Previous issues

Browse previous issues and articles published by Political Perspectives since its creation in 2007.

Volume 9 Issue 1

The authoritarianism-political violence nexus

Violence and democracy are not given social phenomena. They are contested, ever changing concepts. In a recent and polemic statement, David Cameron, leader of the United Kingdom’s Conservative Party and current prime-minister, declared Jeremy Corbyn a “threat to national security” (Jones 2015). Cameron did not refer to a convicted criminal, the leader of a terrorist group or an invader from outer space with a rather Anglicized name. The prime-minister was talking about the recently elected leader of the Labour Party, the second largest political force in the British parliament. For Cameron, Corbyn’s electoral success signaled the opposition party had become “a threat to our national security, our economic security and your family’s security” (Ibid). Such remarks, as expected, spurred reactions across the political spectrum. From members of the Parliament to comedians, many questioned, and ridiculed, the harsh approach of the primeminister (Gunter 2015). A vivid, interesting response came from the Russian embassy in the United Kingdom: “Just imagine UK media headlines if Russian President called a leading opposition party threat to national security?”(Russian Embassy UK 2015). The affair is not only an example of the sassy usage of social media by politicians, but incidentally sheds light on the contentious grounds surrounding the concepts of violence and democracy. Cameron’s remark invites a reflection on how everyday political practices, even those we accept as inherently democratic, can conceal expressions of violence.

Introduction: The authoritarianism-political violence nexus

Gabriel Fernandes Pimenta and Henrique Tavares Furtado

One of the reoccurring statements nowadays in the mass media on the Eurozone is that the crisis is not over. Political leaders and leading academics alike come to a similar conclusion despite providing different types of evidence for the crisis’ pervasiveness. According to the newly elected European Commission’s president, Claude Juncker, the crisis is still ongoing, as some of the debtor countries are far


Divine violence and reparative justice: The spheres of radical democracy

Alexandra Leong

Following the financial and European crises (2008-2013) there has been a number of calls for austerity, understood as cuts to public budgets and policies, across Europe. This article investigates how these calls have impacted the European Union.


The third margin of the river: International relations narratives and authoritarian violence in South America

Gabriel Pimenta

The present article investigates the public discourse that surrounds the Eurozone crisis in search for an understanding of the cultural politics that have characterised it. By the means of a critical discourse analysis of media and elite rhetoric, the various ways that both German and Greek citizens, are constructed as prototypical representatives of Core Europe and Periphery Europe, respectively, are explored.


Authoritarianism of the everyday identity and power in public space

Robin Trenbath

This paper intends to provide pragmatic, durable solutions, for the Europeanisation and European Union (EU) integration processes, to be maintained during the global financial crisis.


Volume 8 Issue 2

Introduction The vector of austerity and the lost path to recovery: Implications for European integration and cohesion

Albina Lind

One of the reoccurring statements nowadays in the mass media on the Eurozone is that the crisis is not over. Political leaders and leading academics alike come to a similar conclusion despite providing different types of evidence for the crisis’ pervasiveness. According to the newly elected European Commission’s president, Claude Juncker, the crisis is still ongoing, as some of the debtor countries are far from having served their debts, disregarding some initial positive signs, at the same time rejecting the option of further debt relief (Deutsche Welle, 04.08.14). The lack of improvement in the Eurozone’s economic performance is associated by the German Chancellor Angela Merkel with the European Central Bank’s decision to cut interest rates to a record lows (Reuters, 11.06.14), while in the view of the Scientific Director of the Institute of Oriental and African Studies, Said Gafurov, the crisis in Greece is nowhere near its end, since only the budget of the country became somewhat more balanced, while the “macroeconomic crisis is only developing and becoming increasingly more widespread” (Pravda, 14.01.2014).


Austerity at EU level? How the crisis impacted EU budget and policies

Viviane Gravey

Following the financial and European crises (2008-2013) there has been a number of calls for austerity, understood as cuts to public budgets and policies, across Europe. This article investigates how these calls have impacted the European Union.


The Eurozone crisis and the politics of blaming: the cases of Germany and Greece

Ioanna Ntampoudi

The present article investigates the public discourse that surrounds the Eurozone crisis in search for an understanding of the cultural politics that have characterised it. By the means of a critical discourse analysis of media and elite rhetoric, the various ways that both German and Greek citizens, are constructed as prototypical representatives of Core Europe and Periphery Europe, respectively, are explored.


Europeanisation: New ways to conceptualise European Union integration

Ben Duke

This paper intends to provide pragmatic, durable solutions, for the Europeanisation and European Union (EU) integration processes, to be maintained during the global financial crisis.


Volume 8 Issue 1

Introduction: Critical politics in times of anxiety

James Alexander and Jamie Johnson

This issue of Political Perspectives emerges out of the 11th Aberystwyth-Lancaster Graduate Colloquium (ALGC), which was held at the University of Manchester on the 5th-7th June 2013. Established by Jenny Edkins and Michael Dillon, the ALGC is an annual event designed to provide postgraduate students with an interest in critical approaches to international politics a space in which to share and engage with ongoing research projects. The conference deliberately avoids a key theme in order to promote a rich and diverse engagement with the range of theories and practices that define international politics today.


