Scholarly Works - Politics and International Studies


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  • ItemPublished versionOpen Access
    The Politics of Financing the Highway Boom in China: For Whom the Road Tolls Rise
    (University of California Press, 2018-06-21) Lin, K; Lin, Kun-Chin [0000-0003-4556-3061]
    Fiscal federalism has provided the institutional basis for the rapid highway boom in China for three decades, creating a close linkage between subnational investment and revenue claims on tolled roads. This model of capitalization is financially unsustainable and undermines the standardization of taxation and contracting of public–private partnership projects.
  • ItemAccepted versionOpen Access
    Founding the World State: H. G. Wells on Empire and the English-Speaking Peoples
    (Oxford University Press, 2018-12-01) Bell, DSA
    Herbert George Wells was one of the leading public intellectuals of the first half of the twentieth century. Most famous today as a founder of modern science fiction, he was once known throughout the world as a visionary social and political thinker. Questions of global order occupied a central place in his work. From the opening decade of the century until the close of the Second World War, he campaigned tirelessly for the creation of a world state, which would act as a guarantor of universal peace and justice. Yet, scholarship on Wells pays insufficient attention to the complex and conflicted nature of Wells's early views about how to build a world state. In particular, it neglects the tensions between his advocacy of a New Republic, formed by the unification of the English-speaking peoples, and his support for liberal imperialism. I analyze the development of this theme in Wells's political thinking during the years before WWI, a formative period in his intellectual life. I demonstrate how his conceptions of race, empire, and Anglo-American union shifted over time, show how his political arguments connected to his underlying views about social explanation and language, and highlight how his interpretation of the United States profoundly influenced his ideas about world order.
  • ItemAccepted versionOpen Access
    ‘Techno-populism’ as a new party family: the case of the Five Star Movement and Podemos
    (Informa UK Limited, 2018-05-04) Bickerton, CJ; Accetti, CI; Bickerton, CJ [0000-0002-7788-0267]
    Democratic politics in Southern Europe has been shaken by the emergence of two new political parties: the Five Star Movement (M5S) in Italy and Podemos in Spain. Both were initially dismissed as ‘protest’ movements, tied to the particularly adverse effects of the European economic crisis on the southern part of the continent (Corbetta and Vignati 2013; Anderson 2014; Rodon and Hierro 2016; Gomez-Reino and Llamazares 2015). Over time, it has become clear that these phenomena are not as transitory as was initially assumed (Hartleb 2015; Bordignon and Ceccarini 2015). Commentators have begun to recognize that both the M5S and Podemos point to broader ‘structural transformations’ taking place within the region’s political systems (Diamanti 2014; Hobolt and Tilly 2016; Tronconi 2015; Ramiro and Gomez 2017; Sola and Ruendeles 2017). Interest in them has since burgeoned, but direct comparisons remain few and far between; almost none are in English (Rodriguez Aguileira De Prat 2015; Atte 2016; Giglioli 2016; cf. Borriello and Mazzolini 2017; Vittori 2017).
  • ItemAccepted versionOpen Access
    The Power of the “Audience-Public”: Interactive Radio in Africa
    (SAGE Publications, 2018) Srinivasan, Sharath; Diepeveen, SN; Srinivasan, Sharath [0000-0001-5977-3591]
    The convergence of newer digital communication technologies with more established radio and television broadcasts is shifting opportunities for news media to impact upon citizen-state relations. These nascent possibilities are pronounced on the African continent, where mobile telephony and increasingly plural media landscapes have given rise to popular and widespread interactive talk shows. The involvement of audience voices alters the nature of the media space where political communication happens. This paper focuses on how and why interactive broadcast media intervene into relations between citizens and authorities in new and powerful ways. Through a comparative study of interactive shows in Zambia and Kenya, this paper interrogates what audience participation means for the political nature and possibilities of the interactive radio and TV broadcast. In so doing, it shows how the indeterminate audience is the basis for competing imaginaries about power, authority and belonging among the different participants in the show, including politicians, media professionals and audience members. The political significance of the ‘audience-public’, brought into being through the interactive broadcast, it is argued, lies in the very fact that multiple and competing imaginaries are at play, which are invested in by actors pursuing diverse ends and thereby have tangible political effects.
