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The U.K. constitution is described as an “unwritten constitution”. However it is best described as ‘partly written and wholly un-codified.” (Budge et al, 1998)[1]Its main source is statute law. These are laws, which are passed by UK parliament, particularly important for determining the scope and power of government.
Other source is common law from which constitution authority is derived. Though common law has largely been replaced by statute law, it is very important in certain fundamental constitutional principles such as Royal Prerogative. This paper considers Royal Prerogative, which is a very special feature of UK constitution. Royal Prerogative refers to those powers left over from when the monarch was directly involved in the government.  It concerns legislature, judicial system, foreign affairs, armed forces, appointments and honors, privileges and immunities and prerogative in times of emergency. The scope of Royal Prerogative as well as reforms undertaken in this regard has been highlighted. The thesis of this paper is that UK government has resolved to increase parliamentary oversight in relation to treaties, war powers, senior appointment and management of civil service. It has suggested that prerogative powers could be candidate for abolition or reform, but their continued existence, has no significant negative effects.

Royal prerogative and its scope
Royal Prerogative refers to those powers left over from when the monarch was directly involved in the government. It gives the Crown (the monarch) special powers such as power to declare war, to make treaties, deploying the armed forces, regulating the civil service, to pardon criminals and to dissolve parliament. In today’s time, monarch exercise ceremonial roles in such matters, but royal prerogative gives immense power to ministers acting on the Queen’s behalf. Its exercise doesn’t require the approval of the parliament. [2]
Constitutional lawyers have summarized the main areas in which the prerogative is used today. It concerns legislature, judicial system, foreign affairs, armed forces, appointments and honors, privileges and immunities and prerogative in times of emergency.[3]

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This paper considers the explanatory value of the concept ‘dominant ideology’. It begins with the Marxist definition of the dominant ideology and discusses aspects of dominant ideology from the Marxists and the contemporary Neo-Marxists perspective. The Neo-Marxist perspective of the dominant ideology has been used to describe the values related to faith and religion. It focuses on the use of media as a source of propagation of dominant ideology. Some critiques of the writers, the explanatory value of the dominant ideology have also been considered which contradict its traditional view. Finally the essay concludes with the traditional and the critical view of the ideology and bourgeoisie class. 

In the Marxist perspective, “Dominant ideology” is referred to as the ideology of the majority in a population. This ideology remains to be prevalent given that interests of the dominant class are fulfilled. This can lead to seizure of development process in the subordinate class, who are unable to form an effective opposition. It can be said without doubt that the ideas of the dominant class are deeply penetrated into the social system. (Williams, 1977)

According to Karl Marx, ‘Social class determines consciousnesses. The relationship of a class to the modes of production generates cultural conditions and its material conditions. In other words it can also be said that each class has a separate belief system because each has its own interests due to difference in their economic conditions. Secondly each mode of production has a dominant class which is responsible for a dominant ideology to ensure the subordination of the working class. Marx also distinguished two types of social influences in the formation of ideologies. The main source of ideas is the experiences of individuals as they continue their daily life experiences. David Cheal calls the reactions to these daily activities as the ‘practical ideas.’ Another source through which individuals are introduced to new ideas is called ‘received ideas’ as these are achieved through social interactions or communication between individuals. For Gramsci, the presence of these two sources of ideas can lead to contradictions, which he called ‘contradictory consciousness.’ Such types of contradictions are unevenly distributed among the classes. For dominant classes, they form a consistent system of thought and the consequences of such contradictions are insignificant. However for subordinate classes, these contradictions are large and significant. (Cheal, 1979) Leading thinkers in Marxist ideology, Althussers and Paulantzas argue that the dominance in political or ideological structures is determined by economic base. Such dominance is sometimes also facilitated by non-economic factors like religion. In feudal and pre-capitalist societies religion was used to ensure that a continuous labor source was available from the peasantry. (Abercrombie & Turner, 1978)

According to Marxists, media plays an important role in spreading the dominant ideology and in building a sense of consensus among the population about right and wrong nature of things. This in a sense can be true as media has means to provide false information and completely ignore or brand something unreasonable which challenges the dominant ideology. Media presents ideas of the ruling class while marginalizing voices of minority. The power structures in media can be further broken down to the interests of the owners and managers of a media group. Murdock argues that the two important reasons that recede power of ruling class is the growth of professional managers and the creation of new capital enterprise. As industry grows, so does the need for managers. (Gitlin, 1979)  This in turn increases the influence of professional managers and threatens the power base of the owners.

