This volume examines continuities and change in the normative underpinnings of both ancient and modern practices of political governance, public duties, private virtues, and personal rights and responsibilities. As such, it stands at the multi-disciplinary intersection between the practice of democratic citizenship and the exercise of political ethics.
Democracy is not in steady state, and democratizations are open-ended processes; they depend on structures and functions in systemic contexts that idiosyncratically evolve in tone, tenor, direction, and pace over time. They affect and are affected by scores of determinants, both perceived and hypothetical. In interlinked chapters that span a number of disciplines, this volume reexamines the basic traits, the comparable outcomes, and the self-defining dynamics of some of the more widely attempted versions of democracy across the world.
Some philosophers conceive freedom as a state; others view it as an ideal. A songwriter sees it as a way of life: "Like a bird on a wire, like a drunk in a midnight choir, I have tried in my way to be free." The embattled statesman and the political idealist perceive causal links among personal freedoms, societal democracy, and global peace. In this cross-disciplinary volume, interlinked contributions reassess and rephrase the conceptualizations and theorizations of freedom and their applicability to daily life.
The ongoing expansion in the field of citizenship studies is one of the most important and remarkable recent trends in social sciences and humanities research. Some scholars raise questions about citizenship within a larger critique of liberalism and its institutions; others point to citizenship's inherently exclusionary nature. This volume examines—without advocating any ideological agenda—the evolving meaning of citizenship, with an eye to the future.
The unprecedented military, economic, and political power of the United States has led some observers to declare that we live in a unipolar world in which America enjoys primacy or even hegemony. At the same time public opinion polls abroad reveal high levels of anti-Americanism, and many foreign governments criticize U.S. policies. Primacy and Its Discontents explores the sources of American primacy, including the uses of U.S. military power, and the likely duration of unipolarity.
Climate change will shape the political, economic, and cultural landscape as surely as it shapes the natural landscape. It challenges our existing political institutions, ethical theories, and ways of conceptualizing the human relationship to the environment, it defies current principles of distributive justice, transcends current discourses on rights, and disrupts our sense of place.
In 2004 and 2005, Antonio Negri held ten workshops at the Collège International de Philosophie in Paris to formulate a new political grammar of the postmodern. Biopolitics, biopowers, control, the multitude, people, war, borders, dependency and interdependency, state, nation, the common, difference, resistance, subjective rights, revolution, freedom, democracy: these are just a few of the themes Negri addressed in these experimental laboratories.
The publication of Paolo Virno's first book in English, A Grammar of the Multitude, by Semiotext(e) in 2004 was an event within the field of radical political thought and introduced post-'68 currents in Italy to American readers. Multitude between Innovation and Negativity, written several years later, offers three essays that take the reader on a journey through the political philosophy of language.
Akbar Ganji, called by some “Iran’s most famous dissident,” was a member of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps. But, troubled by the regime’s repressive nature, he became an investigative journalist in the 1990s, writing for Iran’s pro-democracy newspapers. Most notably, he traced the murders of dissident intellectuals to Iran’s secret service. In 2000 Ganji was arrested, sentenced to six years in prison, and banned from working as a journalist. His eighty-day hunger strike during his last year in prison mobilized the international human rights community.