  • ItemAccepted versionOpen Access
    Resistance and radical democracy: Freedom, power and institutions
    (Informa UK Limited, 2018) Hamilton, L; Hamilton, L [0000-0001-9074-6591]
    In this article I argue that resistance and radical democracy can be used to the good of representative democracy. I submit that resistance is about the popular power – the freedom as power – to create better institutions. I argue that the conflict and resistance that is at the core of radical democracy enables freedom and democracy and resists domination best if it is institutionalized. This counterintuitive claim is substantiated by an argument for freedom as power through representation and how the power to resist is linked to at least four domains of freedom. This builds on the work of Machiavelli, Marx and Foucault, amongst others, and insights drawn from resistance struggles across the globe. I end by proposing institutional changes to representative democracy that, I suggest, would allow us to conceive of democracy as both a form of government and a constantly destabilizing transgressive practice.
  • ItemAccepted versionOpen Access
    The political economy of state patronage of religion: Evidence from Thailand
    (SAGE Publications, 2019) Larsson, T; Larsson, T [0000-0003-0877-7909]
    Deciding the character and level of official patronage of religion are fundamental questions for all states. Yet we know next to nothing about the determinants of such patronage. Are democratic governments more or less inclined than autocratic ones to seek legitimacy through religious patronage? Is it ultimately ideological struggles that determine the extent of government backing of religion? This article addresses these questions through an analysis of the evolution of the state’s role as patron and protector of Buddhism (and other officially recognized religions) in Thailand. Specifically, it examines changes in government expenditure on Thailand’s religious bureaucracy from 1960 to 2016. It finds that democratization and ideological struggles have been the main drivers of a significant expansion of government spending on religious patronage.
  • ItemPublished versionOpen Access
    Answering the West Lothian Question: a Critical Assessment of 'English Votes for English Laws' in the UK Parliament
    (OUP, 2018-02-17) Kenny, MH; Gover, Daniel
    Abstract: In 2015, the UK House of Commons adopted new procedures known as ‘English Votes for English Laws’ (EVEL). This article evaluates whether EVEL has succeeded in answering the West Lothian Question, a constitutional anomaly arising from the asymmetrical character of governance in the UK. After outlining the historical background against which EVEL emerged as a supposed solution to this iconic question, the paper explains how the 2015 reform works, and proceeds to assess its operation during the 2015-17 parliament. It concludes that these new procedures appear to have overcome the main practical and constitutional obstacles associated with this type of reform, but they have, so far, failed to provide meaningful English representation at Westminster – particularly in relation to supplying England, and its MPs, with an enhanced ‘voice’.
  • ItemAccepted versionOpen Access
    Stifling stateness: The Assad regime's campaign against rebel governance.
    (SAGE Publications, 2018-08) Martínez, José Ciro; Eng, Brent; Martínez, José Ciro [0000-0002-7960-4055]
    This article assesses the impact of the Assad regime's aerial bombardment campaign on a frequently neglected component of Syria's ongoing civil war: rebel governance. While analysis of the military and humanitarian ramifications of such attacks has been extensive, these perspectives fail to consider how the Assad regime's counter insurgency efforts subvert governance practices by Syria's diverse rebel groups. Drawing on performative approaches to the 'state', we argue that opposition groups' daily enactments of 'stateness' via two key welfare services - bread and healthcare provision - constitute a historically inflected and locally grounded critique of the incumbent. When executed successfully, such enactments can stabilize relations between rulers and ruled while offering a vision of an alternative polity. They can also attract the attention of rivals. The Assad regime's aerial bombing campaign of rebel-held areas is thus neither a haphazard military strategy nor simply the product of long-standing sectarian hatreds, but a deliberate tactic through which it seeks to destroy a key threat to its authority.
