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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.

Open Access (free)
Kevin Harrison
Tony Boyd

We now explore the term ‘equality’, defined in two ways: first, that which concerns equality as a starting point to life; second, equality as an outcome. We also consider equality before the law, equal political rights and equal social rights. After that we examine individual and group equality, and equality in terms of the class structure and international relations. Finally

in Understanding political ideas and movements
Abstract only
The radical right and democratic quality in the region
Michael Minkenberg
Zsuzsanna Végh

dealing with vulnerable groups on the other. To add more empirical flesh to the bones of our archival research results presented in Chapter 4 and to better visualize the trends related to the inclusiveness dimension, we refer here to some V-Dem measurements dealing with vulnerable groups in the region as well: the egalitarian democracy index, the exclusion of social groups index, and the indicator for social group equality in

in Depleting Democracies
Abstract only
Englishness, ‘race’ and ethnic identities
Paul Thomas

group, rather than on common needs and issues. For advocates of Community Cohesion, this policy direction cast aside the parallel priority of early race relations approaches, that of ‘promoting good relations’ between different groups: ‘equality’ for each group was prioritised over unity and commonality (Cantle, 2005 ). Whilst some would see this as

in These Englands
Open Access (free)
Kevin Harrison
Tony Boyd

element in modern political discourse. We discuss equality and its value in politics: equality of human rights, distributional equality, equality before the law, the claims for group equality on the grounds of race, gender, class. It is important to be aware of the challenges to equality as a principle, especially when it is seen to conflict with a greater value, liberty. 6 Rights, obligations and citizenship

in Understanding political ideas and movements
John Baker
Kathleen Lynch
, and
Judy Walsh

giving everyone a fair chance to succeed and protecting them from discrimination. Prohibitions on harassment, hate speech and the provision of goods and services are advocated for the sake of ensuring that social differences are tolerated by dominant groups. Equality of condition is a much more ambitious objective. It is committed to eliminating, or at least dramatically reducing, inequalities in at least five major dimensions of people’s lives. In the dimension of resources, it does not try to make inequalities of income and wealth fair, but to do away with those

in Defining events
Katherine Fierlbeck

act alike. It means that ‘if I am concerned solely about your rights, I will treat you like a generic person, not as the warm and colorful individual you are, caught up in a tightly knit web of social relations’ ( ibid .: 229). What, then, of the claim that equality and neutrality are themselves cultural values that may not be valued by nonliberal ethnic groups? Equality is

in Globalizing democracy
Abstract only
Democratic conflict and the public university
Ruth Sheldon

to a liberal imaginary. The ‘good campus relations’ agenda has gradually emerged over the last decade as a series of policy reports have focused attention on relations between student groups (Equality Challenge Unit 2005, 2007), complemented by ongoing research studies exploring issues of religious and cultural diversity on campus (Andersson et al. 2012; Gilliat 2000; Weller et al. 2011). As Dinham and Jones (2012) describe, the emergence of this ‘good campus relations’ agenda in higher education has reflected the development of a broader policy discourse of

in Tragic encounters and ordinary ethics
Donnacha Ó Beacháin

– he was sincerely intent on dismantling the discriminatory edifice. The politics of domination could only survive in the absence of large-scale mobilisation of the marginalised nationalist minority. During his last year in office, O’Neill had come under relentless attack from civil rights activists and the right wing of his own party. The demands of these two groupsequality versus supremacy – were mutually exclusive and O’Neill ultimately found himself unable to satisfy the claims of either section. Ultimately, O’Neill’s reluctance to antagonise his own

in From Partition to Brexit