Tag Archive: Politics


Dear All,

On behalf of the international editorial team, I would like to introduce the first issue of Global Discourse. This Andrew Linklater Special Issue features a full interview with Linklater as well as a symposium on his ‘Critical Theory and World Politics’, including a substantive reply from the author. Also included are articles on E.H. Carr and Gadamerian analysis of Gulliver’s Travels, published alongside substantive, referees’ reviews, essays on Western conceptualisation of, and engagement with, Sub-Saharan Africa, an audio lecture on the rights of refugees and further book review symposia on ‘Chasing Dragons’ by Kyle Grayson and ‘Difference and Giveness’by Levi R. Bryant, both with substantive replies from the authors. The articles, essays and reviews are available on the Contents page.

Global Discourse is a developmental journal of research in politics and international relations. We aim to provide a forum for the expression and development of distinctive research projects – particularly those which transcend disciplinary boundaries. We accept high quality submissions from any theoretical and methodological perspective and encourage debate between paradigms and schemas.

Free to access, and open to submissions from postgraduates and academics alike, Global Discourse publishes peer-reviewed and non-peer-reviewed material in a variety of forms: full articles accompanied by formal reviews; less formal essays; interviews; book review symposia, and mp3 audio and visual presentations.

Importantly, the journal is designed to act as a springboard for authors, providing a forum for the development of their work. Authors retain copyright and can submit their revised and developed work elsewhere six months after publication in Global Discourse.

Information on submitting work to Global Discourse can be found on the Information for Authors page.

For further information, please refer to the Contacts and Organisation page for details of the relevant regional editorial teams.

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Hallward on Haiti

In relation to my PhD I have recently been doing some research about US-Haiti relations in an attempt to examine the simulation of Haitian identities in Grand Theft Auto: Vice City. I will post more about the topic in the next coming weeks . However, I can strongly recommend you watch these videos from Peter Hallward. While I do not agree about his assessment of Deleuze, his account of Haiti is convincing. I have yet to read his book, Damming the Flood, but look forward to it.

Hyperreal Debating

 

Can the Presidential Debates be called debates?

The key to understanding a hyperreal society, in the Baudrillard sense, is to trace how that what we called the ‘real’ is being replaced with simulations. To call the 7th October debate a ‘town hall’ debate is an attempt to hide its reality as a Television event. It is not a ‘town hall’ debate, in the traditional sense; it is the replacement of ‘debating’ with the simulation of debate. Someone maybe should have told this to John McCain. His performance was more suited to a ‘real’ debate than a television debate. Richard Wolffe accurately sums up the problem:

 

That lesson was lost on John McCain in Nashville on Wednesday, who seemed to think that a town hall debate on television was the same as a town hall debate in a real town hall.

He paced up and down in fits and starts as he spoke. He leapt from subject to subject, soundbite to soundbite. Between answers, he sat down and scribbled page after page of notes, then jumped up and paced around silently.

 

Neil Postman, in amusing ourselves to death, writes about how presidential, and senator, candidates used to debate for 8hours in town hall debates and would even return if they felt the debate was not over. Questions from the audience were also not pre-monitored from the censors/production team.

Television changes everything. As McLuhan would state ‘the medium is the message!’ and the ‘debates’ hinge on image and slogans. What did anyone learn about the candidates that they didn’t already know? What questions appeared that was unexpected?

Of course, nothing is new about these claims; they are merely repeating old arguments. It is also not an argument for nostalgia of the old. Instead, I am reminded of one of the ‘masters’ of the medium and television politics Lee Atwaters. It was Atwaters, despite and irrespective of his politcs, who learnt that true and false lose meaning in the spiral of television. One only needs to ask Michael Dukakis about the meaningless of truth and falsity when the sign had already been disseminated from the media. The effect had already done its work.

New Zizek Presentation/Video

Here is a presentation from Slavoj Zizek. In it he outlines his thoughts about contemporary ideology and civility. The presentation was given 8th September 2008.

 

*update. Zizek also backs obama (here) and I Cite sums up why:

Zizek’s position on Obama is rooted in the realization that appearances matter. It matters whether our society is one in which the officially acknowledged ideology claims that torture is sometimes useful, that some couples destroy the fabric of society, that its perfectly fine if the top 1% of the population are vastly wealthier than all the rest. With Obama, then, the domain of the officially acknowledged and acceptable changes. And this change brings with it a whole set of different potentials, different possibilities. The truth of the claim, then, rests not simply in whether Obama, Biden, and their handlers believe it. It’s more than that, the minimal or virtual difference that shifts the entire political frame, that creates opportunities that otherwise would have been foreclosed. So, no, Zizek is not cynical.(read post here)

Sorry about the self-advertisement.

I am involved in a project that is creating a new online journal for postgraduates and young academics. The journal is called GLOBAL DISCOURSE [www.globaldiscourse.wordpress.com] and aims to introduce interdisciplinary communication from using the web’s interactive components. We’d welcome any articles for submittal and author’s of articles keep 100% copyright on their work. This means that articles can be removed from the website if they are published in another journal or book. We hope Global Discourse to function as a journal that allows people to present work and receive a peer-reviewed process. The peer-review is done from a combination of one academic and one postgraduate student. In addition to undergoing a peer-review process we also publish the comments from the article.

Finally, we also have book reviews that submit multiple reviews on one book and invite the author to reply to these reviews. We’d also encourage you and a few colleagues to submit reviews on one book.

Over at Pinocchio Theory Steve Shaviro has written an excellent account of Republican Vice President candidate Palin. In it Shaviro writes:

Just watching five minutes of YouTube clips is enough to show that Palin is one of the most charismatic and telegenic politicians in the US today. She radiates a combination of spunky energy, cool authority, and down-home reassurance. There is no question that she will be powerfully appealing to mainstream voters. She is yet another example of the right wing’s brilliance, over the last thirty years, in manipulating affect — in getting voters to feel good about candidates, and therefore to vote for them even against their own actual conscious interests. [read full entry here]

It is here that Shaviro, correctly, reminds us that concentrating on ideological positions is not enough. I am tempted to say that ideology is almost a non-entity in today’s politics. What is more important is how candidates can function as percepts to affect their potential voters. If we only focus on what they say or their beliefs then we miss the politics of affect. Hopefully, with Obama, the Democrats can now compete at this level.

In conjunction, politics is also post-ideological in the sense that beliefs get replaced with soundbites. Something that fox news have mastered. See this video for their latest ‘John Kerry’ attacks on Obama.

*Update, Recording Surfaces has also written a short blog entry that concentrates on understand Republican Politics without (only) focusing on their discourse/ideology, read it here.