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Chapter 4 considers power as essential to understanding who is legally liable and who is socially and politically responsible, for addressing historical-structural injustices. The chapter outlines competing conceptions of power, preferring and applying political scientist Mark Haugaard’s four-dimensional conception of power to address the complexities of historical-structural injustices, namely power as agency, structure, epistemic, and ontological power. The chapter then examines the role of national and religious myths as justification narratives that maintain existing distributions and structures of power and construct limitations in addressing the past in transitional justice. As a result, it argues that changes in the distribution of power are central to addressing historical-structural injustices, which have coalesced to form national and religious myths that support the existing distributions of power and modern national and religious identities.
Like many other religions, Zoroastrianism frequently restructured its priestly organization during its long history, largely because of the environmental changes to which it was exposed. A major shift in status – from being the state religion in the Sasanian Empire to holding only a minor position in the early Islamic period – challenged the Zoroastrian hierarchy of authority. The Abbasid state provided Zoroastrianism with an opportunity to initiate a new office, which was called hu-dēnān pēšōbāy “Leader of the Zoroastrians”. This article is the first to deal with this office in detail and scrutinizes the concept of leadership (pēšōbāyīh) in Sasanian and Abbasid Zoroastrianism. It sheds some light on the priestly structure of Zoroastrianism in this period and investigates the position of the office within the overall religious organization. It re-examines, moreover, evidence for the officiating Zoroastrian theologians in this office at the Abbasid court in Baghdad. Finally, it searches for the parallels between this office and that of the East-Syrian catholicos and the Jewish exilarch.
Thucydides is only rarely a tangible presence in the narrative of the Peloponnesian War. This chapter shows how the ‘narrator-less’ style of Thucydides’ narration of the war is central to his construction of authority and to the authority of the text. It examines the ways in which Thucydides’ authorial presence is manifested in the work, in both explicit and less explicit ways. And it offers a detailed analysis of the ‘Archaeology’ and its surrounding practice, arguing that this section of the work is the most explicit and sustained instance of Thucydidean self-fashioning.
Thucydides emphasizes the labour that he has put into creating his History, but this is a text that also requires labour from its readers if they are to uncover the truth about past events. This chapter explores what that process of uncovering the truth might look like using as case studies Thucydides’ account of the growth of Athenian imperial power in Book 1 and his narrative of the plague in Book 2. Finally, the chapter addresses the question of why Thucydides might have adopted this approach to writing and presenting his History.
The contemporary Catholic Church finds itself in deep crisis as it questions which elements are essential to the Catholic faith, and which can be changed. Bringing a longue durée perspective to this issue, Michael Seewald historicizes the problem and investigates how theologians of the past addressed it in light of the challenges that they faced in their time. He explores the intense intellectual efforts made by theologians to explain how new components were added to Christian doctrine over time, and that dogma has always been subject to change. Acknowledging the historic cleavage between 'conservatives' who refer to tradition, and reformers, who formulate their arguments to address contemporary needs, Seewald shows that Catholic thought is intellectually expansive, enabling the Church to be transformed in order to meet the challenges of the present day. His book demonstrates how theology has dealt with the realization that there is a simultaneity of continuity and discontinuity in doctrinal matters.
Chapter 3 provides the key historical antecedents for Chapters 4-7, focusing on changes in the domains of kinship, religion, and law. It examines the decline of traditional authority in medieval Europe, specifically the weakening of inherited monarchical and aristocratic rule, and of the Church and associated belief in supernatural beings. At the same time, the power of state-based law was consolidating and expanding, developing new ideas of ‘legal persons’, as ‘fictions of law’, that would become crucial to the creation of new corporate actors and the domestication of competition. This shift combined with intensifying trans-Atlantic competition among European empires, and novel experiments in republican and democratic government in America and France, created a new context for the development of law and competition.
This Element examines the way that Boris Johnson's government handled the early months of the Covid crisis in the UK, with a particular focus on the role of rhetoric and communication in enacting their leadership strategy. In liberal democracies, persuasive communication is a vital tool for the execution of power, and leadership is often seen to rely on effective communication practices. The Element focuses in particular on the ways in which notions of trust and authority were constructed as part of this strategy, and how these operated as key indexicals meant to provide a foundation for effective persuasion. It examines how, within a few weeks of the start of the lockdown policy, media opinion had begun opining that the government was losing the trust of the electorate due to actions related to this communications strategy, which had the effect of undermining its authority of influence.
The Phaedo portrays Socrates in a long discussion with members of his inner circle, which leads the dialogue to portray a very different sort of conversation from those found in most of Plato’s other dialogues. The chapter begins by considering why Plato makes Phaedo the narrator of such a significant event: the death of Socrates. The chapter also discusses Socrates’ main interlocutors, Simmias and Cebes. I argue that both are skilled, both make mistakes, and both need to be cautious lest they fall into misology. They are sympathetic to a variety of Pythagorean and Orphic ideas, but are by no means committed followers of Philolaus, a Pythagorean. The end of the chapter turns to the portrayal of Socrates, arguing that Socrates seeks not to be treated as an authority and that the Phaedo presents Socrates’ questions and views as naturally emerging from those in the Socratic dialogues.
