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Series: Vernon Series in Politics

EU Citizenship: Towards a Postmodern Conception of Citizenship?

Sanja Ivic, Institute for European Studies, Serbia; Institute of Applied Ethics, University of Hull, UK

ISBN: 978-1-62273-386-6
Availability: Available 4 weeks
200pp. ¦ $59 £44 €50

The modern liberal idea of citizenship is constructed by a fixed notion of identity which gains meaning through a number of binary oppositions, such as we/ they, citizen/ foreigner, self/ other and so forth. Defined by these binaries, where the first term is perceived as dominant because it is considered to be derived from reason, the fixed notion of identity inevitably produces exclusion and marginalization. Importantly, the postmodern concept of citizenship stems from a critique of these essentialist and universalist conceptions of identity. Exploring European identity and European citizenship from a philosophical perspective, this book reveals the discursive construction of these two concepts whilst at the same time attempting to define them as either modernist or postmodernist categories. Dr. Ivic takes a hermeneutic approach in her interpretation of European citizenship and identity through a close reading of European treaties and other official documents. Through her detailed analysis, Dr. Ivic is able to present the reader with well-informed and concrete examples of modern and postmodern concepts of identity within Europe. Moreover, this book explores the impact that contemporary issues such as Brexit, the migration crisis in Europe, and the proliferation of nationalist discourses, have on European citizenship and identity. Where existing research literature has failed, this book offers a dynamic and textual analysis of citizenship that takes into account the complex philosophical, legal, political and theoretical background of Europe. Dealing with issues that have not yet been sufficiently explored, ‘EU Citizenship’ is an important contribution to the field of philosophical analysis. Aimed at university students, this book will also provide a baseline and set of reference points for researchers and practitioners of European studies that are working with projects that look at European citizenship.  

Political Routes to Starvation

Why Does Famine Kill?

Bas Dianda

April 2018 / ISBN: 978-1-62273-309-5
Availability: In stock
432pp. ¦ $68 £49 €55

This book seeks to reclassify famine by offering an in-depth look at the phenomenon that continues to affect millions of people across the world every year. Defined as a widespread scarcity of food, Dr. Basilio Dianda argues that the causes of famine cannot be reduced exclusively to a shortfall in agricultural output or to economic dynamics. Instead, an analysis of famine must take into account political and economic factors as well as agricultural, climatologic and demographic data. ‘Political Routes to Starvation’ is the result of an all-encompassing analysis of eighty famines from across the globe. This extensive piece of research demonstrates that there are not only multiple factors at play in the genesis of a food crisis, but also in its evolution to starvation. Dianda contends that in order to fully understand the causes of famine it is necessary to reinstate a hierarchy between foundation and concomitant causes, especially when cross-comparing cases. Importantly, Dianda maintains that only a comprehensive approach to famine can appropriately answer the questions: What is famine? How does famine occur? Why does famine kill?

Migration and the Crisis of the Modern Nation State?

Edited by Frank Jacob, Nord University, Norway and Adam Luedtke, Queensborough Community College (CUNY)

October 2017 / ISBN: 978-1-62273-292-0
Availability: In stock
284pp. ¦ $63 £51 €59

The anthology explores the interrelationship between migration and a supposedly existent crisis of the modern nation state. The argument of such a crisis is mainly used by the New Right to stimulate nationalist feelings and provoke hate and aggression. We, in contrast to this perception, argue that from a historical and current perspective, migration is not endangering the nation state, but rather changing the idea of a nation itself by redefining it. In historical as well as current case studies, the authors determine the political dangers of right wing demagogues, while emphasizing the chances, immigration is offering the progress of the nation state. While it will be discussed how nationalism is impacting on the perception of migration, we also want to emphasize how it is perceived by the people in the specific regions, which are either confronted with migration or those which are not. The authors for the volume come from different fields, namely history and political sciences, and are consequently able to offer the reader a broad insight into the historical roots and the current consequences nationalism had or has on the perception and the local as well as global policies towards migration. The analysis of particular immigrant groups (e.g. North Koreans in post-war Korea, South Asians in the Emirates, Middle Eastern refugees in Europe, Hispanics in the United States) as well as a close reading of crisis related media (newspapers and other media in Europe and the US) will, all in all, establish a broad perspective, due to which the reader will be able to compare and connect the national events to a larger global picture.

Political Philosophy in the East and West

In Search of Truth

Jaan Islam

November 2017 / ISBN: 978-1-62273-307-1
Availability: In stock
240pp. ¦ $61 £46 €52

In the 21st century, amid converging global political, social, and economic forces we are questioning the fundamental values we hold true, driven by an antagonism between different schools of political philosophy—between left- and right-wing politics. This book provides a comprehensive analysis of western political philosophy and underlines the core principles of each argument. It then argues that neither have we solved nor do we have any pathway to eventually solve, the question of right and wrong—we are essentially moral relativists in disguise. In order to break out of this cycle of uncertainty, the book proposes a solution of knowledge-based cognition: policy based on a concrete and proven understanding of an absolute and certain body of truths. This requires an analysis and blending of non-western political philosophical traditions, such as those espoused by Islam and Confucianism. This book gives an original critique of western political philosophy and is the first book to engage in a reconstruction of Islamic political philosophy.

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

July 2016 / ISBN: 978-1-62273-099-5
Availability: In stock
184pp. ¦ $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.

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