Modern and Contemporary Political Thought

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Andrew Fletcher : bridging the gap between early modern and civic republicanism

Andrew Fletcher : bridging the gap between early modern and civic republicanism

Contemporary republican theory comprises arguments for self-government, non- domination, freedom, political autonomy and egalitarianism, it also lacks clarity. Different authors will place emphasis on different aspects, and ignore others completely. It is because of this versatility of form, and the different interpretations of its core doctrine, that republicanism as it is understood today lacks clarity as a normative theory. The theory of non-domination proposed by Pettit, and notions of self-government suggested by Arendt and Habermas, all have their roots in the early modern models of Cicero, Aristotle, Machiavelli and Harrington. However, this is where the so-called ‘early modern’ canon of republicanism tends to end with most writers. Some may pay tribute to Montesquieu, and will refer to Locke as a liberal republican, but the republican writers of the early seventeenth-century to the enlightenment, when republican theories were at their most prevalent and most significant to contemporary political thought, are largely disregarded. In particular, Andrew Fletcher of Saltoun, writing at the turn of the eighteenth-century, proposed a modern political republican model much more relevant to contemporary politics than Machiavelli, incorporating a conception of commerce and a coherent European (if not global) political society. Fletcher recognises the corrupting yet necessary force of commerce for European peace and proposes a theory of federal perpetual peace based on a republic of republics which can be utilised when considering the ordering of global politics. Despite this, and his popularity in his native Scotland, his theories have gone largely unexamined. Fletcher receives no more than the occasional reference or discussion in contemporary economics, with regards to civic humanism and Machiavelli in political theory texts, or within historical investigation and the Treaty of Union of 1707. His contribution to politics, not least his contribution to republican political theory, has largely been overlooked. 1
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Machiavelli and the Foundation of the Modern Political Thought

Machiavelli and the Foundation of the Modern Political Thought

As it was mentioned before, if we could use a counter argument to explain realism in Machiavel- li‟s political thinking, actualism, which is concep- tually related to welfare in the thought in the idea of some of the contemporary Islamic thinkers (4), because of the lack of theoretical basis, will be led toward actions which are being conducted regard- less of theoretical foundations of the Modern polit- ical thought. It seems that the concept of expe- dience, as was mentioned, compared with the ac- tualist‟s thinking, is a theory, which because of the lack of thinking foundations, except some tradi- tional theoretical ones, tries to take the world of action and theory together; the two identities, which are left devoid of their origin. As an exam- ple, if, by talking about ethics in political thinking, the objective is its understanding in the logical framework of politics, in traditional theories the discussion would end to the issue that ethical ne- cessities are after imposing themselves on the do- main of politics and gaining independence from the political affairs. It should be emphasized that there can be no relation between these two con- cepts (Actualism, expediency, and realism), and if there is any relation or combination, it is no more than eclecticism, because in the interest oriented traditional theory, the more we approach the more we get unfounded, because expedience is just acci- dental and not instinctive in thinking. Stated diffe- rently, the interest or expediency oriented theory or that of the actualist, since is based on the old think- ing, can accept the Modern political thought as the secondary one, because the Modern political thought is no more than expedience, itself. On the contrary there are people who believe that the ex- pedience emanated from the traditional thinking, which is in one way or another, similar to realism! In Machiavelli‟s thinking, which conforms to the changes in time and situation of the external world and, is to explore its own problems, it should be
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A Brief Review of Classical and Modern Tafsir Trends and Role of Modern Tafasir in Contemporary Islamic Thought

A Brief Review of Classical and Modern Tafsir Trends and Role of Modern Tafasir in Contemporary Islamic Thought

Though the socio-political and feminist Qur’ānic tafsir genre is a relatively a new phenomenon, at times traversing the normative interpretive Qur’ānic boundaries, these tafasir trends have significantly contributed to reshaping Muslim worldview. Traditional and cardinally patriarch social, political and religious values require modernistic transformational reforms. The works of Sayyid Qutb, Fatima Mernissi, Amina Wadud and Asma Barlas have arguably provided this much needed socio-political restructuring of contemporary Islamic thought.
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The idea of human rights in contemporary Arab thought

The idea of human rights in contemporary Arab thought

19. Salamh , Yousef, (2002), the problem of freedom and human rights in modern Islamic Arab Thought "in the book: (Human Rights in the Arab Thought), op . reference former 662. 20. Al_Ansari, Mohammed Jaber, (2000), the composition of the political significance of the Arab and Qatari state, (i 3), Beirut: Center for Arab Unity Studies, p . 55.

