This radical reinterpretation of the formative stages of Chinese culture and history traces the central role played by cosmology in the formation of China's early empires. It crosses the disciplines of history, social anthropology, archaeology, and philosophy to illustrate how cosmological systems, particularly the Five Elements, shaped politicalculture. By focusing on dynamic change in early cosmology, the book undermines the notion that Chinese cosmology was homogenous and unchanging. By arguing that cosmology was intrinsic to power relations, (...) it also challenges prevailing theories of political and intellectual history. (shrink)
The English translation of Habermas's The Structural Transformation of the Public Sphere converges with a recent trend toward the revival of the "politicalculture concept" in the social sciences. Surprisingly, Habermas's account of the Western bourgeois public sphere has much in common with the original politicalculture concept associated with Parsonian modernization theory in the 1950s and 1960s. In both cases, the concept of politicalculture is used in a way that is neither (...) class='Hi'>political nor cultural. Explaining this peculiarity is the central problem addressed in this article and one to follow. I hypothesize that this is the case because the concept itself is embedded in an historically constituted politicalculture (here called a conceptual network)-a structured web of conceptual relationships that combine into Anglo-American citizenship theory. The method of an historical sociology of concept formation is introduced to analyze historically and empirically the internal constraints and dynamics of this conceptual network. The method draws from new work in cultural history and sociology, social studies, and network, narrative, and institutional analysis. This research yields three empirical findings: this conceptual network has a narrative structure, here called the Anglo-American citizenship story; this narrative is grafted onto an epistemology of social naturalism; and these elements combine in a metanarrative that continues to constrain empirical research in political sociology. (shrink)
The English translation of Habermas's The Structural Transformation of the Public Sphere converges with the revival of the "politicalculture concept" in the social sciences. Surprisingly, Habermas's account of the Western bourgeois public sphere has much in common with the original politicalculture concept associated with Parsonian modernization theory in the 1950s and 1960s. In both cases, the concept of politicalculture is used in a way that is neither political nor cultural. Explaining (...) this peculiarity is the central problem addressed in this article and its companion piece, which appeared in Sociological Theory, volume 3, number 2 (1995). I hypothesize that this is the case because the concept itself is embedded in an historically constituted politicalculture (here called a conceptual network)-a structured web of conceptual relationships that combine into Anglo-American citizenship theory. The method of an historical sociology of concept formation is used to analyze historically and empirically the internal constraints and dynamics of this conceptual network. The method draws from new work in cultural history and sociology, social studies, and network, narrative, and institutional analysis. This research yields three empirical findings: this conceptual network has a narrative structure, here called the Anglo-American citizenship story; this narrative is grafted onto an epistemology of social naturalism; and these elements combine in a metanarrative that continues to constrain empirical research in political sociology. (shrink)
Peter Winch, in his political philosophy, wanted to rethink the concepts of political authority, legitimacy and politicalculture, with a starting point in Wittgensteinian ideas. This essay brings together Winch's thoughts on political authority. Developing insights from Wittgenstein's work on certainty, Winch emphasised the unstated background behind any normative stand concerning authority. Ideas of legitimacy and civil society are formed within historically specific political cultures. In the 1990s, Winch was increasingly inclined to emphasise disagreement, (...) which was related to his developing views on understanding, logic and reasoning. This development is traced, in part, on the basis of unpublished lecture notes. (shrink)
The essay provides a short outline of Berlin's career and an assessment of his contribution to pluralist and liberal thought. He was a British academic with a Russian cast of mind, and an inhabitant of the ivory tower who was very much at home in the diplomatic and political world. Similarly, he was neither a historian of ideas nor a political philosopher in the narrow sense usually understood in the modern academy. Rather, he engaged in a trans-historical conversation (...) about the human condition with such figures as Machiavelli, Herzen, Vico, and Herder. The Russian liberal understanding of the historical and cultural setting was, in his view, much superior to that of familiar figures such as John Stuart Mill, just as the nonliberal Machiavelli cast a particularly vivid light on the problems of a pluralist world view. (shrink)