The absence and presence of state law was central to the ways in which the colonial project was conceived, enacted and legitimated in the southwest Pacific, and this chapter traces the key ways in which questions of land, property and territory were contested across the British Solomon Islands Protectorate. It demonstrates first, that property disputes formed part of a suite of territorialising projects in which a range of actors competed to delimit and assert control over a geographic area and in so doing, constitute their political authority. Second, territorial struggles generated present legal pluralities in which claims to land are legitimated not only by reference to kastom and the state, but also Christianity. Third, the chapter demonstrates that people were very differently positioned to navigate the new social worlds established by the colonial administration and churches. From the outset of the colonial period, the language of state law and the practices of British administrators tended to consolidate particular idealisations of masculine authority, enabling a small number of men to extend their authority while remaining largely inaccessible to the majority of the population.
This chapter summarises the core ideas in Neema Parvini’s book Shakespeare’s Moral Compass (2018). It draws on the work of Jonathan Haidt and the idea that humans are ‘pre-wired’ to have certain moral tastes which conform to six foundations: care / harm, fairness / cheating, loyalty / betrayal, authority / subversion, sanctity / degradation, liberty / oppression. It argues that Shakespeare had an intuitive and dynamic understanding of these moral foundations as manifested in his plays. His ethics are always situated and experiential and seldom doctrinaire. Nonetheless, there are definite moral instructions that come through strongly and distinctly in the works that still have much to teach us in the 2020s and beyond.
Competition is deeply built into the structures of modern life. It can improve policies, products and services, but is also seen as a divisive burden that pits people against one another. This book seeks to go beyond such caricatures by advancing a new thesis about how competition came to shape our society. Jonathan Hearn argues that competition was 'domesticated', harnessed and institutionalised across a range of institutional spheres in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries. Responding to crises in traditional forms of authority (hereditary, religious), the formalisation of competition in the economy, politics, and diverse new forms of knowledge creation provided a new mode for legitimating distributions of power in the emerging liberal societies. This insightful study aims to improve our ability to think critically about competition, by better understanding its integral role, for good and ill, in how liberal forms of society work.
This chapter focuses on the development of Kakabona, a series of peri-urban settlements just outside Honiara, the national capital. Drawing on a series of disputes that came before chiefs and courts during the 1980s and 1990s, in part due to rapid urbanisation, it demonstrates that the juridical construction and regulation of property prompts the delineation of boundaries between people and on the ground, often in palpably exclusionary ways. Thus rather than ‘securing’ people’s rights and reducing conflict, legal recognition has generated increased social fragmentation and stratification. In Kakabona as elsewhere in Solomon Islands, these processes are now strongly tied to the idea of masculine ‘chiefs’; however, they are also informed by culturally specific meanings attached to land. The chapter demonstrates that paying attention to the emotional or affective dimensions of land disputes, in particular the multifaceted danger they pose, casts light on the emergence of land disputes as crucial sites for the performance of idealised models of masculinity. Moreover, these processes simultaneously reproduce peri-urban areas as sites of insecurity and the state as a masculine domain.
This chapter focuses on the reconfiguration of land tenure and authority in Marovo Lagoon, a rural area subject to widespread and destructive industrial logging. Women as a social group are known to be largely excluded from formal negotiations regarding logging, and this chapter considers the extent to which this can be traced to a flawed legislative framework, to patriarchal kastom or the erosion of women’s rights by colonisation. Drawing on archival and ethnographic work, it demonstrates that missionaries and colonial officials recognised some idealisations of masculine authority while disregarding other forms of influence, facilitating a simplification of the land tenure system that has enabled some male leaders to consolidate their control over resources. The reproduction of particular idealisations of masculine authority over land continues today, and simultaneously constitutes land control as a masculine domain. While contemporary inequalities can be partially traced to the structural features of the property system, they also emerge from long-term processes of colonial intrusion, capitalist development and the erosion of important aspects of gendered attachments to land.
“Religious authority” remains a ubiquitous but controversial term of comparative analysis. In Islamic studies, authority is generally personified in the form of the ulama and most often viewed through Weber’s lens of charismatic, legal-rational, and traditional types of legitimate domination. Our particular interest, Twelver Shi‘i Islam, seems a paradigmatic case, where the relationship between “the Ayatollahs” and state power has dominated academic discussion since Khomeini. Through ethnography of a Shi‘i diaspora community in the UK, we argue for a radical shift in perspective: away from forms of clerical power and towards non-specialist uses of clerical authority as expert opinion. Far from such “epistemic” authority being opposed to ordinary agency, here they are inextricably linked. Inspirational work in the anthropology of Islam has understood ordinary Muslim experiences of authority in non-liberal ways, as (Foucauldian) ethical discipline and self-care. We maintain the need to transcend not only domination but discipline too, refocusing the comparison between (Shi‘i) Islamic legal and liberal thought, in the form of Raz’s classic “service conception” of authority. Both stress the rationality of following authoritative opinion and its role as reason and justification for individual action. Our ethnography of ordinary practice then shows the sheer diversity of ways that such epistemic authority can be taken up, including, but not limited to, projects of personal piety and adversarial community politics. In our context, as surely also in others, domination and discipline should thus be seen as potential uses of “religious” epistemic authority, rather than as its privileged form.