  • ItemAccepted versionOpen Access
    Pragmatism and Prophecy: H. G. Wells and the Metaphysics of Socialism
    (Cambridge University Press, 2018) Bell, DSA
    Read throughout the world, H. G. Wells was one of the most famous political thinkers in the early twentieth century. During the early 1900s he elaborated a bold, idiosyncratic, and controversial cosmopolitan socialist vision. In this article I offer a new reading of Wells’s political thought. I argue that he developed a distinctive pragmatist philosophical orientation, which he synthesised with his commitments to evolutionary theory. His pragmatism had four main components: a nominalist metaphysics; a verificationist theory of truth; a Jamesian “will to believe”; and a vision of philosophy as an exercise oriented to improving practice. His political thought was shaped by this philosophical orientation. Wells, I contend, was the most high-profile pragmatist political thinker in the opening decades of the twentieth century. Such an understanding requires a re-evaluation of both Wells and the history of pragmatism.
  • ItemAccepted versionOpen Access
    Pragmatic Utopianism and Race: H. G. Wells as Social Scientist
    (Cambridge University Press, 2019-11) Bell, DSA
    H. G. Wells was one of the most celebrated writers in the world during the first half of the twentieth century. Famed for his innovative fiction, he was also an influential advocate of socialism and the world state. What is much less well-known is that he was a significant contributor to debates about the nature of social science. This article argues that Wells’s account of social science in general, and sociology in particular, was shaped by an idiosyncratic philosophical pragmatism. In order to demonstrate how his philosophical arguments inflected his social thought, it explores his attack on prevailing theories of race, while also highlighting the limits of his account. The article concludes by tracing the reception of Wells’s ideas among social scientists on both sides of the Atlantic. Although his programme for utopian sociology attracted few disciples, his arguments about the dynamics of modern societies found a large audience among social scientists and political thinkers.
  • ItemAccepted versionOpen Access
    White capital: Corporate social responsibility and the limits of transformation in South Africa
    (Elsevier BV, 2017-11) Atal, Maha Rafi
    Since the 2012 Marikana killings there has been a boom in scholarship about labour relations in the South African mining sector, focused primarily on the ability of workers to organise and the role of state violence in policing strikes. Quality of life issues in mining communities are usually explored only insofar as they affect these labour relations. This article argues that this focus is incomplete, because it ignores the way that services and infrastructure in mining communities affect local residents who have no formal links to the mine. Local residents engage in resistance to the mine’s operations quite separately from labour activists. Scholarship that treats these local residents simply as a potential labour force subject to stabilisation overlooks their political agency. Indeed, local residents and labour groups come into conflict with one another, and with the state, even as all three groups come into conflict with the mine. The article situates the 2012 violence within an ongoing multi-party conflict over the post-apartheid social settlement. It finds that the logic of transformation, with its emphasis on companies’ contributions to social welfare, places white-owned mining companies in a position of political authority, and strengthens their position against demands for reform.
  • ItemAccepted versionOpen Access
    The cultural and economic power of advertisers in the business press
    (SAGE Publications, 2018-08) Atal, Maha Rafi
    Media studies scholarship on advertising has traditionally fallen into two camps. Cultural analysis emphasizes the signals advertisements send to consumers, focusing primarily on the role of advertising creatives. Economic analysis emphasizes advertising’s impact on media companies’ financial performance, focusing on the role of sales managers and proprietors. Both approaches minimize the role of reporters, against whose work advertisers place their messages. This article draws on interviews, as well as financial analysis, at six newsrooms to examine the impact of advertising practices on the editorial independence of reporters. Combining cultural and economic analysis, the article highlights the unique threat advertiser influence poses to critical business reporting, which takes as its subject the very firms who must choose to advertise against it. The article argues that the new forms of advertising, where branded content is presented alongside, and intended to mimic, reported content, increase the threat of advertiser capture. At four legacy outlets studied, investigative business coverage has declined as media organizations react to the changed operating environment with practices that compromise the divide between news and advertising staff. At two online startups studied, where new advertising formats have always been part of strategy, news and sales staff remain separate. Yet there is limited appetite at these outlets for conducting critical business journalism, which is not seen as key to organizational mission. The article concludes with policy recommendations to safeguard the viability of critical business journalism.