Indicating power A Foucauldian analysis of Freedom House’s democracy index

Claire Luzia Leifert

Indexes of democratic governance have become a standard tool for assessing the quality of democracy or regime transformations in countries around the world. While some scholars have voiced criticism regarding the methodologies of particular indexes, little attention has so far been devoted to the ways in which power and knowledge interact in the construction and use of democracy indexes and what the implications are for international power relations as such. T


Conceptualising the dichotomy between private military contractors and soldiers amid ‘society’

Malte Riemann

Since the end of the Cold War Private Military Companies have emerged as important players within international politics. Their significance is expressed by the fact that the United States of America are unable to wage war without the assistance of such companies.


“Fine pena: mai”- never-ending punishment The reproduction of State sovereignty vis à vis organised crime: the case of the Italian State and the Sicilian Mafia

Norma Rossi

As Derrida has argued, the constitution of the criminal is related to the constitution of the sovereign, and both are situated outside the law, one above and one below it. The present contribution explores the way organised crime is excluded from the political realm and how this exclusion reproduces statist claims to sovereignty through exceptional measures which outlaw the (organised) criminal.


Resilience contra metamorphosis: Imaginaries for liberal self-perpetuation

Tania Rosales Moreno Lejeune

This article aims to contribute to a growing debate on the subject of resilience. A Foucault-inspired approach is adopted to problematise the question ‘what does it mean for life to be resilient?’, aiming to unveil the rationalities at work within any conceptualisation of ‘resilient life’. The article is an invitation to reconsider the impact of ‘becoming resilient’, and a call to evaluate the ontological and political repercussions of this notion.


Volume 7 Issue 2

Unfolding the political: Voices of aesthetics and emotions

Emmy Eklundh and Rachel Massey

Roland Bleiker identifies two shifts in the production of knowledge about world politics. In the first of these shifts the so-called “postmodern” scholars began to challenge positivist foundations of knowledge (Bleiker, 2001: 510). They raised questions about how the “parameters” of knowledge made it difficult, if not impossible, to locate and explore a wide range of other insights into world politics (see for instance Smith – Booth – Zalewski, 1996). In the second, interlocking, shift scholars began to explore different forms of knowledge. Their pursuit of knowledge was characterised more by diversity, than by a single and coherent set of positions and assumptions.


Toward a cinema of revolution: 18 days in Tahrir Square

Walker Gunning, Hagop Kevorkian Center for Near Eastern Studies, New York University

It has been said that revolutions are always unthinkable before they occur and inevitable after. As such, much writing about the Egyptian revolution has attempted to retroactively predict it while missing the larger picture. However, pictures of Tahrir Square are hard to miss. As revolutionaries, regime, and military contested Tahrir through spectacular imagery, Al Jazeera broadcast the square live.


The voice of resistance in concentrationary music

Alessandro Carrieri, Research Fellow DiSPeS, University of Trieste

There are voices of resistance that still remain unheard. This is the case of the voices of composers and musicians interned in concentration camps during Nazism. In particular, my contribution intends to analyse Viktor Ullmann’s musical experience during his detention in the ghetto of Theresienstadt (Terezín in Czech), with specific reference to the oeuvre The Emperor of Atlantis, or Death Abdicates (Der Kaiser von Atlantis, oder die Tod-Verweigerung).


Resistance music finds new shapes

Silvia Rosani, Goldsmiths University

Music and politics are undoubtedly bound by a relationship whose origin has to be looked for in the far past. This can be proved by the fact that many composers in history chose to comment through their works on the conditions of human beings and on the events involving them, hence taking a clear stand on the political choices which led to these happenings. The topics that influence my creative process as a composer and which are addressed in my works, are the Italian politics of immigration and the political corruption in Italy, along with their relationship to illegal organizations. I


Reading the war on terror through fear and hope? Affective warfare and the question of the future

Claes Wrangel, PhD Candidate, University of Gothenburg

In critical theories of security, it is often claimed that the governance of life operates by the production of fear, an emotion marked by its political character, working as to arrest bodies in the present. Simultaneously, hope is often announced as fear’s binary opposite, as the condition of possibility of a future beyond the present. Hope is thereby rendered as an ethical imperative, opposed by default to both power and politics.


Saying fraternity

Ramona Rat, Baltic and East European Graduate School, Södertörn University

In this paper I examine the meaning of fraternity in Emmanuel Levinas’ philosophy by exploring its potential of resisting totality. I begin by discussing its early conceptual roots and its development as a notion that encompasses both political and ethical meanings.


Volume 7 Issue 1

Non-state actors in world politics and international relations research – an introduction

David S. A. Guttormsen and Carina van de Wetering

In this edition of Political Perspectives, the four articles examine a broad range of perspectives concerning the role of policy institutions, networks and researchers in world politics and foreign policy. The overarching theme of this edition is purposefully broad – as an endeavour to capture the diversity in topics, theoretical perspectives, ontological underpinnings as well as geographical variation, in ongoing research projects amongst International Relations (IR) academics of tomorrow. The IR discipline, however, has conventionally been preoccupied with the state-system as the focal level of analysis – predominantly through the realist ontological ‘school of thought’ where the ‘state’ performs as the key ‘ontological tool’ (see Waltz, 1979). Consequently, we deliberately chose the expansive phrase of ‘world politics’ as the term of ‘international relations’ implies a focus on nation-states (Baylis, Smith and Owens, 2010:2). This edition of Political Perspectives, thus, accommodates for analysing world politics and foreign policy, rather, from the non-state level, where many a scholar is stressing the interplay between Intergovernmental Organisations (IGOs) and, indeed, states.


