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Chapter

Cover Contemporary Security Studies

9. Postcolonialism  

Mark Laffey and Suthaharan Nadarajah

This chapter introduces postcolonialism as a set of increasingly influential positions and perspectives within the wider discipline of International Relations and sketches its implications for security studies. It begins with postcolonialism’s genealogies, tracing its emergence in a set of transnational debates about the mutually constitutive relations between knowledge and imperialism. The chapter then lays out the standard account of world history as organized around Westphalian sovereignty which informs security studies and shows how postcolonialism puts it in question, forcing the international to be reconceived as the context within which security is defined, practised, and studied. Third, the chapter puts postcolonialism to work and discusses what it might mean to decolonize security studies. In a short conclusion, it returns to the question of the tense relations between security studies and postcolonialism itself.

Chapter

Cover Introduction to Politics

14. Civil Society, Interest Groups, and the Media  

Peter Ferdinand

This chapter focuses on the concept of civil society, along with interest groups and the media. It first provides a background on the evolution of civil society and interest groups before discussing corporatism. In particular, it examines the ways in which civil society responds to state actors and tries to manoeuvre them into cooperation. This is politics from below. The chapter proceeds by considering the notion of ‘infrapolitics’ and the emergence of a school of ‘subaltern’ studies. It also explores the role of the media in political life and the impact of new communication technologies such as the Internet and mobile phones on politics. Finally, it evaluates some of the challenges presented by new media to civil society.

Chapter

Cover Introduction to Politics

14. Civil Society, Interest Groups, and the Media  

Peter Ferdinand

This chapter focuses on the concept of civil society, along with interest groups and the media. It first provides a background on the evolution of civil society and interest groups before discussing corporatism. In particular, it examines the ways in which civil society responds to state actors and tries to manoeuvre them into cooperation. This is politics from below. The chapter proceeds by considering the notion of ‘infrapolitics’ and the emergence of a school of ‘subaltern’ studies. It also explores the role of the media in political life and the impact of new communication technologies such as the Internet and mobile phones on politics. Finally, it evaluates some of the challenges presented by new media to civil society.