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All wars are fought under constraints. Wars for limited aims generally suffer from more numerous and intent constraints because the value of the political objective sought tends to be lower, and thus states will often do less and pay less for a shorter time. The most important constraints are the value of the enemy’s political objective, time, internal public opinion, the international political environment (which usually means third-party nations with an interest in your war), geography, and the military means (which includes nuclear weapons). Military and political leaders need to understand how these constraints affect their ability to fight and win the war, and they must also determine whether the constraints are actual or self-imposed, and, if they are self-imposed, whether or not they are wise. The constraints are examined via examples from the Korean, Vietnam, and Iraq Wars.
The common good (bonum commune) has, since antiquity, referred to the aim of social and political association, and was particularly prominent in medieval Christian political theology. Since St. John XXIII’s 1961 encyclical letter, Mater et magistra, ecclesiastical statements about social teaching have employed a formulation of the common good, usually in the version that appeared in the Second Vatican Council’s 1965 Pastoral Constitution for the Church in the Modern World, Gaudium et spes, as “the sum of those conditions of social life that allow social groups and their individual members relatively thorough and ready access to their own fulfillment.” This chapter discusses the origins and development of this formulation as well as the ways that it has been used in subsequent Catholic Social Teaching. While it has sometimes been interpreted as an “instrumental” account of the common good, the sources and uses of the notion suggest that it is the particularly modern political component of a fuller notion of the common good continuous with the tradition. In particular, the recent formulation is concerned to limit the power of the modern state and protect the dignity of the human person in the challenging conditions of political modernity.
Although the roots of subsidiarity predate Christianity, we can usefully explore encyclical teaching to appreciate how the Catholic Church has given intelligible expression to this concept in the midst of her broader social teaching. The paradox of subsidiarity is that it mandates contradictory things: requiring on the one hand that the state should not interfere with the internal life of civic associations and on the other hand that the state should provide assistance to those associations when such assistance is necessary. Rather than using the language of "positive" and "negative" subsidiarity (which, it is argued, is not especially helpful because it perpetuates the sovereigntist tendency to see the state as the locus of all authority), this chapter focuses on how the encyclicals illuminate (1) the nature of subsidiarity, as neither freestanding nor abstract; (2) subsidiarity’s political purposes (increased participation in decision making by actors who are more proximate to need and therefore better placed to reach good outcomes more efficiently), moral purposes (protection of associational freedom and avoidance of totalitarianism), and final purposes (protection of that charity which can never be mediated through bureaucracies); and (3) the operationalisation of subsidiarity, which can be promoted or inhibited through the action of law.
In 1215, on a floodplain on the bank of the River Thames, King John of England met with a group of rebel barons to negotiate a peace treaty. The meeting at Runnymede, about halfway between the fortress of Windsor Castle and the camp of the rebels, became one of the most significant events of Western political history. After raising heavy taxes to fund an expensive and disastrous war in France, King John was deeply unpopular at home. He ruled with might and divine right; the king was above the law. He regularly used the justice system to suppress and imprison his political opponents and to extort more funds from his feudal lords. The peace charter promised an end to the arbitrary rule of the king, guaranteeing the liberties of feudal lords. The document became known as Magna Carta (the “great charter”), described by Lord Denning as “the greatest constitutional document of all times – the foundation of the freedom of the individual against the arbitrary authority of the despot.”1
In an article in January 2018 warning of an impending “techlash,” The Economist painted a bleak picture for the CEOs of Amazon, Facebook, Google, Apple, Netflix, and Microsoft. “Things have been rough in Europe for a while,” the article pointed out, and “America is not the haven it was” for the giants of tech that dominate the internet.1 From the presidential candidates in the next election to a group of concerned state attorneys general, The Economist predicted a great deal of anti-tech sentiment was coming from regulators. The year didn’t get much better for major tech companies from there. As the investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential elections unfolded, not just Facebook, but all of the major technology companies faced a sudden shift in public opinion on a wave of negative press.
