women of the mass society, who accordingly feel that they are without purpose in an epoch in which they are without power.” Mills goes on to detail how a small group of individuals occupying the “command centers” of the military, political offices, and corporations form an inner circle with the power to make decisions that “mightily affect the everyday worlds of men and women” (Mills, 2000 [1956 ], p. 3).
Much has changed since the mid-1950s, and the intent of this chapter is to chronicle the ways in which the political life of people living
The study of German electoral politics has been neglected of late, despite being one of the most pervasive elements of the German political process. This book argues that concentration on electoral politics facilitates deeper understanding and appreciation of the German political system. It provides explanations and analysis of the federal electoral system, its evolution and the challenges that have been made to its format; discusses the role of electoral politics in relation to political parties and to the public; and the influence of second-order elections in the German political system. The book goes on to evaluate the effectiveness of the German electoral system in relation to its functions, and challenges the premise that electoral politics makes a difference in Germany. Ultimately, it aims to reconcile the apparently limited role that elections have in determining the composition of governments with the notion that there is a ‘permanent election campaign’ in existence in German politics.
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.
This is a book about the risk politics of food safety. Food-related risks regularly grab the headlines in ways that threaten reasoned debate and obstruct sensible policy making. This book explains why this is the case, and goes on to make the case for a properly informed and fully open public debate about food safety issues. It argues that this is the true antidote to the politics of scare, scandal, and crisis. The book weaves together the many different threads of food safety and risk politics.
established global order has been greatly exaggerated, then you will doubt that
those changes are likely to pose any existential challenge to the humanitarian international, be
it in terms of the efficacy of what relief groups do in the field or in terms of the political
and moral legitimacy they can aspire to enjoy.
But if, on the contrary, you believe that we are living in the last days of a doomed system
– established in the aftermath of World War II and dominated by the US – then the
humanitarian international is no more likely to survive (or to put
This book looks at how the contract between the Chinese state and its citizens produces ready compliance and apparent support despite the problems of corruption, food scandals, air pollution and the constraints on personal freedom. It explores the ways in which China’s past is presented as both a mandate for political monopoly and a promise of a glorious future. It does so through the voice of China's own people, by exploring the lived experiences of a broad range of her citizens from across a wide range of socio-economic, rural, urban, ethnic and religious backgrounds. The volume aims to use an ethnographic approach to comprehend how Chinese people in the twenty-first century feel about key issues they face at crucial point in the nation's development.
Since the early 2000s, global, underground networks of insurrectionary anarchists have carried out thousands of acts of political violence. This book is an exploration of the ideas, strategies, and history of these political actors that engage in a confrontation with the oppressive powers of the state and capital. The vast majority of these attacks have been claimed via online communiqués through anonymous monikers such as the Informal Anarchist Federation (FAI). The emphasis of the insurrectionary, nihilist-infused anarchism is on creating war-like conditions for opposing capitalism, the state, and that which perpetuates structural violence (e.g. racism, poverty, speciesism, gender roles). To connect the various configurations of post-millennial, insurrectionary resistance, the book explores explore three of its most identifiable components, the FAI, Conspiracy of Cells of Fire (CCF), and emergent networks in Mexico. In his discussion of guerrilla warfare and terrorism, conflict theorist Richard Rubenstein points to a two-stage understanding advocated by Vietnamese leader and military strategist General Vo Nguyen Giap. The book also examines the strategy of Blanquism, the contribution of "classical anarchists," the influence of theorists such as Tiqqun and The Invisible Committee. It seeks to construct the basis for an insurrectionary framework based around a shared politic. The feminist methodology and ethic of research adds a great deal, including a reading of identity politics, standpoint theory, action-orientated research, and embedded, emotive and sincere participatory involvement. The design and methodological intent of the book is to embrace a "militant" form of inquiry which is counter to the project of securitization.
This book focuses on the Western difficulties in interpreting Russia. It begins with by reflecting on some of the problems that are set in the foundations of Russia's post-Cold War relationship with the West. The book points to problems that emerge from linguistic and historical 'interpretation'. It looks at the impact of Russia's decline as a political priority for the West since the end of the Cold War and the practical impact this has had. It then reflects on the rising influence, especially, but not only, in public policy and media circles, of 'transitionology' as the main lens through which developments in Russia were interpreted. The book then examines the evolution of the West's relationship with Russia since the end of the Cold War, focusing particularly on the NATO-Russia relationship. It focuses on the chronological development of relations and the emergence of strategic dissonance from 2003. The book also looks at Russian domestic politics, particularly the Western belief in and search for a particular kind of change in Russia, a transition to democracy. It continues the exploration of domestic politics, but turns to address the theme of 'Putinology', the focus on Putin as the central figure in Russian politics.
The book introduces the principles underpinning the US Constitution and, on the
basis of this, surveys core federal institutions: Congress, the presidency, and
the US Supreme Court and lower courts. The different chapters outline the
defining features of each and introduce some of the core scholarly debates about
their powers and performance. The book also considers processes of political
participation through elections, parties, and organised interests. It looks, in
particular, at the changing nature of voting behaviour, the reasons why
electoral turnout levels are comparatively low, and the different reasons why
Donald Trump secured the presidency in the 2016 contest. It also considers the
character of the party system and claims that organised interests, particularly
groups representing those at the highest ends of the income and wealth scales,
play a disproportionate role in the US system. The book thereby offers a guide
to debates about the democratic ‘health’ of the contemporary US. The final
chapter places the study of US politics in a comparative and theoretical
context. It suggests that comparative approaches are essential if political
developments and processes are to be fully understood. It then considers the
value of employing theoretical frameworks in the study of politics and explores
the ways in which structural theories, approaches drawing upon representations
of political culture, and rational choice perspectives can explain political
This book analyses the contemporary politics of the nation states of Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden and the Home Rule territories of Greenland, Faeroes and Åland that together make up the Nordic region. It covers Scandinavia past and present, parties in developmental perspective, the Scandinavian party system model, the Nordic model of government, the Nordic welfare model, legislative-executive relations in the region, and the changing security environment. The Nordic states have a shared history, common linguistic bonds and a common state Lutheran religion. Of the six Scandinavian languages, Danish, Norwegian and Swedish are mutually intelligible, whilst Swedish is an official national language in Finland. Turning to a brief overview of nation-building and state-building in the Nordic region, an obvious distinction can be drawn between those 'stateless nations' which went on to achieve statehood and the territories that have not achieved independence. The book presents a brief chronology of events in Norden up to 1922, when Åland achieved autonomy. In Sweden the historic phase of party-building produced a basic two-plus-three configuration and a party system based on five 'isms': communism, social democracy, agrarianism, liberalism and conservatism. By 1930 there was a bifurcated parliamentary left and a fragmented nonsocialist bloc consisting of essentially town-based Liberal and Conservative parties and a farmer-based Agrarian Party. Whilst acknowledging the limitations inherent in the periodisation of party system change, the book focuses on the extent of party system change since the 'earthquake elections' of 1970-73.