Recent work by political sociologists and social movement theorists extend our understanding of how religious institutions contribute to expanding democracy, but nearly all analyze religious institutions as institutions; few focus directly on what religion qua religion might contribute. This article strives to illuminate the impact of religious culture per se, extending recent work on religion and democratic life by a small group of social movement scholars trained also in the sociology of religion. In examining religion's democratic impact, an (...) explicitly cultural analysis inspired by the new approach to politicalculture developed by historical sociologists and cultural analysts of democracy is used to show the power of this approach and to provide a fuller theoretical account of how cultural dynamics shape political outcomes. The article examines religious institutions as generators of religious culture, presents a theoretical model of how religious cultural elements are incorporated into social movements and so shape their internal political cultures, and discusses how this in turn shapes their impact in the public realm. This model is then applied to a key site of democratic struggle: four efforts to promote social justice among low-income urban residents of the United States, including the most widespread such effort-faith-based community organizing. (shrink)
Rousseau's theory of the effect of culture on politics is critical to his philosophy. In Making Citizens , Zev M. Trachtenberg takes Rousseau's theory as a model of how considerations of culture can be incorporated into a wider account of political life. He critically evaluates Rousseau's account and concludes that it is, finally, inadequate. Using techniques from the theory of collective action to devise an interpretation of Rousseau's concept of the general will, Trachtenberg identifies the ways (...) class='Hi'>culture conditions politics. He examines the attitudes individuals can adopt that facilitate or impede social cooperation--attitudes that Rousseau holds as culturally formed. Trachtenberg takes up Rousseau's account of the two paths for the evolution of human psychology: toward the actual political failure of existing society, or toward the possible political success of an ideal society. He concludes that Rousseau's cultural ideal conflicts with his theory of legitimacy, rendering his views of culture inconsistent with his political theory. (shrink)
Jorge Valadez's important contribution to political theory in general, and multicultural citizenship in particular, is assessed from the standpoint of the duplicitous role 'culture' plays in contemporary political theory. After underscoring its virtues, the essay turns to a discussion of three major concerns that the book raises: its negativistic view of the culture of the oppressed; its anachronistic proposal about universal property rights; and the way the author might have to revise its view of the ethnogroups (...) in order to deal appropriately with Latinos in the USA. Key Words: cultural rights culture communitarianism Latinos liberalism multiculturalism property rights. (shrink)
This book explores Friedrich Nietzsche's understanding of modern politicalculture and his position in the history of modern political thought. Surveying Nietzsche's entire intellectual career from his years as a student in Bonn and Leipzig during the 1860s to his genealogical project of the 1880s, Christian Emden contributes to a historically informed discussion of Nietzsche's response to the political predicaments of modernity, and sheds new light on the intellectual and politicalculture in Germany as (...) the ideals of the Enlightenment gave way to the demands of the modern nation state. This is a distinguished addition to the series of Ideas in Context, and a major reassessment of a philosopher and aphorist whose stature among post-enlightenment European thinkers is now almost unrivalled. (shrink)
Focusing on Prussia from the Napoleonic era to the Revolution of 1848, this book boldly reinterprets the origins of German nationalism by tracing its links to eighteenth-century Enlightenment thought. It also presents a new perspective on the role of discourse in historical change, emphasizing how the concept 'nation' transformed the horizon of Prussian political debate.
We propose a research program grounded in cultural theory and believe that this theory enables researchers to gain traction in Business and Society research. Grid-group cultural theory is a useful tool for examining organizational behavior. Organizational culture governs organizational social expression. Corporate Social Responsibility is a specific domain which benefits from exploration using cultural theory. Finally, objectives and aspirations of this research program are outlined.
The volume brings together a collection of original papers on some of the main tenets of Joseph Raz's legal and political philosophy: Legal positivism and the nature of law, practical reason, authority, the value of equality, incommensurability, harm, group rights, and multiculturalism.
The concept of well-being has emerged as a key category of social and political thought, especially in the fields of moral and political philosophy, development studies, and economics. This book takes a critical look at the notion of well-being by examining what well-being means, or could mean, to people living in a number of different regions including Sudan, Nepal, Papua New Guinea, India, Sierra Leone, and the UK. The contributors take issue with some of the assumptions behind Western (...) concepts of well-being. They explore what characterizes a "good life" and how this idea has been affected by globalization and neoliberalism. The book makes a major contribution to social theory by presenting new analytical models that make sense of the changing shapes of people's life and ethical values. (shrink)
During the past two decades there has been increasing dissatisfaction with established political categories, on the grounds that they no longer fit many of the facts of contemporary life, or adequately express many contemporary political ideals. Political Theory in Transition explores the principle reasons for this dissatisfaction and outlines some of the most influential responses to it.