Introduces the dominant paradigm that the sovereign power of kings was limited by the sacred law of dharma in ancient India. Explores the difficulties in analyzing this relationship due to the systematic overdetermination of religion in the reconstruction of India's past. Introduces and analyzes the political theology of varṇāśramadharma, "The Sacred Law of the Social Classes and Modes of Life," in which dharma's supremacy over the king's political power is encoded. Shows that the Arthaśāstra of Kauṭilya is uniquely positioned to examine religion and politics and investigate the salience of varṇāśramadharma to politics in the period. Introduces higher textual criticism and explains the method of the study, which is to establish what material was original to the text and what was added later and to use that distinction to demonstrate the original independence of the statecraft tradition from varṇāśramadharma.
The conclusions of the last two chapters are placed here in the context of South Asian history more generally. In particular, this chapter concludes that the tradition of statecraft existed for centuries without any major influence from orthodox Brāhmaṇical theology, but that sometime in the early centuries of the Common Era this changed. The Arthaśāstra vividly captures this shift. The transformation of South Asian political thought is then mapped briefly in other areas and placed in context of the "Brāhmaṇical revival" of the second-fourth centuries CE and the onset of the "Sanskrit Cosmopolis" in the third century CE. The chapter concludes by arguing that changes in the statecraft tradition at the same time strongly suggest major cultural shifts in the period that brought Brāhmaṇical orthodoxy into the halls of power and centers of culture in the period.
In this chapter, the political theology of varṇāśramadharma is reintroduced. It is demonstrated that nearly all references to varṇāśramadharma and all references to dharma as a power standing above the king were introduced during the redaction of the text in the third century BCE. The various aspects of varṇāśramadharma that are found in the extant Arthaśāstra are explored in detail. Nearly all are linked to the work of the redactor. The addition of varṇāśramadharma creates a disonnance in the extant text, and the curiously hybrid character of its resulting political theory is explored.
This chapter explores the political philosophy of the original text, which was probably called the Daṇḍanīti. It shows that the original composition was characterized by a thoroughly empirical and pragmatic approach to politics. The statecraft tradition was devoted entirely to the political success of the king, and the only constraints recognized on his sovereign power are those arising from material conditions and practical circumstances. There is no conception in the original text that unseen mechanisms, such as the sacred law of dharma, had any effect on the development of successful state policy. Nor is the statecraft tradition guided by any "secular values" such as liberty, rights, or justice. Its focus is on discrete strategies that lead to the success of the king.
This chapter argues that Plato’s Laws are more than a legislative code, more than a work of political philosophy, for they call for the realisation of a project toward which Plato's work converges: to account for the whole of reality, i.e. individual, city and world. This discourse (logos) in which the law (nomos) consists derives its origin from the intellect (nous), which represents what is most akin in the soul to the divine (theos), because it is the principle of order (kosmos). This order (kosmos) which is manifested in celestial bodies must be present in man's soul, in which the intellect has to rule over pleasures and pains. Thus, an order will be assured by means of the law within the city, an order based on the contemplation of the regularity and permanence of the movements of the celestial bodies, which the citizens shall imitate, even in their movements around the territory. In the Laws, Plato brings the project of the Presocratics to its natural conclusion. The city, which is to bring about the birth of the whole of virtue in all the human beings who constitute it, is organised by means of a legislation that takes the functioning of the world as its model. The opposition between nomos and physis therefore disappears, because the law (nomos) becomes the expression of physis.
Over the past decade, anthropogenic climate change has encouraged authors and readers to confront new modes of imagining time, selfhood, and narrative and to reassess the relationships among experiential, historical, and climatological time. In Western literary culture, historical and climatological time traditionally have seemed one and the same. Working within the 5000-year time frame of biblical history, writers envisioned a world that, since the sixth day of creation, always has been inhabited and therefore always had been shaped and reshaped by humans. In this worldview, ‘nature’ is always a product of anthropogenic intervention. Beginning around 1800, however, work in geology, planetary astronomy, and palaeontology transformed conceptions of climate by decoupling planetary history from human experience, memory, and myth. In giving narrative form to the collision of experiential and climatological time, Anthropocene fiction explores the problem that science fiction often seems more ‘realistic’ than traditional narrative realism.