  • ItemAccepted versionOpen Access
    Technology, Fertility and Public Policy: A Structural Perspective on Human Egg Freezing and Gender Equality
    (Oxford University Press (OUP), 2018) Browne, J
    Abstract: Marketed as the smart way of planning career and reproduction, fertility ‘insurance’ technology aimed at the fertile woman (‘social egg freezing’) is becoming big business. Drawing on the work of political theorists, Iris Marion Young and Sally Haslanger, I develop a structural perspective on the promotion of social egg freezing as a means of better managing career prospects. I critically engage with the work of prominent ethicists, such as Julian Savulescu and others, who advocate the promotion of social egg freezing as a resource for increasing gender equality in the workplace. In so doing, I argue for public policy design with a wider structural focus.
  • ItemAccepted versionOpen Access
    The Regulatory Gift: Politics, regulation and governance
    (Wiley, 2020) Browne, J; Browne, J [0000-0003-2492-2627]
    AbstractThis article introduces the “regulatory gift” as a conceptual framework for understanding a particular form of government‐led deregulation that is presented as central to the public interest. Contra to theories of regulatory capture, government corruption, “insider” personal interest, or profit‐seeking theories of regulation, the regulatory gift describes reform that is overtly designed by government to reduce or reorient regulators’ functions to the advantage of the regulated and in line with market objectives on a potentially macro (rather than industry‐specific) scale. As a conceptual framework, the regulatory gift is intended to be applicable across regulated sectors of democratic states and in this article the empirical sections evidence the practice of regulatory gifting in contemporary United Kingdom (UK) politics. Specifically, this article analyses the 2011 UK Public Bodies Act, affecting some 900 regulatory public bodies and its correlative legislation, the 2014 Regulator's Code, the 2015 Deregulation Act, and the 2016 Enterprise Bill. The article concludes that while in some cases the regulatory gift may be aligned with the public interest – delivering on cost reduction, enhancing efficiency, and stimulating innovation – this will not always be the case. As the case study of the regulatory body, the UK Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority, demonstrates, despite the explicit claims made by legislators, the regulatory gift has the potential to significantly undermine the public interest.
  • ItemAccepted versionOpen Access
    Singular memory or institutional memories? Toward a dynamic approach
    (Wiley, 2018) Corbett, Jack; Grube, DC; Lovell, Heather; Scott, Rodney
    The ability of the civil service to act as a reservoir of institutional memory is central to the pragmatic task of governing. But there is a growing body of scholarship that suggests the bureaucracy is failing at this core task. In this article, we distinguish between two different ways of thinking about institutional memory: one “static” and one “dynamic.” In the former, memory is singular and held in document form, especially by files and procedures. In the latter, memories reside with people and are thus dispersed across the array of actors that make up the differentiated polity. Drawing on four policy examples from three countries, we argue that a more dynamic understanding of the way institutions remember is both empirically salient and normatively desirable. We conclude that the current conceptualization of institutional memory needs to be recalibrated to fit the types of policy learning practices required by modern collaborative governance.
  • ItemAccepted versionOpen Access
    Delivering Public Services: Locality, Learning and Reciprocity in Place Based Practice
    (Wiley, 2017-12) Marsh, Ian; Crowley, Kate; Grube, Dennis; Eccleston, Richard
    AbstractPolicymakers across myriad jurisdictions are grappling with the challenge of complex policy problems. Multi‐faceted, complex, and seemingly intractable, ‘wicked’ problems have exhausted the repertoire of the standard policy approaches. In response, governments are increasingly looking for new options, and one approach that has gained significant scholarly interest, along with increasing attention from practitioners, is ‘place‐based’ solutions. This paper surveys conceptual aspects of this approach. It describes practices in comparable jurisdictions – the United Kingdom, the EU, and the United States. And it explores efforts over the past decade to ‘localise’ Indigenous services. It sketches the governance challenge in migrating from top‐down or principal‐agent arrangements towards place‐based practice. The paper concludes that many of the building blocks for this shift already exist but that these need to be re‐oriented around ‘learning’. Funding and other administrative protocols may also ultimately need to be redefined.