According to Paul Wingfield media present information in a way that is relevant, has meaning and is acceptable in general. It capitalizes on the general knowledge and dominant ideology in order to transform the information into reality. The ideas that are presented not only get rooted in the media but also into the institutions of the society. Thus media not only plays role in strengthening of the widespread beliefs in a society but is also capable of changing the whole thinking of a society. (Nesbitt-Larking, 2007)
The belief that the dominant ideology of church and other religion have been prevalent historically has been opposed by authors in the contemporary times based on the studies they have done on the peasant and other societies. Martin Goodridge (1975) in the Ages of faith, Romance and Reality notes, in a comprehensive examination of the peasantry in countries like France, England and Italy that the class has been left estranged from the dominant ideological views of faith from the mainstream church. He notes that the religious clergy of the particular area was although influential in asserting the ideology of faith only symbolically, but was considered, in those societies to be, unreliable source of faith and belief. (Goodrige, 1975)The similar line of logic is also applicable to the capitalist societies of the early times. The dominant ideologies of individualism and the doctrines of the utilitarianism were very important components of the 1950s and were widespread in the realms of morality, economy and religion. However, individualism has been connected to the human ancestry and the connection to modern capitalism is very difficult to establish. Following such a line of logic as individualism and the ancestry of human beings, the dominant ideology is the by-product of human ancestry and not of the dominant ideology of the modern capitalism and bourgeoisie class. (Abercrombie & Turner, 1978)

While criticizing Marxism, Abercrombie argues about the shortcomings of the theories of Marxist ideology. He is of the view that the problem with Marxist theories of culture is of methodological character. The basic assumption of the dominant ideology model is that the ruling class controls the means of intellectual production and hence is able to control thoughts and beliefs of the subordinate class. Even in order to protest against the dominant ideology, the subordinate class will need some medium, which itself occurs to be at the hands of the ruling class. (Abercrombie & Turner, 1978)

The existence of a common ideology between the dominant and the dominated class is the basic assumption on which the dominant ideology lies. Critics have argued that the dominating never really shared the ideology of the dominated and they always had their own sets of beliefs, ideas and concepts regarding the different spheres of life. Even in the days of the feudal landlords, it was the dominant class which was adhering to its own sets of values and the dominated class was not very willing to comply with these. (Nesbitt-Larking, 2007) It has also been suggested that the dominant ideology was a means to keep the dominant class together and united on a common platform. The ruling class had developed their own standards and rules and while their attempts to make their subordinates follow those standards were not very successful, this common ideology held the ruling class together.

One reason for doubting Marx’s theory in feudal times is that it was very difficult to disseminate information or principles in those days. If we consider Marx’s theory in light of our current times, we will find that his theory carries more weight now than at any other time. In feudal times, the dominant ideology need not be shared by both the rulers and the subordinates. The rulers were mostly independent and they did not need people to comply with their ideology as long as they were obeying their orders without question. In contemporary times however, this has become a necessity. With the rise of democratic governments and people wanting to have a say in the system of governance, it has become essential for governments to convince people to share their ideologies and both the rulers and the ruled need to share perspectives on issues.

This has enabled mass media to flourish as a strong force in state matters. However, with the rise of corporations, the power dynamics of societies have changed completely and the corporations play a huge role in policy making. The government, the corporations and the media have now become a closely knit group and the ideologies of both the government and corporations are spread by the media. This is a universal phenomenon in both the developed and the undeveloped world, although the end game is usually different. Whatever the end game, the media is always a major player, more than religion ever was in previous years.

Noam Chomsky, in an interview, explained the role of media in shaping perspectives. He said “They (The media) also shape the discussion in such a way that people do not perceive what is happening. A striking example is the Israel Arab conflict. United States and Israel are effectively annexing the valuable parts of the West Bank. That is presented as withdrawal and they are praising Israel for withdrawing from the West Bank, referring to the policy which is about annexing the West Bank.”  So the interests and the ideologies of the rulers are spread among the population by the media and due to the diverse means that it has, it can shape the way people look at a particular problem.

An argument against this prevalent case of media bias has been presented by Arafat Al Jameel. He cites the example of British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) which does not gather money from any particular organization and is funded by annual TV license fees. It has in its charter that it will not be influenced by any organization, be it private or government. (Jameel, 2009)

The laws and regulations which make BBC an autonomous broadcasting corporation indicate that its philosophy does not seem to adhere to Marxism through which a ruling class exercises its influence to control over the individuals. It appears that the source of finance to the BBC does not come from one particular person; the households who subscribe to the services of the corporation are the main source for its existence. This approach is akin to Pluralism in its view that the readers and listeners are not merely passive or submissive to the media. Instead, everyone has a voice and therefore able to play a tangible role in affecting the media. (Williams 2003).