Literary representations of climate come in a range of forms, informed as much by culture as by physical conditions. The interregional applicability of climate motifs has implications for their dissemination, as narratives relying on specific environmental variables may tend to spread less widely unless they are read as accounts of the exotic. This chapter introduces responses to climate in medieval European literature by examining one motif at either extreme of the universality spectrum. Icelandic prose responds to Iceland’s short growing season by rooting many of its feuds in tensions over natural resources, with a prominent role for hay as the island’s most productive crop. At the other extreme, homiletic accounts of end-time climate describe conditions beyond anyone’s experience but made universally relatable by way of an analogy between world history and human ageing.
From 2007–2012, a dramatic upsurge in maritime piracy off the coast of Somalia captivated global attention. Over three hundred merchant vessels and some three thousand seafarers were held hostage with ransom amounts ranging from $200,000 to $10 million being paid to release these ships. Somali piracy operated exclusively on a kidnap-and-ransom model with crew, cargo, and ship held captive until a ransom was secured. Ransom, unlike theft or seizure, requires willing parties and systems of exchange. Ransom economies, therefore, bring together disparate actors and make visible the centrality of protection as a mode of accumulation and jurisdiction. As an analytic, this article proposes an anthropology of protection to undercut divides between legality and illegality, trade and finance, piracy and counter piracy. It argues that protection is key to apprehending processes of mobility and interruption central to global capitalism.
Over the twentieth century, the Lunacy Office (renamed the Court of Protection in 1947) was responsible for appointing ‘receivers’ to manage the property of adults in England who were found incapable of managing their own affairs. Tens of thousands of people were in this position by the 1920s, and numbers continued to grow until after Second World War. This article uses the archives of the Office to examine the evolution of the concept of mental incapacity over the first half of the twentieth century, offering a corrective to the popular impression that the time before the Mental Capacity Act of 2005 was an era of ignorance and bad practice. It examines the changing ways in which being ‘incapable’ was understood and described, with particular reference to shifting ideas of citizenship. I argue that incapacity was not always seen as absolute or permanent in the first half of the century, that models of incapacity began to include perceived vulnerability in the interwar period and that women in particular were seen in this way. From the 1940s, though, the profile of those found incapable was changing, and the growing welfare state and its principles of employment and universality saw the idea of incapacity narrowing and solidifying around knowledge deficits, especially among the elderly. This brings the history of the Lunacy Office into the twentieth century and connects it to current concerns around assessments of mental capacity today.
Three days before Brahms was born on 7 May 1833 in Hamburg, the first weekly illustrated magazine, the Pfennig-Magazin was published. Following on from the success of the Penny Magazine, which had appeared in England since 1832, the Pfennig-Magazin also aimed to reach a broad public. A few months later, the Hamburg music publisher Julius Schubert announced a new music periodical, a Pfennig-Magazin für Pianofortespieler, which offered ‘selected piano compositions for beginners, experienced players and virtuosos’.
Brahms was born at a time in which the market for printed matter, and especially music, was burgeoning as a result of newer, cheaper printing methods and the growing demand from music-making (especially piano-playing) amateurs [see Ch. 14 ‘Private Music-Making’]. Arrangements were very profitable, but since resulting copyright issues were still unresolved, this led to many copyright disputes between publishers from the 1830s onwards [see Ch. 11 ‘As Arranger’].
Throughout his lifetime, Brahms accompanied dozens of singers in a variety of settings, ranging from huge public halls to his friends’ homes, and conducted many others in choirs. Some of those working relationships were one-offs, arising from the widespread practice of including a set of piano-accompanied songs within most concerts and the expediency and cost-effectiveness of using local talent. Others were deep, enduring partnerships; the timbres and interpretative approaches of those singers are surely ingrained in his vocal music. Overall, Brahms’s singers were generally not part of the international operatic elite associated with Verdi, Bizet and Massenet. Figures like Julius Stockhausen (1826–1906) and Raimund von Zur-Mühlen (1854–1931) were almost exclusively concert singers and, later on, teachers. Most hailed from German-speaking territories, reflecting Brahms’s own concert career.