The UN as a competitive arena for linked ecologies: The case of UN peacekeeping

John Karlsrud, Research Fellow NUPI, University of Warwick

This article argues that the UN, in the area of peacekeeping, can be understood as a competitive arena, where informal policy alliances are competing to frame issues and build support for new norms, concepts and rules. These norms, concepts or rules may be advanced on altruistic grounds, or to increase the efficiency and effectiveness of the organisation.


Monopolistic competition, intra-industry trade and direct lobbying: The case of the transatlantic business dialogue

Matia Vannoni, London School of Economics

This paper analyses the influence monopolistic competition and intraindustry trade (IIT) exert on trade policy lobbying. More specifically, it concentres on how firms producing in monopolistic competition and trading in IIT act in the political arena: the argument is that the type of production and accordingly, the type of trade where a firm is embedded determine its lobbying strategies.


Visibility and activity: Foreign affairs think tanks in the United Kingdom

Iván Medina Iborra, Universidad Autónoma de Madrid and David S. A. Guttormsen, Universities of Coventry and Warwick

If politics is about transforming ‘reality’, then think tanks are in the business of interpreting politics. However, there is a lack of research dealing with the way think tanks disseminate ideas. Although think tanks are publicly recognised, researchers face a number of difficulties in determining their exact impact on the policy process.


Nothing about us without civil society: The role of civil society actors in the formation of the UN Convention on the rights of persons with disabilities

Hanna Woodburn, Georgetown University

In the past two decades civil society has increasingly played a role in global policy making. The UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities is one such instance. This Convention represents a new model of involvement between nongovernmental organizations and multilateral policy making bodies at the global level.


Volume 6 Issue 2

Latin American foreign policy beyond the United States

Giulia Sirigu and Eduardo Olivares, The University of Manchester

Since the 1990s, the world has experienced the end of the Cold War logic with what Krauthammer has subsequently called the ‘unipolar moment’ (1990) and then the ‘unipolar era’ (2002). He refers to the times where the United States was the only superpower on earth — Huntington (1999) called it the ‘lonely superpower’—, a condition this country lost after 2001. At the same time, Latin American governments have successively changed their patterns of foreign affairs. In most of the 1990s, they aligned their interests with Washington’s (Raymont, 2005), but after the 2000s the world allowed for a new approach, especially with the emergence of China (Domínguez 2010; Ellis, 2009). Subsequently, leaders, political parties and different organisations in Latin America diversified their international relations objectives. At least, the multilateralisation of foreign affairs has been the discourse highlighted by these actors in the last decade (Lagos, 2008).


Brazilian Foreign Policy under Lula: From non-intervention to non-indifference

Karin Ekström, Stockholm University Leonardo Miguel Alles, Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul

This article examines how the foreign policy of the Lula administration adopted a different stance from Brazilian diplomatic tradition on the principle of non-intervention. The sovereignty concept that arose from the Treaties of Westphalia was re-signified due the difficulties experienced by humanitarian institutions and countries.


EU-Brazil relations in a time of crisis: An assessment of the fifth EU-Brazil summit

Elena Lazarou, Getulio Vargas Foundation and Daniel Edler, Getulio Vargas Foundation,

This paper analyses the results of the 2011 EU-Brazil Summit within the context of the Eurozone crisis, the developments in the Middle East and the emergence of Brazil as a major player on the world stage. It does so through a discourse analysis of the Summit’s conclusion on issues of global, regional and bilateral relevance.


Argentina’s labour movement and trade policy: The case of CTA within Mercosur during the Kirchners’ governments

Bruno Dobrusin, University of Buenos Aires

This essay discusses the role and actions taken by the Argentine Workers’ Congress (CTA in Spanish) in the formulation of Argentina‘s foreign trade policy during the last decade. The project looks into the activity and lobby of CTA in the context of South American integration projects, predominantly the South Common Market (Mercosur henceforth).


The ideology of regionalism in Argentinean foreign policy post-2003

Inés Barboza Belistri, Latin American School of Social Sciences

After 2003, Argentina went through a significant change in its foreign policy strategies, in the specific field of regional integration. These principles are based on the prioritization of the political link within the Southern Cone and with Latin-American countries as a primary platform. They include the defence of democracy and human rights, the respect of sovereignty and self-determination


Volume 6 Issue 1

New perspectives on European governance: energy security, policy instruments and integration dynamics

The special issue is based on the 2nd JMCE Manchester conference for Postgraduate students in the field of European politics with the title ‘Building a PhD Community in the Northwest: Exits from the crisis- integration versus disintegration’. The conference was organised by PhD candidates from the Universities of Manchester, Manchester Metropolitan and Salford and took place on 20th January 2012 at Manchester University. In addition to a wide number of presentation from PhD students from the UK, and in particular from the North West of England, the conference featured a round table discussion with the MEPs Arlene McCarthy and Jacqueline Foster, as well as with Professor Lee Miles from Loughborough University and Dr. Dimitrios Syrrakos from Manchester Metropolitan University


The Open Method of Coordination in the UK: An open but invisible method

Mihalis Ragkousis, University of Hull

The Open Method of Coordination (OMC) in the strand of social inclusion (social inclusion OMC) has been followed by provisions for participation of all relevant stakeholders in the policy-making process. This includes people who experience poverty. However, scholars have been sceptical about whether these provisions have been applied in practice.


Europeanisation through soft law: The future of EU health policy?

Eleanor Brooks, Lancaster University

The last two decades have seen the emergence of what is widely labelled a ‘European’ health policy sphere. The expansion of this traditionally national field of governance has been supported by a comparatively weak legal framework, which grants the European Union (EU) very little in the way of formal competence, instead reserving the majority of power for member states.


