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Chapter

Cover Contemporary Security Studies

4. Historical Materialism  

Eric Herring

This chapter begins with an overview of the social scientific, philosophical, and political dimensions of historical materialism (HM). This overview is followed by an elaboration of what HM involves, including its diversity, value, and potential but avoidable pitfalls. Key HM concepts are set out and used to show how capitalism generally and in its recent neoliberal form aims to generate insecurity for labour and security for capital. Rather than being a narrow approach to security that focuses on economics, at its best, HM is a holistic approach that provides a way of putting into perspective and relating the many components of security. It goes on to explore the relationships between HM and approaches to security in wider contexts (realism, liberalism, social constructivism, and gender) and then to various perspectives on security (securitization and the sectoral approach, peace studies, Critical Security Studies, and human security). Accompanying the text are Think Point 4.1 on using HM to understand arms production and the arms trade, and Think Point 4.2 on using HM to understand the connections between development and security. The conclusion provides an overall assessment of the contribution of HM to the scholarship and politics of security and insecurity.

Chapter

Cover Poverty and Development

7. Poverty and Education  

Peggy Froerer

This chapter addresses the relationship between education and poverty. Education has become a central development plank for the World Bank and other multilateral organizations, partly because of the connection between education, development, and the reduction of poverty. Such organizations continue to sponsor and spearhead different programmes geared towards enhanced educational access and engagement (particular at primary school levels). Owing to such programmes, greater numbers of children have access to schooling across the globe, impacting on poverty levels. However, the benefits and opportunities purportedly associated with education are not accessible to those groups which are governed by their structural positions within systems of social and economic inequality. The promised education-related returns are not always forthcoming, particularly for those lacking important forms of social capital.

Chapter

Cover Democratization

11. Social Capital and Civil Society  

Natalia Letki

This chapter examines the role of civil society and social capital in democratization processes. It begins by reconstructing the definitions of civil society and social capital in the context of political change, followed by an analysis of the ways in which civil society and social capital are functional for the initiation and consolidation of democracies. It then considers the relationship between civil society and attitudes of trust and reciprocity, the function of networks and associations in democratization, paradoxes of civil society and social capital in new democracies, and the main arguments cast against the idea that civic activism and attitudes are a necessary precondition for a modern democracy. The chapter argues that civil society and social capital and their relation to political and economic institutions are context specific.

Chapter

Cover Comparative Politics

17. Political culture  

Christian Welzel and Ronald Inglehart

This chapter examines the role that the concept of political culture plays in comparative politics. In particular, it considers how the political culture field increases our understanding of the social roots of democracy and how these roots are transforming through cultural change. In analysing the inspirational forces of democracy, key propositions of the political culture approach are compared with those of the political economy approach. The chapter first provides an overview of cultural differences around the world, before tracing the historical roots of the political culture concept. It then tackles the question of citizens’ democratic maturity and describes the allegiance model of the democratic citizen. It also explores party–voter dealignment, the assertive model of the democratic citizen, and political culture in non-democracies. It concludes with an assessment of how trust, confidence, and social capital increase a society’s capacity for collective action.

Chapter

Cover Comparative Politics

17. Political Culture  

Christian Welzel and Ronald Inglehart

This chapter examines the role that the concept of political culture plays in comparative politics. In particular, it considers how the political culture field increases our understanding of the social roots of democracy and how these roots are transforming through cultural change. In analysing the inspirational forces of democracy, key propositions of the political culture approach are compared with those of the political economy approach. The chapter first provides an overview of cultural differences around the world, before tracing the historical roots of the political culture concept. It then tackles the question of citizens’ democratic maturity and describes the allegiance model of the democratic citizen. It also explores party–voter dealignment, the assertive model of the democratic citizen, and political culture in non-democracies. It concludes with an assessment of how trust, confidence, and social capital increase a society’s capacity for collective action.

Chapter

Cover Politics in the Developing World

4. The Developing World in the Global Economy  

Robert Ahearne

This chapter examines the role of developing countries in the contemporary global economy. It first provides an overview of trends in the global economy, taking into account the implications of globalization for the developing world and the question of free trade vs protectionism. It then considers three key features of an increasingly globalized economy and their significance for the developing world: trade, foreign direct investment (FDI), and financial flows. It also discusses the role(s) of developing countries in global trade, the advantages and disadvantages of FDI, and two major components of the global economy that can cause serious economic disruptions: the buying and selling of currencies and stocks and shares in local economies, and the rapid movement of capital across borders. The chapter concludes with an assessment of factors that can reduce the economic well-being of countries in the developing world.

Chapter

Cover Global Political Economy

9. Financial Openness and the Challenge of Global Governance  

Louis W. Pauly

This chapter studies the globalization of finance. The world economy today reflects a systemic experiment involving, on the one hand, the unleashing of cross-border capital movements and, on the other, the dispersion of the political authority necessary to oversee and, when necessary, stabilize the markets through which vast amounts of capital now flow. Resulting tensions become most obvious during financial crises, when those flows suddenly stop or reverse their direction. In the late twentieth century, most such crises began in emerging-market or developing countries and had limited systemic consequences. In 2008, however, the global experiment capital market openness, now far along in its evolution, almost failed catastrophically when policy mistakes in the United States combined with large national payments' imbalances and a broad economic downturn to spawn a worldwide emergency. Shortly thereafter, Europeans at the core of the system narrowly escaped a similar disaster at the regional level. The chapter then explores key implications for contemporary global governance. It calls particular attention to the increasingly difficult and variegated politics of systemic risk assessment, emergency management, and future crisis prevention as the experiment continues.