Top PDF The political thought of F.A. Bland

The political thought of F.A. Bland

The political thought of F.A. Bland

Bland, although not simply a student of public administration, did indeed devote a great deal of energy to the study of the organisation and the functioning of departments of state. His writings on the civil service display a considerable continuity, and themes to be found in his earliest articles and books recurred in his last works. He had great faith in the ability of public service departments to function as expert and impartial devices for the implementation of government policy, and was very much influenced by the ideas on civil service organisation which dated from the famous Northcote-Trevelyan Report. Nonetheless, he recognised that there were ways in which the ideal of an expert and impartial civil service could be undermined in practice, and he advanced detailed proposals designed to prevent this from happening. In doing so, he was able to draw not only on the works of earlier writers, but on his own lengthy experience as a public servant concerned with public service recruitment and operations. His writings on the civil service provide perhaps the best example of his attempt to specify institutions through which his values could be realised and illuminate his enterprise as a practical political thinker.
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The Concept of “Political Legitimacy” in Shia Political Thought (With Focus on Imam Khomeini’s Political Thought)

The Concept of “Political Legitimacy” in Shia Political Thought (With Focus on Imam Khomeini’s Political Thought)

Legitimacy is always considered an important concept among basic topics of political science; since it has been already posed as the prerequisite of acceptability for exercising of power in the societies through history. Accordingly, all of the political philosophies made efforts to establish an intellectual apparatus that enforces the fundamentals of governance, dealt to some extent with the issue of “Legitimacy” and included it in the core of arguments. In general, legitimacy would be defined as being legal or to be based on the law; but it refers not only to legality of government from the legislative respect, but also to social acceptability of it by citizens. In this article, we try to study and investigate the political legitimacy in the Shia political thought, par- ticularly with focus on views of Imam Khomeini (RA) as the founder and former leader of Is- lamic Republic of Iran.
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Victorian Political Thought on France and the French

Victorian Political Thought on France and the French

Victorian Political Thought on France and the French is a convincing and readable volume that will be invaluable for scholars and postgraduate students. The significant cogency of this monograph stems from two important theoretical premises. Firstly, Varouxakis does not slip into shallow, one-dimensional explanations: rather he succeeds in maintaining a subtle balancing act between a number of interesting antitheses throughout the entire narrative. Accordingly, he has an eye for relevant life experiences of the various writers, as well as for integrating crucial general factors, such as the British feeling of superiority (which was based upon the idea of moderate liberty above all else); and the intricate relationship between the Irish problem and the belief in the Celtic roots of French culture. In addition, he strikes a balance between short-term responses to actual political events, such as regime changes on the one hand, and the recording of more settled long-term visions regarding the national character of the French on the other.
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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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The role of philosophy and hierarchy in Friedrich Nietzsche's political thought

The role of philosophy and hierarchy in Friedrich Nietzsche's political thought

to affirm suffering and the contingencies of life without experiencing or giving in to ressentiment. In this way, a will to self-responsibility is invoked and enacted but it is particular to a future-based active pathos. In other words, it is not the kind o f forced responsibility that obtains under the rule of law or in the social contract as we understand these concepts. Indeed, this will to self-responsibility or the right to make promises is a self-mastery that as Nietzsche puts it, “gives him mastery over circumstances, over nature, and over all short-willed and unreliable creatures” (GM II, 2). Nietzsche does not mean direct control over circumstances and nature but rather a will to affirmation in the face of life’s contingencies, the effects of one’s actions, and the effects o f others’ actions that one might suffer from. Thus, the sovereign individual does not, in a sense, need the law and the social contract the way the reactive type does since his will to self-responsibility accepts and affirms the burden of suffering and demands that he renounce ressentiment toward life and others as a result. This places the sovereign individual in an extra-moral realm above the common morality of present-day democratic values and it means that he is “self- legislating”.46
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The Social and Political Thought of Yen Fu