However, his explanation has also been targeted for criticism. Even with its claim of being exclusive to pressures from both government and private corporations, BBC has to report according to regulations of the government and its reporting during the Iraq War was claimed to be highly biased. The corporation helped cover up the embarrassment faced by the government over their decision to go into War with Iraq and not find weapons of mass destruction in the country. So this ‘Triad’ of government, corporations and media has developed a new apparatus of spreading the dominant ideology within people and to shape the people’s thoughts to match their own interests.

Marxist theorists tend to emphasize the role of the mass media in the reproduction of the status quo, in contrast to liberal pluralists who emphasize the role of the media in promoting freedom of speech. The Marxist view of dominant ideology still has some strength as it draws our attention to the important factor of social class in relation to media ownership and the effect it has on the consumers. Although consumers in large can affect what the media showcases, the biases of media towards particular social and political pressures cannot be ignored. The notion that media produces false consciousness in the working class is an extreme stance, which sees media products as the ideology of the ruling class only. This completely ignores the diversity of opinions and the oppositional views that exist in the public.

About The Author: Hamid Khan is a an alumni of Lahore University of Management Sciences. He received his Master's degree in Economics from LUMS. His areas of interest includes economics and social science. He can be reached at 2hmdKhan(at-the-rate)gmail.com

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This paper discusses the role of women in the Han dynasty based on the primary and secondary literature of the course. As has been the case for prior dynasties, family constituted the fundamental unit of society in Han dynasty. This resulted in the formation of patriarchal hierarchy. Legalism was extreme and the imperative nature of filial piety made the hierarchy to be codified in law. More over the needs of the group were above the needs of the individual and society was categorized into classes. Women are one of the class and enjoyed reverence however, women were not allowed to enjoy individual lives and were forced to assume the roles determined by the system.

The Primordial Filial Piety
 Influenced by the teachings of Confucius and other thinkers, Filial piety was given more consideration by the Han dynasty than its predecessors did. Filial piety implied a well run family where parents looked after the children and in turn children were expected to take care of their parents and support them in their old age. The importance of the Filial Piety is suggested by the fact that the brief classic of filial piety is considered to be written in the early Han dynasty. Filial Piety was defined as the whole hearted devotion to parents however the connotations are extended to accommodate for the devotion to superiors. (Ebrey) “Filial piety is the root of virtue and source of civilization.” (Ebrey) If man exhibited paramount filial piety, he could be exalted to the status of official in the society. The importance of filial piety enabled the family to be the central focus of allegiance for most Chinese. The important goal of each individual Chinese life was to serve his ancestors through sacrifices and safeguarding the lineage of the family. (Lockard)

Family was given prime consideration by the Chinese individual as it provided for psychological and economic security to him. However, it was led by a senior male and lineage was only traced through male line. In family, mother and father enjoyed apparently equal status and were revered by children equally. Given the ascendancy of filial piety and patriarchic nature of family life being driven by senior males, Women felt to be at a relative disadvantage compared to men. At childhood, daughter was expected to revere her father, when married she was expected to be faithful and loyal to her husband and finally as mother to be caring to her children.

Given the ascendancy of family, Chinese society has to a large extent, especially in Han dynasty, been a proponent of patriarch Confucianism. (Lockard) The ideals for women were selfless behavior, loyalty and faithfulness. However this didn’t override the importance of the female. Alluding to the different social positions she assumes, the importance of respect for women has been stressed. “They serve their mothers as they serve their fathers; the love shown them is the same.” (Ebrey) “The rulers didn’t dare insult the widows and widowers- not to mention the upper class or the common people.” (Ebrey) Some of the important female figures of the Han dynasty are Lu Zhi (wife of the founder of Han Dynasty), Yu Ji, Zhuo Wenjun, Huan Shaojun. (Peterson)

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Developmental state, a notion aroused from the exponential growth of Asian tigers, refers to the state-led economic planning. Such a state envisions projecting itself as an autonomous body through increased political power and effective control over the economy to imbibe its ideals in the economic system. It is characterized by strong state interventions in the economy, rigorous regulations and centralized economic planning. At the other extreme, there lies a weak or predatory state which entrusts private profit seekers and the market with the role of raising prosperity levels by increasing economic efficiency. Developmental state is focused on the protection of domestic industries through technology transfers, import substitution, export promotion and emphasis on technical education policies. It exhibit narrow institutionalism as opposed to broader institutionalism and has extensive focus on statist paradigm with little importance given to public-private collaboration. (Hundt, 2008)

These rationales of state dominance in the economic development are challenged by reciprocal consent. It holds that though state help structure the market choices but public/private negotiation also structure state and market choices alike. The mechanism of relationship is defined by the type of market structure, extent of centralization, timing of the development, openness of the economy, policies of the ruling coalition and nature of administrative tradition explains the nature and extent of state intervention. (Samuels, 1987) Developmental state is characterized by few pilot agencies guiding the overall process of intervention with policy tool are linked to the private sector performance through a structure of incentives. Civil society is weak and easily subordinated. States builds extensive coalition with industry and plays down leftist elements. This paper deals with the developmental state and reciprocal consent arguments in explaining the development trajectories across Japan, Korea and Taiwan over the course of Post-War period.