Capturing contestation in Caspian energy: Regime complexity and Eurasian energy governance

Ed Stoddard, University of Portsmouth

Energy governance in the Caspian region is characterised by a nexus of multiple, partially competing institutional structures initiated and promoted by different regional powers. This article provides a conceptualisation and explanation of this intricate energy picture based on the concept of regime complexity.


Russo-Polish energy security relations: A case of threatening dependency, supply guarantee, or regional energy security dynamics?

Jack Sharples, University of Glasgow

Dependency on Russian energy supplies is often cited as a threat to Central European energy security. A critical analysis of this argument requires consideration of the objective level of Central Europe’s dependency on Russian energy imports, and an examination of the counter-argument that Russia’s ability to satisfy the region’s energy import needs actually makes Russia a guarantor of the region’s energy security.


Local government and European integration – beyond Europeanisation?

Marius Guderjan, Manchester Metropolitan Unversity

Amongst the range of studies focusing on the Europeanisation of various types of local government across Europe, only a few attempts have been made to address European integration from a local government perspective.


Volume 5 Issue 3

The United States and China: Past, present and future interactions

This edition of Political Perspectives focuses on the historical and contemporary relations between the United States and China. Five authors approach key aspects of those relations, from varying and yet largely complementary viewpoints. Their collective purpose is to contribute to debates surrounding the past, present and future of Sino-American interactions, and to advance our understanding of what we should consider their significance to be. Indeed, with the modern-day ‘rise’ of China and the United States’ enduring position as sole global superpower, they lend their voices to an increasingly substantial arena of popular and scholarly concern. The authors are nationals of numerable countries and continents, providing a truly international perspective towards the issues raised.


An end to harmony? The rise of a Sino-centric China

Andreas Bøje Forsby, Danish Institute for International Studies

The rise of China is one of the key challenges to Western Liberal Order. What are the foreign policy interests of China and thereby the implications of rising Chinese power? Following a constructivist approach this paper will derive the overall foreign policy interests of China from its self-understanding.


India-China-United States: The post-Cold War evolution of a strategic triangle

Ananya Chatterjee, University of Reading

The end of the Cold War has seen the emergence of a triangular dynamic involving India, China and the United States which has become increasingly prominent within global political discussions, given the rising economic and military might of the two Asian powers.


Sino-US relations then and now: Discourse, images, policy

Oliver Turner, The University of Manchester

Throughout the relevant literatures American imagery of China has been consistently misrepresented and underestimated. Specifically, that imagery has been predominantly conceived in relatively superficial terms, as overtly positive or negative attitudes and opinions vulnerable to shifts at given moments.


Sino-US strategic competition in Southeast Asia: China’s rise and US foreign policy transformation since 9/11

Hung Ming-Te and Tony Tai-Ting Liu, National Chung Hsing University

Asia’s growing economic prosperity led by China’s rise in recent years has caused the spotlight of international relations to turn eastward. Along with rising interest in China’s development, renewed attention has also gravitated towards Southeast Asia, a region slighted in the general discussion of power in the international realm.


The warming of Kilimanjaro: Sino-American competitive convergence in 21st Century Africa

David A. Jones, University of Warsaw

China has sought friendship with many nations of Africa, and some of these relations have increased and deepened over time. The West, including the NATO countries and particularly the United States, also have developed a presence in Africa. Mostly, the West and China have managed to work without conflict across Africa, sometimes in different locations


Volume 5 Issue 2

The European Union as a global actor: Present and future challenges

This edition of Political Perspectives focuses on the European Union (EU) as a global actor. Four authors have addressed aspects of the present and future challenges that the Union faces, and the effectiveness of EU instruments utilised to achieve strategic objectives. The theme is a broad one, and relates to a selection of the contemporary challenges the EU faces with regards to its international role and affairs. The edition aims to contribute to the debate on the global role of the EU, which, in post-Lisbon era, has obtained increased relevance.


The European Union: What kind of international actor?

Nick Wright, University of East Anglia

The contested nature of the EU”s role, status and impact as an international actor is clearly demonstrated in the literature. From this three broad categories of analysis emerge: realist, civilian power and normative power. This article offers an analysis of each of these, rejecting the realist critique as too narrow and state-centric, and arguing that an approach based purely on an examination of the EU’s capabilities is insufficient when seeking to explain its international actorness.


EU-South caucasus relations: Do good governance and security go together?

Licínia Simão, University of Coimbra

European Union relations with its eastern neighbourhood have developed based on a structural approach to regional stability. This has been translated in a long-term project of soft integration of the neighbours into European structures, and into a cautious engagement in short-term problems. This paper addresses the dilemmas posed to this EU strategy in the context of the South Caucasus.


EU energy diversification policy and the case of South Caucasus

Jaroslaw Wisniewski, King’s College London

The issue of the European Union”s energy security remains at the top of political narratives of EU countries, especially in the light of frequent disturbances in the context of gas delivery from the EU”s main supplier, the Russian Federation. The article focuses on the external aspect of the EU energy security – the energy diversification policy and its main concern, pipelines.


The limits of normative power Europe: Evaluating the third pillar of the Euro-Mediterranean partnership

Dimitris Bouris, University of Warwick

This paper aims at exploring the notion of Normative Power Europe (NPE) presented by Manners in 2002 and its limits. In order to assess these limits, the paper will draw upon the Euro-Mediterranean Partnership and more specifically to its third pillar which is the sociocultural one. To that end two aspects of the third pillar will be explored; firstly EU”s promotion of democracy in the Middle East by the so called democratisation process and the norm of good governance.


