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Chapter

Cover European Union Politics

4. Neo-functionalism  

Carsten Strøby Jensen

This chapter reviews a theoretical position, neo-functionalism, which was developed in the mid-1950s by scholars based in the United States. The fundamental argument of the theory is that states are not the only important actors on the international scene. As a consequence, neo-functionalists focus their attention on the role of supranational institutions and non-state actors, such as interest groups and political parties, who, they argue, are the real driving force behind integration efforts. The chapter that follows provides an introduction to the main features of neo-functionalist theory, its historical development since the 1950s, and how neo-functionalism is used today.

Chapter

Cover Introducing Political Philosophy

6. Schools and Equality of Opportunity  

William Abel, Elizabeth Kahn, Tom Parr, and Andrew Walton

This chapter addresses the value of equality of opportunity and assesses its implication for the design of the school system, arguing for the radical conclusion that the state should prohibit elite private schools. It begins by outlining how elite private schools create inequalities in prospects between children, and develops an account of why this is morally problematic. A challenge to the chapter’s argument comes from those who reject equality of opportunity in favour of educational adequacy. The chapter then considers the possibility that it is wrong for the state to prohibit elite private schools because this interferes too much in family life. It offers a framework for assessing which choices should be protected on these grounds, and argues that the choice to send one’s child to an elite private school does not fall in this set.

Chapter

Cover Democratization

19. Southern Europe  

Richard Gunther

This chapter examines the political consequences of different types of regime change in Southern Europe by comparing democratic transitions via ‘elite pacts’ or ‘elite convergence’ with those involving much higher levels of mass mobilization. It begins with overviews of the distinguishing features of the transitions to democracy in Portugal, Greece, and Spain, along with some observations about how the processes of regime transformation affected the conduct of politics for several years after democracy was established. It then considers the relevance of international actors and events, economic factors, as well as social-structural and cultural characteristics to processes of regime change. It also discusses lessons that can be drawn from the experiences of Portugal, Greece, and Spain and shows that the type of regime transition can have a significant impact on the success of democratization.

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Cover US Foreign Policy

1. Introduction: US foreign policy—past, present, and future  

Michael Cox and Doug Stokes

This work examines how domestic politics and culture shape US foreign policy, with particular emphasis on the role of institutions and processes. It considers the ways in which pressure groups and elites determine influence what the United States does abroad, the importance of regional shifts and media and their impact on the making of US foreign policy, and US relations with Europe, the Middle East, Russia, the Asia-Pacific region, Latin America, and Africa. The text also discusses key issues relevant to American foreign policy, such as global terrorism, the global environment, gender, and religion. It argues that whoever resides in the White House will continue to give the military a central role in the conduct of US foreign policy, and that whoever ‘runs’ American foreign policy will still have to deal with the same challenges both at home and abroad.

Chapter

Cover US Foreign Policy

11. Media and US foreign policy  

Piers Robinson

This chapter examines the academic debates over the relationship between US public opinion, media, and foreign policy. It first considers the nature of US media and public opinion, including democratic expectations of mass media and public opinion, before discussing pluralist and elite approaches to understanding the links between media, public opinion, and foreign policy. It then explores the role of propaganda and persuasion with respect to US power projection, with particular emphasis on the ways in which public opinion and media can be understood as a source of power for — and as a constraint upon — US foreign policy. It also reviews contemporary debates regarding the impact of technological developments, such as the emergence of global media like the internet and social media, upon US power and influence.

Chapter

Cover Contemporary Security Studies

15. Regime Security  

Andreas Krieg

This chapter examines the nature of regime security in the weak states in the developing world in contrast to public or state security in the developed world. The chapter shows that the insecurities that confront regimes in the developing world mostly emanate from internal rather than external threats and are linked to the inability or unwillingness of these regimes to provide security inclusively as a public good to local communities. In order to understand the regime insecurity loop in the developing world, the chapter commences by introducing the difference between public and regime security. It continues by defining the major threats to regime security before exemplifying how regimes in the developing world are trying to manage these threats through accommodation and coercion. The regime insecurity loop will be illustrated on the basis of the Assad regime in Syria. The chapter concludes by outlining the prospects of regime security in the developing world amid an increased transnationalization of security affairs.