The Social and Political Thought of Yen Fu

The emergence of Neo-Confucianism in the eleventh century revived Confucianism as the dominant force in the Chinese intellectual world after its decay for centuries under challenges from Buddhism and Taoism. While Neo-Confucianism gave Confucianism a new complexion by developing metaphysics and cosmology, it, however, was responsible for what James Liu has characterized as the transition to the 'inward-looking* in Chinese culture.** One illustration of this 'inward-looking* tendency was that the distinction between righteousness and profit became even more rigid. The preoccupation of Neo-Confucian philosophy was with the question of how the Confucian gentleman cultivates himself. It paid little attention to 'such practical problems as peasants, village life, townspeople, religious practices, social conditions, and the art of government*.*’ Two major schools of Neo-Confucianism, the school of Ch*eng I (1033-1107 A.D) and Chu Hsi (1130-1200 A.D.) and the school of Lu Hsiang-shan (1139-1193 A.D.) and Wang Yang-ming (1472-1529), while disagreeing on many important philosophical issues, nevertheless upheld Mencius* distinction between righteousness and profit as the basis of moral and political philosophy. This was particularly so for the Ch*eng-Chu school, which gained dominance over the Chinese intellectual world until the late nineteenth century. This school held that moral behaviour is that which follows the Heavenly principle {t’ien-li) rather than any consideration of practical consequences.^® This is particularly important when people*s desires and interests conflict with the Heavenly principle. Under such
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Realism and liberalism in the political thought of Bernard Williams

Realism and liberalism in the political thought of Bernard Williams

By focusing on the primacy of securing order Williams rejects ‘the basic relation of morality to politics as being that represented either by the enactment model or by the structural model’ (IBWD, p. 8). Political moralism pays insufficient attention to the centrality of answering the first question in realistic terms and, more often than not, forgets the contextual and historically conditioned nature of judgements about what makes sense. Williams insists that ‘inasmuch as liberalism has foundations, it has foundations in its capacity to answer the “first question” in what is now seen, granted these answers to the BLD, as an acceptable way … but this is not the foundation of the liberal state, because it is a product of those same forces that lead to a situation in which the BLD is satisfied only by a liberal state’ (IBWD, p. 8). He puts this most schematically when he writes that LEG + Modernity = Liberalism. ‘Now and around here’ we only permit liberal solutions because ‘other supposed legitimations are now seen to be false and in particular ideological’ (IBWD, p. 8). This is markedly different from claiming that liberalism is the political expression of a set of timeless moral truths or that all previous legitimation stories were false. Williams accuses political moralism of forgetting this because it has an implausible understanding of ethics as a ‘mere moral normativity’, the result of the exercise of ahistorical reasoning. He holds that such views lack a theory of error that can explain ‘why what it takes to be the true moral solution to the questions of politics, liberalism, should for the first time (roughly) become evident in European
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Geopolitics and global democracy in Owen Lattimore's political thought

Geopolitics and global democracy in Owen Lattimore's political thought

was not a pawn in a global balance of power but a proactive community which could influence the entire political unit. This geographic area was for Lattimore a space of cultural interaction and a hub of national movements. It was not, however, a unified political space. James Scott’s reading of Lattimore emphasizes the contention between the agricultural plane and the pastoral hills populations, and the fundamental importance of the relations between the human and the natural in creating the political sphere. Lattimore saw the nomadic social order, which escaped the control of the territorial state, as a complex developed social system, unlike most interpreters who conceived the transition from agriculture to nomadism as social deterioration. The populations inhabiting the frontier zone, like the Mongols, Uzbeks and – in Scott’s research – the Zumia, created a pluralistic, unstable and amorphous political space that was characterized by ‘low-stateness’. Lattimore and Scott alike saw this unique political reality as a counterbalance to the western conception of the state as a territorially-fixed entity. It allowed a more flexible and versatile interpretation of the territorial space of political action and democratic participation. 20 Lattimore rejected natural
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A History of Medieval Political Thought, 300 1450

A History of Medieval Political Thought, 300 1450

historians 'read' and periodise medieval political ideas. Oakley argued that the rediscovery of Aristotle in the central Middle Ages, far from destroying 'traditional' theocratic modes of thought, permitted them to be restated and reaffirmed, not least because Aristotelian 'naturalism' in fact accommodated the supernatural. Oakley's re-reading, further, suggested the need to modify traditional periodisation, and particularly to reconsider the twelfth/thirteenth-century Great Divide in which earlier notions of a sacred and mystical cosmology allegedly yielded to a secular, rational and legal one, or in Canning's words (p. 110), 'purely religious and oral categories' gave way to 'a physical explanation of nature', but also an essentially monarchist (theocratic) political ideal came to be superseded by a constitutionalist one. Interestingly, revisionist periodising looks more needful now than it did in the '70s, thanks to work on sources hitherto largely neglected in the context of political ideas: on the one hand by the contributors to Wendy Davies and Paul Fouracre's edited collection, The Settlement of Disputes in Early Medieval Europe (1986), who insist that earlier medieval modes of legal and political thinking were no less, or more, rational than later
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Realism and idealism in the political thought of Reinhold Niebuhr.

