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Subject: Political Science and International Relations

Freedom, Authority and Economics: Essays on Michael Polanyi's Politics and Economics

Edited by R. T. Allen

October 2016 / ISBN: 978-1-62273-131-2
Availability: In stock
$60 £48 €55

This edited volume of original contributions deals with the economic and political thought of Michael Polanyi. Requiring little prior knowledge of Polanyi, this volume further develops a somewhat neglected side of Polanyi's work. In particular it examines the 'tacit integration', of subsidiary details into focal objects or actions as central to all knowing and action. It traces ontological counterparts in the structures of comprehensive entities and complex actions, and a multi-level universe in which lower levels have their boundary conditions, the extents to which they apply, determined by those of the next higher level, whilst each possessing its own laws or operative principles. This schema of 'dual control' preserves the reality and relative autonomy of each level, and its interactions with others, against the various reductions. The essays in this volume also employ and develop important additional concepts and distinctions such as: 'corporate' and 'spontaneous' order; 'public' and 'private' liberties; 'general' and 'specific authority'; and 'moral inversion'; which, as the essays show, are necessary for understanding and maintaining a free society and the freedom of institutions within it. Among the topics treated with them are: more of the prerequisites of freedom in public liberties dedicated to principles and transcendent values; totalitarianism and society as spontaneous order; the balance of general and specific authority in society and particular institutions; reductionism, totalitarianism and consumption in consumer societies, as moral inversions; the mutual interactions of economics and politics as distinct and autonomous but interacting levels; the sociological aspects of economics; and Polanyi's own contributions to sociology. Although, as indicated, Polanyi has his special terms, the essays in this volume, like his works, give them meaning with concrete examples and so avoid merely shuffling a mass of abstractions. Together the essays show that his work is a rich seam of ideas and inspiration for yet further extension and application.

Intervention or Protest

Acting for Nonhuman Animals

Edited by Andrew Woodhall, University of Birmingham and Gabriel Garmendia da Trindade, University of Birmingham

October 2016 / ISBN: 978-1-62273-062-9
Availability: In stock
$75 £58 €68

Within current political, social, and ethical debates – both in academia and society – activism and how individuals should approach issues facing nonhuman animals, have become increasingly important, ‘hot’ issues. Individuals, groups, advocacy agencies, and governments have all espoused competing ideas for how we should approach nonhuman use and exploitation. Ought we proceed through liberation? Abolition? Segregation? Integration? As nonhuman liberation, welfare, and rights’ groups increasingly interconnect and identify with other ‘social justice movements’, resolutions to these questions have become increasingly entangled with questions of what justice and our ethical commitments demand on this issue, and the topic has become increasingly significant and divisive. The book considers how this question, and contemporary issues facing nonhumans (such as experimentation, hunting, and factory farming) should be answered by drawing on both theory and practice in order to provide grounded, yet actionable, ways forward. Indicatively, the book covers topics such as: • The intersection between interspecies ethics and the ethics of war and self-defence • Nonhuman animals as political subjects and acting agents • Whether we should intervene for nonhuman animals in cases of natural disaster • Various explorations of why the nonhuman movement may not be succeeding as well as it could be • Comparisons between the nonhuman movement and other social movement • Arguments for and against intervening to help or save nonhumans, and how far we may go • What intervention could ultimately mean for nonhumans The book is therefore intended not only to provide new and interesting insight into the area and important contemporary discussions, but also to constructively aid the nonhuman movement and unite theory and practice on the crucial issues. With the nonhuman movement and its past approaches currently being questioned as a success, more nonhumans than ever being harmed and exploited, and a growing gulf between activists and scholars, this book will not only be a timely addition to the literature, but an attempt to bridge these gaps and move both theory and practice – and thus the movement and field – forward.