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The State and the authority in Contemporary Arab Thought

The State and the authority in Contemporary Arab Thought

The research concluded that the state must be based on foundations that seek to consolidate the essence of democracy and the legitimacy of a national state and the legitimacy of its political power, and not to settle for justifying and legitimizing the existing systems that suffer from intellectual weakness related to actual status of the modern Arab state.

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Qanun and the Modernisation of Political thought in Iran

Qanun and the Modernisation of Political thought in Iran

In the 19 th century, like many other non-western countries, Iran had a chance of entering the age of modernization. Many internal and external factors had facilitated this change and development. Newspapers, especially those, which published on exile, had much effect on the changing process. The Qanun newspaper, in many respects, had the utmost influence on the Iranian society due to its clear and frank language and also the extensive modern ideas and thoughts that were elaborated cleverly in this newspaper. The modern and Western ideologies were handled in such a way to build up the mind of the people toward the new meanings of social and political concepts that were in most cases different to how these concepts were understood by the society. In this paper the injection of modern ideas did not follow a blind line, however, it had a systematic discipline that showed the ability of Malkum Khan, the founder of Qanun, to project modern ideas in traditional society such as Iran. Qanun has actually played a vital role in the process of modernization of social and political thoughts in the contemporary history of Iran and its impact is still felt in the current everyday life of the Iranian who has much yet to achieve in ongoing process of modernization especially in the age of globalization.
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The Epistemology of Islamic Political Thought in Indonesia

The Epistemology of Islamic Political Thought in Indonesia

Abstract When perceived from circular perspective (not linier or parallel) based on three of the prior political epistemologies (bayani, burhani, and irfani), then reconstruction of ideal thought – as the fundamental philosophy –of Islamic Politics for contemporary Indonesia in the next era should be a balance between political trilogy ala al-Jabiry that is bayani (idealistic in the commitment to the Islamic values), burhani (ability to answer real challenge of the people and nation) and irfani (personal and communal wisdom of Muslim politicians). In textual-normative-bayani, the Islamic political vision for contemporary Indonesia still refers to the fundamental values found in the Holy Koran and Sunna of the Prophet Muhammad, such as deliberation, unity, welfare and justice values. As for the burhani (rational-empirical), application of the political values which is fundamental should be adjusted to plurality context of Indonesian society, and to answer some of the existing social problems. The actual case example: application of justice and economic values which is more intense now in the sharia economy system already gets more acceptances among the society as an alternative to conventional-capitalistic economy. In burhani, thinkers or activists of Islamic politics should always have the ability to accommodate aspiration and give appreciation and positive and constructive contributions to the political dynamic in Indonesia, for the sake of the people and nation‟s glory in the future, and at the same time providing successful model of Islamic political implementation in Indonesian context which is modern and democratic. This research employs a deductive approach and a library research as the methods. This research cocludes that the future of politics in Indonesia is a combination between bayani, burhani and ‘irfani (psycho-spiritual) approaches.
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Ali Shari’ati’s revolutionary Islamic thought and its relevance to the contemporary socio-political transformation

Ali Shari’ati’s revolutionary Islamic thought and its relevance to the contemporary socio-political transformation

self-awareness, responsiveness, and goals. Relying on this belief, Shari’ati rejected polytheism, dualism, and trinitarians. He only believed in tauhid, monotheism. Monotheism rejects all confessions and human beliefs over false Gods. While in the days of Jahiliyyah, the false Gods were mani- fested in the form of idols, in this modern age, according to Shari’ati, false Gods are manifested in many aspects and fields that are wider and more complex than just idolatry worships. The Gods are more a tyranni- cal system full of oppression, or the glory of the world that when it comes to seizing, it must seize the rights of others. 12
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7-15-2015 12:00 AM The Modern Secularization of Just War Theory and its Lessons for Contemporary Thought

7-15-2015 12:00 AM The Modern Secularization of Just War Theory and its Lessons for Contemporary Thought

