This book examines the rise of cultural studies and evaluates its strengths and weaknesses. The author raises searching questions about the originality of cultural studies and its political motivation. Written with zest and a judicious sense of purpose it is a landmark work in cultural studies media and the sociology of culture.
One of Foreign Policy's Best Five Books of 2013, chosen by Marc Lynch of The Middle East Channel Beginning with the 2003 invasion of Iraq and concluding with the aftermath of the 2011 Arab uprisings, Frederic M. Wehrey investigates the roots of the Shi'a-Sunni divide now dominating the Persian Gulf's political landscape. Focusing on three Gulf states affected most by sectarian tensions—Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, and Kuwait—Wehrey identifies the factors that have exacerbated or tempered sectarianism, including domestic political institutions, the media, clerical establishments, and the contagion effect of external regional events, such as the Iraq war, the 2006 Lebanon conflict, the Arab uprisings, and Syria's civil war. In addition to his analysis, Wehrey builds a historical narrative of Shi'a activism in the Arab Gulf since 2003, linking regional events to the development of local Shi'a strategies and attitudes toward citizenship, political reform, and transnational identity. He finds that, while the Gulf Shi'a were inspired by their coreligionists in Iraq, Iran, and Lebanon, they ultimately pursued greater rights through a nonsectarian, nationalist approach. He also discovers that sectarianism in the region has largely been the product of the institutional weaknesses of Gulf states, leading to excessive alarm by entrenched Sunni elites and calculated attempts by regimes to discredit Shi'a political actors as proxies for Iran, Iraq, or Lebanese Hizballah. Wehrey conducts interviews with nearly every major Shi'a leader, opinion shaper, and activist in the Gulf Arab states, as well as prominent Sunni voices, and consults diverse Arabic-language sources.
This book aims to reinvigorate the Marxist project and the role it might play in illuminating the way beyond capitalism. Though political economy and scientific investigation are needed for pure Marxism, Martin’s argument is that the extent to which these elements are needed cannot be determined within the conversations of political economy and other investigations into causal mechanisms. What has not been done, and what this book does, is to argue for the possibility of a rethought Marxism that takes ethics as its core, displacing political economy and "scientific" investigation.
This book examines the ideas which have structured half a century of civil war in Burma, and the roles which political elites and foreign networks - from colonial missionaries to aid worker activists - have played in mediating understandings of ethnic conflict in the country. The book includes a brief overview of precolonial and colonial Burma, and the emergence ethnic identity as a politically salient characteristic. It describes the struggle for independence and the parliamentary era (1948-62), and the quarter century of military-socialist rule that followed (1962-88). The book analyses the causes, dynamics and impacts of on-going armed conflict in Burma, since the 1988 'democracy uprising' through to the 2007 'saffron revolution' (when monks and ordinary people took to the streets in protest against the military regime). There is a special focus on the plight of displaced people, and the ways in which local and international agencies have responded. The book also examines one of the most significant, but least well-understood, political developments in Burma over the last twenty years: the series of ceasefires agreed since 1989 between the military government and most armed ethnic groups. The positive and negative impacts of the ceasefires are analysed, including a study of civil society among ethnic nationality communities. This analysis leads to a discussion of the nature of social and political change in Burma, and a re-examination of some commonly held assumptions regarding the country, including issues of ethnicity and federalism. The book concludes with a brief Epilogue, taking account of Cyclone Nargis, which struck Burma on 2 and 3 May 2008, resulting in a massive humanitarian crisis.
Along with Mikhail Gorbachev, Helmut Kohl, and Francois Mitterand, Jacques Chirac is one of the most iconic statesmen of the twentieth century. Two-time president of France, mayor of Paris, and international politician, a recent poll voted him the most admired political figure in France, with current president Nicolas Sarkozy ranking in 32nd place. This memoir covers the full scope of Chirac's political career of more than 50 years and includes the last century's most significant events. A protégé of General de Gaulle, Chirac started political life after France's defeat in Algeria in the early 1960s. He then became Prime Minister George de Pompidou's "bulldozer" and a personal negotiator with Saddam Hussein for France's oil interests in the Persian Gulf. He sold Iraq its first nuclear reactor and incurred the wrath of the United States and Israel, which he discusses in striking detail. As mayor of Paris, Chirac was famed for his success in beautifying the City of Lights and keeping it whole during the heady days of the 1968 riots. As president in the 1990s and early 2000s, Chirac took controversial steps to privatize the economy and plan the European Union. Chirac seldom pulls punches and in several dramatic chapters describes his opposition to the US invasion of Iraq in 2002 and his personal meetings with George W. Bush. These landmark events are brought into sharp focus in this memoir that the popular French magazine Paris Match said "steals the show" even after its author decamped the presidential palace.