  • ItemAccepted versionOpen Access
    Is the Westminster System Broken Beyond Repair?
    (Wiley, 2016-10) Grube, Dennis C; Howard, Cosmo
    Is Westminster dying as a useful conceptual encapsulation of a particular system of public administration? Scholarly critiques over the last decade have suggested Westminster civil services are evolving in ways that erode crucial Westminster “traditions.” Core elements including security of tenure, merit‐based selection, non‐partisanship, anonymity, and ministerial responsibility are all perceived as in decline or under attack. Influential commentators have proposed concepts such as “new political governance,” changing “public sector bargains,” “court government/politics,” and “presidentialization” to document and interpret these allegedly paradigmatic shifts in public administration. This article places these in context by canvasing different accounts of what Westminster is, before assessing the critiques about what it has become. The article argues that Westminster is not broken beyond repair, but rather it has been remolded to suit the needs of contemporary governance.
  • ItemAccepted versionOpen Access
    Sticky words? Towards a theory of rhetorical path dependency
    (Informa UK Limited, 2016-07-02) Grube, Dennis C
    Speech matters. Political actors are defined by what they say as much as by what they do but, with each rhetorical choice, they also narrow the range of rhetorical options open to them for the future. This paper examines the idea of path dependency, a well-established concept in the field of policy studies, and applies it to the study of political rhetoric. It argues that words are sticky, leaving political leaders caught between the desire to utilise fresh and engaging rhetoric to explain new policy choices and the reality that they cannot shake off the wording of their previous promises. In advancing a theory of rhetorical path dependency, the paper builds on the insights of both discursive institutionalism and rhetorical political analysis to suggest that whilst ideas are indeed vital to the shaping of institutions, the arguments that give those ideas shape can themselves be constrained by earlier choices.
  • ItemAccepted versionOpen Access
    Gambling on Europe: David Cameron and the 2016 referendum
    (Springer Science and Business Media LLC, 2018-04) Smith, Julie; Smith, Julie [0000-0002-1725-5443]
    Membership of the European Union has devided British political parties for decades. On taking office David Cameron hoped to move his Conservative Party beyond the electorally rather unwelcome focus on ‘Europe’. By 2013 he felt the best way to resolve the divisions in his own party was to try to renegotiate the UK’s membership of the EU and hold a referendum on continuing membership. This article argues that the gamble was Cameron’s to lose but that a combination of poor judgement and ill-timing on his part alongside the more potent message of the Leave campaign contributed to precisely the outcome Cameron did not want: he lost office; he country looked set to the leave the EU; and the divisions within his party were far from healed.
  • ItemAccepted versionOpen Access
    Universal Basic Income in British Politics, 1918-2018: From a 'Vagabond's Wage' to a Global Debate
    (Cambridge University Press (CUP), 2018) Sloman, P; Sloman, Peter [0000-0002-6087-0476]
    AbstractThe idea of a Universal Basic Income (UBI) has moved rapidly up the British political agenda in recent years, with support from the Green Party, the Royal Society of Arts, and left-wing writers such as Paul Mason. Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell has set up a working group to examine its implications, and four Scottish councils are hoping to launch pilot schemes. Contemporary British interest in UBI forms part of a lively global debate about automation, inequality and precarious labour, but it also draws on a long history of proposals for tax-benefit reform within UK social policy. This article identifies five waves of enthusiasm for basic income in Britain over the past century and highlights patterns of continuity and change. It shows that interest in the proposal has been greatest at times of pessimism about the future of the labour market, though concerns about the ethics and affordability of unconditional payments have always been difficult to shake. Advocates of UBI have also struggled to reconcile the technocratic approach of its Conservative and Liberal supporters with the transformative ambitions of the radical left. It remains to be seen whether the recent growth of left-wing support for UBI will improve its prospects of implementation.