Chapter

Cover US Foreign Policy

10. Media and US foreign policy  

Piers Robinson

This chapter examines the influence of media and public opinion on U.S. foreign policy and vice versa. It considers the extent to which the media and public have been manipulated by the government, and the extent to which public opinion and media have shaped foreign policy during tumultuous times such as the terrorist attacks of 11 September 2001. It also explores the consequences of public opinion and media for U.S. power in the twenty-first century. The chapter describes pluralist and elite models of the public opinion/ media/foreign policy nexus, long with public and media diplomacy. It concludes with a discussion of the extent to which developments in communication technology have empowered U.S. public opinion and media, as well as the impact of this technology on global U.S. power and influence, in particular in the context of the current war on terror.

Chapter

Cover Comparative Politics

21. The welfare state  

Kees van Kersbergen and Philip Manow

This chapter examines the emergence, expansion, variation, and transformation of the welfare state. It first considers the meaning of the welfare state, before discussing three perspectives that explain the emergence of the welfare state: the functionalist approach, the class mobilization approach, and a literature emphasizing the impact of state institutions and the relative autonomy of bureaucratic elites. It then describes the expansion of the welfare state, taking into account the impact of social democracy, neocorporatism and the international economy, risk redistribution, Christian democracy and Catholic social doctrine, and secular trends. It also explores variations among developed welfare states, as well as the effects of the welfare state, and concludes with an analysis of the challenges and dynamics of contemporary welfare states. The chapter shows that the welfare state is a democratic state that guarantees social protection as a right attached to citizenship.

Chapter

Cover Comparative Politics

9. Constitutions, rights, and judicial power  

Alec Stone Sweet

This chapter focuses on the evolution of systems of constitutional justice since 1787. It first provides an overview of key concepts and definitions, such as constitution, constitutionalism, and rights, before presenting a simple theory of delegation and judicial power. In particular, it explains why political elites would delegate power to constitutional judges, and how to measure the extent of power, or discretion, delegated. It then considers different kinds of constitutions, rights, models of constitutional review, and the main precepts of ‘the new constitutionalism’. It also traces the evolution of constitutional forms and suggests that as constitutional rights and review has diffused around the world, so has the capacity of constitutional judges to influence, and sometimes determine, policy outcomes.

Chapter

Cover Comparative Politics

21. The Welfare State  

Kees van Kersbergen and Philip Manow

This chapter examines the emergence, expansion, variation, and transformation of the welfare state. It first considers the meaning of the welfare state, before discussing three perspectives that explain the emergence of the welfare state: the functionalist approach, the class mobilization approach, and a literature emphasizing the impact of state institutions and the relative autonomy of bureaucratic elites. It then describes the expansion of the welfare state, taking into account the impact of social democracy, neocorporatism and the international economy, risk redistribution, Christian democracy and Catholic social doctrine, and secular trends. It also explores variations among developed welfare states, as well as the effects of the welfare state, and concludes with an analysis of the challenges and dynamics of contemporary welfare states. The chapter shows that the welfare state is a democratic state that guarantees social protection as a right attached to citizenship.

Chapter

Cover Comparative Politics

9. Constitutions, Rights, and Judicial Power  

Alec Stone Sweet

This chapter focuses on the evolution of systems of constitutional justice since 1787. It first provides an overview of key concepts and definitions, such as constitution, constitutionalism, and rights, before presenting a simple theory of delegation and judicial power. In particular, it explains why political elites would delegate power to constitutional judges, and how to measure the extent of power, or discretion, delegated. It then considers different kinds of constitutions, rights, models of constitutional review, and the main precepts of ‘the new constitutionalism’. It also traces the evolution of constitutional forms and suggests that as constitutional rights and review has diffused around the world, so has the capacity of constitutional judges to influence, and sometimes determine, policy outcomes.