Volume 5 Issue 1


Daniel W. Kuthy, Georgia State University/Georgia Gwinnett College and Ryan Yonk Georgia State University/Utah State University

Political institutions play a critical role in the attempts to overcome collective action problems, both domestically and internationally. In the framework of domestic politics, political institutions work to serve, oppress, or neglect people. On the international stage, they provide a useful tool for interstate cooperation to maintain the status quo, alter the current order, or overcome collective action problems that countries cannot effectively address alone.


Global governance of renewable energy and the WREC/WREN case

Betul Gokkir, University of Florida

This paper explores sources of global governance through the specific case of the World Renewable Energy Congress/Network (WREC/WREN). The current literature on global governance, debates the channels of governance in an era characterised by the rise of intergovernmental organisations (IGOs) and non-governmental organisations (NGOs). It also takes into consideration increasing scientific and technological development.


Socialised or calculated interests? Analysing China”s regional policy through constructivist and rationalist perspectives

John W. Eberhard, Georgia State University

China’s behaviour in the East Asian region has evolved overtime, reflecting an evolution of its interests. The rapid rise in power and influence China has enjoyed in the region lead many observers to view China as a calculated, shrewd, and self-interested actor with an eye to increasing power. Others see processes of socialisation with other states in the region affecting China”s identity and interests.


Media and the Bush administration: An analysis of the 2007 mortgage crisis

Erin Cottle, Utah State University

This paper analyses the policy implications of newspaper coverage of the 2007 subprime mortgage crisis. In testimony before the Senate Housing, Banking, and Urban Affairs Committee, Boston Federal Reserve Bank Economist Paul Willen stated that Bush administration policy responses to the mortgage crisis in 2007 were ineffective because they failed to address the true causes or the crisis and instead focused on adjustable rate mortgage (ARM) interest rate resets.


Touchdown, slam dunk, or home run: How media coverage of athletics shapes perceptions of local education quality

Ryan Yonk, Georgia State University/Utah State University

Education is a central issue to most Americans and because of this it is necessary to understand how their opinions of such are derived. Even though many Americans focus on the state of urban education, rural education is prone to many shortcomings that need to be addressed.


House journal votes: An individual analysis of obstruction and leadership assistance

Brian Webb, Georgia State University

This paper examines the why individual members of the House request votes on the daily Journal. The literature is divided over how requests for Journal votes are used in the House. Journal vote request are believe to be either obstruction tactics used by the minority party or tools to assist party leaders. Neither theory of Journal votes test their claims using individual level data of House members.


Volume 4 Issue 1

Fail again. Fail better: Nomadic utopianism in Deleuze & Guattari and Yevgeny Zamyatin

David Bell, University of Nottingham

This paper is an encounter between three seemingly disparate bodies of political thought: the co-authored works of Gilles Deleuze and Felix Guattari; Yevgeny Zamyatin’s 1921 novel We and his essays Scythians and On Literature, Energy, Entropy and Other Matters, and works of utopian studies theory.



Astrid Nordin, The University of Manchester

The initiative for this issue of Political Perspectives stems from the vibrant discussions and the range of exciting papers presented at the Aberystwyth-Lancaster Graduate Colloquium (ALGC), which was held at The University of Manchester on 4-5 June 2009. The ALGC was established by Professors Jenny Edkins and Mick Dillon as a forum in which graduate students could explore and discuss critical, feminist and post-structuralist approaches to global politics.


Bioeconomic governance in the EU after the molecular revolution: An introduction

Andrea Rossi, Lancaster University

Modern configurations of power have established a necessary bond between species life and political economy. This paper provides an initial theorisation of the field of bioeconomy in the context of biopolitics literature and an account of its empirical significance through a preliminary analysis of the European Union (EU)’s recently-launched ‘knowledge-based bioeconomy’ (KBBE) programme.


‘Feminine Trouble’ and the (re)constitution of the militarised masculine subject

Julia Welland, The University of Manchester

This paper provides an outline of debates within feminist IR about the inclusion of women in the military and the ways in which their agency is frequently denied or marginalised. Demonstrating how militarised masculinity is being re-articulated against the feminine in the wake of growing involvement of women the paper reviews two cases of women soldiers previously discussed in the literature (Jessica Lynch and Lynndie England), as well as the more original case of Faye Turney.


Volume 3 Issue 1

The futures of international politics: An introduction

Thomas Gregory, The University of Manchester

As part of a wider programme organised by CIP Unsigned, the Futures of International Politics conference was held at the University of Manchester on 30 May, 2008. CIP Unsigned was initially established as means for graduate students to present their work to colleagues in an informal yet constructive environment.


Remembering the future: The ethics of the absolute beginning

Patrick Pinkerton, The University of Manchester

This article explores some ethical consequences of utilising a Derridean approach for thinking about issues of memory and temporality. Derridean thought appears to produce two contradictory ways of engaging with memory.


Images, popular culture, aesthetics, emotions: The future of international politics?

Linda Åhäll, Department of Political Science and International Studies, University of Birmingham

This article explores current theoretical innovations regarding how, what and where we study international politics. I argue that visual representations cannot be ignored if we are to understand how meaning is constructed in today’s highly visualised world. Moreover, since meaning construction is not contained by disciplinary borders, neither should data for political analysis be categorised in such a limited way.


