Corruption in liberaldemocracies: a case
study of Italy
This chapter takes Italy as a case study of corruption in liberaldemocracies. A case study is the study of an entity – a country, a person, an
institution or whatever it happens to be – that is carried out not for its
own sake but because ‘it has significance beyond its boundaries’ (Hague,
Harrop and Breslin, 1998: 275). It is carried out because the entity in
question is taken to be an example of some larger category of entities so
that studying it can help us to throw light on – develop
Vietnamese anti-colonialism and the
Personalist critique of capitalism and
Personalism: Between capitalism and communism
The stateless conception of communism espoused by the leaders of the
early Republic was partly derived from the philosophy of Personalism,
developed by the French philosopher, Emmanuel Mounier. This philosophy, which is commonly treated in a cursory manner in the historical
scholarship on the war, was widely dismissed by US officials as “muddleheaded” and “vague,”1 a “mish-mash of ideas
that if what is being created is a liberaldemocracy then some tolerance and acceptance of difference in private lifestyles is generally taken as read. No one has to view others’ behaviour as desirable or morally acceptable, but generally democracies do not criminalise or discriminate against those with other lifestyles except where they harm others. Against this, Orthodox church leaders would have suggested that all societies engage in processes of moral ‘boundary maintenance’ and that an individualistic focus on the right to free expression was not easily
This book provides an accessible account of current thinking about political corruption, recognising that the phenomenon is a serious problem: since it infringes rules defining legitimate and illegitimate means of the acquisition of wealth and the exercise of power, corruption damages the interests of the advantaged and disadvantaged alike. The advantaged find that wealth cannot be pursued and maintained safely, the disadvantaged that development is thwarted and resources redistributed from the poor to the rich. Against this background, the book takes the reader on a journey – a journey that begins with what corruption is, why its study might be important and how it can be measured. From there it moves on to explore corruption’s causes, its consequences and how it can be tackled – before finally discovering how these things are playing out in the established liberal democracies, in the former communist regimes and in what used to be commonly referred to as ‘the third world’. On the way it takes a couple of detours – first, to ascertain how the minimum of trust necessary for the corrupt transaction to take place at all is established and underwritten, and second to survey the phenomenon of scandal – to which corruption may give rise. The book is therefore offered as an informative ‘travel guide’ of potential interest to journalists and policy makers as well as to students and academics researching matters on which political corruption has a bearing.
, the collapse of the Soviet Union
represented a final victory for Western liberaldemocracy – an unexpected Hegelian
denouement in the knotweed of History. Their euphoria – albeit short-lived –
provided the entrance music for a new ethical order, constructed by the US, with a basis in
liberal humanitarian norms. Without any direct and immediate threat to its hegemony, the US
merged its geostrategy with a humanitarian ethics. In 1991, after the Gulf War, the US invaded
Iraq in the name of humanitarian concern. The following year, to the
deregulation of markets and frontiers and its conceited attempts to
universalise liberaldemocracy and human rights. And it will also pose an existential threat to
liberal humanitarian institutions, which have depended on the financial and political capital of
Far from promoting a final and permanent peace, the new security strategy situates the US in an
inter-state system in which war is possible at any time, in any location, with any rival, enemy
or former ally. How might we explain this apparent shift in American strategy?
A growing number
Until relatively recently, democratic Spain has been plagued with serious campaigns of political violence. Between the end of the Francoist regime in 1975 and the announcement of a ceasefire in 2010, the Basque separatist group ETA (Euskadi (e)Ta Askatasuna, Basque Country and Freedom) unquestionably played a central part in this deadly process. In response to ETA’s increasingly violent actions, Spain adopted a determined counter-terrorist stance, establishing one of the most formidable anti-terrorist arsenals among Western democracies. Less well known were the extra-judicial strategies Spain used to eradicate ETA. In the 1980s, initiatives to reopen channels to ETA by the Spanish government were twinned with an astute strategy of enhanced police and judicial co-operation with France on the one hand and a covert campaign of assassination of ETA members on the other. Between 1983 and 1987, mercenaries adopting the pseudonym GAL (Grupos Antiterroristas de Liberación, Antiterrorist Liberation Groups) paid by the Spanish treasury and relying upon national intelligence support were at war with ETA. This establishment of unofficial counter-terrorist squads in a liberal democracy was a blatant detour from legality. More than thirty years later, the campaign of covered-up assassinations continues to grip Spain. Counter-terror by Proxy assesses the political and institutional context of the inception of Spain’s resort to covert and illegal counter-terrorist strategies, which predate the current global fight against terrorism by decades, going on to examine the wider implications of the use of such strategies in a liberal democracy.
The inhabitants of most OECD countries tend to regard state intervention in the everyday lives of individual citizens and in society at large with certain scepticism. Health promotion is really not about curing diseases or even about preventing diseases. The overall aim of this book is to provide a critical understanding of current health promotion ideas and practices unfolding in liberal democracies. It identifies and discusses the merits and the limitations of the most influential political science and sociological analyses seeking to critically address contemporary politics of health. Foucault's analytics of power and government are discussed. The book then seeks to provide a solid understanding of the wider political context of health promotion in England and Denmark, examining obesity control in these regions. It also analyses how and why psychiatric patients, particularly those with chronic mental illness in England and Denmark, are urged to take charge of their mental illness with reference to the notion of rehabilitation. Key shifts in predominant forms of political rationalities and expert knowledge on how best to treat psychiatric patients are also analysed. Finally, the book examines how expert knowledge and political rationalities informed political interventions (policies, programmes, and technologies) in an attempt to promote rehabilitation along with increased implementation of community- based treatment. It summarizes the analytical findings regarding the governing of citizens through lifestyle and rehabilitation respectively. Further research is required on the politics of health promotion.
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.
East-Central European countries, the Visegrád Four to include the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland, and Slovakia, have developed a divergence of approaches to key issues of national defense. Measures of defense capability include size of defense budgets, numbers of persons in the armed forces, and willingness to engage in foreign deployments led by NATO and the EU that act as integrating forces within the region. The communist experiences of earlier decades have acted as legacies that have shaped countries’ post-1989 approaches to national and regional defense. However, the evolution of liberal-democratic patterns and systems have played a meaningful role as well. In spite of those convergence experiences and patterns, divergence among them has characterized their interactions as well. Poland has been more willing to take on regional defense obligations, while the other three have been more reluctant. Since the 2014 Ukrainian Crisis, a strident and divisive nationalism has shaken each of them and modified their approaches to defense issues.