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Open access

The 2020 paradox

A multisystem crisis in search of a comprehensive response

Aleida Azamar Alonso and Carmen Maganda Ramírez

In most of the world, we follow a production model based on economic premises from the middle of the nineteenth century, including processes of accumulation, monopolization, and privatization of a territory's common goods and of life itself, in order to guarantee the reproduction of capital. International regulations and laws that protect nature are mostly limited to reaction and repair of environmental damages caused by anthropocentric activities in the most vulnerable and impoverished nations in the world but do not often question the damage to populations, especially indigenous peoples and their ancestral territories. Latin America exemplifies this, given that the region has experienced a series of political, economic, environmental, and now health crises as it has become the epicenter of the current COVID-19 pandemic (Pan American Health Organization, PAHO, 2021).

Open access

Harlan Koff and Carmen Maganda

The American continents have become one of the epicenters of the COVID-19 pandemic. Statistically, it is the world region which has been impacted the most by the pandemic. By August 3, 2021, over two million people have been confirmed to have died from COVID-19, which represents roughly half of the total number of confirmed global deaths from the disease (Statista, 2021). Moreover, the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC) estimates that the economies of this region will contract by 5.3% in 2021, which will plunge almost 30 million inhabitants of this world region into poverty (ECLAC, 2021).

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Moshe Maor

Surprisingly, although the Israeli government adopted unregulated, unorganized, inefficient, uncoordinated, and uninformed governance arrangements during the first wave of COVID-19, the public health outcome was successful, a paradox that this theoretically informed article seeks to explain. Drawing on insights from blame avoidance literature, it develops and applies an analytical framework that focuses on how allegations of policy underreaction in times of crisis pose a threat to elected executives’ reputations and how these politicians can derive opportunities for crisis exploitation from governance choices, especially at politically sensitive junctures. Based on a historical-institutional analysis combined with elite interviews, it finds that the implementation of one of the most aggressive policy alternatives on the policy menu at the beginning of the COVID-19 crisis (i.e., a shutdown of society and the economy), and the subsequent consistent adoption of the aforementioned governance arrangements constituted a politically well-calibrated and effective short-term strategy for Prime Minister Netanyahu.

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Gideon Kouts and Rami Zeedan

Ouzi Elyada, Hebrew Popular Journalism: Birth and Development in Ottoman Palestine (London: Routledge, 2019), 318 pp. Paperback, $50.00.

Yusri Khaizran and Muhammad Khlaile, Left to Its Fate: Arab Society in Israel under the Shadow of the “Arab Spring” (Tel Aviv: Moshe Dayan Center and Konrad Adenauer Stiftung, 2019), 226 pp. Paperback [Hebrew], NIS 50.

Open access

Joachim Otto Habeck, Spencer Abbe, and Stephen Dalziel

Maria Czaplicka: Gender, Shamanism, Race: An Anthropological Biography Grażyna Kubica, translated by Ben Koschalka (Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 2020), Critical Studies in the History of Anthropology Series, eds. Regna Darnell and Robert Oppenheim], xix + 591 pp. ISBN: 978-1-4962-2261-9.

Place and Nature: Essays in Russian Environmental History Edited by David Moon, Nicholas B. Breyfogle, and Alexandra Bekasova (Cambridgeshire, UK: White Horse Press 2021,), 343 pp. ISBN: 978-1-912186-16-7.

Mebet Alexander Grigorenko, translated by Christopher Culver (London: Glagoslav Publications, 2020), 174 pp. $23.65 (paperback). ISBN: 978-1-912894-90-1.

Open access

Carlos A. Rodríguez Wallenius


This article analyzes the extractivist and dispossession modalities in the Mexican neodevelopmental proposal to face the multiple crises accentuated by the COVID-19 pandemic. With the qualitative narrative method applied to social processes, four infrastructure and extractivist megaprojects are analyzed. Neodevelopmental policies of the current government insist on carrying out works as a strategy to create jobs, reactivate the economy, and promote well-being, especially for the southeast region with high rates of socioeconomic inequality. The findings point to an increase in investment and job creation and a rejection by various communities and organizations that consider that their ways of life are being threatened by the efforts of the neodevelopmental government to build megaprojects before and during the pandemic.


Este artículo analiza las modalidades extractivistas y de despojo en la propuesta neodesarrollista mexicana para enfrentar las crisis múltiples acentuadas por la pandemia de la COVID-19. Con el método cualitativo narrativo aplicado a procesos sociales, se analizan cuatro megaproyectos de infraestructura y extractivistas. Las políticas neodesarrollistas del gobierno actual insisten en realizar obras como una estrategia para crear empleos, reactivar la economía y fomentar el bienestar, especialmente para la región sureste con altos índices de desigualdad socioeconómica. Los hallazgos señalan un incremento en la inversión y en la generación de empleos pero también un rechazo de varias comunidades y organizaciones que consideran que sus formas de vida están siendo amenazadas frente a los esfuerzos del gobierno neodesarrollista por construir megaproyectos antes y durante la pandemia.


Cet article analyse les modalités extractivistes et de dépossession incluses dans la proposition néo-développementaliste mexicaine afin de faire face aux crises multiples accentuées par la pandémie de Covid-19. Avec la méthode narrative qualitative appliquée aux processus sociaux, quatre mégaprojets d'infrastructures et d'extraction sont analysés. Les politiques néo-développementalistes du gouvernement actuel insistent sur la réalisation de travaux comme stratégie pour créer des emplois, réactiver l'économie et promouvoir le bien-être, en particulier pour la région du sud-est qui connaît des taux élevés d'inégalités socio-économiques. Les résultats indiquent une augmentation des investissements et de la création d'emplois, mais aussi un rejet de la part de diverses communautés et organisations qui considèrent que leurs modes de vie sont menacés par les efforts du gouvernement néo-développementaliste pour construire des mégaprojets avant et pendant la pandémie.

