking exemption privileges directly from Rome; what significance they held for monks, bishops, secular rulers, and popes; how and why this practice developed throughout the early Middle Ages; and, ultimately, what impact monastic exemption had on the emerging identity of papal authority, the growth of early monasticism, Frankish politics and governance, church reform, and canon law.