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Cover Comparative European Politics

15. The Rise of Anti-Establishment Parties  

Mara Morini

This chapter examines the rise of radical right-wing nationalist parties and radical anti-globalization, anti-austerity left-wing parties in Europe. Anti-establishment parties are not new; they have always been a feature of European politics. The ground was not seeded for their development and expansion, however, until social and cultural changes that began in the 1960s combined with the economic and migration crises of the 2000s. The chapter discusses historic anti-establishment parties and the new parties that have emerged over the last two decades. It discusses the nature of anti-establishment parties and describes contemporary radical-left and extreme-right parties. The label of ‘populism’ as applied to these parties is analysed. Using a comparative approach, the chapter examines why there has been a growth of support for anti-establishment parties and attitudes in the last decades, focusing on the development of a ‘populist moment’ in contemporary representative democracies.


Cover Political Thinkers

10. Machiavelli  

Joseph V. Femia

This chapter examines Niccolò Machiavelli's contribution to political thought. It first provides a short biography of Machiavelli before discussing the main perspectives on Machiavelli and the reasons for their divergence. It then considers the historical and intellectual context that helped to shape Machiavelli's thinking, asking how the Renaissance differed from the Middle Ages, the extent to which Machiavelli was a man of the Renaissance, and why the Italian scene stimulated creative thought about politics. The chapter also explores Machiavelli's most innovative ideas: his rejection of metaphysics and teleology, whether of the Christian or aristotelian variety; his empirical and historical approach to the study of political affairs; and his anti-utopianism and belief in ‘reason of state’.


Cover Rethinking Political Thinkers

20. Zhang Taiyan  

Patrizia Longo

This chapter looks at Zhang Taiyan’s political theory, revolving around revolution and nationalism. It describes how Zhang tried to build a new politics based on a new universality that does not extinguish particularity. Buddhism influenced most of Zhang’s anti-Manchu propaganda and political theory. The chapter then explains how the ideas of Zhang’s Buddhist political theory are picked up by the post-war Japanese intellectual Takeuchi Yoshimi. It explores the goal of pan-Asianism to negate the West and take Western values to a higher level. Takeuchi and Zhang tried to create a new universality by confronting the West through an anti-imperialist nationalist struggle.


Cover Politics in the Developing World

1. Changing Analytical Approaches to the Study of Politics in the Developing World  

Vicky Randall

This chapter discusses the main broad analytical approaches or frameworks of interpretation that have been used in studying politics in the developing world. It first considers two contrasting broad approaches that long dominated political analysis of developing countries. The first was a politics of modernization that gave rise to political development theory, then to revised versions of that approach. The second was a Marxist-inspired approach that gave rise to dependency theory and, subsequently, to neo-Marxist analysis. The chapter also examines globalization theory and critical responses to globalization as neoliberal ideology, which have been associated with the ‘anti-globalization movement’ and have included arguments about orientalism and ‘post-development’ theory. Finally, it explores the strategies, categories, and more specific methods of analysis that have been typically deployed to assess the politics of developing countries.


Cover The Institutions of the European Union

10. The European Court of Auditors and the European Ombudsman:  

the EU’s ‘watchdogs’

Andreea Nǎstase and Christine Neuhold

Both the European Court of Auditors (ECA) and the European Ombudsman (EO) have been coined as European Union (EU) ‘watchdogs’. They have very different mandates: the Court audits the EU’s finances and the Ombudsman investigates complaints of maladministration by EU institutions and bodies. It might then come as a surprise that they have quite a lot in common. Their main EU institution of scrutiny is the European Commission, and they need to preserve their independence as oversight institutions. Neither has the power to impose sanctions on the institutions they investigate. Both the Court and the Ombudsman also cooperate with their national counterparts. In this chapter, we shed light on these EU ‘watchdogs’, which have thus far been under-researched. We do this by examining the key features of their institutional set-up and how they work. We also analyse how they have succeeded in interpreting their role beyond legal provisions and how they have dealt with crisis.


Cover Rethinking Political Thinkers

32. John Rawls  

Maeve Mckeown

This chapter examines the significance of A Theory of Justice (1971) written by John Rawls in contemporary Anglo-American political philosophy. It examines the basic contours of Rawls’ theory and addresses the Rawlsian self in what he calls ‘the original position’. Feminists and critical race theorists disagree over the potential of self that Rawls proposed to generate a non-sexist, anti-racist society, and philosophers of disability highlight its ableist assumptions. The chapter looks at the idea of a Rawlsian society being governed by a ‘just basic structure’. It highlights three issues: (1) the ambiguity of the concept of a basic structure separate from individual behaviour and other institutions; (2) the concern that focusing on the basic structure fails to address power relations between groups; and (3) that it limits the scope of justice to the nation state. While acknowledging the profound contributions of Rawls, the chapter concludes that Rawlsian ideal theory is not the best approach from the perspective of feminist, anti-racist, and anti-ableist philosophy.


Cover European Union Politics

27. Brexit  

Nieves Pérez-Solórzano Borragán and Michelle Cini

This chapter analyses the United Kingdom’s departure from the European Union (EU), commonly known as Brexit. The chapter examines the historical context that shaped the UK’s decision to join the European Economic Community (EEC) and its subsequent relationship with the EU. It charts the events leading to the 2016 EU referendum, including the campaign and explains the reasons for the narrow Leave vote. The Withdrawal Agreement (WA) negotiations under Article 50 are discussed by focusing on process, actors, and outcomes. This is followed by an evaluation of the negotiations leading to the signing of the Trade and Cooperation Agreement (TCA) and its implications. The chapter ends by discussing the impact and implications of the UK’s departure from the EU.