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  • Author: Anna Geis, Carmen Wunderlich
  • Publication Date: 07-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Politics
  • Institution: Palgrave Macmillan
  • Abstract: The identification and naming of an 'enemy' is an age-old element within foreign policy and (domestic) security policy discourses. It serves to stabilize speakers' benign conceptions of the self, to structure threat perceptions of 'the world outside' and to legitimate ultimately violent policy options. This article compares the notions of 'rogue' and 'evil' in order to analyse the political implications of such a use of derogative actor categories. The notion of 'rogue states' has played an important role in the security strategies of the US presidents Clinton and in particular George W. Bush and alludes to criminal law. 'Evil' has been a much older, religiously loaded concept and has been invoked in politics for describing the inconceivable, monstrous violence and destruction. While many liberal critics argue that one should abandon the metaphysical category of evil and dispose of the stigmatizing category of the 'rogue', this article concludes with the suggestion that a self-reflexive use of these categories can be instructive: It can make 'us' – the very modern secular liberals – think about ourselves, about responsibility and moral standards as well as about the fundamental ambivalence of our actions.
  • Topic: Politics
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Author: Kevern Verney
  • Publication Date: 03-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Politics
  • Institution: Palgrave Macmillan
  • Abstract: This article addresses two questions. It begins by comparing the 2008 Democratic presidential nomination contest with the 1980s campaigns of Jesse Jackson. It examines the different background and personalities of Obama and Jackson, together with an analysis of what has changed in US political life in the intervening decades, in an attempt to understand why Obama succeeded where the earlier Jackson campaigns failed. The second part of the article analyses the subsequent general election with a view to determining whether Obama's defeat of John McCain should be seen as a result of a unique set of political circumstances, or evidence of the increasing irrelevance of race in US electoral politics. In particular, this discussion assesses the validity of the claims made by some commentators that Obama's victory marks the beginning of a new 'post-racial' era in American political life.
  • Topic: Politics
  • Political Geography: United States, America