Governing the network society: A biopolitical critique of resilience

Christopher Zebrowski, Keele University

Looking at the way risk is employed within the United Kingdom’s Civil Contingencies Secretariat’s policy of resilience, this article critically examines how contingency is managed within contemporary biopolitical security practices seeking to protect and promote species-life.


Imagining Russia: The prevalence of power, the potential of nation

Rasmus Nilsson, School of Slavonic and East European Studies, University College London

This article seeks to understand Russian perceptions of Belarusian and Ukrainian political sovereignty between 1990 and 1993. I argue that such perceptions were mainly influenced by what I call the paradigm of Power, centred on the idea of Belarus and Ukraine being included within Russia.


Volume 2 Issue 2

The European polity and policy making: Contemporary developments and future challenges

Paul Copeland and Scott James

This second special edition of Political Perspectives intends to continue with the themes established within the first edition, while simultaneously expanding its scope. Therefore not only does this second edition focussed upon EU level developments within the European polity and policy making, but it also includes developments within the various member states. The two levels of analysis are intimately linked and any holistic understanding of the EU requires a knowledge of developments within both areas.


Explaining the development of EU railway policy: Insights from new institutionalism

Helene Dyrhauge, School of Politics and International Studies (POLIS), University of Leeds

The development of the EU Railway Policy is explored by combining Historical Institutionalism and Rational Choice Institutionalism, where the aim is to identify DG TREN’s path dependence and how this influences its interaction with other key actors within the institutional setting. In other words, the article explains the role institutions have had on DG TREN and its ability to open the railway markets within the EU to competition.


Ever closer markets: Public procurement & services in the EU and the USA

Leif Hoffmann, PhD Candidate and Instructor, University of Oregon

Scholars tend to assume that in terms of institutional shape the US is generally more hierarchical and centralised than the EU, and in terms of market integration the former is more of a single free market than the latter in the sense of fewer trade restraints. However, in some policy fields the European Union appears to have gone further than the United States in centralising authority and eliminating interstate barriers to integrate the common market.


Democracy at union level: An open question

Maria Romana Allegri, University of Rome

What are the many elements that shape the multifarious identity of democracy within the EU? After examining the competing perspectives on the sources of legitimacy of the EU – concluding that the principles of Union legitimacy are different and none of them prevail over the other – this paper will focus on the question of the so-called ‘democratic deficit’ in the EU.


EU Enlargement, The Barroso Commission and a shift to the right? The uncertain future of the European social model in a post 2004 union

Paul Copeland, The University of Manchester

This paper explores the current problems within the European Social Model debate which are identified as an absence of a clear definition and a denial of its existence. In an attempt to solve these two problems, this paper defines the ESM as a mixture of hard law, soft law and underlying norms and values.


Enhanced co-operation in the EU and ASEAN? Provision of enhanced co-operation in the European Union in comparison to similar institutional developments in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations

Pei-Fei (Veronica) Chang, Katholieke Universiteit Leuven

The Amsterdam Treaty introduced the mechanism of closer cooperation, allowing certain member states to move the integration forward on specific issues within the EU framework. Later, the Nice Treaty and the Treaty-Constitution expanded possible applicable areas of enhanced cooperation. What is enhanced cooperation? Is it a unique institutional design?


The impact of the European Union on foreign policy-making in Hungary, Romania and Slovakia: Institutional adaptation, learning and socialization

Sorin Stefan Denca,European Research Institute, University of Birmingham

This article discusses the influence of the process of European integration on the foreign policy-making in the new member states from Central and Eastern Europe, using as case-studies Hungary, Romania and Slovakia. The impact of the integration process is examined from an institutionalist perspective.


The role of neutrality on Irish defence policy decisions: EU a time for change

Tanya Colclough, University College Cork

In today’s real world of power politics it is no longer relevant for member states to act alone and joining forces has now become a natural solution for maintaining influence in the international arena. Ensuring stability has become even more significant as the EU enlarges and extends its borders to areas where poverty, violence and instability are constantly present.


Targeting source and addressing plurality in European Union legitimacy: Procedure versus substance

Valerie Dye, The University of Manchester

Legitimacy is defined as a justification to exercise governance or authority over a body of citizens. It is argued that the same standards of legitimacy that apply to States cannot be applicable at the level of the European Union. However, the European Union carries out State like functions and is involved in governance. The question of its legitimacy therefore needs to be addressed. In seeking to enhance its legitimacy the European Union has focused mainly on procedural means.


Volume 2 Issue 1

From importer to exporter: the changing role of Nigeria in promoting democratic values in Africa

Shola Omotola, Redeemer’s University

This paper takes a critical look at Nigeria’s changing role in the promotion of democratic values in Africa since its return to democracy in 1999. The paper argues that the changing role of Nigeria from an importer to an exporter of democracy can be understood in terms of wider global political changes; Nigeria’s African centre-piece policy; the perception of threats to its leadership position in Africa especially from South Africa; and the personality of Obasanjo given his international credentials and stature.


The politics of inclusion and exclusion of traditional authorities in Africa: chiefs and justice administration in Botswana and Ghana

Setri Dzivenu, University of Edinburgh

In ‘traditional’ African societies, dispute settlement is often connected with a traditional political authority the fullest expression of which is often found in ‘chiefs’. At the national level, the case of chiefs as the dominant traditional judicial and political authority is justified in the many state policies and reforms executed after British colonial rule.