Across Europe, national leaders and ordinary citizens alike face the problems and opportunities raised by increasing economic and political interdependence. Interdependence between nations creates new dilemmas in every sphere of activity. In The Netherlands: Negotiating Sovereignty in an Interdependent World, Thomas Rochon offers a comparative focus and a strong conceptualization of small-state issues applied to present the Netherlands experience.Although all countries face issues of sovereignty and adjustment to international forces, the Dutch have addressed these issues more explicitly and over (...) a longer span of time. How have the Dutch gone about the transformation from global power to small state? What lessons have they learned along the way that might be applied elsewhere in Europe, not to mention the United States? Rochon addresses these issues and provides background information on the people, culture, government, and economy of the country. In the final chapter, he summarizes the Dutch experience and explains that what unites the Netherlands with other industrial nations is how the country copes with change. (shrink)
With no precise boundaries, always on the move and too complex to be defined by space and time, is it possible to map the human subject? This book attempts to do just this, exploring the places of the subject in contemporary culture. The editors approach this subject from four main aspects--its construction, sexuality, limits and politics--using a wide ranging review of literature on subjectivity across the social and human sciences. The first part of the book establishes the idea that (...) the subject is constructed through detailed histories of the subject. The second part shows that sexuality cannot be assumed to be natural through the contributors' research on the place of sexuality in subjectivity and subjectivity in sexuality. The essays in the third part take issue with the idea of a singular, self-contained identity. Power relations and the effects of power are consistent themes throughout the book and the final section deals explicitly with relations of power, whether organized around gender, race, class or other kinds of difference. Contributors: Steve Pile, Nigel Thrift, Miles Ogborn, Carolyn Steedman, David Matless, David Sibley, David Bell, Julia Cream, Vic Seidler, Hester Parr, Chris Philo, Marcus Doel, Paul Rodaway, Nigel Rapport, Stephen Frosh, Valerie Walkerdine, Gillian Rose and Michael Keith. (shrink)
This paper elaborates three approaches to the issue of state autonomy, and uses two empirical cases (British and American treasury policy during the 1930s) to illustrate them. The three approaches are the group affiliations approach, which considers the social characteristics of the individuals who work in an organization; the structural dependance approach, which considers the structural position of the organization within a network of resource flows; and a cultural approach, which considers the role of ideology in the determination of organizational (...) autonomy. The application of these three approaches to the two cases gives some support to all three, but the cultural approach proves especially useful in conjunction with the other two. (shrink)
Over the past ten years or so, the position of Liberal Nationalism has progressed from being an apparent oxymoron to a widely accepted view. In this paper I sketch the most prominent liberal defenses of nationalism, focusing first on the difficulties of specifying criteria of nationhood, then criticizing what I take to be the most promising, culture-based defense, forwarded by Will Kymlicka. I argue that such an approach embroils one in a pernicious conservatism completely at odds with the global (...) justice concerns that I take to be central to liberalism with its core values of equality and liberty. (shrink)
Desire, political consciousness and formative subjectivity -- Lévi-Strauss and the methodological value of concepts of binary oppositions -- The pedagogy of the politics of difference -- The performance of Différance and deconstruction -- Temporality, modernity, and Différance -- Transformation, politics, and difference.
This book offers an assessment of Sartre as an exemplary figure in the evolving political and cultural landscape of post-1945 France. Sartre's originality is located in the tense relationship that he maintained between deeply held revolutionary beliefs and a residual yet critical attachment to traditional forms of cultural expression. A series of case-studies centered on Gaullism, communism, Maoism, the theatre, art criticism, and the media, illustrates the continuing relevance and appeal of Sartre to the contemporary world.