Has decentralization contributed to democratic accountability, civic engagement, transparency, and efforts to combat corruption in the contemporary Arab region? This chapter presents key findings from a two-year study assessing decentralization policies and initiatives in five countries – Jordan, Lebanon, Morocco, Tunisia, and Yemen. The chapter discusses several findings of our fieldwork. One is the legacy of colonial experiences which made deconcentration rather than decentralization prevail. Another is the simultaneous promotion and subversion of decentralization, which was not only practiced by governments across the region, but was often subsidized by international assistance. Still another finding discusses how effectiveness of local governments in the region is constrained by opaque regulatory environments and limited human and financial resources at their disposal. Finally, our study also points to instances of success and innovation, against many odds, where capable leadership, engaged civil society, and other factors have paved the way toward palpable improvements in service delivery and urban management. Accordingly, we find that, despite many constraints, decentralization policies in the Arab region may occasionally present significant policy windows that could form opportunities for social, political, and economic changes, if mobilized adequately.
There is much to address in responding to such a rich and thoughtful range of reflections as given by Bishop Pete in his article published in the previous pages of this Journal. I was asked to respond to that paper from a theological perspective as part of the Ecclesiastical Law Society's 2022 day conference, and this comment piece has been based substantially on that response. So many areas of theological relevance are raised by Bishop Pete: the nature of authority in the Church of England, the role of the bishop, the shortcomings of the synodical process and the legal framework for evangelism.
Although collective bargaining is essentially a communication process, the role of language (as distinguished from discourse) in bargaining exchanges has received little attention from industrial relations scholars. Building on the work of Karl Popper, this article proposes a decomposition of language into functions and values and analyses their relevance when parties to a collective bargaining encounter engage in an integrative process. The proposed framework provides labour negotiators seeking integrative outcomes with linguistic guidelines and scholars with a tool to analyse bargaining exchanges.
Recent research has shown that religious individuals are much more resistant to utilitarian modes of thinking than their less religious counterparts, but the reason for this is not clear. We propose that a meta-ethical belief that morality is rooted in inviolable divine commands (i.e., endorsement of Divine Command Theory) may help explain this finding. We present a novel 20-item scale measuring a belief that morality is founded on divine authority. The scale shows good internal reliability and convergent and discriminant validity. Study 1 found that this scale fully mediated the relationship that various religiosity measures had with a deontological thinking style in our sample of American adults. It also accounted for the link between religiosity and social conservative values. Furthermore, the relationship between the scale and these outcome variables held after statistically controlling for variables related to actively open-minded thinking and the Big Five. Study 2 replicated the results using naturalistic moral dilemmas that placed deontological and utilitarian concerns in conflict, and showed that the results of Study 1 cannot be explained by differences in moral foundations (e.g., concern for authority more generally) or differences in the perceived function of rules. Quite the contrary, endorsement of the divine origins of morality fully mediated the relationship religiosity had with the so-called “binding” foundations (i.e., Loyalty, Authority, and Sanctity). Our findings highlight the importance of meta-ethical beliefs for understanding individual differences in moral judgment.
This article is based on a paper delivered to the Ecclesiastical Law Society's day conference in 2022. It is a reflection on the workings of General Synod from the perspective of an author who has been a member of Synod for around 36 years. The article examines three discrete themes: (i) the problem of authority in the Church of England, (ii) the shortcomings of Synodical government, and (iii) the urgency of mission. It examines these themes by considering, among other things, the Church of England's response to a number of contemporary issues: its response to the COVID-19 pandemic, proposed reform of its governance structures, its ability to respond to issues concerning sexuality and racial justice, and the proposals for reforming the Mission and Pastoral Measure 2011, as set out in GS 2222.
This chapter analyses the development of IPCC policy for the communication of its reports, the content and style of IPCC communication, and how IPCC knowledge becomes reappropriated for alternative, often political, purposes. In doing so, we review IPCC policy documents, key literature on the IPCC and climate science communication, as well as providing a case study of a recent controversy in IPCC communication: the reappropriation of a paragraph from the IPCC 1.5 ºC special report to headline a political campaign that there were only 12 years to prevent dangerous climate change. This controversy highlights the huge transformations in the political and media landscapes since the IPCC’s formation in 1988 and opens up the question of whether its communication approach remains fit for purpose. We highlight how the IPCC’s communication dilemma stems from the historic decision to design it to be an authoritative voice rather than a deliberative space.