The African Standby Force: Major issues under ‘Mission Scenario Six’

Girmachew Alemu Aneme, Faculty of Law, University of Oslo

The African Standby Force is a key institution for the implementation of the peace and security architecture in the African Union (AU), the continental organisation of African States. The AU is given the right to intervene in its member states to pre-empt or bring to a halt the genocides, crimes against humanity and war crimes.


US Policies toward Africa: Strategic interests and divisive strategies

Ikponwosa Ero, University of Alberta

This paper analyses US-Africa relations from the end of the Cold War up to the current war on terror. It focuses on Washington’s national and international foreign policies on development aid for sub-Saharan Africa.


Understanding famine in Ethiopia: Poverty, politics and human rights

Alexander Attilio Vadala, University of Oslo

Some countries suffer from famine more than others. In recent years, famine has unfortunately become Ethiopia’s trademark and even now, despite changes in regimes, the threat of famine continues. At present, nature’s forces and climatic conditions cannot solely be responsible for famine causation as was the dominant mode of thinking five decades ago.


The failures of success – NGOs and the decreasing support for civil society in Namibia

Sabine Höhn, Edinburgh University

The article focuses on the narratives and practices of a shrinking NGO sector in Namibia. It argues that looking at NGOs decline instead of their rise can yield valuable new insights for the study of non-governmental organizations. It shows the ways in which decline in funding had an impact on the NGOs’ relations with the state and international donors and how such decline affected the organisations’ internal practices


As a man this is how you should behave! A critical look into methods of ‘developing men’ as a means of HIV/AIDS prevention in sub-Saharan Africa

Louise Nygaard, Rasmussen Centre of African Studies, University of Copenhagen

In recent years, targeting men in HIV/AIDS prevention has been promoted as a promising solution for preventing the spread of HIV. The reasons for targeting men revolve around how the sexual behaviour and attitudes of men are key drivers of the epidemic, and that empowering women is not sufficient to change men’s behaviours and attitudes.


Gender inequality in Mozambican primary education: problems, barriers and recommendations

Chankseliani Maia, Harvard Graduate School of Education

Considering the liberal and economic efficiency arguments for gender equality, this paper looks at some of the major economic and socio-cultural barriers to equal opportunity in primary education for Mozambican girls.


New Perspectives on Africa: Concluding Remarks

Solomon Mebrie Gofie, Addis Ababa University

The contributors to this special issue of Political Perspectives raised and discussed highly pertinent topics on contemporary socio-political developments in Africa. Furthermore, the research topics the authors investigated are also indicative of the thematic breadth of contemporary and future research on Africa.


Volume 1 Issue 2

European integration and the member state: New directions in research

Scott James and Paul Copeland

This special edition of Political Perspectives brings together an eclectic mix of articles in the field of European policy research. It was decided at an early stage that the research focus for the edition should be deliberately wide: European policy and politics is a broad and dynamic field of academic research and the purpose of this endeavour was to both reflect and contribute towards its further development by publishing some of the very best examples of contemporary research from postgraduate students across Europe.


Success or failure? An evaluation of fifty years (1957-2007) of European Union development policy in Africa, Caribbean, and the Pacific

Anjali Banthia, London School of Economics

This paper investigates the past fifty years (1957-2007) of European Union development policy in Africa, Caribbean and the Pacific (ACP), and argues that the policies which have been enacted during that period, including the Treaty of Rome, Yaoundé Conventions, Lomé Conventions, and Cotonou Agreement, have failed to achieve their stated goals.


New EU members and the CFSP: Europeanization of the Polish foreign policy

Joanna Kaminska, Royal Holloway, University of London

The issue of the foreign policies of the new EU members seems to be especially important today, as the enlarged EU needs to build a coherent foreign policy to be able to pursue its role as a global actor.


Europeanisation as ‘projection’: Understanding the changing face of EU policy making within the core executive

Scott James, European Policy Research Unit (EPRU), The University of Manchester

This paper aims to contribute towards both the theoretical and empirical application of Europeanisation to change within national core executives. It is critical of conventional attempts to employ the ‘goodness of fit’ model in order to explain institutional change, suggesting that it is best suited to an analysis of the reception of structures, policies and/or norms from Brussels rather than change aimed at enhancing the co-ordination and projection of national EU policy.


Europeanisation of the electronic public sphere: Theory, institutional culture and online reality

Dr Asimina Michailidou, Centre for the Study of Ethnicity and Citizenship, Bristol Institute of Public Affairs

This article, based on the author’s doctoral thesis (Michailidou 2007), focuses on the vertical Europeanisation of the online public debate and more specifically on the European Union’s (EU) online public communication strategy, which is understood here as the topdown process of the unmediated, direct, online communication between the EU and the general public.


Implementing structural funds in Poland: Institutional change and participation of the civil society

Marcin Dabrowski, Paisley Business School

Contributing to the literature on regional development and on institutional changes in Central and Eastern European countries in the wake of their adhesion to the European Union, this paper focuses on the impact of the implementation of the European Structural funds (SF) on the Polish administrative system.


The model of path-dependency and the comparative analysis of the EU policy-process

Maria Cheiladaki-Liarokapi, Sussex European Institute, University of Sussex

This article compares the processes that led to the adoption of the Erasmus Programme and of the European Health Insurance Card (EHIC). It asks whether these ‘key’ decisions would have emerged if the Commission and the ECJ were absent from the process.


