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Political science & theory

See below for a selection of the latest books from Political science & theory category. Presented with a red border are the Political science & theory books that have been lovingly read and reviewed by the experts at Lovereading. With expert reading recommendations made by people with a passion for books and some unique features Lovereading will help you find great Political science & theory books and those from many more genres to read that will keep you inspired and entertained. And it's all free!

War or Peaceful Transformation: Multidisciplinary and International Perspectives

War or Peaceful Transformation: Multidisciplinary and International Perspectives

Author: Kathryn M. Gow Format: Hardback Release Date: 26/02/2020

Concern for humanity's future has never been more urgent than now - in the present time - when humanity has achieved the level of capability of destroying itself either through environmental disasters or nuclear wars. On the other hand, we have also achieved material and psychological knowledge and progress that can assist us in understanding not only the causation, but also the potential embedded in human nature, to choose either the path to self-destruction or to sustained peace. In this book, we present both the ubiquitous causes of violent discontent and wars and successful attempts to reduce or resolve conflict. Our authors from five continents represent historic, military, philosophical, socio-political, and psychological perspectives and address some of the important issues which any peace-oriented initiative or society at large must contend with. These refer to access to natural resources, ethnicity, religion, human rights, political systems (whether democratic or autocratic), differences in political and military strength and WMDs, and aspirations of the leaders - in combination with the ubiquitous need for control through domination, historic traditions (such as glorification of war effort as heroism and as a sacrifice in the name of lofty ideas). We offer a vision of a humanistic approach to promote peaceful problem solving that needs to be propagated by education, media, political programs and diplomacy in order to lead to peaceful transformations. The role of the military is given special attention. The novelty of our approach is that we address the typical life situations leading to social unrest and wars within the context of the human mind's capabilities to deal with life challenges. Our Challenge-Resilience-Resourcefulness-Wisdom model (previously published by NOVA) shows how we can study and analyse human errors, regressive tendencies and limitations in order to reframe them as an inspiration for optimal and wise decisions. Based on our authors' insights, we provide many descriptions of how to deal with social adversity in different locations of the world and also examples of actual successes and failures of peaceful transformations. These chapters provide important knowledge and tools for a wide range of professionals.

The Oxford Handbook of French Politics

The Oxford Handbook of French Politics

The Oxford Handbook of French Politics provides a comprehensive and comparative overview of the French political system through the lens of political science. The Handbook is organized into three parts: the first part identifies foundational concepts for the French case, including chapters on republicanism and social welfare; the second part focuses on thematic large-scale processes, such identity, governance, and globalization; while the third part examines a wide range of issues relating to substantive politics and policy, among which are chapters on political representation, political culture, social movements, economic policy, gender policy, and defense and security policy. The volume brings together established and emerging scholars and seeks to examine the French political system from a comparative perspective. The contributors provide a state-of-the-art review both of the comparative scholarly literature and the study of the French case, making The Oxford Handbook of French Politics an invaluable resource for anyone interested in the foundations of contemporary political life in France.

Ever Looser Union? Differentiated European Integration

Ever Looser Union? Differentiated European Integration

Differentiated integration has become a durable feature of the European Union and is a major alternative for its future development and reform. This book provides a comprehensive conceptual, theoretical, and empirical analysis of differentiation in European integration. It explains differentiation in EU treaties and legislation in general and offers specific accounts of differentiation in the recent enlargements of the EU, the Eurozone crisis, the Brexit negotiations, and the integration of non-member states. Ever Looser Union? introduces differentiated integration as a legal instrument that European governments use regularly to overcome integration deadlock in EU treaty negotiations and legislation. Differentiated integration follows two main logics. Instrumental differentiation adjusts integration to the heterogeneity of economic preferences and capacities, particularly in the context of enlargement. By contrast, constitutional differentiation accommodates concerns about national self-determination. Whereas instrumental differentiation mainly affects poorer (new) member states, constitutional differentiation offers wealthier and nationally oriented member states opt-outs from the integration of core state powers. The book shows that differentiated integration has facilitated the integration of new policies, new members, and even non-members. It has been mainly 'multi-speed' and inclusive. Most differentiations end after a few years and do not discriminate against member states permanently. Yet differentiation is less suitable for reforming established policies, managing disintegration and fostering solidarity, and the path-dependency of core state power integration may lead to permanent divides in the Union.

