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Law Abiding Citizens

On Popular Support for the Illegal Killing of Wolves

Olve Krange, Erica von Essen, and Ketil Skogen


Conflicts over wolf management are a stable feature of Norwegian public debate. In some segments of the population, nature management, and especially predator management, have a very low legitimacy. A strong expression of these controversies is the illegal killing of wolves, a practice sufficiently extensive to impact wolf population size. In several studies, the killing of wolves is interpreted as politically motivated resistance/crime of dissent. This study contributes to the research field by examining the support for such illegal actions. We ask if the Norwegian public find such illegal actions to be acceptable or not. Analysis shows that acceptance joins a broader pattern of controversies, expressed by phenomena such as xenophobia, climate change denial, anti-elitism, and low confidence in institutions working to preserve nature.

Open access

Left in the Cold

The Mirage of Marriage and Family Law Reform in Post-Colonial Mali

Bruce Whitehouse


Located in Africa's Sahel region, the Republic of Mali enjoyed various fruits of its transition to political pluralism and liberal economic restructuring from the 1990s to the early 2000s. When the Malian government sought to amend civil laws governing marriage and family life, and eliminate legal discrimination against women, however, it faced considerable political opposition. Islamic civil society groups capitalised on men's heightened anxieties to claim a more assertive role in the national public sphere. Subsequent legal reforms constituted a clear political victory for political Islamism in the country and a corresponding setback for Western-backed women's organisations. Tracing the evolution of Malian marriage and family law from the 1960s to the 2020s, this article argues that conflicting notions of what it means to protect women, coupled with the structural failings of Mali's post-colonial state, have stymied efforts to ensure women's rights within a secular, egalitarian legal framework.

Open access

Making an Ecological Trap

Capturing the Potentiality of iPS Cells in Japan

Wakana Suzuki


Inspired by recent discussions of ‘traps’ among STS and anthropology scholars, this article explores how Japanese scientists capture iPS (induced pluripotent stem) cells to take advantage of their potentialities. Since iPS cells are tiny, unstable, and permeable, humans cannot intervene directly to transform their morphology and nature. Making a proper environment for their thriving—in other words, creating a trap—is the only way for humans to successfully harness and direct the cells’ potentiality. Based on long-term fieldwork in one laboratory, I suggest that the technologies, institutions, and laws that mediate between humans and cells can be understood as a series of ‘ecological traps’. Ultimately, iPS cells resist unilateral standardization and commercialization, forcing humans to adapt their own behaviors and governing systems to accommodate cells.

Open access

Peter Lugosi, Thiago Allis, Marcos Ferreira, Eanne Palacio Leite, Aluizio Pessoa, and Ross Forman

This article examines how migrants create value through food-and hospitality-related enterprises, focusing on the ways in which they exercise their agency in mobilizing various cultural resources and on how their organizational practices intersect with identity work. Drawing on empirical research conducted in São Paulo, Brazil, it explores how specific dishes, knowledge of food, recipes, craft skills, and migration histories are transformed into valued cultural resources in these kinds of enterprises. The article explores three themes: first, how foods become “pliable heritage” through migrants’ identity work; second, how migrants’ ongoing identity work shapes their activities and experiences in food and hospitality businesses; and third, how migrants’ individual identity work is entangled in collective interests and the activities of a wider set of (migrant) stakeholders.

Open access

A moral turn in finance?

Labeling, purpose, and the morality of markets

Giulia Dal Maso, Aneil Tripathy, and Marc Brightman


With the use of financial technologies to address social and environmental problems, the global finance industry now has a new proclaimed moral aim. While impact and sustainable and climate finance are promising new frontiers for the management of social and environmental public concerns, a closer scrutiny reveals a more complex picture than the industry's surface narratives. Here, new forms of finance extraction legitimize the reproduction of old power hierarchies. We explore the historical trajectory of financial moralities, situating these within the history of capitalism. This special section explores the articulation of a growing sustainability–finance nexus across intersecting institutional, political, and cultural contexts. The contributions included document ethnographically how emergent preoccupations about concrete environmental and social outcomes generate new kinds of financial products, transactions, and financial subjectivities.

Open access

Mourning at New Year's Day (Nowruz)

Cultural Practice against Ideology

Reinhold L. Loeffler and Erika Friedl


As Persian Muslims, Iranians observe Old Persian rituals in the solar calendar, such as the spring equinox, as well as Islamic rituals in the lunar calendar, such as mourning the martyr's death of Imam Huseyn. In 2006, the dates coincided, causing distress as people tried to combine the demands of a joyful, life-affirming tradition with that of a religious ideology that allowed no compromise. Living in a tribal village at that time, we recorded people's reactions and their solutions to the problem of doing right by both the demands of their tradition and those of a government-enforced ideology of martyrdom that moved the affair from the cultural and practical plane to the political and ideological plane.

Open access

Steven Sampson

Marek Mikuš. Frontiers of civil society: Government and hegemony in Serbia. New York: Berghahn Books, 2018.

Theodora Vetta. Democracy struggles: NGOs and the politics of aid in Serbia. New York: Berghahn Books, 2019.

Open access

Of Marriage, Divorce and Criminalisation

Reflections on the Triple Talaq Judgement in India

Anindita Chakrabarti, K. C. Mujeebu Rahman, and Suchandra Ghosh


In India, where religion-specific laws govern issues of marriage, divorce, maintenance, adoption and inheritance, the family laws of Muslims – the largest religious minority – have been a thorny issue in the post-independence period. In recent years, the major intervention in Muslim personal law reform came in the form of the invalidation of instant divorce or triple talaq by the Supreme Court of India. Subsequently, a law was passed that criminalised it. By delving into a close examination of recent judicial activism and by drawing on our ethnographic work with Muslim women in India, we show that it is only by refocussing the debate from judicial discourse to legal practice that the trope of Muslim women's victimhood and the tired debates about religious freedom versus citizenship rights can be questioned and bypassed.

Open access

The Patrols’ City

Vigilance and Intimacy on Barcelona’s Streets

Corina Tulbure

In Barcelona, in the name of convivencia (a concept that means togetherness, conviviality, public order), various municipal services have created teams to patrol the city. These are “proximity” services, a type of social vigilance managed by social patrols who aim to survey specific areas in Barcelona within which poor, illegalized, and racialized people, move, work, and live. Drawing on ethnographic notes and interviews with the patrols and people affected by this “proximity” vigilance, I show how institutional vigilance produces insecurity and perceptions of conflicts. In addition, this vigilant presence disrupts the intimacy of affected people, taking away their autonomy and producing alienation. Paradoxically, in the name of convivencia, the vigilance of illegalized and racialized people produces their isolation from the city, creating a social and racial order.

Open access

Pax Regis

Patronage, charisma, and ethno-religious coexistence in a Spanish enclave in North Africa

Brian Campbell


The people of Ceuta see their town as an exemplary model of coexistence between Christians, Muslims, Jews, and Hindus. This “convivencia” is described as the brainchild of their mayor-president, who funds clients to enact his charismatic vision. Anthropology is sensitive to the moral ambiguities of patron–client relations but has overlooked the role of charisma in the reproduction of patronage. This article explores the theoretical and political implications of a process by which convivencia-patronage becomes seen as the extension of the patron's charisma. Obscuring the historical dimensions of power, charisma blocks nuanced discussion toward the colonial legacy of convivencia as a way of controlling suspect minorities. It prevents change by channeling resistance toward the removal of the mayor-president, not the structures that enabled his rise.