At other points this seemingly stringent obligation of charity towards one’s enemies is lifted. The Apostle Paul warns in Romans 13:4, "For [the ruler] is God's minister to you for good. But if you do evil, be afraid; for he does not bear the sword in vain. He is God's minister, an avenger to execute wrath on him that does evil." Augustine interprets these passages to mean that there is a general rule against shedding blood, but that in extreme circumstances this prohibition may be lifted without sinning. The circumstances that Augustine clearly has in mind as exceptions to the commandment “thou shalt not kill” are political and not personal ones. By this I mean that Augustine sees the cases of interpersonal relationships between individuals as being governed by a different set of laws than those of the political collectivity. As we will see later, Grotius and other natural law theorists derive the laws governing political bodies from those that apply in the interpersonal case. It is precisely because we know what is required of us in the individual case that we can discover the rules that apply to the larger political unit. Not only do Grotius and Augustine differ on what is required of the individual, they differ on how to move from the personal to the political in morality. For Augustine, when we are faced with a violent attacker in an individual case, we are required to give the attacker the benefit of the doubt and to face the attacker without succumbing to violence ourselves, even if this would result in our own death. Even in the case of rape, he forbids engaging in an evil act because the rapist is the one who will be judged for his misdeed. On this point Augustine states: “since purity is a virtue of the soul, and has for its companion virtue the fortitude which will rather endure all ills than consent to evil.” 20 He interprets our duties towards one another as requiring strict adherence to the pacifist teaching to “turn the other cheek” because God will decide our fate. Grotius, we will see, is far more permissive with respect to individuals, arguing that we have a natural desire for self- protection that can be defended with violence in extreme situations, and that the rights of the political community to self-preservation are derivative of the individual right to self-
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The Concept of the Political in Contemporary Western and Non-Western Political Thought

The Concept of the Political in Contemporary Western and Non-Western Political Thought

The best efforts of the five most influential contemporary schools of Western political theory, then, have failed to produce a satisfactory philosophical response to the accusation made half a century ago by Koselleck, to the effect that much modern political thought is in fact profoundly anti-political since it tends to subsume the political under the moral. As I said at the beginning, however, there are several British scholars whose recent work on how the political is to be studied illuminates more clearly the direction future research should take. Foremost amongst them are Michael Freeden at Oxford, Raymond Geuss and John Dunn at Cambridge, and Margaret Canovan, formerly of Keele University. Since Freeden’s work provides the most systematic response to the problem, it provides a convenient jumping board for constructing an agenda for that research involving ten key requirements.
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Victorian Political Thought on France and the French

Victorian Political Thought on France and the French

In this book Georgios Varouxakis analyses the Victorian perceptions and representations of France and the French by intellectuals or, more precisely, ‘public moralists’. John Stuart Mill, Matthew Arnold and Walter Bagehot provide the major textual sources, supplemented by a handful of lesser-known authors. Varouxakis investigates whether this confrontation with France confirms or challenges the Victorian belief in British political superiority; the elements which contributed to the comparison of the two countries; how these public moralists employed stereotypical representations or tried to refute them; and how their own beliefs were partly reflected in their perceptions of France. Varouxakis links the answers to these questions to a number of broader themes, such as Victorian ethnocentrism, the widespread belief in the existence of national character, and the relationship with the 'Other’ in the nineteenth century.
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An Introduction to Morteza Motahari''''s Political Thought

An Introduction to Morteza Motahari''''s Political Thought

1. In the fourth part of his book “Seyri dar Nahjolbalagheh”(a survey on Nahjolbalagheh), Motaha- ri discuses “government and justice”. His discussions there cannot also describe his political thoughts about governing and authority because he does not speak about how authority is shaped (the right for governing and justification of sovereignty) and the distribution of power is missing in his debates. The issues like confessing that people have right and the authorities must keep such rights for people are amongst the issues, which cannot be neglected, and accordingly he talks about them in his book but the links between them are unclear. In the other words, one can- not simply understand the quality of “political connection” between citizens and states from his text for that he just mentions the quality of behaviors, which people and political leaders should have. It must be noted that one of the most important focuses of this paper is on the semantic rel- evance of authority and justice. Motahari’s viewpoint and Islamic insights indicate that justice is shapes the nature of authority which even marginalizes the important issue of survival. (A study on Nahjolbalagheh, 2000: 131-132). This subject will be covered in another paper in which the focus is on pillars of Motahari’s political views and ideas.
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A Set of New Interpretations in Political Thought