This Reader provides a comprehensive introduction to the study of contemporary Indian political theory. Tracing the development of the discipline and offering a clear presentation of the most influential literature in the field, it brings together contributions by outstanding and well-known academics on contemporary Indian political thought. The Reader weaves together relevant works from the social sciences — sociology, anthropology, law, history, philosophy, feminist and postcolonial theory — which shape the nature of political thought in India today. (...) Themes both unique to the Indian political milieu as well as of universal significance are reflected upon, including tradition, secularism, communalism, modernity, feminism, justice and human rights. Presenting a canon of names and offering a framework for further research within the broad thematic categories, this is a timely and invaluable reference tool, indispensable to both students and scholars. (shrink)
The encroachment of globalization and demands for greater regional autonomy have had a profound effect on the way we picture Ireland. This challenging new look at the key issue of sovereignty asks us how we should think about the identity of a "postnationalist" Ireland. Richard Kearney goes to the heart of the conflict over demand for communal identity, traditionally expressed by nationalism, and the demand for a universal model of citizenship, traditionally expressed by republicanism. In so doing, he asks us (...) to question whether the sacrosanct concept of absolute national sovereignty is becoming a luxury ill afforded in the emerging new Europe. Kearney then takes us beyond the political with chapters on the influence of philosophers such as George Berkeley, John Toland and John Tyndall, and looks at some of the myths in Irish poetry and nationhood. Postnationalist Ireland provides a recasting of contemporary Irish politics, culture, literature and philosophy and will appeal to students of these subjects and Irish studies in general. (shrink)
My intention is not to get into specific, detailed historical observation about the ways that led the term ‘democracy’ to take on its current meaning, in science as much as in politics, but rather to establish a comparison between the models that political science proposes and interprets as important for the existence of democracy and those that science illustrates as indicators of scientific knowledge constructed in a democratic form. The debate about the contemporary meaning of democracy has generated an (...) extraordinary diversification of models of democracy: from technocratic conceptions of government to conceptions of social life that include widespread political participation. And it is exactly for this reason that the assumption of a specific point of view on the question we are dealing with inevitably brings with it the choice of a model suitable to describe democratic form as a form of politics without further explanation, that is, as a political system with which science measures itself as a cultural category. In this sense, we can consider the passage from the concept of democracy to that of politics and generally of science to be a peaceful one, since politics has been appointed with that set of behaviours and democratic practices (including science) that politicalculture demands for the social benefit. This demand can be met only on condition that structural obstacles are removed and new cultural and epistemological mediators are introduced. (shrink)
Since its publication in 1976, Tom Paine and Revolutionary America has been recognized as a classic study of the career of the foremost political pamphleteer of the Age of Revolution, and a model of how to integrate the political, intellectual, and social history of the struggle for American independence. Foner skillfully brings together an account of Paine's remarkable career with a careful examination of the social worlds within which he operated, in Great Britain, France, and especially the United (...) States. He explores Paine's political and social ideas and the way he popularized them by pioneering a new form of political writing, using simple, direct language and addressing himself to a reading public far broader than previous writers had commanded. He shows which of Paine's views remained essentially fixed throughout his career, while directing attention to the ways his stance on social questions evolved under the pressure of events. This enduring work makes clear the tremendous impact Paine's writing exerted on the American Revolution, and suggests why he failed to have a similar impact during his career in revolutionary France. And it offers new insights into the nature and internal tensions of the republican outlook that helped to shape the Revolution. In a new preface, Foner discusses the origins of this book and the influences of the 1960s and 1970s on its writing. He also looks at how Paine has been adopted by scholars and politicians of many stripes, and has even been called the patron saint of the Internet. (shrink)
A feature of recent social science theorizing has been a revival of interest in the concept of culture. While always fundamental to the discipline of anthropology, the culture concept is now commonly employed in other fields as well. Since the end of the Cold War in particular, theories of international politics have been in search of fresh explanatory categories and the culture concept has been adopted in some influential approaches to serve this purpose. As with other social (...) science concepts, however, culture may serve various causes: liberal, socialist, conservative, and so on. Among its uses is the construction of political community in narrow and exclusionary terms, thereby reinforcing, among other things, atavistic forms of nationalism. Such exercises depend very heavily on the idea of cultural difference as constituting the ?natural? political and moral boundaries between communities. This article critically reviews some of these ideas about culture and nationalism and their implications for normative theories of international politics. (shrink)
Once seen as synonymous with "anti-feminism" postfeminism is now understood as the theoretical meeting ground between feminism and anti-foundationalist movements such as postmodernism, post-structuralism and post-colonialsm. In this clear exposition of some of the major debates, theorists and practitioners, Ann Brooks shows how feminism is being redefined for the twenty first century. Individual chapters look at postfeminism in relation to feminist epistemology, Foucault, psychoanalytic theory and semiology, postmodernism and postcolonialism, cultural politics, popular culture, film and media, and sexuality and (...) identity. For all students looking for guidance through the sometimes murky waters of contemporary feminist theory, this book will provide a reassuring first port of call. (shrink)
