Mr Robert Bideleux

Rob has long specialised in studies of Communism, democratisation and macro-political change in Europe (especially the eastern half of Europe, including the Caucasus), the Middle East, Asia, Africa and Latin America. Recently he has been working mainly on post-Communist democratization, postcolonialism, Orientalism, the Middle East (including Turkey), cultural and identity politics, conceptions of Europe, xenophobia, genocide and migration.

Born in Argentina, he was educated in Brazil, S-E England and Edinburgh. From 1986 to 1991, he ran Swansea’s BSc (Econ) degree programmes in Development Studies; during the 1990s he was the Director of Swansea's Centre of Russian and East European Studies; from 1993 to 2005 he ran a successful Masters programme in European Politics; he currently coordinates an MA programme in Global Politics and Intercultural Studies; and he has been the Department’s Director of Learning and Teaching since 2002. Most recently, he has developed a new BA degree programme in Philosophy, Politics and Economics (PPE).

Publications

  1. Europe: what kind of idea?. The European Legacy 14(2), 163-176.
  2. Rethinking the eastward extension of the EU Civil Order and the Nature of Europe’s New East-West Divide. Perspectives on European Politics and Society 10(1), 118-136.
  3. Reconstituting Political Order in Europe, East and West. Perspectives on European Politics and Society 10(1), 3-16.
  4. Contrasting Responses to the International Economic Crisis of 2008–10 in the Eleven CIS Countries and in the Ten Post-Communist EU Member Countries. Journal of Communist Studies and Transition Politics 27(3-4), 338-363.
  5. Post-Communist Democratization: Democratic Politics as the Art of the Impossible? (review article). The Review of Politics 71(2), 303-317.

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Teaching

  • HIH121 Europe of Extremes: 1789 - 1989

    The nineteenth century saw the rise of a western European civilization, characterized, as Eric Hobsbawm has noted, by capitalist economics, liberal politics, and the dominance of a middle class that celebrated morality and science. In the twentieth century this civilization faced unprecedented challenges from new political ideologies, and from a working class demanding the right to govern in its own name. The result was an eruption of violence not seen on the continent for centuries; in its wake, the Cold War divided the Europe with an Iron Curtain, and saw the continent become the client of two world superpowers ¿ the USA and the Soviet Union. This team-taught module relies on the specialist knowledge of its tutors to examine economic, political and social themes in the history of nineteenth and twentieth-century Europe.

  • HUA206 Contemporary Wars and Conflicts

    This module introduces and critically explores contemporary warfare and conflict, from post WWII up to the present War on Terror. It considers the de-colonization/independence wars; the Cold War proxy conflicts; post-1990 New Wars and the War on Terror.

  • HUA300 The Rise of Brazil

    This module focuses on Brazilian history, popular culture, politics, society, and economic development. Major topics to be considered from an interdisciplinary perspective include nation building, identity, racism, and popular culture (from soap-operas to football). Our starting point is the Portuguese conquest/colonization of Brazil, the oppression and decimation of its indigenous peoples, the rise of its slave-worked plantations and mines, `race relations¿, and the much-debated nature and consequences of Portuguese Catholic attitudes to `non-whites¿ and miscegenation, compared to those of the mainly Spanish or Anglophone colonizers of other parts of the Americas. The module then moves on to consider Brazilian politics, society, economic thinking, and economic development, from independence (1822) and the abolition of slavery (1888), to the 1930s depression, to the 1940s-1970s and 1993-2011 economic booms, to its current economic, political and social convulsions. The module also assesses the ideas and perspectives of some of Brazil¿s most influential political-economic and social thinkers and writers, including Celso Furtado, Fernando Henrique Cardoso, Theotonio dos Santos Júnior, Luiz Carlos Bresser Pereira, Gilberto Freyre, Paolo Freire, Euclides da Cunha, and Leonardo Boff.

  • HUP304 Philosophy and the Social Sciences

    The module introduce students to a series of philosophical questions and difficulties connected with the explanation of human agency, both individual and collective. Issues to be discussed include the relation between the natural and the social sciences, the understanding of `primitive¿ societies¿, the psychopathology of evil, and the role of language in understanding social institutions.

