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David Blagden

another hand – to contrive a three-armed metaphor – Britain's strategic and broader political context is such that there is no common understanding of what ‘polarity’ actually means . So, while the term has recently found a place in official documents and discourse that it did not previously enjoy, it is also deployed as a political speech-act: to mean different things by different actors depending on their policies, preferences, and proclivities. The chapter proceeds as follows. First, it surveys the strategic backdrop, in the form of a brief

in National perspectives on a multipolar order
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The utility and limits of polarity analysis
Benjamin Zala

In the International Relations (IR) literature, polarity analysis has had many critics but few serious rivals. 1 As one author has noted, it ‘offers a stunningly bold way of simplifying the horrendous day-to-day complexities of world politics’, by teasing out and pinpointing the fundamental outlines and features of the distribution of power in the inter-state order. 2 One does not need to be a dyed-in-the-wool structural realist to concede that

in National perspectives on a multipolar order
Interrogating the global power transition
Editor: Benjamin Zala

With the rise of new powers and the decline of seemingly unchallenged US dominance, a conventional wisdom is gaining ground in contemporary discourse about world politics that a new multipolar order is taking shape. Yet ‘multipolarity’ – an order with multiple centres of power – is variously used as a description of the current distribution of power, of the likely shape of a future global order, or even as a prescription for how power ‘should’ be distributed in the international system. This book explores how the concept of a multipolar order is being used for different purposes in different national contexts. From rising powers to established powers, contemporary policy debates are analysed by a set of leading scholars in order to provide an in-depth insight into the use and abuse of a widely used but rarely explored concept.

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Debating the distribution of power and status in the early twenty first century
Benjamin Zala

comfortable debating the theoretical effects of changes in the polarity of the international system. Yet the theoretical polarity analysis literature provides only limited guidance on debates in policy circles over the actual distribution of power itself. It is one thing for analysts to disagree over the implications of a return to multipolarity; it is something else to disagree about whether the system is in fact returning to a multipolar configuration or not. The previous chapters clearly demonstrate that the certitude that characterises much political

in National perspectives on a multipolar order
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Pursuing a multipolar mirage?
Luis L. Schenoni

Introduction In this chapter, I explore the use of the concept of multipolarity in the Brazilian foreign policy debate from 2000 to 2015. To do so, I draw on four sources. First, I analyse documents from Brazilian government agencies to reconstruct how polarity was thought of and what impact this had on actual policy. Second, I rely on a series of in-depth interviews conducted in June 2017 with academics and Brazilian public officials to help unravel their understanding of the term and the interests of different actors. Third, I systematically review the

in National perspectives on a multipolar order
Paul Frazer

. And this prolonged, fiery exchange is the first of only two encounters between the play's philosophical polarities; when they cross paths again (in the tragedy's crescendo) their conflict swerves violently into bloodshed. I have argued elsewhere that Webster's play is animated by a deliberate jarring of Calvinist and Montaignian models of introspection. 42 And while Webster undoubtedly derived much of his interest in and knowledge of Epicureanism through Montaigne, earlier works might also have piqued his interest. In 1573, for instance, James

in The genres of Renaissance tragedy
James Johnson

innovations are considered by Washington to be strategically vital, and how (and to what end) the US responds to the perceived challenge posed by China to its technological hegemony. The chapter uses the International Relations (IR) concept of ‘polarity’ (the nature and distribution of power within the international system) as a lens to view the shifting great-power dynamics in AI-related strategic technology (e.g. microchips, semiconductors, big-data analytics, and 5G data transmission networks). 2 The chapter argues

in Artificial intelligence and the future of warfare
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Beyond Stalinism and social democracy?
Paul Blackledge

the Communist Party’s loyalty to Moscow and the Labour Party’s support for an Atlanticist foreign policy, at renewing socialism by mapping a third way beyond the polarities of the Cold War. Within eighteen months of this ideological break with Stalinism and social democracy, New Left activists began to test their ideas in a new mass movement: the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament (CND). It is difficult to imagine a more propitious encounter, for from early 1958 CND organised a series of marches that brought thousands of disaffected youth into conflict not only with

in Against the grain
Superficial paganism and false ecology in The Wicker Man
William Hughes

There is more to The Wicker Man than polemic and polarity, however, and much of the unexplored territory of this provocative film is directly relevant to the preoccupations of twenty-first-century ecocriticism. The encounter between Howie and the paganism of Summerisle is, at its heart, a matter of fundamental cosmology rather than one simply predicated upon inconvenient detail. Overlooked in critical

in Ecogothic
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Messages, threads and tensions
Kathy Sanford and Darlene E. Clover

research and, even, community engagement. The chapters take us on journeys in which art’s social and aesthetic dimensions are polarities between which critical teaching, research and education can be done in and through the academy. But as with all roads, there are potholes, merging traffic and broken pavements along the way. This final chapter highlights some of the key messages scattered across this volume, providing a greater visualisation of interweaving themes within the various contributions. It follows threads of ideas, elaborates both articulated and tacit

in Lifelong learning, the arts and community cultural engagement in the contemporary university