Realism and idealism in the political thought of Reinhold Niebuhr.

In order to understand what was happening to Niebuhr at this time, it is necessary to realise that if he might be con­ sidered to be a child of American Nineteenth Century Liberalism on the one hand, on th® other he was also a child of Nilllam James* pragmatic revolt. As Arthur Schlesinger, Jr., points out, Niebuhr is an instinctive empiricist with sharp political intuitions as well as an instinct for realism. His first re­ action to any problem has always been as a pragmatist, not as a moralists witness the fact that he was able to discover that the answer to the plight of automobile workers in his own parish, lay not in some benign optimism, but in a direct program of political and social action involving the us® of the stuff of which politics is mad® - power* Schlesinger continues the com­ parison with James in th® following wordss
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Methodological Impediments to Innovation on Political Thought of Islam

Methodological Impediments to Innovation on Political Thought of Islam

rational problems and was not able to come up with new political and social theories and basically, did not consider that to be its duty. Attention to political issues in ethical works written by ibn Moskuyeh Razi; Khajeh Nassir-ed-din in his book, Akhlaq Nasseri; and Mohaqqeq Sabzevari in his book, Rozat-ol-Anwar Abbasi, could not achieve much. Therefore, the political thought of Islam was limited to jurisprudential issues which paid attention to reviving religious tenets, ordering good and prohibiting vice, apostasy… in domestic policy as well as preventing domination of foreigners, contracts for behaving with non-Muslims and… in foreign policy. Such issues, as we said before were based on quotes and were expressed in the simplest way. Although they could meet political and social needs of their time hundreds of years ago, they did not follow complexity of those needs in the course of time and it seems that if they continue on the same path, they will not be capable of meeting the needs of a modern society. Even jurisprudential books that have been written in recent years have attended to such important issues within the old jurisprudential frames. viii This trend has had four consequences. Firstly, issues of political thought have not been established in Islam within scientific and theoretical frames commensurate with advancement of political and social systems. Secondly, some came to believe that Islam basically lacks the capacity to give rise to political thought and theorization in this field. Thirdly, many researchers whose goal is to delineate the political thought of Islam pursue this goal within jurisprudential frame and their efforts, therefore, is not possible to prove fruitful. Fourthly, proponents of a dynamic political Islam in the modern world try to defend their viewpoints on the basis of political and jurisprudential bases and the opposite side does not consider their defense to be serious or convincing. Even jurists who pay attention to such modern issues as democracy, human rights, structure of the Islamic government, party politics, political participation, and so on; do not discuss such issues in depth. ix Apart from that, fiqh has become basically stagnant with respect to new topics and it seems that there is no way to infer solutions to new problems from old texts.x 4. Generalizing Sanctities
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Nature and artifice in Hobbes’s international political thought

Nature and artifice in Hobbes’s international political thought

temporary relief. 12 However, the possibility of sovereignty acquired by conquest seems to allow for lasting reconciliation with former enemies. Hobbes reasons in all of his main political works that the state is dissolved in the event of a successful enemy invasion, implying that individuals are free to submit themselves to the victor in order to retain their life and liberty. The invader may thereupon admit those who appear trustworthy enough as his subjects in order to acquire sovereignty over another nation. 13 This method would allow for former enemies to establish a protection-
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Context and social criticism: The problem of context in the history of political thought and political theory

Context and social criticism: The problem of context in the history of political thought and political theory

