A brilliant condemnation of political hobbyism—treating politics like entertainment—and a call to arms for well-meaning, well-informed citizens who consume political news, but do not take political action. Who is to blame for our broken politics? The uncomfortable answer to this question starts with ordinary citizens with good intentions. We vote (sometimes) and occasionally sign a petition or attend a rally. But we mainly “engage” by consuming politics as if it’s a sport or a hobby. We soak in daily political gossip and eat up statistics about who’s up and who’s down. We tweet and post and share. We crave outrage. The hours we spend on politics are used mainly as pastime. Instead, we should be spending the same number of hours building political organizations, implementing a long-term vision for our city or town, and getting to know our neighbors, whose votes will be needed for solving hard problems. We could be accumulating power so that when there are opportunities to make a difference—to lobby, to advocate, to mobilize—we will be ready. But most of us who are spending time on politics today are focused inward, choosing roles and activities designed for our short-term pleasure. We are repelled by the slow-and-steady activities that characterize service to the common good. In Politics Is for Power, pioneering and brilliant data analyst Eitan Hersh shows us a way toward more effective political participation. Aided by political theory, history, cutting-edge social science, as well as remarkable stories of ordinary citizens who got off their couches and took political power seriously, this book shows us how to channel our energy away from political hobbyism and toward empowering our values.
How can we rethink ideas of policy failure to consider its paradoxes and contradictions as a starting point for more hopeful democratic encounters? Offering a provocative and innovative theorisation of governance as relational politics, the central argument of Power, Politics and the Emotions is that there are sets of affective dynamics which complicate the already materially and symbolically contested terrain of policy-making. This relational politics is Shona Hunter’s starting point for a more hopeful, but realistic understanding of the limits and possibilities enacted through contemporary governing processes. Through this idea Hunter prioritises the everyday lived enactments of policy as a means to understand the state as a more differentiated and changeable entity than is often allowed for in current critiques of neoliberalism. But Hunter reminds us that focusing on lived realities demands a melancholic confrontation with pain, and the risks of social and physical death and violence lived through the contemporary neoliberal state. This is a state characterised by the ascendency of neoliberal whiteness; a state where no one is innocent and we are all responsible for the multiple intersecting exclusionary practices creating its unequal social orderings. The only way to struggle through the central paradox of governance to produce something different is to accept this troubling interdependence between resistance and reproduction and between hope and loss. Analysing the everyday processes of this relational politics through original empirical studies in health, social care and education the book develops an innovative interdisciplinary theoretical synthesis which engages with and extends work in political science, cultural theory, critical race and feminist analysis, critical psychoanalysis and post-material sociology.
Traditionally, the study of ‘power in the city’ was confined to the institutions of urban government and the actors involved in contesting and making political decisions in and for metropolitan societies. Increasingly, however, attention has turned to the function of the city not only as a centre of urban governance but as a major economic, social, cultural and strategic force in its own right. Cities, Politics and Power combines this traditional concern with how the cities in which we live are organized and run with a broader focus on cities and urban regions as multiple sites and agents of power. This book is divided into five sections, with a short introduction outlining the argument and organisation of the text. Part two charts the development of the urban polity and considers the ways in which coercion and force continue to be used to segregate, oppress and annihilate urban populations. Part three critically examines the key collective actors and processes that compete for and organise political power within cities, and how urban governance operates and interacts with lesser and greater scales of government and networks of power. Part four then explores the ways in which ‘the political’ is constituted by urban inhabitants, and how social identity, information and communication networks, and the natural and built environment all comprise intersecting fields of urban power. The conclusion calls for a broader theoretical and thematic approach to the study of urban politics. This book makes extensive use of comparative and historical case studies, providing broad coverage of politics and urban movements in both the Global North and the Global South, with a particular focus on the UK, USA, Canada, Latin America and China. It is written in an accessible and lucid style and provides suggestions for further reading at the end each chapter.