A Set of New Interpretations in Political Thought

Secondly, Spinoza is a strong adherent of institutionalism. It is the framing of the institutions that keeps the commonwealth on its right track towards peace and security. He engages in a minute examination of the adequate institutions that reason devises. His model is that the dominion is rule by one person, a few persons or all the people. Every type of dominion can only achieve the natural goals of a commonwealth, namely general well-being. The argument in Spinoza’ political theory is aimed at political realism and avoids moralism. It is much built up upon his theory of human nature, or how people really behave. They are what they are, and can only be restrained by rules:
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Realism and liberalism in the political thought of Bernard Williams

Realism and liberalism in the political thought of Bernard Williams

This is particularly significant because it shows that it is not adequate to merely explain how socio-historical conditions might curtail access to liberal ideals, as the liberal- universalist must also make some claim about our socio-historical conditions and explain why they are unique insofar as they (alone) grant access to these truths. If no such account is forthcoming there is further reason to affirm what, as we saw in Chapter One, Williams calls the nonobjectivist model, in which normative judgements are part of a ‘way of living’ or a ‘cultural artifact’ we come to inhabit (ELP, p. 147). This is especially pressing if we adopt the Nagel–Dworkin line and hold that a justification of the idea that liberalism is, universally speaking, ‘the true moral solution to the questions of politics’, can only be offered via first-order moral argument, so that we hold liberalism to be the true moral solution to politics because the best internal explanation of our moral intuitions suggest it is. The problem with this metaethical position is that our intuitions are deeply historically conditioned. This recognition subsequently invites a further sceptical thought that Nagel and Dworkin seem to ignore: that an equally coherent first-order defence of alternative moral solutions to the questions of politics was available to countless other individuals in a multiplicity of prior historical epochs. Thus, if we are to continue to think that liberalism is the true moral solution to the questions of politics we must think, as a matter of faith (or perhaps divine providence, or Hegelian teleology), that we (alone) are lucky enough to have lived in a uniquely privileged historical/epistemic time to have grasped these truths.
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The Social and Political Thought of Yen Fu

The Social and Political Thought of Yen Fu

Islamic societies and natives in Australia and North America in his time.^^ China was neglected because, Yen Fu suggested, 'Jenks was not familiar with China.’^* Yen corrected the omission. China's social development followed the same law of social evolution that Jenks had discovered, he argued. The totemistic stage existed in ancient China and this could be evidenced. Yen Fu suggested, by references in some Chinese classics to the ming tribe as the tribe of snake and pan-ku as the tribe of dog.^^ The Chinese society at that time was comparable with some contemporary societies, such as those of the Northern American Indians, Australian natives, as well as some ethnic minorities in China.’® ® China entered into the patriarchal stage preceding the West. 'Our most reliable records show that during the period from Tang and Yu until Chou (around 2,000 B.C-221 B.C.) - a space of over 2000 years - we had already reached a feudal stage, and so-called patriarchal society had already achieved its full development.'’®’ Later when things had reached the limits of their actualization, another change began. With the rise of the unified Ch'in empire (221-208 B.C.) under the leadership of Chin Shih Huang-ti, society began the process of transition from a patriarchal stage to a political stage. However, there has been another two thousand years since Ch'in. With different dynasties and repeated circles of order and disorder, the habits, customs, and thought patterns of the Chinese people have remained patriarchal.'’®^ China's advance toward political society was frozen by a vicious circle of dynastic succession.
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The Issue of Woman in Ghasem Amin’s Political Thought

The Issue of Woman in Ghasem Amin’s Political Thought

In the Arab world, there were other people be- fore Amin who also worked on the issue of wom- en‟s liberty Petrus Albostani, Ali Mobarak, Ra- faeh, Rafe Tahtavi, and also Mohammad Abdoh wrote about the issue. Bostani by publishing an encyclopedia in 1875 could open a window to the modern science in the world of Arabs, a window through which developments in the situation of Arab women could be observed, as well. Rashid Reza in his two books entitled as “The rights of women in Islam” and “a word for the feminine” tries to deal with the issue of women from a tradi- tional perspective, similar to the teachings of Mo- hammad Abdoh. This indicates that not only Amin, but also other Arab authorities, have cho- sen the Muslim woman as one of the most impor- tant criteria in their analysis in an attempt to pro- vide answer to the question of “what should be done” in the previous century. In this domain the special place of Amin and his difference with others cannot be ignored.
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The State and the authority in Contemporary Arab Islamic Thought