  • PO-219 Global Political Economy: From Mercantilism to Neoliberalism

    This module deals with the major battles of ideas about global capitalism and the global economy, and considers the theoretical, ideological and historical foundations and contexts of the major rival conceptualizations and analyses of the nature, development, consequences and implications of national, transnational and global capitalism. It provides an overview of the theoretical and historical development of Global Political Economy (GPE), from early modern mercantilism and physiocrary, through classical and neoclassical political economy, marxism, national systems of political economy, the New Deal, Keynesianisn, Soviet Marxist-Leninist political economy, and the rise of development economics and development planning, to the post 1970s neoliberal revolution in economic thinking (especially the ideas of Friedrich Hayek and Milton Friedman) and the current hegemony of neoliberal political economy. Partly to counterbalance the strongly West-centric focus of most Western thinking, writing and teaching on the history of economic and philosophical thought, GPE gives considerable attention to Russian, Muslim, South and East Asian and Latin American economic thinking, and to leading world systems theorists. These non-Western and/or radical schools of economic thinking furnish a wide range of critical and counter-hegemonic perspectives on European, Western and global political economy. The overall aims are to help you to see and evaluate more clearly the strengths, limitations, problems and potentials of the major schools and foundational theories of political ecenomy; their respective ways of seeing and conceptualizing the main tendancies, driving focrces, strengths and weaknesses and the developmental constraints and options of the world economy and the increasingly globalized capitalist system; and the very varied impact of (and responses to) globalized capitalism in different parts of the modern world.

  • PO-256 Genocide

    It is widely claimed that during the twentieth century over sixty million people were killed by premeditated acts of genocide, which targeted specific ethnic, religious, racial or class-related groups. Why did the twentieth century witness so many occurrences of deliberate genocide, on such unprecedented scales? To what degree was the Holocaust against Europe's Jews unique, and to what degree did it share causes. characteristics and results with other paroxysms of mass killing? How should genocide be defined, in order to differentiate it clearly from other forms of mass killing? Are there effective means of preventing, punishing and/or overcoming genocide? This module examines the ways in which genocide has resulted (in the main) from modern attempts to create ethno-culturally 'purged' and/or homogenized' nation states-primarily in the Western hemisphere, whence it has been transmitted to non-Western societies by European colonialism and/or by often misguided ad potentially lethal attempts to replicate Western models of ethno-cultural 'purging' and 'homogenization' in non-Western contexts. This module assesses the main attempts to explain the unprecedented incidence and scale of genocide in modern times. It undertakes case studies of the genocides perpetrated by various European states during the 1940's and 1990s, the so-called 'colonial genocides' in the Americas, Australasia and parts of Africa, the mass destruction of the Ottoman Empire's Armenian subjects during the First World War, and the mass killings which occurred in the USSR between 1932 and 1950, in East Asia from 1937 to 1945, in Cambodia from 1975-1976, and in Rwanda in 1994.

  • PO-3004 Philosophy and the Social Sciences

    The module introduce students to a series of philosophical questions and difficulties connected with the explanation of human agency, both individual and collective. Issues to be discussed include the relation between the natural and the social sciences, the understanding of `primitive¿ societies¿, the psychopathology of evil, and the role of language in understanding social institutions.

  • PO-345 Contemporary Political Economy: Competing Perspectives on Global Capitalism

    Conceived as a sequel to the Level 2 module on 'Global Political Economy;From Mercantilism to Neoliberalism' (PO-219), this module deals with : the ascendancy of neoliberal global capitalism and neoliberal global governance;information and communication technology (ICT), the knowledge economy, and the changing world of work;'financialization', the international economic boom of 2001-2007, and the causes and consequences of the major Euro-Western economic crises that began in 2007-2008; trends in global poverty and inequality, and competing ways of conceptualizing and dealing with these problems; human development and capacity building; social capital; social enterprise, and micro-finance; new institutionalism; the political economy of 'emerging economies' and of particular regions or categories of economics, such as Communist and post- Communist states, oil states, Africa, the Arab world, and Latin America; the bases and global implications of the rise of the BRICs (Brazil, Russia, India and China); and the global ecosystem and the contested ecological 'limits to growth'. There will be a strong focus on the institutional and philosophical underpinnings of economic development, the thinking of prominent Western and non-Western political economists, and practical ways of empowering the world's poor and curbing capitalist excesses. The module will conclude by weighing up whether Western rationalism, secularism, individualism, materialism and neoliberal globalization have helped reduce or to intensify systematic global and regional hierarchies and impoverishment; and whether the still dominant neoliberal versions of global capitalism are economically, politically, morally and ecologically defensible and sustainable. The module is seminar based.

  • PO-395 Dissertation (PO-325)

    Subject to the approval of the Departmental Dissertations Tutor, students will choose their own area for research. They will be given guidance on research skills and techniques and supervised by a specialist research topic supervisor during the research for, and writing of, their dissertation. Dissertation word length - 8000 words.

