ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

Review of Political EconomySubscribe to Review of Political Economy

Europeanisation of French Politics

Alistair Cole Helen Drake The paradoxical nature of France's relationship with Europe is explored in this article. The European Union appears simultaneously as a powerful constraint on domestic public policy and a source of unrivalled opportunity for contemporary French government to exercise influence on a wider world stage. It remains the case, however, that prominent features of Europeanisation go against the grain of the traditional model of French politics and policies.

New Europe Contradictions and Continuities

T V Sathyamurthy IN a few months from now, 11 out of the 15 members of the European Union (EU) will give up their national currencies in favour of euro, the single European currency (SEC). A reluctant Britain gradually shedding its ambivalence to the SEC, a still developing Greece struggling to satisfy the Maastricht criteria, and the two Scandinavian political dissident members (Denmark and Sweden, in stark contrast to an eager European Finland) will no doubt follow suit, sooner rather than later.

An Agenda 2000 for the Nordic Region

David Arter The twin impact of the disintegration of communism in eastern Europe and accelerated integration in western Europe fundamentally altered the strategic environment of the Scandinavian states. Nonetheless they still occupy a frontier position between the Two Europes, between democratic and democratising Europe, market based and marketising Europe. Consequently, they may be said to be engaged in a search to replace, the Cold War Nordic Balance with a new and wider Baltic Balance.

Italy in European Union

Philip Daniels The emerging economic model in Europe challenges key features of the post-war Italian political economy: the state's extensive involvement in industry; the cumbersome regulatory framework; the use of public expenditure to secure political consent; and devaluation as an economic tool to achieve competitiveness. Political modernisation is also important and the collapse of the cross-party agreement on constitutional reform in 1998 indicates how difficult change is in this area.

European Union and Its Periphery-Inclusion and Exclusion

Inclusion and Exclusion Michael Haynes Following from a discussion of the evidence for developmental convergence within the European Union and between it and its immediate geographical periphery, this paper argues that the ideology of 'Europeanness' which underpins the European project serves in part to justify the European Union as a relatively exclusive 'rich man's club', keeping its distance from its poorer neighbours.

Politics of European Monetary Union-Class, Ideology and Critique

Class, Ideology and Critique Werner Bonefeld The European Monetary Union has to be looked at against the background of the crisis-ridden development of capital accumulation since the early 1970s. The attempt at creating a zone of monetary stability in Europe and the worldwide crisis of capitalist accumulation belong together. EMU amounts to an institutional attempt at buttressing domestic policies of austerity with a supranational anchor and the establishment of an anti- inflationary police force that seeks to protect member states from speculative runs by securing the right of private property internally, It moreover seeks to de-politicise the attack on labour movements and to reinforce and exploit its regional and national fragmentation.

Contradictions of European Monetary Union

Alex Callinicos European integration has been part of the global process of inter-imperialist competition both that between the two superpower blocs and that between the major European states, notably France, Germany and Britain. EMU arose from these conflicts and wilt help to sustain them. The Europe of EMU wilt therefore not be either the recovered social-democratic paradise anticipated by some of its supporters, or the continent of prosperous Americanised consumers predicted by others. It is likely to be polarised between the kind of collective action and organisation evoked by the French mass strikes and regressive ultra-nationalist Utopias evoked by the fascists.

Europe and Russia s External Economic Relations-An Assessment

An Assessment Silke Machold The literature on foreign economic policy and reintegration of the Russian economy into the world economy is voluminous. This article seeks to contribute to the debate on the changing nature of Russian external economic relations. In particular, the article sheds light both on the extent to which the decline in domestic economic performance is reflected in external relations and how and to what extent foreign trade and investment influences restructuring the domestic economy. Whilst the development of foreign trade policies is clearly of pivotal importance to the restructuring of the economy, western policy responses are another determinant. Thus, in the last part examine western responses to Russian re-integration into the world economy focusing in particular on the response of the European Union are examined. A closer analysis of the issues suggests that neither Russian reforms nor western responses give rise to optimism about the Russian transition path.

Right to Work-Reading Rights through Discourse on Work

Reading 'Rights' through Discourse on 'Work' Aditya Nigam Recently certain post-modernist and post-modern feminist perspectives maintain that the language of rights and justice has outlived its emancipatory potential since it is always addressed to the state and law, leading to arming of the state with more powers. While approving of the need to counter this tendency of dependence on the state to initiate changes, this article argues that popular movements nevertheless cannot do away with' the language of rights as it remains the sole language of proclaiming their subjectivity and agency. Moreover, the privileging of the particularistic nature of rights-claim in the post-modern discourse is itself paradoxically premised on a universal notion of equality for its justification. All people have a right to their own way of life, cultures and belief-systems only if we hold that no single culture or rationality can be privileged over the others.

Current Impasse in Language of Rights-Questions of Context

Questions of Context Satish Deshpande The present problem in the articulation of rights discourse may in part be due to a neglected aspect of lthe cultural turn', namely, the new-found centrality of specifically cultural forms of property. That is, changes in the forms of property or its composition will impose strains on the discourse of rights. For, the predicament of social theory today is shaped by the fact that the last decades of the 20th century have decisively demonstrated both the inadequacy as well as the indispensability of the legacy of Karl Marx.

Thinking through Rights-Exploring Grey Areas in the Theory

Contemporary thinking on rights is marked by deep and profound philosophical scepticism on the issue. The core of the problem as critics identify it is as follows; rights theories, they argue, subscribe to an outmoded concept of a transcendental human nature, without regard for specific cultural and historical traditions. Richard Rorty's philosophy is representative of this strain of thought. From another vantage point, that of Michel Foucault's, for example, comes the argument, that the idea that there is an essential human nature upon which we can pin rights is pure fiction. Dismissal of the concept of a transcendental human nature has had profound consequences for both the moral basis of rights, as well as the political weight ascribed to them. This dismissal, I consider, has left us without a handle to negotiate moral and political problems. This essay explores the grey areas in rights theory and charts out the consequences of abandoning the notion that there is something valuable about human nature which we must protect through rights.

Rights Rethinking Theory and Practice

Whether seeking to protect civil rights of citizens or fighting for broader social economic rights, the focus of social movements generally has been state-centred and legalist. While this understanding has served in the last five decades to empower citizens there is a need today to rethink the emancipatory potential of rights as they are conceived by contemporary social movements.

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