How can globalisation be studied in a way that transcends the divide between material and ideational accounts? How has it resonated and dominated in different national contexts? What role have national political economies and domestic institutions played in those processes? This book sheds light on these issues by scrutinising the nexus between globalisation and national institutional settings. Refusing to simply take globalisation as a given, it explores how concrete practices by political actors have produced and reproduced the phenomenon of globalisation over time. Drawing on a comparative analysis of discourses, policies and strategies deployed by key institutional actors in Greece and Ireland, the book interrogates the nature of the interplay between global dynamics and domestic politics. In so doing, it offers insights into the emergence of globalisation as a hegemonic discourse, as well as into the theory of hegemonic discourse itself. Indeed, the book invites us to think differently about the nature of globalisation and the hegemonic within world politics and economics by placing human agency back at the forefront of international political economy.
From 1348 to 1350 Europe was devastated by an epidemic that left between a third and one half of the population dead. This book traces, through contemporary writings, the calamitous impact of the Black Death in Europe, with a particular emphasis on its spread across England from 1348 to 1349. It charts the social and psychological impact of the plague, and its effect on the late-medieval economy. Focusing on England, an exceptionally well documented region, the book then offers a wide range of evidence for the plague's variegated repercussions on the economy and, no less complex, on social and religious conduct. It is concerned with the British experience of plague in the fourteenth century. Students of intellectual history will find a wealth of pseudo-scientific explanations of the plague ranging from astrological conjunctions, through earthquakes releasing toxic vapours, to well poisoning by Jews. From narrative accounts, often of heartrending immediacy, the book further proceeds to a variety of contemporary responses, drawn from many parts of Christian Europe. It then explains contemporary claims that the plague had been caused by human agency. The book attempts to explain the plague, which was universally regarded as an expression of divine vengeance for the sins of humankind.
Since the Enlightenment, liberal democrat governments in Europe and North America have been compelled to secure the legitimacy of their authority by constructing rational states whose rationality is based on modern forms of law. The first serious challenge to liberal democratic practices of legal legitimacy comes in Karl Marx's early writings on Rousseau and Hegel. Marx discovers the limits of formal legal equality that does not address substantive relations of inequality in the workplace and in many other spheres of social life. This book investigates the authoritarianism and breakdown of those state socialist governments which claim to put Marx's ideas on democracy and equality into practice. It offers an immanent critique of liberalism, and discusses liberal hegemony, attacking on liberalism from supposedly post-liberal political positions. Liberalism protects all individuals by guaranteeing a universally enforceable form of negative liberty which they can exercise in accordance with their own individual will. Immanuel Kant's critical philosophy both affirms and limits human agency through the media of rationality and legality. The conditions of liberal reason lay the groundwork for the structure of individual experience inside the liberal machine. The book also shows how a materialist reformulation of idealist philosophy provides the broad outlines of a theory of critical idealism that bears directly upon the organisation of the labour process and the first condition of legitimate law concerning humanity and external nature. Mimetic forms of materialism suggest that the possibilities for non-oppressive syntheses and realities are bound up with a libertarian union of intellect.
requires systems that provide food, and often systems that provide fuel, stoves and water. The capacity to walk down the road does not just reside in our bodies. It is realized also in the roads we use when we walk down the road. These very roads also require further systems that produce and maintain them. This reliance on systems applies to most of the actions we take on a daily basis. We call all of the systems in which humanagency is realized – from the body to electrical grid – reliance systems . 1
You don’t make your own reliance systems
liberal benevolence, still less of predetermined, mechanistic ‘forces of history’.
It was this emphasis on humanagency that also characterised his
political writing and activity, in the early New Left in the late 1950s and
early 1960s; in his passionate polemics against Marxist structuralism;
and in his peace-movement campaigning in the 1980s. Similarly, his
writings on the bases of social class formation, struggle, identity and
consciousness emphasise the relations between real people in specific
. External impediments, legal prohibitions, domination and so on are forms of unfreedom because they are ways to limit humanagency. So, if loss of freedom is the limitation of humanagency, then freedom is humanagency. That is, to be free is to be able to act.
Unfortunately, capacities to act do not spring into existence when impediments or restrictions are removed. Other conditions must be met. For example, a law prohibiting walking down the road limits my capacity to walk down the road. Yet regardless of what the law says, if there is no road to walk on
interaction.’8 So far, so familiar: such claims to spectatorial activity echo the rhetoric of participation that has long pervaded political
theatre, immersive theatre, relational or ‘social’ practice, and minimalist and installation art.9 More significant than the mere existence of
the claim is the situation from which the invitation is made and the
circumstances under which one might accept. Who – and what – is
acting, how, when, and to what end? In what follows I establish, first,
the complex interplay of human and non-humanagency that emerges
from encounters with these
humanagency over particular stereotypes, and simultaneously the
disturbing resilience of stereotyping as a mode of human interaction
across centuries. This is what this volume has tentatively called the
dialectics of stereotyping . Documented here in detail are
individual and collective efforts to control stereotypes – by
asking for concrete proof, disputing the validity
of what was being attributed to them, contesting the validity of
stereotypes and more. Yet in this agentic process of resistance and
intellectual framework which seeks to establish an understanding of reliance systems. Reliance systems such as water, transportation, food production, healthcare, housing and more enable us as humans to act, to have agency, and hence make us free. Freedom in this active sense of the term is realized in these systems, all of which are collectively produced. Even if we build our own houses, we do so with materials that we generally don’t produce and knowledges that we did not create. The relationships between collectively produced reliance systems and humanagency and freedom