Politics and Web 2.0: The Participation Gap

Edited by Gisela Goncalves, Universidade da Beira Interior, Portugal and J. Paulo Serra, University of Beira Interior, Portugal

June 2016 / ISBN: 978-1-62273-099-5
Availability: In stock
$55 £40 €45

A point of departure for this book is the paradox between the seemingly limitless promise modern web technologies hold for enhanced political communication and their limited actual contribution. Empirical evidence indicates that neither citizens nor political parties are taking full advantage of online platforms to advance political participation. This is particularly evident when considering the websites of political parties, which have taken on two main functions: i) Disseminating information to citizens and journalists about the history, structure, programme and activities of the party; ii) Monitoring citizens’ opinions in regard to different political questions and policy proposals that are under discussion. Despite the integration of websites into political parties’ “permanent campaigns” (Blumenthal), television continues to be seen as the core medium in political communication and one-way and top-down communication strategies still prevail. In other words, it is still “business as usual”. This book questions whether Web 2.0 could help enhance citizens’ political participation. It offers a critical examination of the current state of the art from diverse perspectives, highlights persisting gaps in our knowledge and identifies a promising stream of further research. The ambition is to stimulate debate around the party-citizen "participation mismatch" and the role and place of modern web technologies in this setting. Each of the included chapters provide valuable explorations of the ways in which political parties motivate, make use of and are shaped by citizen participation in the Web 2.0 era. Diverse perspectives are employed, drawing examples from several European political systems and offering analytical insights at both the individual/micro level and at broader, macro or inter-societal systems level. Taken together, they offer a balanced and thought-provoking account of the political participation gap, its causes and consequences for political communication and democratic politics, as well as pointing the way to new forms of contemporary political participation.

Public Assistance of the Poor in France

From the Middle Ages to the Late 19th Century (New Edition)

Emily Greene Balch

October 2015 / ISBN: 978-1-62273-041-4
Availability: In stock
$30 £20 €25

This book is a historical assessment of state institutions and other social arrangements put in place to alleviate poverty in France. It draws from both primary (notably archives of the Church) and secondary sources (such as Monnier’s Histoire de l’Assistance Publique). It offers a comparative perspective with respect to contemporary arrangements in Britain and the United States, including some early poverty statistics. The result is a useful and concise account of the history of social institutions which continues to be of relevance over a century after its initial publication. This New Edition has been typeset with modern techniques. It has been painstakingly proofread to ensure that it is free from errors.

The Rig-Vedic and Post-Rig-Vedic Polity (1500 BCE-500 BCE)

R.U.S. Prasad, Harvard University

July 2015 / ISBN: 978-1-62273-026-1
Availability: In stock
$50 £38 €44

The book critically examines and assesses the literary evidence available through Vedic and allied literature portraying the nature of Vedic polity, the functionalities of its various institutions, and the various social and religious practices. The book is not a narrative but critically examines the nature of changes in a host of these areas that occurred at each stage of Vedic polity from early Vedic period to post Ṛig-Vedic period. It outlines in historical perspective the various stages involved in the development of Vedic polity and Vedic canon and how the two processes have gone along together. It contains extensive discussions on political system and institutions, religious and social practices as they obtained during the Rig-Vedic and post Rig-Vedic periods. It provides a fresh approach to the cult of sacrifice and fire rituals practiced by Vedic Aryans along with an in-depth analysis of the Vedic view of Nationalism, Sovereignty and State as discernible from Vedic texts .The book also features an extensive discussion on the institution of kingship, administrative machinery, role of various entities in the polity including the Purohita, the Sabha and the Samiti, position of women, Varna system and features of tribal kingdoms, such as the Kuru-Panchalas and Kosala-Videhas. Isolating political and social aspects from the essentially religious character of Vedic literature, an attempt has been made to show with due corroboration that the tribal polity was not deficient in political content contrary to the stance of some scholars to depict Vedic Aryans as apolitical and inward looking. The present book partakes both the current and previous scholarship on the subject but breaks a new path with its exclusive focus on the Rig-Vedic and Post Rig-Vedic polity, together with a balanced and objective assessment of their features. It brings all the relevant and connected issues on to one platform, and deals with them in a holistic manner. Its unique features include: • The “Vedic Grid”: a graphical representation and tabulations of the characteristics of each of the about 50 Vedic tribes, including information on the location of their habitat, their time line, the names of their chieftains and their linkage with priestly clans. • A special focus on the Second Urbanization taking place in the Gangetic valley between the 6th and 4th centuries BCE. It explains how towards the end of the later Vedic period, the polity underwent a change in political, social and economic spheres which blossomed later during the period of Mauryas. • Two appendices dealing with the theories of Aryan migration and the relationship of the Vedic Aryans with the Harappa culture and what can be ascertained by Vedic literature.

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