Throughout its ten related essays, Imagining the Real contrasts our abstract imaginings about the human world with the imaginative insights provided by art and experience. It questions, variously, the relevance of game theory and sociobiology to politics the supposed intrinsic values of liberal freedom, cultural change, and democratic action and the claims of Marxism, deconstruction and "Theory" generally to be non-ideological. More positively, it reinterprets fiction as a specific invitation to imagine, and celebrates Shakespeare, L.H. Myers and Beckett as truly (...) critical, because truly imaginative, exponents of ideas. (shrink)
How is feminism changing the way women and men think, feel, and act? Virginia Held explores how feminist theory is changing contemporary views of moral choice. She proposes a comprehensive philosophy of feminist ethics, arguing persuasively for reconceptualizations of the self of relations between the self and others and of images of birth and death, nurturing and violence. Held shows how social, political, and cultural institutions have traditionally been founded upon masculine ideals of morality. She then identifies a distinct (...) feminist morality that moves beyond culturally embedded notions about motherhood and female emotionality. Examining the effects of this alternative moral and ethical system on changing social values, Held discusses its far-reaching implications for altering standards of freedom, democracy, equality, and personal development. Ultimately, she concludes, the culture of feminism could provide a fresh perspective on--even solutions to--contemporary social problems. Feminist Morality makes a vital contribution to the ongoing debate in feminist theory on the importance of motherhood. For philosophers and other readers outside feminist theory, it offers a feminist moral and social critique in clear and accessible terms. (shrink)
The third Earl of Shaftesbury was a pivotal figure in eighteenth-century thought and culture. Professor Klein's study is the first to examine the extensive Shaftesbury manuscripts and offer an interpretation of his diverse writings as an attempt to comprehend contemporary society and politics and, in particular, to offer a legitimation for the new Whig political order established after 1688. As the focus of Shaftesbury's thinking was the idea of politeness, this study involves the first serious examination of (...) the importance of the idea of politeness in the eighteenth century for thinking about society and culture and organising cultural practices. Through politeness, Shaftesbury conceptualised a new kind of public and critical culture for Britain and Europe, and greatly influenced the philosophical and cultural models associated with the European Enlightenment. (shrink)
This article seeks both to challenge common understandings of Kant's moral project and to use that reading to reconceptualize the aims of political theory. The paper argues that while Kant's moral work is widely praised or criticized for its formalism and its defense of the autonomous subject, an interpretation that takes seriously Kant's remarks about humiliation in the Critique of Practical Reason challenges both these commonplaces. An examination both of the practical role that humiliation plays in Kant's moral system (...) and of the affective and historical traces it relies upon shows that Kant's moral project understands the importance of ethical cultivation and is thus far more political than is often appreciated. The article therefore concludes by suggesting that this rereading of Kant should encourage us to critically examine certain modes of political theorization and adopt a more overtly political stance towards the construction of moral projects in political theory and philosophy alike. Key Words: autonomy communitarianism cultivation culture humiliation Hegel Kant liberalism monasticism respect. (shrink)
The liberal and democratic political order is underpinned by universal principles of justice. However, the universality of these principles is now being questioned and undermined by challenges from postmodernism, communitarianism, multiculturalism and other forms of anti-foundationalism. These challenges highlight the sheer diversity of cultures and values, treating liberal values and democratic politicalculture as one idea of social organization amongst many. While social and political orders are capable of almost endless variation, it may be that not (...) every diverse order is legitimate and we can justifiably regard some forms of social organization as beyond the pale and a 'thin' form of universalism has been developed to support this contention. The core idea behind 'thin universalism' is that it is possible to rehabilitate the universalist aspirations of normative theory while acknowledging the force of many antifoundationalist and multiculturalist criticisms of universalism. This book brings together prominent international political theorists to explain and discuss this contested concept and explore how we can stand up for and act upon principles in a world characterized by cultural difference, moral skepticism, and political division. The authors present a variety of perspectives: some chapters are sympathetic to the idea of a thin universalist account of justification, some are reluctant advocates and others are skeptical about its success or even desirability. Opening out core debates in contemporary normative theory, this volume will be of great interest to researchers and scholars working in the fields of contemporary political theory, political philosophy and IR theory. (shrink)
In a period in Italy in which the fascist “Ethical State” gave way to a lesser god, the ethical party, culture was transformed into a sort of political pedagogy. Bobbio insisted on the fact that the “first task of intellectuals ought to be to prevent the monopoly of force from becoming the monopoly of truth.” Today the ethical parties have disappeared, along with political pedagogy. Bobbio was aware of the reasons that make participatory democracy difficult: In complex (...) societies citizens are poorly informed judges regarding their own interests; hidden powers condition the visible choices; pluralism borders on corporatism and even on a modern version of feudalism; and, lastly, where mass individualism prevails, perception of the general interest appears increasingly distant and difficult. Consequently, we need a different relationship between culture and politics. (shrink)