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At the end of the Cold War, there was much talk of a new world order in which the sovereign state would be held to democratic account, fundamental rights would be respected, and conflict would be replaced by cooperation based on the rule of law. At the start of the new millenium most of this optimism has evaporated. This book examines why it is so difficult to improve standards of international behaviour and explores the pre-conditions for any realistic attempt to do so. It discusses three major issues that have dominated international debate over the past decade: the tension between sovereignty and national self-determination; the problems associated with the attempt to spread democracy around the world; and the desirability of external intervention in ethnic and religious conflicts. Rejecting both the unfounded optimism of the early 1990s and the cynical pessimism of more recent years, Professor Mayall points to the strong elements of continuity in international life. He concludes that international society is unlikely to be successfully reformed if governments continue to will progressive ends whilst evading responsibility for their actions.
This book builds upon an inter-disciplinary body of literature to detail the centrality of European colonialism and imperialism in the constitution of modern international relations. A critical historical analysis that challenges conventional assumptions about the evolution and expansion of international society, it addresses the interconnections between the European and non-European sides of that history. Pearcey argues that features of European expansion were guided by a discourse on civilization, one that subsumed the uncivilized Other within the boundaries of the civilized Self. Doing so, civilization enabled a process of “exclusion by inclusion”, whereby many of the world’s indigenous peoples were gradually excluded from the “international” by being subsumed within the “domestic.” Challenging conventional assumptions about the evolution and expansion of international society, especially those of the English School, this book contributes to central debates in International Relations theory.
'Community' is one of those words that feels good: it is good 'to have a community', 'to be in a community'. And 'community' feels good because of the meanings which the word conveys, all of them promising pleasures, and more often than not the kind of pleasures which we would like to experience but seem to miss. 'Community' conveys the image of a warm and comfortable place, like a fireplace at which we warm our hands on a frosty day. Out there, in the street, all sorts of dangers lie in ambush; in here, in the community, we can relax and feel safe. 'Community' stands for the kind of world which we long to inhabit but which is not, regrettably, available to us. Today 'community' is another name for paradise lost - but for a paradise which we still hope to find, as we feverishly search for the roads that may lead us there. But there is a price to be paid for the privilege of being in a community. Community promises security but seems to deprive us of freedom, of the right to be ourselves. Security and freedom are two equally precious and coveted values which could be balanced to some degree, but hardly ever fully reconciled. The tension between security and freedom, and between community and individuality, is unlikely ever to be resolved. We cannot escape the dilemma but we can take stock of the opportunities and the dangers, and at least try to avoid repeating past errors. In this important new book, Zygmunt Bauman takes stock of these opportunities and dangers and, in his distinctive and brilliant fashion, offers a much-needed reappraisal of a concept that has become central to current debates about the nature and future of our societies.
John Dunn's Western Political Theory in the Face of the Future demonstrates that the major traditions of thought, from which the political values of the modern West have emerged are all, in the light of recent world history, in crucial respects incoherent or flawed. This second edition underlines the drastic changes in the challenges which face the world, in the wake of the Soviet Union's collapse and the end of the Cold War, stressing the ever tighter linking of the global economy with the ecology in which we live, and the problems which this poses for the survival of civilisation.
Politics was once regarded as an activity which could give human societies control over their fate. However, there is now a deep pessimism about the ability of human beings to control anything very much, least of all through politics. This new fatalism about the human condition claims that we are living in the iron cages erected by vast impersonal forces arising from globalization and technology: a society that is both anti-political and unpolitical, a society without hope or the means either to imagine or promote an alternative future. It reflects the disillusion of political hopes in liberal and socialist utopias in the twentieth century and a widespread disenchantment with the grand narratives of the Enlightenment about reason and progress, and with modernity itself. The most characteristic expression of this disenchantment is the endless discourses on endism - the end of history, the end of ideology, the end of the nation-state, the end of authority, the end of government, the end of the public realm, the end of politics itself - all have been proclaimed in recent years. Andrew Gamble's new book argues against the fatalism implicit in so many of these discourses, as well as against the fatalism that has always been present in many of the central discourses of modernity. It sets out a defence of politics and the political, explains why we cannot do without politics, and probes the complex relationship between politics and fate, and the continuing and necessary tension between them. This book will be essential reading for students and scholars of politics, public affairs and political thought.
More than ever before, our conflict–ridden, drifting planet needs the qualities that Europe, unique among the continents, has developed in more than two millennia of history: its self–criticism, its urge to self–transcendence, exploration and experiment, its conviction that alternative and better forms of human togetherness can be achieved, as well as its dedication to the cause of seeking and promoting this improvement in practice. But today Europe is unsure of itself and its place in a fast–changing world; it is devoid of vision, limited in resources and lacking the will to pursue its vocation. It is also struggling with the consequences of a one–sided process of globalization which is divorcing power from politics, inciting the shift from the social state to security–focused governance and piling up the casualties of uncontrolled market expansion and the ethically blind commercialization of human life. Bauman argues that despite the odds Europe still has much to offer in dealing with the great challenges that face us in the twenty–first century. Through sharing its own hard–won historical lessons, Europe can play a vital role in moving from the Hobbesian–like world in which we find ourselves today towards the kind of peaceful unification of humanity that was once envisioned by Kant.
In his new book, distinguished political philosopher Raymond Geuss critically examines some of the most widely held and important preconceptions about contemporary politics western societies: the state, authority, violence and coercion, the concept of legitimacy, liberalism, toleration, freedom, democracy, and human rights. Geuss argues that the liberal democratic state committed to the defense of human rights is in fact a confused conjunction of disparate elements. One of his most striking claims is that it makes sense to speak of rights only relative to a mechanism for enforcing them, and that therefore the whole concept of a "human right" as it is commonly used in contemporary political philosophy, is a confusion. A profound and concise essay on the basic structure of contemporary politics, History and Illusion in Politics is written in a voice that is skeptical, engaged, and clear. Raymond Geuss is University Lecturer, Faculty of Philosophy, University of Cambridge. Educated in the United States and Germany, he has held academic posts at Heidelberg, the University of Chicago and Princeton University. He is the editor of Nietzsche The Birth of Tragedy (Cambridge, 1999) and the author of Public Goods, Private Goods (Princeton, 2001). He is a frequent commentator on BBC Radio Three and World Service.

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