Que(e)rying political practices in Europe is the first queer and poststructuralist reading of political rights concepts in the specific European transnational context. In the last thirty years Europe has seen the rise of gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender movements fighting nationally and transnationally for participation rights in society. In addition academic theorists have increasingly paid attention to the epistemological and ontological roles gender and sexuality play in modern politics. However, in the political process of arguing for rights the centrality of those roles is mostly hidden from view in official institutional and movement discourses. This book investigates the conceptual themes of lesbian, gay, and transgender rights and lobby politics in Europe and their open and hidden relations to binary and hierarchical orders of dominance. It contributes to an understanding of the conditions upon which politics of inclusion, participation, social justice, and equality rest and why struggles for sexual minority rights have been so difficult and slow. The book illuminates how the paradigms of political discourses constitute, consolidate, and contest the meaning and cultu
In this study, the author shows new entry points to the dialogue between Kant and Heidegger. Schalow takes up the question: “Why should a philosopher like Kant, for whom language seemed to be almost inconsequential, become the crucial counter point for a thinker like Heidegger to develop a novel way to understand and express the most perennial of all philosophical concepts, namely, ‘being’ as such?” This approach allows for addressing issues which are normally relegated to the periphery of the exchange between Heidegger and Kant, including spatiality and embodiment, nature and art, religion and politics.
Schelling, Hölderlin and Hegel and the Crisis of Early German Idealism
Author: Franz Gabriel Nauen
Publisher: Springer Science & Business Media
In this study I will present the intellectual development of Schelling, Holderlin and Hegel during their formative years. Because of their similar social origins, the early thought of these young Swabians, during the 1790's, should be treated as a unit. Their experience as roommates at the Stift in Tiibingen and their close intellectual fellowship throughout the nineties made each extremely responsive to the others ideas. As mem bers of the political elite in Wiirttemberg, their intellectual assumptions were profoundly affected by the crisis of Wiirttemberg and German political society and by the events of the French Revolution in a way ex plicable only in the light of their Swabian heritage. So, for example, seen in the context of HOlderlin's and Schelling's thinking, the genesis of Hegel's earliest mature philosophical assumptions appears to be not so much an event in the history of philosophy as a specific solution to the problems raised by the crisis of his society. The crucial role of Holderlin in the history of German Idealism should also become apparent as a result of this study. For reasons developed in the following, Holderlin's thinking bridged the gap not only between Kantianism and the new philosophy, which was to come to fruition in Hegel's mature thought, but also between the republican and the natio nalist phase in the history of German political thought.
Perspectives on National Reconciliation in Myanmar
Author: Thamarr Taman
Publisher: NUS Press
Just as the prismatic effects of glass mosaics or mirrors produce the spectrums of colour that give Myanmar’s pagodas their glittering iridescence, Prisms on the Golden Pagoda offers a spectrum of views on the country’s national reconciliation process. Because many of Myanmar’s outlying ethnic groups straddle the country’s borders with neighbouring countries in South and Southeast Asia and with China, the outcome of this process is crucial not only for the country’s current domestic liberalization but also for regional geopolitics. The editor of this volume, Kyaw Yin Hlaing is a US-trained academic who currently serves as an advisor to Myanmar's President. He has assembled contributions from veteran activists such as the Shan leader U Shwe Ohn, the Chin politician Lian H. Sakhong, Widura Thakin Chit Maung, once leader of Burma's "Red Socialists", and Thamarr Taman, formerly a senior civil servant. Commentary by the editor, and by Robert H Taylor and British diplomat-turned activist Derek Tonkin, explains the context and significance of these materials. By showing how the national reconciliation effort has been viewed inside the country, the contributors provide an important insider’s perspective on Myanmar’s difficult legacies of violence and separatism.