3200TimeandWorldPolitics.qxd:2935 The Biopolitics 18/7/08 07:57 Page 3 1 Introduction to the question of world-political time Introduction N The Critique of Pure Reason, Kant argued that our grasp of the world is inescapably structured through space and time. In other words, whether we like it or not, our experience of any object is always located in a spatial field and temporal duration, conceived in Newtonian terms. The novelty of Kant’s argument was that he effectively bracketed the question of the ontological status of space and time, thus evading long
This book offers the first authoritative guide to assumptions about time in theories of contemporary world politics. It demonstrates how predominant theories of the international or global ‘present’ are affected by temporal assumptions, grounded in western political thought, which fundamentally shape what we can and cannot know about world politics today. In so doing, the book puts into question the ways in which social scientists and normative theorists diagnose ‘our’ post-Cold War times. The first part of the book traces the philosophical roots of assumptions about time in contemporary political and international theory. The second part examines contemporary theories of world politics, including liberal and realist International Relations theories and the work of Habermas, Hardt and Negri, Virilio and Agamben. In each case, it is argued, assumptions about political time ensure the identification of the particular temporality of western experience with the political temporality of the world as such and put the theorist in the unsustainable position of holding the key to the direction of world history. In the final chapter, the book draws on postcolonial and feminist thinking, and the philosophical accounts of political time in the work of Derrida and Deleuze, to develop a new ‘untimely’ way of thinking about time in world politics.
from two sets of assumptions: one about time as the ground for knowledge claims about world politics, and another concerning claims about the sources of agency and change within the world-political present. The aims of this chapter are firstly to reflect back on and assess accounts of the present examined above; and secondly, in the light of this reflection, to explore some alternative pathways for conceptualising world-political time and their implications for knowledge, agency and change. The first section of the chapter interrogates the temporal framings of the
3200TimeandWorldPolitics.qxd:2935 The Biopolitics 18/7/08 07:57 Page 54 3 Against historicism Introduction H I S chapter examines accounts of political time that are premised on the critique of philosophy of history and historicism. We will begin by looking briefly at two thinkers at the end of the nineteenth century who offered alternatives to the conflation of kairos and chronos in historicist and scientific accounts of time, Nietzsche and Bergson. This then sets the scene for exploring ways in which the assumptions and implications of historicism, in
3200TimeandWorldPolitics.qxd:2935 The Biopolitics 18/7/08 07:57 Page 81 4 Prophecies and predictions Introduction N the previous two chapters we have been exploring philosophical accounts of political time. In this and subsequent chapters we examine readings of contemporary world politics and the different ways in which they rely on and reproduce configurations of the relation between chronos and kairos in their accounts of the world-political present. In this chapter our focus is on interpretations of the nature and direction of world politics after the
also of the development of the European state system, and of increased interaction with other parts of the world through trade, colonialism and imperialism. The idea of ‘new time’ (Neuzeit) or a time of enlightenment or modernity is difficult to fit with either cyclical or apocalyptic readings of world-political time, and new narratives emerge that offer a different kind of meaning to distinctions between now and then, here and there. These narratives are self-consciously worldly, not only in the sense that they secularise understandings of political time, but also
’ and ‘multitude’ relied upon accounts of the relation between chronos and kairos that echoed arguments previously encountered in Chapter 2. Rejecting Fukuyama and Huntington, and following Popper, International Relations scholars, both liberal and realist, sought to keep chronos and kairos apart. However, on examination, their readings of the present chronos turned out to depend on Kantian or Machiavellian meta-narratives of political time. The accounts of the present of world politics in cosmopolitans such as Habermas and in the radical postMarxist arguments of
relation to determinism, their interpretations of chronos remain fundamentally shaped by a kairos of world politics that is revolutionary ‘new time’ wedded to a narrative of both progress and unity. In the final part of the chapter, we will examine the impact of these post-Kantian and post-Marxist conceptions of world-political time on their diagnoses of what matters in the present. Cosmopolitan time Habermas and the ‘Kantian project’ Habermas’s critical theory has been formulated over the past half century and encompasses a wide variety of arguments in philosophy and
The election of Barack Obama was a milestone in US history with tremendous symbolic importance for the black community. But was this symbolism backed up by substance? Did ordinary black people really benefit under the first black president?
This is the question that Andra Gillespie sets out to answer in Race and the Obama Administration. Using a variety of methodological techniques—from content analysis of executive orders to comparisons of key indicators, such as homeownership and employment rates under Clinton, Bush, and Obama— the book charts the progress of black causes and provides valuable perspective on the limitations of presidential power in addressing issues of racial inequality. Gillespie uses public opinion data to investigate the purported disconnect between Obama’s performance and his consistently high ratings among black voters, asking how far the symbolic power of the first black family in the White House was able to compensate for the compromises of political office.
Scholarly but accessible, Race and the Obama Administration will be of interest to students and lecturers in US politics and race studies, as well as to general readers who want to better understand the situation of the black community in the US today and the prospects for its improvement.
2579Ch3 12/8/03 11:47 AM Page 54 3 Up or down with the ecology cycle? Strategies for temporally rational ecological governance Political terms and ecological cycles Next budget and next election; dominant time spans in politics From the early nineteenth century onwards, the dominant political view of time was one of continuous ‘progress’ with the state at the centre of change (Ekengren 1998:30). This linear conception of time is, however, just one possible view. Political time can also be seen as (series of) distinct events or as connected points that have