• Frank Furedi
  • Frank Furedi
  • Sociologist, commentator and author
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Populism and the European Culture Wars
 

Populism and the European Culture Wars

Concern and hostility towards populism has become a distinctive feature of contemporary political culture. In Europe such concerns are frequently directed at Eurosceptics, whose opposition to the European Union is often portrayed as a cultural crime. Ancient anti-democratic claims about the gullibility, ignorance and irrationality of the masses are frequently recycled through the anti-populist condemnation of people who vote the wrong way.

This book argues that the current outburst of anti-populist anxiety is symptomatic of a loss of faith in democracy and in the ability of the demos to assume the role of responsible citizens. Distrust of the people and of parliamentary sovereignty is reinforced by the concern that, on its own, liberal democracy lacks the normative foundation to inspire the loyalty and affection of ordinary citizens. Through focusing on the conflict between the European Union’s Commission and the Government of Hungary, this book explores contrasting attitudes towards national sovereignty, popular sovereignty and the question of tradition and the past as the main drivers of the culture war in Europe.

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The Silent War

The Silent War

Racial identity is one of the defining characteristics of the 20th century. In this study, Frank Furedi traces the history of Western colonial racist ideology and its role in the subjugation of the peoples of the non-West. His central theme is the changing perception of racism in the West and how the use of “race” has altered during the course of the 20th century.

Focusing on World War II as the crucial turning point in racist ideology, Furedi argues that the defeat of Nazism left the West uneasy with its own racist past. He assesses how this was redefined in the postwar period, especially during the Cold War, and demonstrates that although white supremacist views became obsolete in international affairs, Western nations sought to portray racism as a natural part of the human condition. As a result the West continued to adopt the moral high ground well into the postwar period, to the ultimate detriment of the nations of the non-West.

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Population and Development

Population and Development

Many experts believe that population growth is the greatest threat facing humanity. Others argue that the link between population growth and insecurity is unproven. This book discusses both sides of this debate, examining the way the arguments have changed and evolved, and questioning the assumptions of the main protagonists. The book argues that the Western precoccupation with population growth reveals more about the internal concerns of Western societies than the socio-economic development of the south. It suggests that attempts to establish a causal link between increases in population and poverty lead to a pragmatic, even manipulative approach to the issue of development. Examining a broad range of key debates and controversies - the “population bomb” in Asia, the culture of a distinct regime of African fertility, the role of education in stabilizing population growth in Kerala - the author contends that the marginalization of the goal of development is the outcome of a narrow concern with population policies. He fears that the recent shift of the population agenda towards the problems of the environment, gender equality and reproductive health is informed by a similar opportunistic pragmatism. The book should be of interest to students and specialists in development studies, sociology, and population studies, and for anyone interested in the debates surrounding world population growth.

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Colonial Wars and the Politics of Third World Nationalism

Colonial Wars and the Politics of Third World Nationalism

The crisis now facing many post-colonial societies has raised important questions about the nature of Third World nationalist movements and their struggle against Western domination. Histories of Britain’s colonial past have tended to regard the process of decolonization as having taken place as a direct consequence of British policy, with the result that the influence of anti-colonial movements on British imperialism has been overlooked.

In a new interpretation of decolonization, the author of this book focuses on the way in which Britain reacted to the nationalist claims made by anti-colonial movements. With the weakening of imperial control from the 1930s onwards, the development of such movements in the 1940s was greatly boosted. Closely bound up with the central issue of political legitimacy, nationalism posed a powerful threat to colonial power. The author argues that by contesting the validity of nationalist claims made by anti-colonial movements, Britain attempted to discredit indigenous opposition in the colonies. Subsequent histories of decolonization have been profoundly influenced by the imperial view of Third World nationalism, and little attention has been paid to the way in which Third World nationalist movements helped to reshape British imperialism.

This study examines Britain’s colonial wars in Malaysia, Kenya and Guyana within the wider framework of imperial politics. It discusses the intellectual orientation and propaganda techniques that Britain used to represent Third World nationalism. Combining the methods of comparative historical sociology and original fieldwork, Furedi draws on recently released archival sources from both sides of the Atlantic.

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The New Ideology of Imperialism: Renewing the Moral Imperative

The New Ideology of Imperialism: Renewing the Moral Imperative

During the 19th century vast areas of the underdeveloped world were invaded and colonized under the justification of anti-slavery and the civilizing mission. In this analysis, Furedi demonstrates how, in the late 20th century, the major nations of the West are again intervening in the Third World - this time legitimizing their action on new moral grounds.

The author’s multidisciplinary study examines the language, nature and origins of the moral justification for such massive intervention. The author argues that, in the wake of the collapse of Soviet communism, the West now presents the Third World as the major threat to international stability, offering Western democracy and financial systems as the solution, thus providing a “new moral imperative” for rebuilding a viable imperialist ideology. The author examines this new anti-Third World view and concludes that we are experiencing the rehabilitation of the imperialist ideas that are depriving post colonial societies of their own moral authority.

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Mythical Past, Elusive Future

Mythical Past, Elusive Future

An examination of the controversies that surround education, tradition and history in an international context. The author examines the sources of the controversy that have arisen around the question of history in Germany, Japan, Britain and the USA. He argues that the conventional distinctions between left and right, or conservative, liberal and socialist have little relevance to the discussion, suggesting that even bitter intellectual foes such as conservatives and the cultural left share common assumptions regarding the past and the nature of history.

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