This public view o f meaning disposes of the idea that something could be meaningful for an individual, or even for a group, and yet incommunicable, a view characteristic of standpoint theory. If this is so, then the idea that we are incomprehensible to each other on account o f being situated in different contexts is untenable, as is the idea that my self-understandings are authoritative and immune to criticism because they rely upon essentially private meanings. This does not mean that in practice communication will necessarily be straightforward. First o f all, this view of language as public adds another dimension to the conceptual pluralism set out in the previous chapter, insofar as it suggests that different groups o f people may come to develop different practices, using words in ways that we may find unfamiliar, and incorporating them into language games other than those we know how to play. This may not only give rise to misunderstandings, but also to the more perplexing problem of essential contestability. Related to this is the problem o f ambiguity. In virtue of their public, practice-constituted character, utterances will carry meanings which a speaker did not, or could not have foreseen or controlled. If one thinks o f meaning as essentially private, as Skinner does, for example, one can dismiss this phenomenon as secondary: as a matter of mistakes about the true meaning o f an utterance by an inept audience, but the very fact that such mistakes can happen at all suggests that this is rather an essential feature of public language: a consequence o f the fact that meaning does not originate with individual speakers.63
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An Introduction to Morteza Motahari''''s Political Thought

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

Motahari's works such as Elal-e Gerayesh be Maddigari (Reasons for tending to Materi- alism) –especially the section about Material- ism in Iran-, some parts of the introduction of the book Jahan bini-e Towhidi (Monotheistic ideology), Fetrat (the nature of the mankind), Masaleye Shenakht (the issue of understand- ing), Ensan-e Kamel (the complete man), etc were so much helpful in preventing Iranians from ideological dogmatism and especially party and organizational dogmatism. He un- veiled the cover that some had put on reli- gious thoughts by political intentions and revealed the eclectic structure of thoughts of some others who accepted such eclectic thoughts because of their weak understanding of Islamic thoughts and their passivity to- wards the dominance of newcomer ideas. Now, after two decades of analyzing the thoughts in Iran, it is quite clear that if such thoughts and ideas became rigid and domi- nant, we would be still talking about "the roots of such thoughts in our history" and remaining in delusion of self-indulgence be- cause of the eclectic covers that some think- ers had put on their own understanding of Marxism and other newcomer ideas.
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History, method, and pluralism: A re interpretation of Isaiah Berlin's political thought

History, method, and pluralism: A re interpretation of Isaiah Berlin's political thought

always clusters or assemblages o f heterogeneous elements o f varying origins.’40 That is to say, there is, if there ever were, no bona fide Christian or Buddhist societies today; and to this one may add that there never exists a Kantian or Utilitarian closed society. Nevertheless, it is not clear how that works against Berlin’s overall argument. To explain, suppose that an agent who finds moral authority (as a result o f upbringing) in all the Christian, Kantian and Utilitarian moral traditions, is now faced with a situation concerning whether she is to undergo an abortion. After deliberation, she finds that abortion is the best Utilitarian course o f action, but that surely conflicts both the Kantian principle o f respect for persons (suppose that an embryo is a ‘person’) and God’s commandment ‘not to kill’. In the end, she finds not just different ‘oughts’, but even an action can be performed for different reasons - that is, the oughts whose meanings are relative to moralities and radically different. Clearly, this situation can only arise from a society with ‘heterogeneous elements o f varying origins’ - which seems to support rather than undermine Berlin’s case for value-pluralism. Lukes may reply that the agent is unlucky to have been brought up in that way, and at any rate no rational human beings would endorse three moralities at the same time. However, that would fly in the face o f the reality. For one thing, so-called ‘Western culture’ is characterised by all these three moral traditions, and such people do exist. Indeed, it is even not difficult to find one who would like to believe in both Darwinian evolutionary theory and Christianity. The human reality is after all, to use Berlin’s favourite saying, a crooked timber out o f which no straight things was ever made.41 For another, to straighten out this situation, it is necessary for the agent to reject, or for the Western society to rule out, at least two o f the three moralities - yet either case would result in what Berlin calls ‘tragic loss of value’. Indeed, the three moralities are all highly valued, and to eliminate any o f them from society is to preclude the agent pursuing various forms o f life - hence ‘values’ in Berlin’s terminology. In any event, to ask the agent to do so amounts to asking him to act immorally - after all, that requires him to act against his own morality.
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The Issue of Woman in Ghasem Amin’s Political Thought