The State and the authority in Contemporary Arab Islamic Thought

The follower of the Arab Islamic thought texts until the end of the twentieth century, find the absence of any coherent intellectual construction in the question of the state and authority theory, but finds the dimensions of political ideology, linked to the intellectual background of the thinker, since the Islamic reform used concepts such as freedom, constitution, parliament, public opinion, and concepts used to express the system of legitimate policy, which led to different intellectual results.

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The 1848 Revolutions and European Political Thought

The 1848 Revolutions and European Political Thought

The enumeration of these ‘overlooked’ issues is more than just the standard complaint that the editors have not produced a different book. The essence of 1848 was its multinationalism. Revolutionary contagion spreading from France, and comparable events taking place across a number of different polities, spurred intensive analysis of foreign politics as well as new kinds of self-examination and abstract theorising. Ideas about and inspired by the revolutions were not cemented within specific national contexts: clearly, the revolutions could not have happened in the first place if that was how mid-19th-century political thought worked. So a series of studies nearly all of which remain enclosed within specific national borders can only take us so far in understanding the intellectual impact of 1848. The ‘comparative pan-European perspective’ we are promised in the introduction never arrives, or at least, the readers are expected to do the comparative heavy lifting themselves. Much ‘Cambridge’ work on early modern political thought has been exceptionally good at reaching across geographical borders in thinking about the circulation and influence of specific texts, and indeed it clearly lies, in part, behind work now being done in modern European history which applies similar interpretative structures. It seems a pity, given the range of approaches already encompassed by the volume, that it could not make any gestures in these crucial directions.
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Modern-day prophets, contemporary jokers. The socio-political engagement of Libia Castro & Ólafur Ólafsson

Modern-day prophets, contemporary jokers. The socio-political engagement of Libia Castro & Ólafur Ólafsson

everyone. One of the people at the table holds out his hand to receive a copy, but every time the man reaches for the hand-out, the piece of paper gets withdrawn by someone who is located outside of the screen (Fig. 10). It is an example of one of the ‘funny’ episodes in the film - especially as the person in question visibly tries to keep his composure - and probably also not entirely without significance in a film that is about the profession of lobbying, and thus about the art of negotiation. The opening scene may count as another example, in which the viewer sees a group of hired actors that are passionately engaged in a tug of war duel right in front of the European Parliament’s headquarters in Brussels (Fig. 11; 12). The men and women are dressed up as cowboys and wear slogans like ‘public interest’ on their hats. On the banners that they are carrying are the faces of government officials, accompanied by the words “WANTED” or “UNWANTED” written above. The playfulness of this scene is, again, entirely alien to the rest of the officially dressed characters appearing on screen in the remaining 18,5 minutes or so, and does not match the level of ‘formality’ or ‘seriousness’ that one would expect from a film that is about the absolute epicentre of political power in Europe.
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Aspects of modern Scottish literature and ecological thought

Aspects of modern Scottish literature and ecological thought

Chapter One suggests that, while Romantic ways of thinking about the natural world remained influential in nineteenth-century culture, new environmental theories provided fresh ways of perceiving the world, evident from the writings of Scottish mountaineers. Chapter Two explores tire confrontation of modernity and wilderness in the fiction aird travel writings of Robert Louis Stevenson, and some contemporaries such as John Muir. Chapter Three suggests that ecologically-sensitive local and global concerns, rather tlran "national" ones per se, are central to the work of Hugh MacDiarmid, Lewis Grassic Gibbon and others, while Chapter Four demonstrates that post-war "rural" writers including Nan Shepherd, NeU Gumi, Edwin Muir and George Mackay Brown, often viewed as peripheral, are actually central and of international relevance, and challenges the assumption that there is a fundamental divide between Scottish rural and urban writing. Finally, Chapter Five argues that contemporary writers John Burnside, Katlileen Jamie and Alan Warner are not only reviewing human relationships with nature, but also the role writing has to play in exploring and strengthening that relationship, helping to determine the ecological "value" of poetry and fiction.
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