Language : English
Published : 2016-03-18
Pages : 224
War and Society
War is a paradox. On the one hand, it destroys bodies and destroys communities. On the other hand, it is responsible for some of the strongest human bonds and has been the genesis of many of our most fundamental institutions. War and Society addresses these paradoxes while providing a sociological exploration of this enigmatic phenomenon which has played a central role in human history, wielded an incredible power over human lives, and commanded intellectual questioning for countless generations. The authors offer an analytical account of the origins of war, its historical development, and its consequences for individuals and societies, adopting a comparative approach throughout. It ends with an appraisal of the contemporary role of war, looking to the future of warfare and the fundamental changes in the nature of violent conflict which we are starting to witness. This short, readable and engaging book will be an ideal reading for upper–level students of political sociology, military sociology, and related subjects.
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“For the life of a diplomat is often a variation of routine boredom and exhilarating crises.”
Maurice Baker is an academic and one of Singapore’s pioneer diplomats. Growing up in colonial–governed Malaya and Singapore, his profound love for great literature works inspired him to obtain an honors in English from King’s college, London in 1948 despite the cruelties faced during and after the Second World War. Baker’s humble beginnings and political consciousness earned him the friendship and respect of many diplomats during his missions to India in 1967, Malaysia in 1969, Philippines in 1977 and back to Malaysia in 1980 before retiring from his career as a diplomat in 1988. Between his diplomatic missions, Baker returned to Singapore in 1972 to head the Department of English at the University of Singapore for five years.
This is Baker’s story of how he came to be The Accidental Diplomat. With occasional poems and a sense of humor, he candidly recounts the colourful romances of his life to his enriching encounters of diplomatic relations. His portrayals of admiration for great leaders and men paint a vivid picture of the qualities that guided his beliefs, proving that he was by no means an “Accidental Diplomat” in the eyes of others.
Calls by political leaders, social activists, and international policy and aid actors for accountability reforms to improve governance have never been more widespread. For some analysts, the unprecedented scale of these pressures reflects the functional imperatives and power of liberal and democratic institutions accompanying greater global economic integration. This book offers a different perspective, investigating the crucial role of contrasting ideologies informing accountability movements and mediating reform directions in Southeast Asia. It argues that the most influential ideologies are not those promoting the political authority of democratic sovereign people or of liberalism’s freely contracting individuals. Instead, in both post-authoritarian and authoritarian regimes, it is ideologies advancing the political authority of moral guardians interpreting or ordaining correct modes of behaviour for public officials. Elites exploit such ideologies to deflect and contain pressures for democratic and liberal reforms to governance institutions.
The book’s case studies include human rights, political decentralization, anticorruption, and social accountability reform movements in Cambodia, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam. These studies highlight how effective propagation of moral ideologies is boosted by the presence of powerful organizations, notably religious bodies, political parties, and broadcast media. Meanwhile, civil society organizations of comparable clout advancing liberalism or democracy are lacking. The theoretical framework of the book has wide applicability. In other regions, with contrasting histories and political economies, the nature and extent of organizations and social actors shaping accountability politics will differ, but the importance of these factors to which ideologies prevail to shape reform directions will not.
Oxford Studies in Democratization is a series for scholars and students of comparative politics and related disciplines. Volumes concentrate on the comparative study of the democratization process that accompanied the decline and termination of the cold war. The geographical focus of the series is primarily Latin America, the Caribbean, Southern and Eastern Europe, and relevant experiences in Africa and Asia. The series editor is Laurence Whitehead, Official Fellow, Nuffield College, University of Oxford.
Aristotle asked how one should live one s life. This question is more relevant to us today than it was several millennia ago because the decisions of leaders and other people can have widespread effects not only on the jobs, health and wealth of billions of human beings, but also on the environment.
Every major decision made in business, government and society is fundamentally an ethical one with widespread social responsibility implications. Whether it is the global sale of worthless financial derivatives, the adulteration of milk and infant formula with toxic material or the abuse of technology leading to invasion of privacy, the disregard of ethical principles has resulted in the degradation of the quality of life and dehumanization of the individual.
Written by seven faculty members of the School of Law at the Singapore Management University (SMU), Ethics and Social Responsibility draws upon the scholarship and history of the West and also presents lessons, examples and situations that are relevant to Asia. Originally conceived as a textbook for SMU students reading Ethics and Social Responsibility as a university core curriculum course, the book balances judiciously between theory and practice to allow readers to apply their theoretical understanding of concepts to real-world scenarios. In addition, open-ended questions are included to provoke deeper reflection and discussion, while illustrations and case studies highlight ethical concepts and their applications.
The writers expertly capture the sense of dynamism of ethics and social responsibility and sensitize readers to deal with these issues in the real world.