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A guide for A2 politics students
Series: Understandings
Authors: and

In liberal democracies there is a belief that citizens ought to take an active interest in what is happening in the political world. Political debate in modern Western democracies is a complex and often rowdy affair. There are three fundamental political issues: 'politics', 'power' and 'justice', which feature in almost all political discussions and conflicts. The book assesses the degree to which the state and state sovereignty are disappearing in the modern world of 'globalised' politics, economics and culture and new international institutions. The main features of the nation and the problems of defining it are outlined: population, culture, history, language, religion, and race. Different types of democracy and their most important features are discussed. 'Freedom' is usually claimed to be the prime objective of political activity. The book discusses equality of human rights, distributional equality, equality before the law, the claims for group equality on the grounds of race, gender, class. Rights, obligations and citizenship are closely associated. Ideology is the driving force of political discourse. The book also discusses nationalism's growth and development over the last two centuries with particular reference to its main features and assumptions. It outlines the development of conservatism as a political ideology and movement in Britain during the last two centuries. An overview of liberalism, socialism, Marxism, anarchism, and Fascism follows. Environmentalism and feminism are also discussed. Finally, the book talks about how ideological change occurs and stresses the importance of rationality in politics.

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Waiting for the Americans
Philip Cunliffe

This chapter offers concluding thoughts regarding humanitarian exceptionalism. It is argued that liberal interventionism has globalised political infantilism, and so undercuts the aspiration to political self-reliance and autonomy, as well as amplifying the conceits of US global leadership as the ‘indispensable nation’, luring the US and its Western allies into thinking that international order is easily malleable. The result has been enormously destructive. It is argued that the problem has not been the instrumentalisation of human rights, but the fact that they embody the ideology of permanent war and political paternalism.

in Cosmopolitan dystopia
Transglossic rhythms in Memory Palace and Twice Upon a Time
Sara Upstone

Embracing Kunzru’s own early love of French theory and reading these works through a detailed engagement with Henri Lefebvre’s concept of rhythmanalysis, Upstone reveals the capacity of Kunzru’s multimodal literature to engage with a materiality of both the literary and non-literary object. In the second part of the essay, the implications of this form for Kunzru’s ongoing concern for globalised identities and the pursuit of social justice are examined, identifying a discourse of ‘resistant rhythms’ which question racial, capitalist and ableist norms. For Upstone, the pursuit of these features simultaneously through both form and content defines Kunzru as what can be referred to as a transglossic author, a term drawn from work undertaken with Shaw (2021) that aims to evolve a new critical framework for the trends of twenty-first-century fiction. Broader than Coupland’s notion of translit, Shaw and Upstone’s transglossic takes as its foundation six core literary features - deep simultaneity, planetary consciousness, intersectional transversality, artistic responsibility, productive authenticity and trans-formalism – the conjunction of which typifies a work of contemporary literature. Kunzru’s writing provides a model of how such features concretely manifest in contemporary fiction. Despite their differences, each of his works represents a globalised political commitment, simultaneous presence of intersectional identity categories and a renegotiation of concepts of reality. As these are realised through both theme and content, and are driven by an authorial responsibility evidenced in Kunzru’s media activity and political activism, they come to encompass transglossic literature’s defining characteristics.

in Hari Kunzru
The elusive fictions of Hari Kunzru
Kristian Shaw
and
Sara Upstone

transversality, artistic responsibility, productive authenticity and trans-formalism – the conjunction of which typifies a work of contemporary literature. Kunzru’s writing provides a model of how such features concretely manifest in contemporary fiction. Despite their differences, each of his works represents a globalised political commitment, simultaneous presence of intersectional identity categories and a

in Hari Kunzru
Open Access (free)
Kevin Harrison
and
Tony Boyd

the book. 1 The state and sovereignty The state is arguably the most important concept in political theory. We introduce you to the main features of the state: territoriality, longevity, a power structure and sovereignty. The second part of the chapter assesses the degree to which the state and state sovereignty are disappearing in the modern world of ‘globalisedpolitics, economics and culture and new

in Understanding political ideas and movements
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Legal pluralism in the world society
Gunther Teubner

is supposed to grow out of these same roots: global law is to follow a globalisation of politics, or more precisely the globalised politics of the United States, a politics which after all is well known for being based on the ‘rule of law’. Presumably Immanuel Kant would consider the image of his book's title quite fitting as a symbol of the new order: the sign of a Dutch inn-keeper depicting a

in Critical theory and legal autopoiesis
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The rape of Europa
Katia Pizzi

the fabric of present time, a leap forward. In fact, the futurists aimed to compress space and time, reconfiguring them so that ‘heterogeneity and homogeneity, decentralization and centralization occur simultaneously’.6 The futurist machine re-envisions Kantian space and time, pursuing novel and globalised politics and economics. Encompassing the spatial lust for an undivided, pluralist, constructive, expansive modernity, embodying the temporalities embedded in the denomination ‘futurism’, the machine is, quite literally, futurismo’s time machine. The new mobility

in Italian futurism and the machine
Contextual, analytical and theoretical issues
Colin Hay

moment in time, the strategic resources at the disposal of particular actors, the constitution and the institutionalised practices of the party, and so forth. Similarly, accounts privileging the (invariably) harsh economic realities of a newly globalised political economy have nonetheless had to invoke some conception of agency – if only as the immediate mechanism by which the party’s commitments might be brought in line with a new external environment. It might seem tempting at this stage to suggest some middle ground, or even a potential rapprochement, between these

in Interpreting the Labour Party
Racial politics, luso-tropicalism and development discourse in late Portuguese colonialism
Caio Simões de Araújo
and
Iolanda Vasile

Obviously, these are all contemporary expressions of deep historical entanglements, through which colonial discourses on development, fetishising fixations of culture, and globalised political hierarchies are deeply intertwined. These texts can only indicate how a mirage of the empire still haunts our modern imagination. They show, finally, that the disclosure of these hidden ties – how

in Developing Africa
Heikki Patomäki

Heikki Patomäki, ‘Republican Public Sphere and the Governance of Globalising Political Economy’, in Maria Lensu and Jan-Stefan Fritz (eds), Value Pluralism, Normative Theory and International Relations (London, MacMillan, 2000). The unilateralism and aggressive reciprocity of US trade policy is discussed in P. Martin, ‘The Politics of International

in Mapping European security after Kosovo