The Reasoning of Unreason Universalism, Capitalism and Disenlightenment

The Reasoning of Unreason Universalism, Capitalism and Disenlightenment

Author: John (Brunel University UK) Roberts Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 20/02/2020

The twenty-first century so far has seen the global rise of authoritarian populism, systematic racism, and dogmatic metaphysics. Even though these events demonstrate the growth of an age of 'unreason', in this original and compelling book John Roberts resists the assumption that such thinking displays an unthinking irrationality or loss of reason; instead he asserts that an important feature of modern reactionary politics is that it offers a supposedly convincing integration of the particular and the universal. This move is defined by what Roberts calls the 'reasoning of unreason' and has deep roots in the history of Western thought and politics. Tracing the dark history of enlightenment-disenlightenment, John Roberts explores 'the reasoning of unreason' across centuries from Aquinas, William of Ockham, the most important treatise on witchcraft Malleus Maleficarum, Locke, Kant, and Count Arthur de Gobineau, to Social Darwinism, Nazism, Carl Schmitt, Leo Strauss, and Friedrich von Hayek. Roberts provides a new set of philosophical-political tools to understand the formation and denigration of the rational subject and the current reinvestment in various forms of political unreason globally. The Reasoning of Unreason is the first book to draw on the philosophy of reason, political philosophy, political theory and political history, in order to produce a dialectical account of the 'making of reason' internal to the forces of unreason and the limits of reason.

On the Muslim Question

On the Muslim Question

Author: Anne Norton Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 18/02/2020

Why the Muslim question is really about the West and its own anxieties-not Islam In this fearless, original book, Anne Norton demolishes the notion that there is a clash of civilizations between the West and Islam. What is really in question, she argues, is the West's commitment to its own ideals: to democracy and the Enlightenment trinity of liberty, equality, and fraternity. In the most fundamental sense, the Muslim question is about the values not of Islamic, but of Western, civilization.

Imaginaries of Connectivity The Creation of Novel Spaces of Governance

Imaginaries of Connectivity The Creation of Novel Spaces of Governance

Author: Luis Lobo-Guerrero Format: Hardback Release Date: 16/02/2020

This edited collection addresses the problem of how the creation of novel spaces of governance relates to imaginaries of connectivity in time. While connectivity seems almost ubiquitous today, it has been imagined and practiced in various ways and to varying political effects in different historical and geographical contexts. Often the conception of new connectivities also gives birth to new spaces of governance. The political denomination of spaces - whether maritime, continental, social, or virtual - reflects the situatedness of power. Yet, such crafting of new spaces also expresses particular imaginaries and technologies of connectivity that make governance possible. Whereas the study of international relations has traditionally focused on the role of agency and structure in power relations, the affects, beliefs, attitudes, and practices that intervene in how groups of people connect in given times have not attracted much scholarly attention Overall, the detailed and original case studies examined in the book range from the 16th century, to the 19th century, to the present, and from Spain, to the Maritime Alps, to Germany, to the Mediterranean, to China, to East Asia. The historical and geographical variety of the cases serves to highlight the diversity of the meaning and function of connectivity in the constitution of novel spaces of governance.

Game of Thrones and the Theories of International Relations

Game of Thrones and the Theories of International Relations

Author: Nusta Carranza Ko, Laura D. Young Format: Hardback Release Date: 15/02/2020

For eight seasons the hit HBO series Game of Thrones painted a picture of a fantasy world filled with images such as white walkers (the undead), a three-eyed raven, and dragons. All these elements set the series visually apart, far distant from our realities. And yet, after each episode and season, viewers were left pondering about the wars, political games, diplomacy, and human rights violations that somehow resonated with the world today. Laura D. Young and Nusta Carranza Ko's groundbreaking book provides the answers to these questions that international relations scholars, historians, and fans have been wanting to know. How does Game of Thrones mirror international politics and how may the series provide a useful tool for better understanding the theories, concepts, and thematic issues in international relations? Game of Thrones and the Theories of International Relations connects the prominent international relations theories-realism, liberalism, constructivism, and critical identity theories-to the series, providing examples from various characters whose actions reflect applied scenarios of decision-making and strategizing.