The Issue of Woman in Ghasem Amin’s Political Thought

He accounts for the three principles as the fun- damentals of the family that make the foundations of human education. The first principle, as he calls, is the feeling of religion. Religion is the sole job that pictures the real perfection for him”. In this way family should cultivate religiousness in the mind and in the heart of a child, from the very beginning”, in a way the child shows this inclina- tion toward virtuosity in his behaviors throughout his growth. The second principle is patriotism. This feeling is born with the child; if it is sup- posed that the feeling of patriotism and its teach- ing be rendered at school and the time of educa- tion, it leads to no result. “A child should be thought that whatever s/he does becomes mea- ningful, only, if it is related to love for his home- town, otherwise, it is null. This is the debt we have toward our ancestors, and our children should have toward us. “The third foundation, however, is controlling the inner self; “this is called an individual‟s ethical and moral develop- ment, and Europeans consider it as “court of con- science” which is supposed to guard the individu- al at any time. It is sometimes believed that sense is an instinctive affair depicted in human institu- tion, but this is not true, inner control can also, be achieved by education and training.” This process leads to the appearance of responsibility. Only in this situation, the person might feel responsible for his actions and there is no need for police and guardians (Amin, 1894, pp.40-41).
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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 most influential representative of discourse theory is Jürgen Habermas. Habermas’ starting-point is a rejection of liberal theory on the ground that it fails to recognize that the political is a medium in which something far more basic and fundamental than rights and interests is at stake. What is at stake, to be precise, is identity – or, more accurately, our identity as free and equal agents. This requires, in the first place, that political theory abandons what Habermas regards as the self- centred ‘monological’ view of reason associated with the individualist tradition and recognizes instead the inherently ‘dialogical’ character of rationality. In practice, Habermas stresses, this recognition cannot be brought about merely by solitary intellectual reflection, since that leaves monological reason intact; it only comes about through actually experiencing the communicative dimension of political life, in the course of which the social character of personal identity is established. For this experience to be undistorted, all participants must be equally well placed to appreciate the norms which govern what Habermas terms the ideal speech situation. Although these norms are implicit in all communicative situations, they are only made fully explicit in the ideal one. What characterizes this ideal situation is, above all, the fact that fellow participants achieve the mutual transparency at which communication ideally aims.
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Virtue in Machiavelli’s Political Thought

Virtue in Machiavelli’s Political Thought

Strauss recognizes Machiavelli as the founder of the new political philosophy and equates this with complete severance of the old thought. In the clas- sical political philosophy, virtue was the indica- tive of the public goodness, but in Machiavelli‘s thinking public goodness bounds to virtue. Public goodness has objectives such as freedom, stability, and governance of law, prosperity, glory and go- vernance that are practically pursued by all socie- ties (Strauss, 1995: 51). It is with this definition that technical and strategic thinking comes in. In the new Machiavellian thought influenced by hu- manistic anthropology, human possesses high flexibility power, egoism and overindulgence. However, all of these may be managed and trained. Virtuous king is such a trained human being. He builds himself and the society (Ibid: 52). This conception of Machiavelli by Strauss demonstrates how extended and complete possi- bilities come to the control of the king to organize the society. These possibilities are tantamount to virtues. For Strauss, virtue is an array of material instruments and managerial/strategic techniques. In classical political philosophy, providence to some degrees was considered beyond the control of the king and if the favorable preconditions-e.g. virtuous and good citizens-were not met, he would fail to embrace success. In contrast, from Machia- velli‘s perspective, destiny becomes fortune and is clasped by king‘s prudence power.
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The 1848 Revolutions and European Political Thought

The 1848 Revolutions and European Political Thought

Individual contributions are almost without exception of high quality, unsurprisingly given the presence of so many eminent historians among the 18 authors. Specialists in any area of 19th-century European politics and political ideas will all find a chapter or two which they will need to consult. But the book does not set out to assert a shared, substantive vision. The pieces do not interlock to suggest a new general interpretation of the political thought of the revolutions: several chapters emphasise the relatively limited significance of ideas of nationality in the revolutions, but this is perhaps just a consequence of looking deliberately past the more nationally-minded revolutionaries who have been the subject of so much previous study. Kossuth and Mazzini appear here only in passing, while the most regularly cited individual thinker is probably Marx. Not coincidentally, socialisms of different varieties constitute a stronger thread throughout the volume than do nationalisms.
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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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