  • PO-397 Researching Politics 2

    This module offers students a valuable experience of both individual and collective research - as well as the opportunity to study in depth an important aspect of Politics and International Relations. Students extend and deepen the research undertaken in PO-396 Researching Politics 1 and continue to meet regularly in order to share ideas, opinions and sources. In these meetings, students evaluate, criticise and analyse issues concerning the topic under investigation. Minutes of the meetings are kept and the meetings are conducted with a view to arriving at a common position that will serve as the basis for producing a collectively authored report and presentation. Each student in the group also produces a shorter individual report on their own experience of Researching Politics, in the course of which they reflect on their individual contribution to the groups output. This self-assessment is validated by the other members of the group.

  • PO-M25 Dissertation

    Individual research based, under the guidance of appointed supervisor.

  • PO-M70 Postcolonialism, Orientalism, Eurocentrism

    This module evaluates major postcolonial critiques of Eurocentric and Orientalist explanations for the temporary ascendancy of Europe and European `civilization¿ during the 19th and 20th centuries. In particular, the module examines: the emergence of postcolonial critiques of European conceptions of civilization(s), culture(s), the `capitalist world-system¿ and `world systems¿; Edward Said¿s concept of `Orientalism¿, its implications, and the uses to which this has been put; changing European relationships with and perceptions of Islam and the Islamic world; the compatibility of Islam with Western conceptions of liberal democracy, liberal capitalism, civil society, and individual and universal rights; arguments that Europe¿s rise to global prominence can be explained as, or attributed to, a `European miracle¿; the `Eurocentrism¿ of the Western social sciences and history-writing; the roles of racism, slavery and the slave trade in fostering and reinforcing European conceptions of white superiority and in establishing a transitory European and/or Western global ascendancy, and the power relations embodied in the ways in which identities, cultures and civilizations are constructed and conceptualized.

  • PO-M80 Governance, Globalization and Neoliberal Political Economy

    In recent decades, many theorists of governance, the state and international relations have been discussing the `de-centering¿ and `hollowing out¿ of the state, as tasks previously performed by `national¿ governments have been taken up by or shared with a wide range of other actors or tiers of governance. These have included international associations or organizations such as the European Union, NAFTA, Mercosur, the UN, the World Trade Organization (WTO), and the major `international financial institutions¿ (the IMF, the World Bank, and the various regional development banks), as well as corporations and other organizations in the private and financial sectors. In addition, new forms of governance have emerged, which have greatly changed the way in which rules, institutions and democracy are understood, interpreted and implemented. What have been the reasons for these changes? Are they inevitable? What are the factors at play in the shift from `government¿ to `governance¿? And how transparent, participatory, accountable and democratic are the emerging or evolving forms of governance? These are amongst the key questions addressed in this module, which will induct students into the study of governance and political participation and accountability at four main levels: national, subnational, macro-regional, and global. It will also examine the emergence and evolution of distinctive patterns of governance in various parts of the world. Students will be familiarized with key theories, issues and debates concerning the state, political economy, and emerging or evolving forms of governance, and with various ways in which older forms and conceptions of politics and democratic participation, transparency and accountability are being challenged and/or transformed in these changing environments.

Supervision

  • A Copenhagen School Analysis of UAE Tribal Security Challenges (current)

    Student name:
    PhD
    Other supervisor: Prof Michael Sheehan
    Other supervisor: Mr Robert Bideleux
  • 'A Political Economy Analysis of the Agricultural Structure of the South-eastern Anatolia Region of Turkey.' (current)

    Student name:
    PhD
    Other supervisor: Dr Krijn Peters
    Other supervisor: Mr Robert Bideleux
  • Settler Coloniality and the Myth of the American Frontier: Reappraising U.S- Indigenous Relations. (current)

    Student name:
    PhD
    Other supervisor: Dr Stephen Mcveigh
    Other supervisor: Mr Robert Bideleux
  • Changing Circumstances, Similar Paradigms: French Academia and the Causes of the Arab Spring. (current)

    Student name:
    PhD
    Other supervisor: Mr Robert Bideleux
    Other supervisor: Dr Gerard Clarke
  • Challenging Far-Right Extremism: The other side of the coin? (current)

    Student name:
    PhD
    Other supervisor: Dr Angharad Closs Stephens
    Other supervisor: Dr Amanda Rogers
    Other supervisor: Mr Robert Bideleux
    Other supervisor: Dr Helen Brocklehurst
  • Russia and the Ukraine Crisis: An analysis of trade expectations theory (current)

    Student name:
    PhD
    Other supervisor: Prof Alan Collins
    Other supervisor: Mr Robert Bideleux