Chapter

Cover Democracies and Authoritarian Regimes

7. Authoritarian Instability and Breakdown  

This chapter details the factors that increase the prospects of authoritarian regime failure. In-depth accounts of the downfall of specific authoritarian regimes show that it is most often a confluence of risk factors that bring down regimes. It is important to underscore that problems in dictatorships may persist for years without leading to breakdown. Authoritarian regimes can and often do persist in the face of elite divisions and defections, poor socio-economic conditions, corruption, and demographic challenges such as youth bulges. Such long-term factors increase a regime's risk of collapse by reducing a government's resilience to other short-term factors that often initiate its downfall. These short-term ‘triggering events’ include economic crises, fraudulent elections, and natural disasters. The chapter then considers how external forces—such as foreign aid, sanctions, and diffusion—can cause authoritarian breakdown.

Chapter

Cover US Foreign Policy

9. Domestic influences on foreign policy making  

Valentina Aronica and Inderjeet Parmar

This chapter examines domestic factors that influence American foreign policy, focusing on the variety of ways in which pressure groups and elites determine and shape what the United States does in the international arena. It first considers how US foreign policy has evolved over time before discussing the US Constitution in terms of foreign policy making and implementation. It then explores institutional influences on foreign policy making, including Congress and the executive branch, as well as the role of ‘orthodox’ and ‘unorthodox’ actors involved in the making of foreign policy and how power is distributed among them. It also analyzes the Trump administration’s foreign policy, taking into account the ‘Trump Doctrine’ and the US strikes on Syria.

Chapter

Cover Foreign Policy

10. The role of media and public opinion  

Piers Robinson

This chapter examines the relevance of media and public opinion to our understanding of foreign policy and international politics. It first considers whether public opinion influences foreign policy formulation, as argued by the pluralist model, or whether the public are politically impotent, as argued by the elite model. It then explores whether the media can influence foreign policy formulation, as argued by the pluralist model, or whether the media are fundamentally subservient to the foreign policy process, as argued by the elite model. It also integrates these competing arguments with theoretical frames used in the study of international relations: namely, realism, liberalism, and critical approaches (including constructivism and post-structuralism). The chapter concludes by discussing contemporary debates concerning organized persuasive communication and the ‘war on terror’.

Chapter

Cover Comparative Politics

19. Political communication  

Frank Esser and Barbara Pfetsch

In order to examine political communication comparatively, this chapter argues for a dynamic–systemic perspective. For this purpose, it outlines the model of a political communication ecosystem. On this basis, the chapter first explains (1) institutional country differences in the relationship between politics and the media and (2) cultural country differences in the relationship between politicians and journalists. It then goes on to explain how prototypical styles and message types of (1) politicians as communicators and (2) media as communicators differ in a cross-country comparison. Finally, it explains the differences between countries in (1) the news consumption of national audiences and (2) the impact of political communication on these audiences. Taking into account recent research findings on social media, populism, disinformation, and the Ukraine invasion, the chapter concludes with implications for comparative political communication from Western and non-Western perspectives.

Chapter

Cover Comparative Politics

19. Political Communication  

Frank Esser and Barbara Pfetsch

This chapter examines the dimensions of the political communication system. It first explains the rationale for a comparative study of political communication before discussing relevant models of relationship between media and political institutions, as well as differences in political communication cultures among media and political elites. It then reviews findings on country-specific reporting styles in political news coverage and evaluates divergent approaches in government communication and election communication. On the side of the citizens, the chapter explores cross-national differences in the consumption of political news, along with the positive contribution of public service broadcasters for informed and enlightened citizenship. Finally, it looks at political information flows, comparing message production by political actors, political message production by media actors, usage patterns of political information, and effects of political communication.