Ideology has been one of the most-contested issues in academic and political debate. The considerable amount of interest revealed for ideology has naturally paved the way for the emergence of a variety of approaches and theories related to ideology.
Since the beginning of the Arab uprisings there has emerged a debate on whether this domino of social movements is a revolt or a revolution. With the Tunisian and Egyptian people overthrowing their countries’ dictators, the civil war in Libya turning into a victory for the rebels against the government of Gaddafi, the Syrian crisis intensifying, and the small states of the Gulf being in a state of uncertainty and social instability, the situation is indeed very fluid, but the developments of the last few months allow us to evaluate the situation and reach certain conclusions regarding the nature of the recent Middle East crisis. (Editor’s note: read the follow-up to this article here)
The concept of political culture can be defined as the sum of assumptions about the political world (David J. Elkins and Richard E. B. Simeon 1979: 127). Assumptions about the political world focus attention on certain features of institutions, events and behavior, define the realm of the possible, identify the problems deemed pertinent, and set the ranges of alternatives among which members of the population make decisions.
It should be stressed that, political culture is the property of a collectivity – nation, region, ethnic community, class, party and so on. Individuals have beliefs, attitudes and values but they do not have cultures. Political culture refers to the system of beliefs about patterns of political interaction and political institutions.
Security and globalisation are two key concepts that we need to take into account in order to understand today’s international relations. In this light a significant number of both simple and complicated questions, that should be answered in order to understand global security today, arises. Some of these questions are: what does security mean? What is globalisation? Do we really live in a post-Westphalian system? What is armed conflict and what causes it? Is the proliferation of nuclear weapons really bad? Is the nuclear capability really enough to deter and maintain peace? Should the security concept be broadened? If yes, what other threats should it include? How “new” are “new wars” and to what extent is the “state failure” thesis valid? Is the “global war on terror” justified or is terrorism a means to a just end? Is it possible for development and security to coexist or should one of them pre-exist? How serious threat to security is the environment today and why? Should we see refugees as a humanitarian problem or as a security threat? In what follows we shall try to briefly address the above topics thus providing an overview of the contemporary global security environment.
With the beginning of the Arab revolts, several scholars spoke about a temporary and transient outburst without any serious prospects. Furthermore many said that these revolts were merely the expression of the popular anger and that they would not have any other impact. From that perspective the Arab popular anger consists of a combination of different factors (social, political and economic), which have their roots in the oppression of the authoritarian regimes as well as in the western imperialism of the past. This notion is also driven by other realties such as the cultural and social complexities of these people, which are at large a result of their colonial past, and the current global economic circumstances.
This article will be the first part of a number of articles that will monitor the road to the next US presidential elections.
With the next US elections being more than a year away the presidential campaigns have already started. It is no surprise that the current president of the United States, Barack Obama, will run for a second term. Even though there is another democrat who has announced he will run for president, pro-life activist Randall Terry, everyone knows that Barack Obama will be the final democratic candidate for the next US presidential elections.
For the republicans, on the other hand, the air is not that clear yet. For the time being 15 republicans have declared candidacy, from the Tea Party Leader, Michele Bachmann and gay rights activist Fred Krager to Jonathon Sharkey, a perennial candidate who is also the founder of the Vampires, Witches and Pagans Party. However, only a few names stand out. Ron Paul, Mitt Romney and Michelle Bachmann are the first three who will be introduced in a series of articles that will follow.