Korean economic bureaucracy has played a central force in the shaping of the development. It has informed Korean political leaders of policy options that may undermine state power creating a tension by simultaneous pursuit of maximal state autonomy and socio-economic development. This has created a web of bureaucracy power reinforcing in the economic decision making of the country. Pilot agencies has defined the direction for the overall intervention in targeted industries in the economy, coordinated investment decisions for them and devised intervention policies. In Korea, Economic Planning Board, had assumed the role of pilot agency, and had driven the course of the economic development under the auspices of strong bureaucracy. It has extensively promoted labor-intensive manufacturing in the 60’s, heavy industries in the late 70’s and technology and services in the 1980’s.

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The relations between the politics and religion have been much debated throughout the history. The extent to which religion should be involved in political affairs as well as the extent to which the state should be involved in religious matters has always been contested. The birth of nation states has even broadened this discussion. It is widely argued that state should have control over the temporal or earthly matters and the religion should be an instrument of eternal grace or the moral sphere of life. In this way St. Augustine favored the division and sharing of sovereignty. ‘In my research work I will explain the effectiveness of the application of religious values to the government polity that becomes state support of religion which then further elaborates whether religion has a legitimate right to influence state politics, proposing an alternative pattern by taking the cases of different nations like Israel, Pakistan, Iran and India’. Then I will attempt to give an answer to the question about the exact role of religion in the nation building processing. The research will also analyze the clash between the religious identity and the national identity. Samuel S.Mushi claims that throughout the history the state or the religious organizations have contest mainly for citizens’ primary loyalty, control of political process and authority over economic resources. [1] It will reveal the fact that religion is a vital instrument to create unity, but it is not able to define completely the national identity and the nation building process. However, the significant and functional role of religion cannot be denied.

The findings of the research are worth exploring because currently the world is torn between national versus religious identities. Individuals in different parts of the world are still facing this dilemma – whether to opt for primordial ties or religious identities or national identities, when it comes to represent themselves.  Countries like Israel and Pakistan seem to share nothing in common except the similar holy mission to secure a homeland for their communities. We see the crisis of their national identities in both countries because of the clash between state and nation. Both countries are experiencing an ambiguous role of religion in their national building. The paper argues that the role of religion can be best understood by analyzing its role in the homogenization process during nation consolidation. The main hypothesis of this paper which I attempt to explore is that the role of religion in the nation consolidation can be understood as a complex process but I believe that it has the capacity in providing the ideological glue that holds a nation together by creating a modern religious society. It is because political authorities try simultaneously both to empathize and to deny its salience to the construction or consolidation of the new state. The relation between the religious values and the political affairs can be discussed in two distinct phases. Firstly, it can be argued that a homogenous society can be created through the religious values and its applications by excluding the non-religious elements. Secondly the incorporation of the community to the majority one identified by civic, linguistic and other state features. It also attempts to explain different types of religious involvement in politics such as religion-state politics, intra-religion politics and inter-religion politics.

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The phenomena of globalization have its underpinning through advanced communication technology and quick transportation facilities. This paper aims to discuss the evolution of communication technology with a comparative perspective taking United States and Russia as examples. The intuition to study the evolution of communication technology of these two countries is derived from the fact that they are significantly different in the state structure and their respective interests vis-à-vis each other. Both have been involved in a cut-throat competition for advanced technology during the cold war, and improved communication technology bears no exception. These two countries have made huge investments in the development of communication technology and have actively sought policies aimed to achieve the said objectives. Both countries have different political and social setups which make them very viable to compare and contrast between the aspects of communication technology pursued by these two countries. Internet, communication, cyber-security and digital broadcasting are among the top-notch issues between Moscow and Washington.

Case of United States:
Communication technology owes its evolution to four important factors in the United States. These are summed up as (1) drive to digitize the communication process (2) through a focused purpose of consolidating the information (3) fastened by the deregulation process and (4) demanded by the process of globalization (Hamelink 1996). These trends have gained importance in 1980 and have increased in their significance ever since. The process of digitization has helped spread information across border especially in electronic formats, increased technological integration, promoting deregulation and reinforcing the process of globalization.

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