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Series: Vernon Series in Politics

The Corporate Overlords will be Kind: Campaign Finance, Representation and Corporate-led Democracy

Radu George Dumitrescu, University of Bucharest, Romania

April 2021 / ISBN: 978-1-62273-879-3
Availability: In stock
148pp. ¦ $47 £34 €39

‘The Corporate Overlords will be Kind’ is a unique book in that it makes use of a multi-pronged approach – journalistic, legal, theoretical – to find, document, and explain instances in which well-known corporations such as Wal-Mart, Uber, McDonald’s, Airbnb, Gillette, Nike and others have involved themselves, as ‘artificial persons’, in political and social debates involving aspects such as gender, racism, sexual minorities, and gun ownership. This book argues that these transnational, multi-billion-dollar corporations that thrive in the globalized world market are forced to take explicitly political stances by the very environment in which they activate and by the consumers whom they serve, taking on the latter’s values and opinions and representing them to retain them as customers. ‘The Corporate Overlords will be Kind’ advances that corporations are now – and will increasingly be – the loudest voices in the political market square of the United States, but that such a situation is not necessarily a cause for concern. This book thus departs from the traditional scholarly views of Citizens United (the 2010 landmark decision of the Supreme Court which granted free speech to corporations as persons) as a woe to democracy, and argues that the ageless, deathless, genderless, nationless corporations will be the political representatives of the futures, not political parties. This book will appeal to undergraduate and graduate students specializing in social sciences, particularly politics, history, sociology, and law. Political professionals and journalists may also be interested in the book, in addition to the general reader with interest in politics.

Religion and the Populist Radical Right: Secular Christianism and Populism in Western Europe

Nicholas Morieson, Australian Catholic University

March 2021 / ISBN: 978-1-64889-143-4
Availability: In stock
227pp. ¦ $61 £46 €52

In Western Europe, populist radical right parties are calling for a return to Christian or Judeo-Christian values and identity. The growing electoral success of many of these parties may suggest that, after decades of secularisation, Western Europeans are returning to religion. Yet these parties do not tell their supporters to go to church, believe in God, or practise traditional Christian values. Instead, they claim that their respective national identities and cultures are the product of a Christian or Judeo-Christian tradition which either encompasses—or has produced—secular modernity. This book poses the question: if Western European politics is secular, why has religious identity become a core element of populist radical right discourse? To answer this question, Morieson examines the discursive use of religion by two of the most powerful and influential populist radical right parties: The French National Front and the Dutch Party for Freedom. Based on this examination, he argues that the populist radical right has capitalised on a cultural shift engendered by the increasing visibility of Islam in Europe. Western Europeans’ encounter with Islam has revealed the non-universal nature of Western European secularism to Europeans, and demonstrated the secularisation of Christianity into Western European ‘culture.’ This, in turn, has allowed secular French and Dutch citizens to identify themselves—as well as their nation and, ultimately, Western civilisation—as Christian or Judeo-Christian. Seizing on this cultural shift, the author contends that the National Front and Party for Freedom have built successful and similar brands of reactionary politics based on the notion that contemporary secularism is a product of Europe’s Christian heritage and values, and that therefore Muslim immigration is an existential threat to the core values of European politics, including the differentiation of politics and religion, and of church and state. ‘Religion and the Populist Radical Right: Secular Christianism and Populism in Western Europe’ will be of interest to scholars and researchers working on the intersections of Political Science, Sociology, and Religion. It will also appeal to the general audience interested in the relationship between populism in Western Europe and religious identity as it is written in an accessible style.

A Theory of Disfunctionality: The European Micro-states as Disfunctional States in the International System

Archie W. Simpson

January 2021 / ISBN: 978-1-64889-016-1
Availability: In stock
278pp. ¦ $61 £46 €52

"A Theory of Disfunctionality: The European Micro-states as Disfunctional States in the International System" explains the continuing survival of European micro-states as members of the international system. Micro-states are small sovereign states with populations of 1 million or less, of which there are 10 in Europe. The existence of micro-states raises a number of questions about the nature of statehood, the recognition of sovereignty, and the ability of such states to maintain a presence in international politics. This book establishes the ‘theory of disfunctionality’ in which a functional account of statehood is proposed. It is argued that the state has six functions—but the micro-states are so small that they ‘contract out’ some state functions to others in the international system. By doing this, the micro-states ensure their continuing survival in international politics. The book, which focuses on two case studies—Monaco and Luxembourg—, will be of particular interest to those involved in small state studies including scholars, students, practitioners and policy-makers, as well as those researching International Relations and state theory.

Illusions of Location Theory: Consequences for Blue Economy in Africa

Edited by Francis Onditi, Riara University, Kenya and Douglas Yates, American Graduate School, Paris, France

November 2020 / ISBN: 978-1-64889-021-5
Availability: In stock
466pp. ¦ $60 £45 €51

"Illusions of Location Theory: Consequences for Blue Economy in Africa" questions the relevance of ‘location theory’ in explaining the coastal-hinterland continuum and the implications for the utilization of blue economy ecosystem in such a contested space in Africa. It pays more attention to territorial contestations, maritime disputes, vulnerabilities of landlocked states, and expansionist policies as displayed through spatial organizational regimes. These areas of investigation have previously been largely studied from the narrow perspective of ‘location’, unduly focusing on comparative advantages of ‘distance’, while neglecting the influence of ‘forces’ such as technology, ideology, and the power of mental mapping in spatial decision making. This volume puts forward the argument that the harmonious relationship between states, and efficient exploitation of the blue economy ecosystem in ways that promote peace between states, lies not only in the structural transformation of markets, but also in bridging the spatial and social divide between the coastal and hinterland societies. Thus, this work proffers possibilities for a holistic regime for managing Africa’s coastal-hinterland continuum through innovative strategies such as SMART blue economies and the infusion of the geopolitical dimension into the management of maritime and territorial diplomacy. The combination of theoretical and empirical analysis, buttressed by in-depth case studies of what works in the management of blue economy ecosystem and what does not work, make this volume ideal for researchers, students, and practitioners interested in African regional studies, African political economy, political geography, strategic military studies, governance of seas and oceans, and maritime science/diplomacy.

Positioning and Stance in Political Discourse: The Individual, the Party, and the Party Line

Edited by Lawrence Norman Berlin, Universidad EAFIT, Colombia

February 2020 / ISBN: 978-1-62273-885-4
Availability: In stock
174pp. ¦ $44 £33 €37

Within the political sphere, a political actor is often judged by what he or she says, with their verbal performance often perceived as representative of the individual. Hearers accept that, as individuals, they possess a lifetime of experiences and actions which inform, but may also undermine, their aspirations in gaining political capital. Additionally, as representatives of a political party and its ideology, these actors do not exist in isolation; they are members and, at times, potential candidates of a particular party with its own agenda which may, in turn, cause them to modify their personal speech to align with espoused policies of the party. The various contributions contained in this volume examine the discourse of political actors through the lenses of positionality and stance. Throughout its chapters, clearly defined theoretical perspectives and specified social practices are employed, enabling the authors to elucidate how political actors can situate themselves, their party, and their opponents toward their ostensive public. This book successfully demonstrates how espoused perspectives relate to, or reflect on, the nature of the individual political actor and their truth, the party they represent and its ideology, and the pandering to popular public opinion to gain support and co-operation. This book will hold particular appeal for postgraduate students, researchers, and scholars of discourse studies, pragmatics, political science, as well as other areas in humanities and the social sciences.

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