Age of Anxiety Meaning, Identity, and Politics in 21st-Century Film and Literature

Age of Anxiety Meaning, Identity, and Politics in 21st-Century Film and Literature

Author: Anthony M. Wachs, Jon D. Schaff Format: Hardback Release Date: 15/02/2020

Age of Anxiety: Meaning, Identity, and Politics in 21st Century Film and Literature analyzes literature and films that speak to our age of anxiety resulting from the decline of narratives that provided individuals with a meaningful human life. The authors argue that the twentieth-century sought to free individuals from the constraints of authoritative cultural traditions and institutions, liberating the autonomous self. Yet this has given rise to anxiety rather than liberation. Instead of deriving one's sense of purpose from one's role and place within a community, the consumer has been deceived into thinking that their identity can be purchased through the meaning represented by the conspicuous consumption of a brand. The same phenomenon manifests itself in politics within recent populist revolts against globalist politics. In addition, the rapid pace of technological development is driving an unprecedented faith in the malleability of human beings, raises doubts as to what it means to be a person. Utilizing paradigms from the fields of Communication/Rhetoric and Political Philosophy the book shows how the self has been displaced from its natural habitat of the local community. The book traces the origins of modern anxiety as well as possible remedies. Considered in the book are such popular culture artifacts as Downton Abbey, WALL-E, Hacksaw Ridge, Westworld, and Lord of the Rings and zombie films.

The Oxford Handbook of Kenyan Politics

The Oxford Handbook of Kenyan Politics

Kenya is one of the most politically dynamic and influential countries in sub-Saharan Africa. Today, it is known in equal measure as a country that has experienced great highs and tragic lows. In the 1960s and 1970s, Kenya was seen as a ''success story of development in the periphery, and also led the way in terms of democratic breakthroughs in 2010 when a new constitution devolved power and placed new constraints on the president. However, the country has also made international headlines for the kind of political instability that occurs when electoral violence is expressed along ethnic lines, such as during the Kenya crisis of 2007/08 when over 1,000 people lost their lives and almost 700,000 were displaced. The Oxford Handbook of Kenyan Politics explains these developments and many more, drawing together 50 specially commissioned chapters by leading researchers. The chapters they have contributed address a range of essential topics including the legacy of colonial rule, ethnicity, land politics, devolution, the constitution, elections, democracy, foreign aid, the informal economy, civil society, human rights, the International Criminal Court, the growing influence of China, economic policy, electoral violence, and the impact of mobile phone technology. In addition to covering some of the most important debates about Kenyan politics, the volume provides an insightful overview of Kenyan history from 1930 to the present day and features a set of chapters that review the impact of devolution on regional politics in every part of the country.

Rural Democracy Elections and Development in Africa

Rural Democracy Elections and Development in Africa

How have African rulers responded to the introduction of democratic electoral competition? Despite the broadly negative picture painted by the prevailing focus on electoral fraud, clientelism, and ethnic conflict, the book argues that the full story is somewhat more promising. While these unfortunate practices may be widespread, African rulers also seek to win votes through the provision and distribution of public goods and services. The author's central argument is that in predominantly rural countries the introduction of competitive elections leads governments to implement pro-rural policies, in order to win the votes of the rural majority. As a result, across much of Africa the benefits of democratic electoral competition have accrued primarily in terms of rural development. This broad claim is supported by cross-national evidence, both from public opinion surveys and from individual level data on health and education outcomes. The argument's core assumptions about voting behavior are supported with quantitative evidence from Ghana, and qualitative historical evidence from Botswana presents further evidence for the underlying theoretical mechanism. Taken together, this body of evidence provides reasons to be optimistic about the operation of electoral accountability in Africa. African governments are responding to the accountability structures provided by electoral competition; in that sense, democracy in Africa is working. Oxford Studies in African Politics and International Relations is a series for scholars and students working on African politics and International Relations and related disciplines. Volumes concentrate on contemporary developments in African political science, political economy, and International Relations, such as electoral politics, democratization, decentralization, the political impact of natural resources, the dynamics and consequences of conflict, and the nature of the continent's engagement with the East and West. Comparative and mixed methods work is particularly encouraged. Case studies are welcomed but should demonstrate the broader theoretical and empirical implications of the study and its wider relevance to contemporary debates. The series focuses on sub-Saharan Africa, although proposals that explain how the region engages with North Africa and other parts of the world are of interest. Series Editors: Nic Cheeseman, Professor of Democracy and International Development, University of Birmingham; and Ricardo Soares de Oliveira, Professor of the International Politics of Africa, University of Oxford.