Open access

The Cultural Industries of the North through the Eyes of Young Russians

A Report on the Experience of Network Collaboration between Universities

Marina Maguidovitch and Lena Sidorova

Beginning in the late 1920s, the central driving force responsible for the preparation of specialists for work in the Northern, Siberian, and Far Eastern regions of the Russian Federation has been the Herzen State Pedagogical University of Russia, St. Petersburg (Herzen University), primarily led by the Institute of the Peoples of the North. Here, linguists are trained in twenty-three languages of Northern indigenous minorities. Notably, several languages of these minority groups—such as Nganasan, Dolgan, Itelmen, Enets, Ul’ta—are taught only here. The university also provides training in the field of traditional cultures of indigenous peoples (methods of traditional applied arts and crafts of the peoples of the North; dance and musical folklore; museology, etc.).

However, not all experts in Northern studies are aware of the educational programs and scientific schools within the Department of Theory and History of Culture at Herzen University, under which the committee for the defense of doctoral and candidate dissertations has been working jointly with the Institute of the Peoples of the North for thirty years. The chairman of the council, doctor of arts, Professor L. M. Mosolova is the founder of the department and the head of the scientific school for the study of the culture of the regions of Russia, the countries of Northern Europe, and Eurasia. A significant amount of research completed by students—from undergraduate to postgraduate levels—is dedicated to the history and current issues of the various regions of Russia, including Siberia, the Far East, and Northern Europe.

Open access

Denise Soares


The article approaches community water management in the rural town of El Mirador, Puebla, Mexico, from the political ecology perspective. To answer the question of how community water committees face the challenges of water management at the local level, we combine quantitative and qualitative methodologies. The results indicate that community households face lack of access to water, and the community committee manages the water from normative, technical, ecological and symbolic spheres, without having technical or financial support from the municipality, acting autonomously. We conclude that the norms established for the management of the resource of common use are consensual, which has fostered both sustainability in the use of water and the strengthening of community ties.


Este artículo aborda la gestión comunitaria del agua en la localidad rural El Mirador, Puebla, México, desde la perspectiva de la ecología política. Para contestar la pregunta: ¿cómo los comités comunitarios enfrentan los retos de la gestión del agua a nivel local? combinamos metodología cuantitativa y cualitativa, dado que una permite generalizar y otra profundizar relaciones. Los resultados indican que los hogares de la comunidad enfrentan la carencia de acceso al agua y el comité comunitario gestiona el líquido desde ámbitos normativos, técnicos, ecológicos y simbólicos, sin contar con el apoyo del municipio. Concluimos que las normas establecidas para el manejo del recurso de uso común son consensuadas, lo cual ha propiciado tanto sostenibilidad en el uso del agua como el fortalecimiento de lazos comunitarios.


Cet article évoque la gestion de l'eau dans la communauté rurale d'El Mirador, au Mexique, abordée dans une perspective d'écologie politique. Il répond à la question suivante : comment les comités communautaires font-ils face aux défis locaux de la gestion de l'eau? Nous combinons les méthodologies quantitative et qualitative, l'une nous permettant de généraliser et l'autre, d'approfondir les relations. Les résultats indiquent que les familles assument le défaut d'accès à l'eau et que le comité communautaire gère les aspects normatifs, techniques, écologiques et symboliques, sans soutien de la municipalité. Nous concluons que les normes établies autour de la gestion de l'eau sont consensuelles, ce qui a favorisé la durabilité dans l'utilisation de l'eau et le renforcement des liens communautaires.

Free access

Oded Haklai and Adia Mendelson-Maoz

We are honored to introduce our inaugural issue as editors of the Israel Studies Review. For just over a decade, the journal was in the most competent hands of Yoram Peri and Paul Scham and their team at the University of Maryland. Under their leadership, the journal changed its name, transitioned to three issues per year, and enhanced its status as a leading scholarly journal in the area of Israel Studies, providing a scholarly platform to a diverse array of perspectives from multiple disciplines. Yoram and Paul themselves built on the foundations laid by Ilan Peleg, who transformed the journal from a newsletter to a full-fledged, peer-reviewed academic periodical. We are fully cognizant of the very big shoes we have to fill!

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Female Politicians’ Gendered Communicative Structures

A Multimodal Combination of Masculine Verbal and Feminine Nonverbal Patterns

Tsfira Grebelsky-Lichtman and Keren Mabar

Recently there has been growing number of women running for national political positions. This study presents multimodal gender communicative-structures of female politicians. We analyzed 80 political interviews by all female politicians who ran for the 20th Knesset in Israel (n=40). The findings revealed novel integrated structures that combine masculine-verbal and feminine-nonverbal communicative-patterns. Unexpectedly, the adaptation of the mixed multimodal communicativestructure was strongly correlated with power, particularly in terms of seniority. In contemporary political communication, the inclusion of feminine-nonverbal communicative-patterns is a manifestation of political strength rather than of weakness. However, female politicians from cultural minorities express masculine-verbal and nonverbal communication-patterns, constituting the traditional communication-pattern of female politicians, which assumes that the key to female politicians’ success is adopting masculine communicative-structure.