The EU ‘crisis of legitimacy’ revisited: Concepts, causes, and possible consequences for the European politics and citizens

Svetlozar A. Andreev, Centro de Estudios Políticos y Constitucionales (CEPC), Madrid

It is claimed that the EU suffers from a range of difficult-to-identify legitimacy problems, in part because of its complex internal structure and way of functioning – ie between various levels of governance and centres of decision-making authority. This paper tries to analyse critically the ‘classical’ concepts of legitimacy and legitimisation, and to see what practical significance these two notions can have for the research on the democratic governance in the EU.


The European Union, New institutionalism and types of Multi-Level Governance

Anil Awesti, University of Warwick

Multi-Level Governance (MLG) fundamentally challenges a state-centric, intergovernmentalist conceptualisation of EU policy-making, emphasising the nonhierarchical, interconnected and multi-actor nature of contemporary governance. As such, MLG encapsulates the reconfiguration of policy-making space in the EU, rejecting a conception of governing as existing at either the domestic or international level, but rather as a single entity characterised by a complex web of interaction among a variety of interested actors.


Volume 1 Issue 1

Introduction – World orders and global governance: New perspectives and challenges

Kate Allison and Lucy Ferguson, The University of Manchester

This first International Politics edition of Political Perspectives emerged as a joint project with the holding of the first Centre for International Politics postgraduate conference here at the University of Manchester. The conference theme of World Orders and Global Governance: New Perspectives and Challenges was chosen to enable us to take a broad look at our field and to engage fully with the great variety of postgraduate work being produced both here at the Centre for International Politics and throughout the wider discipline within the UK and beyond.


Hegemonic securitisations of terrorism and the legitimacy of Palestinian government

Bezen Balamir Coskun, Loughborough University

As in most intra-state conflicts, particularly ones between states and ethnic/religious groups over sovereignty, the conflicting Israeli and Palestinian securitisation processes produce different versions of the same reality. For the state, the group fighting for its independence and sovereignty is labelled a ‘terrorist organisation’ and the attacks organised by this group are securitised as ‘terrorist attacks’. On the other hand, a group that is fighting for its rights or independence calls itself a ‘liberation movement’. Even at the international level there is no consensus on the definition of terrorist organisations and liberation movements. In this paper this dilemma will be illustrated by the Israeli –
Palestinian case analysed in the light of the Israeli and American-led international discourses regarding the nature of the current Palestinian leadership.


Discourse – occidentalism – intersectionality: Approaching knowledge on ‘suicide bombing’

Claudia Brunner, University of Vienna

The paper deals with questions of ‘epistemic violence’ within terrorism research by focusing on the three terms mentioned in the title: discourse, occidentalism, and intersectionality.


The military response to terrorism and the international law on the use of force

Dominika Svarc, University of Ljubljana

The contemporary threat of international terrorism and the strategies of its eradication challenge our moral, political and legal imagination. States have a variety of tools at their disposal to deal with this threat, including mechanisms of criminal justice, financial and economic measures, but in recent years, they have increasingly considered the use of military means in confronting terrorist groups abroad and, occasionally, governments that harbour them.


Living with a culture of conflict: Insurgency and the Philippines

Amador Peleo, University of East Anglia

This paper will examine the political security dilemma in the Philippines associated with the continuing conflict of the government with armed communist and Islamic insurgent groups.


Global environmental politics, regulation to the benefit or against the private sector? The negotiations of the Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety

Amandine Bled, Institute of Political Studies, Bordeaux, France

The study of the influence of business actors in global environmental governance has been mainly dominated by Neo-Gramscian scholars using a structuralist approach to account for private sector’s influence in the environmental realm.


The role and future of civil society in a transitional China

Ying Yu, Durham University

In a dynamic and diverse world politics, China’s political transition is deeply paradoxical: it has a very strong private sphere, a vibrant but fragmented civil society, a monolithic but a most faction-ridden and corrupt state because of the way that the other two spheres penetrate it.


Challenges to Japanese models of corporate governance: Stakeholder attitudes towards merger control in banking

Koji Shimohata, University of Exeter

Financial globalisation alters the strategic calculation of national firms and will require them to restructure through mergers or acquisitions. National regulations recognize the changed market environment and, in order to assist national firms, adapt national regulatory structures to permit participation in the market for corporate control.


Rediscovering Robert Cox: Agency and the ideational in critical IPE

Craig Berry, University of Sheffield

Robert Cox has been instrumental in the establishment of critical IPE. However, critical IPE is currently failing to fully account for agents in structural change, despite innumerable attempts to provide a synthesis between structural and agential explanations.


Funding inequality: How socially conservative development projects limit the potential for gender equitable development

Lucy Ferguson, The University of Manchester

As traditional macroeconomic development strategies such as employment creation and foreign investment have overwhelmingly failed to ‘trickle down’ to the poorest people of global society, alternative strategies are increasingly being sought.


The declaration on the right to development and implementation

Khurshid Iqbal, University of Ulster

The Right to Development (RTD) is a notable, but a controversial third generation human right. It was formally pronounced in a 1986 Declaration passed by the UN General Assembly. The Declaration proclaims that the RTD has both international and national dimensions. Academic controversies surround the concept of the RTD: its status as a human right, the legal position of the right-holders and the duty-bearers, the mechanism of its implementation and a juridical definition of the word ‘development’.


All change? Exploring the changes to World Bank policy and practice under the Multi-Country AIDS Programme (MAP)

Sophie Harman, The University of Manchester

This paper critically examines whether change to World Bank policy and practice under James Wolfensohn’s Presidency (1995-2005) is both substantive and real. The paper uses the Bank’s seminal HIV/AIDS project – the Multi-Country AIDS Programme (MAP) – as a case study in which to explore this issue.


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