Cinema Pessimism A Political Theory of Representation and Reciprocity

Cinema Pessimism A Political Theory of Representation and Reciprocity

Aesthetic and political representation are often treated separately, but this book argues that film offers a unique perspective through which to understand the dangers to equality and freedom that lurk in representative politics. The potential problems of representative democracy have long been debated: does it cultivate apathy and discourage citizen participation? What does it mean to be faithfully or well represented in a democracy? And how can appropriate, meaningful representation be achieved? Here, these questions are addressed from a new perspective. Representation, Joshua Foa Dienstag argues, can create the illusion of freedom and reciprocity in place of the real thing, and in both cinema and politics, what gives us pleasure is not the same as what secures or supports our existence as free and equal citizens. As this book shows, there are political dangers not visible within the current debates around democratic representation, dangers we can better understand and help to minimize by considering the way that human beings interact, emotionally, with their filmic representations. Dienstag looks at a series of films that directly confront issues of representation (Her, Blade Runner, The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance, Melancholia, and the Up documentary series) to diagnose these hazards and consider how best to respond to them. Each chapter looks at a specific film as emblematic of a different conception or problem of representation often ignored by mainstream political debates (such as reciprocity, happiness, boundaries, evil) to show that the relationship between representation and freedom is fraught with tension. This book continues Dienstag's earlier groundbreaking work on philosophical pessimism, understood not as something despairing, but as a rejection of the idea that these necessary tensions can be cured. Ultimately, Dienstag seeks to defend a kind of pessimistic politics that might produce a better sort of democratic representation than what we have today.

Cinema Pessimism A Political Theory of Representation and Reciprocity

Cinema Pessimism A Political Theory of Representation and Reciprocity

Author: Joshua Foa (Professor of Political Science, Professor of Political Science, UCLA) Dienstag Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 13/02/2020

Aesthetic and political representation are often treated separately, but this book argues that film offers a unique perspective through which to understand the dangers to equality and freedom that lurk in representative politics. The potential problems of representative democracy have long been debated: does it cultivate apathy and discourage citizen participation? What does it mean to be faithfully or well represented in a democracy? And how can appropriate, meaningful representation be achieved? Here, these questions are addressed from a new perspective. Representation, Joshua Foa Dienstag argues, can create the illusion of freedom and reciprocity in place of the real thing, and in both cinema and politics, what gives us pleasure is not the same as what secures or supports our existence as free and equal citizens. As this book shows, there are political dangers not visible within the current debates around democratic representation, dangers we can better understand and help to minimize by considering the way that human beings interact, emotionally, with their filmic representations. Dienstag looks at a series of films that directly confront issues of representation (Her, Blade Runner, The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance, Melancholia, and the Up documentary series) to diagnose these hazards and consider how best to respond to them. Each chapter looks at a specific film as emblematic of a different conception or problem of representation often ignored by mainstream political debates (such as reciprocity, happiness, boundaries, evil) to show that the relationship between representation and freedom is fraught with tension. This book continues Dienstag's earlier groundbreaking work on philosophical pessimism, understood not as something despairing, but as a rejection of the idea that these necessary tensions can be cured. Ultimately, Dienstag seeks to defend a kind of pessimistic politics that might produce a better sort of democratic representation than what we have today.