Posts Tagged

Political Theory

A performance featured during the summer at the Manchester International Festival attempted to tackle the following timeless question: if women ruled the world, would they confront pressing social and political issues – such as climate change, military escalation and mass migration – in qualitatively different ways? The notion that the world would look different under female leadership assumes a “differentialist” approach to gender issues. This article, on the one hand, questions the underlying assumptions of that widespread belief, and, on the other hand, sketches out an alternative approach to progressive change in general and, more specifically, for women. Why we should be sceptical about differentialism in debates on gender A first and still very common version of differentialism is the …

It is slowly dawning on us all that Donald Trump was right when he said that the American election day ‘will be Brexit times 10’. In my experience, 4,000 miles across the Atlantic, people looked ten times more shocked when they saw Trump give a victory speech than when it became clear that their country had decided to leave the European Union. Much has been written about Trump’s hateful rhetoric, which has offended 282 people and places on twitter alone, and the possible ramifications of his breaking long-established domestic norms. But it is the global implications of a Trump presidency that worries people across the globe. If he makes true on his campaign promises, we would see a large-scale withdrawal …

The key principle of Republicanism is to minimise domination wherever it is found. The Zapatero governments in Spain, for example, showed how this idea can shape the policies of nation states. Is it possible to extend Republican principles to the global arena? I’ll start with what everybody knows. We live in hard times. There is much more suffering in Europe right now than just five years ago – much more domination too. Arguably, a sort of global redistribution is benefiting ‘developing’ countries to the detriment of the ‘developed’ world. But Western democracies are doing badly, and their prospects are not promising. [This post is part of the Democratic Wealth series, hosted by Politics in Spires in partnership with Our Kingdom.]

Recently retired from Mansfield College, Oxford, Professor Michael Freeden, a political theorist is best known for his work on political ideologies, a subject often maligned as an inferior cousin of political philosophy and political theory. Marx did no favours for the term, of course, and End of Ideology thinkers like Daniel Bell and Seymour Martin Lipset defined ideologies so narrowly and pejoratively that few are inclined to attach their thinking to the moniker – or believe it is worth studying. But scholars interested in the interaction between ideologies and language, like Freeden, and also post-Marxist scholars like Ernesto Laclau and Chantal Mouffe, have resurrected the study – and the word.  In his landmark book, Ideologies and Political Theory, Freeden argues that …