3 By explaining the entirety of phenomenal existence by referring to a single, underlying concept, Hegel maintains that Schelling succeeded only in reducing the rich diversity of the material world into an undifferentiated homogeny. Briefly: the theoretical paradigms (Marxist, feminist, poststructuralist) and identarian social justice movements of the last half-century spurred us to develop a far more sophisticated and capacious understanding of the “political,” as well as a keen awareness of its ubiquity. [...]more difficult, we must develop critical concepts that will enable us to theorize how these different political modalities are connected to one another.
The relevance of socioeconomic class and of class-related parties for policymaking is a recurring issue in the social sciences. The "new politics " perspective holds that in the present era of austerity, class-based parties once driving welfare state expansion have been superseded by powerful new interest groups of welfare-state clients capable of largely resisting retrenchment pressures emanating from postindustrial forces. We argue that retrenchment can fruitfully be analyzed as distributive conflict involving a remaking of the early postwar social contract based on the full employment welfare state, a conflict in which partisan politics and welfare-state institutions are likely to matter. Pointing to problems of conceptualization and measurement of the dependent variable in previous research, we bring in new data on the extent of retrenchment in social citizenship rights and show that the long increase in social rights has been turned into a decline and that significant retrenchment has taken place in several countries. Our analyses demonstrate that partisan politics remains significant for retrenchment also when we take account of contextual indictors, such as constitutional veto points, economic factors, and globalization.
Carbon markets have provided fertile ground for research on the changing nature of political contestation. MacKenzie locates a “techno‐politics” of carbon markets that creates new possibilities for a “politics of market design”. In contrast, Swyngedouw argues carbon markets are part of a “post‐political” shift that narrows potential pathways through “depoliticisation”. This article engages with these debates by examining three recent attempts to reform the ailing European Union Emissions Trading System: restricting industrial gas offsets, backloading allowance auctions and the 2030 climate and energy package. It conceptualises the respective episodes as contests over the reach, force and priority of value determinations in climate policy, emphasising the contradictory imperatives facing states on each issue. The outcomes of contestation between industry groups and environmental organisations—real but limited reforms and a consolidation of the carbon market over alternatives—demonstrate the constraints facing technocratic campaigning and the ongoing politicisation of climate change.