Aid Power and Politics delves into the political roots of aid policy, demonstrating how and why governments across the world use aid for global influence, and exploring the role it plays in present-day global governance and international relations. In reconsidering aid as part of international relations, the book argues that the interplay between domestic and international development policy works in both directions, with individual countries having the capacity to shape global issues, whilst at the same time, global agreements and trends, in turn, shape the political behaviour of individual countries. Starting with the background of aid policy and international relations, the book goes on to explore the behaviour of both traditional and emerging donors (the US, the UK, the Nordic countries, Japan, Spain, Hungary, Brazil, and the European Union), and then finally looks at some big international agendas which have influenced donors, from the liberal consensus on democracy and good governance, to gender equality and global health. Aid Power and Politics will be an important read for international development students, researchers, practitioners and policy makers, and for anyone who has ever wondered why it is that countries spend so much money on the well-being of non-citizens outside their borders.
Oriented around the theme of a ‘politics of philosophy’, this book tracks the phases in which Foucault’s genealogy of power, law, and subjectivity was reorganized during the 14 years of his teaching at the College de France, as his focus shifted from sovereignty to governance. This theme, Sandro Chignola argues here, is the key to understanding four features of Foucault’s work over this period. First, it foregrounds its immediate political character. Second, it demonstrates that Foucault’s "Greek trip" also aims at a politics of the subject that is able to face the processes of the governmentalization of power. Third, it makes clear that the idea of the "government of the self" is – drawing on an ethics of intellectual responsibility that is Weberian in origin – an answer to the processes that, within neoliberal governance, produce the subject as an individual (as a consumer, a market agent, an entrepreneur, and so on). Fourth, the theme of a ‘politics of philosophy’ implies that Foucault’s research was never simply scholarly or neutral; but rather was characterized by a specific political position. Against recent interpretations that risk turning Foucault into a scholar, here then Foucault is re-presented as a key figure for jurisprudential and political-philosophical research.
Decentralization is sweeping the world and having dramatic and far-reaching impacts on resource management and livelihoods, particularly in forestry. This book is the most up-to-date examination of the themes, experiences and lessons learned from decentralization worldwide. Drawing on research and support from all of the major international forestry and conservation organizations, the book provides a balanced account that covers the impact of decentralization on resource management worldwide, and provides comparative global insights with wide implications for policy, management, conservation and resource use and planning. Topics covered include forest governance in federal systems, democratic decentralization of forests and natural resources, paths and pitfalls in decentralization and biodiversity conservation in decentralized forests. The book provides in-depth case studies of decentralization from Bolivia, Ghana, Indonesia, Russia, Scotland, Switzerland, Uganda and the US, as well as highlights from federal countries including Australia, Brazil, Canada, India and Malaysia. It also addresses the critical links between the state, forests, communities and power relations in a range of regions and circumstances, and provides case examples of how decentralization has been viewed and experienced by communities in Guatemala, Philippines and Zimbabwe. The Politics of Decentralization is state-of-the-art coverage of decentralization and is essential for practitioners, academics and policy-makers across forestry and the full spectrum of natural resource management.
Power and domination are central concepts in social science yet, up to now, they have been undertheorized. This wide-ranging book guides students through the complexities and implications of both concepts. It provides systematic accounts of current debates about the dynamics and rationale of state power in an era of globalization, social citizenship and the significance of social movements. The contributions of Parsons, Giddens, Foucault, Mann, Arendt, Habermas and Castells are clearly set out and critically assessed.
This exciting new text adopts a challenging question-led approach to the major issues facing global society today, in order to investigate the nature and complexity of global change. Among other things it looks at the future of the state, the environment, the international political economy, war and global rivalries, and the role of international law and the UN in the post-Cold War world. The book devises a readily comprehensible "change map", which both incorporates a wide range of the fundamental concepts of international relations theory and suggests a number of new concepts capable of assisting the investigation of global change. This new framework is deployed to look closely at real world issues in order to isolate the crucial factors which determine whether or not mass hunger, for example, or enviromental abuse, can be eliminated.