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Beyond (and Before) the Transnational Turn

Recovering Civil Disobedience as Decolonizing Praxis

Erin Pineda

Can civil disobedience be transnationalized? This question presumes civil disobedience to be a fundamentally domestic concept—one constitutively tied to both the nation-state and the normative underpinnings of liberal, constitutional democracies. This article shows how this assumption mistakes one version of civil disobedience’s twentieth-century intellectual history for the whole of it, and risks reproducing binaries (domestic vs. international, democracies vs. non-democracies) that trouble attempts to theorize the transnational. Turning to an alternative intellectual history—a network of civil rights and anticolonial activists—reveals a novel theory of civil disobedience as decolonizing praxis, as well the stakes of these binaries: the disavowal of white supremacy as pervasive and durable global structure of governance, linking the domestic to the international, and democratic rule to domination.

Open access

Karuna Mantena, Adom Getachew, Sofia Näsström, and Jason Frank

Theorizing the Democratic Crowd: From the Who to the How of Popular Assembly

From the Boundaries of the People to their Enactment: A New Terrain for Democratic Theory

Popular Sovereignty, Aesthetics, and Emancipation

Beyond the Age of Democratic Revolution

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Kirsty Carpenter

Britain sheltered thousands of French refugees fleeing the Revolution. Relief organized on their behalf was unique at the time because it included both charitable and government-funded aid to temporary foreign residents. Resources were channeled through nongovernmental voluntary bodies in the French community and distributed by Jean-François de la Marche, the exiled Bishop of Saint Pol de Léon. The emigrants of the 1790s were agents of their own survival, but they also depended on diverse forms of support in host countries. That story has clear parallels in our own time. Eighteenth-century British relief also served as a precursor for subsequent humanitarian funding for victims of war and persecution.

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Cancer Prevention in Brazil

A Socio-Conceptual-Moral History of Medical Concepts

Luiz Alves Araújo Neto

This article discusses possible dialogues between medical history and the history of concepts, suggesting that a “socio-conceptual-moral” history of medicine offers insightful elements for the historical analysis of conceptual change. Drawing mainly from Reinhart Koselleck’s Begriffsgeschichte and Ludwik Fleck’s theory of knowledge, I focus on three points of the “socio-conceptual-moral” perspective: the approach to medical statements as part of a semantic field, the interaction between a formulated concept and its practice, and negotiations about the meanings of medical concepts between different social arenas. I take the history of cancer prevention in Brazil as a case study to discuss these three aspects and emphasize the situated character of conceptual change. The article analyzes the period between the 1960s and the 1990s when substantial changes in the conceptual framework of cancer prevention confronted continuities in public health and medicine practices, policies, and institutions.

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Michael Boyden, Ali Basirat, and Karl Berglund

This article offers an exploratory quantitative analysis of the conceptual career of climate in US English over the period 1800–2010. Our aim is to qualify two, closely related arguments circulating in Environmental Humanities scholarship regarding the concept’s history, namely that we only started to think of climate as a global entity aft er the introduction of general circulation models during the final quarter of the twentieth century, and, second, that climatic change only became an issue of environmental concern once scientists began to approach climate as a global model. While we do not dispute that the computer revolution resulted in a significantly new understanding of climate, our analysis points to a longer process of singularization and growing abstraction starting in the early nineteenth century that might help to nuance and deepen insights developed in environmental history.

Open access

The Duties to Protest and to Listen to Protest

Communicative Resistance, Enabler’s Responsibility, and Echoing

José Medina

This article argues that the duties to protest and to listen to protest are central democratic obligations required for active citizenship. Section 1 sketches protest as communicative resistance. Section 2 argues that we always have a duty to listen to felicitous protests against injustice and that, under conditions of social uprising, we also have a duty to protest. Section 3 defends a view of protest participation that takes into account subjects’ positionality with respect to the injustice being protested, arguing for the special prerogatives of victims and the duties to defer and yield of non-victims within protest movements. Finally, Section 4 elucidates the notion of giving proper uptake to protest and what I call echoing a protest, that is, expressing communicative solidarity with that protest.

Free access

Émigrés and Migrations during the French Revolution

Identities, Economics, Social Exchanges, and Humanitarianism

Lloyd Kramer

The French Revolution profoundly influenced many of the ideas and institutions that created the modern world. This far-reaching revolutionary upheaval drew widely on eighteenth-century Enlightenment culture to construct and spread modern ideas about human rights, republicanism, legal equality, nationalism, and the value of scientific knowledge. At the same time, France’s revolutionary leaders began to create new institutions that France and other modern countries would use to develop large state bureaucracies, mass conscription armies, centralized monetary and taxation systems, nationwide legal codes and police surveillance, carefully orchestrated public rituals, and new plans for public education.

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Enterprising Émigrés of the Channel Islands

French Economic Migration under “Refugeedom” during the French Revolution

Sydney Watts

During the French Revolution, thousands of French refugees migrated through the Channel borderlands. At least four thousand settled there. The Channel Island of Jersey served as the loci of migration where economic life operated under “refugeedom,” a polity both apart from and particular to state authority. Refugeedom—in its alterity—suggests a matrix of economic conditions, legal codes, and social relations that can explain the lives of people in the French Revolution’s emigration. This study of economic migration offers a way to reframe the French emigration as opportunism and resilience. Refugeedom serves as the analytic framework to understand economic migration, not only as a political crisis of displaced people in the midst of revolution—those seeking refuge from war, persecution, famine, and other hardships—but also as part of a strategy of survival, one that includes the economic migration of labor.

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Genesis of Populism

Its Russian Sediments and Its Updating in Latin America in Historical-Conceptual Key

Claudio Sergio Ingerflom

The article discusses the dominant approaches to populism and, in particular, the origins of the term and the practice of the Russian movement that embodied it. From the sources, it reconstructs the genesis and logic of the concept in a historical-conceptual perspective and the journey of the concept from Russia through China to Latin America. The legitimacy of Russian populism emerges from the relationship between the concept and factual history. In the Russian historical structure (end of the eighteenth century—first decades of the twentieth century), elements such as the preponderance of the concept of “people” over that of “class,” the rejection of politics, society conceived as a confrontation between the people and a tiny minority, and others that have been updated, without being identical, in today’s world, can be observed. Taking into account this updating reveals the historicity of the concept and its current legitimacy.

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Heinrich Gomperz and “Vienna Contextualism”

Historical Epistemology and Logical Empiricism

Luke O’Sullivan

Austrian philosopher Heinrich Gomperz attempted to reconcile the Vienna Circle’s project of a unified science with the autonomy of historical knowledge. This article situates him in the context of the ongoing reassessment of the Vienna Circle in the history of philosophy. It argues that Gomperz’s synthesis of positivism with historicity was a response to difficulties raised by Rudolf Carnap and Otto von Neurath. Gomperz achieved his reconciliation via a theory of language and action that had affinities with both neo-Kantian and pragmatist thought, combining Dilthey’s hermeneutics with Carnap’s requirements for scientific propositions.