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Open access

The State of Emergency at Home

House Arrests, House Searches, and Intimacies in France

Flora Hergon

This article focuses on the massive house searches and house arrests that occurred during the state of emergency in France between 2015 and 2017. It draws from critical studies on counterterrorism as well as sociology of the intimate to analyze the aftermath of these measures on the Muslim households that experienced these procedures without being sentenced afterward. It examines how house arrests and searches redefine the respondents’ relationships to their domestic space and local environment as these places become spaces of fear, surveillance, discipline, and self-control. The analysis reveals a set of embodied and discursive strategies to prove an innocence that implies a reappropriation of state categories around social integration and the promotion of an acceptable and non-suspect religiosity.

Open access

Telling Tales?

Subjective Ethnography and Situated Narratives in Longitudinal Research on Violence in Nicaragua

Dennis Rodgers

The ethnographic representation of violence is a controversial issue, involving debates about (avoiding) sensationalism or (acknowledging) emotionality, for example. Less considered is how the subjective nature of ethnography and the fact that ethnographic narratives are always situated can have ramifications for both interpreting and representing violence, particularly in the context of longitudinal ethnographic research. Drawing on my investigations into Nicaraguan gang dynamics begun in 1996, this article explores the subjectivity of the longitudinal ethnographic experience of violence both in and out of “the field” through three specific examples. These highlight in different ways how ethnographic understanding is highly situational and time-bound, meaning that longitudinal research is particularly prone to episodes of discomfiting conceptual disjuncture. At the same time, it is precisely this that arguably imbues it with exceptional power and insight.

Open access

Times of Violence

The Shifting Temporalities of Long-Term Ethnographic Engagement with Burundi

Simon Turner

Over the past two decades, I have done ethnographic fieldwork amongst Burundians in Burundi and in exile, exploring the different ways they deal with the violence that the country has witnessed over the decades. In this article I follow my tracks back and forth and in and out of the country, reflecting on the advantages and challenges of long-term engagement. At a conceptual level, I propose that while violence is indeed lodged in a social context, violent events create a momentary temporal rupture, thereby dislodging meaning from its local context of understanding. My methodological contribution is to explore how long-term engagements, revisits, and diachronic comparisons in ethnography may help us understand violence and violent events. I explore how violent events have affected the past, the present, and the future, causing those who experience it to reorient their understanding not only of their pasts but also of their anticipations for the future.

Open access

“What about Last Time?”

Exploring Potentiality in Danish Young Women’s Violent Conflicts

Ann-Karina Henriksen

The article explores how violence as actuality and potentiality shapes the lives of Danish at-risk girls and young women. The article draws on seven months of ethnographic fieldwork in Copenhagen and includes 25 girls and young women aged 13 to 23 who have all experienced using physical violence. Centering on a single young woman’s narrative, violence is analyzed as a meaningful social practice intimately linked to navigating violent social terrains and managing precarious everyday lives characterized by instability and marginalization. Drawing on the concept of potentiality, it is argued that violent interactions are shaped by both the fear of oncoming danger and the desire for powerful social positions. This perspective opens a micro-longitudinal perspective, which explores situational dynamics of violence through time, hereby contributing to micro-sociological studies of violence.

Open access

Alena Minchenia

Abstract

This article analyzes divisions within Belarusian protest communities by focusing on a particular group: the professional protesters. In Belarus, this group occupies a crucial position in between the international structures of democracy promotion and the internal attempts of political mobilization against the politics of President Aliaksandr Lukashenka. Performativity as an analytical perspective is employed to define positionality of professional protesters in relation to other political subjects and within the system of democracy promotion. The article shows implications of neoliberal rationality for social and political changes for protest communities in Belarus. It argues that the financial assistance obtained by protest professionals, as well as nondemocratic leadership style of the oppositional leaders, fills the Belarusian protest field with suspicions and accusations, add to a hierarchical and exclusionary way of participation in decision-making, and alienate activists from protest politics.

Open access

Leyla Neyzi, Nida Alahmad, Nina Gren, Martha Lagace, Chelsey Ancliffe, and Susanne Bregnbæk

Sacrificial Limbs: Masculinity, Disability, and Political Violence in Turkey, By Salih Can Açıksöz. Berkeley: University of California Press, 2019. 272 pp. 19 illus. Paperback. ISBN 978-0-5203-0530-4.

For the Love of Humanity: The World Tribunal on Iraq, By Ayça Çubukçu. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2018. 240 pp. 7 illus. Hardcover. ISBN 978-0-8122-5050-3.

Life Lived in Relief: Humanitarian Predicaments and Palestinian Refugee Politics, By Ilana Feldman. Berkeley: University of California Press, 2018. 320 pp. 20 illus. Hardcover. ISBN: 978-0-520-29963-4.

Peaceful Selves: Personhood, Nationhood, and the Post-Conflict Moment in Rwanda, By Laura Eramian. New York: Berghahn Books, 2019. 202 pp. 3 illus. Paperback. ISBN: 978-1-78920-493-3.

Counterrevolution: The Global Rise of the Far Right, By Walden Bello. Blackpoint: Fernwood Publishing, 2019. 196 pp. Paperback. ISBN: 978-1-77363-221-6.

Critique of Identity Thinking, By Michael Jackson. New York: Berghahn Books., 2019. 207 pp. Hardcover. ISBN 978-1-78920-282-3.

Open access

Curating Conflict

Four Exhibitions on Jerusalem

Sa'ed Atshan and Katharina Galor

Abstract

This article compares four Jerusalem exhibits in different geographical and political contexts: at the Tower of David Museum in Jerusalem, the Palestinian Museum in Birzeit, the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, and the Jewish Museum Berlin. It examines the role of heritage narrative, focusing specifically on the question of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, which is either openly engaged or alternatively avoided. In this regard, we specifically highlight the asymmetric power dynamics as a result of Israel's occupation of East Jerusalem, and how this political reality is addressed or avoided in the respective exhibits. Finally, we explore the agency of curators in shaping knowledge and perspective and study the role of the visitors community. We argue that the differences in approaches to exhibiting the city's cultural heritage reveals how museums are central sites for the politics of the human gaze, where significant decisions are made regarding inclusion and exclusion of conflict.

Open access

Eluding the Esculacho

A Masculinities Perspective on the Enduring Warrior Ethos of Rio de Janeiro's Police

Celina Myrann Sørbøe

Abstract

The Police “Pacification” Unit (Unidade de Polícia Pacificadora—UPP) program in Rio de Janeiro pledged to pacify both militarized police officers and the communities they patrolled: favelas occupied by armed drug traffickers. While the UPPs promoted a softer approach, police practices remained permeated with logics of violence. In understanding why, this article examines how an enduring “warrior ethos” influences the occupational culture of the police. I frame this warrior ethos by reference to notions of masculinity and honor both in the police culture and in the favela, and approach the warrior as a masculine performance. This masculinities perspective on the ways in which policing activities are framed and enacted provides important insights into why it was so difficult to change police attitudes and practices.

Open access

Emergent Police States

Racialized Pacification and Police Moralism from Rio's Favelas to Bolsonaro

Tomas Salem and Bjørn Enge Bertelsen

Abstract

The Pacifying Police Units, rolled out in Rio de Janeiro ahead of the 2016 Summer Olympics, were part of a police intervention conceived to end the logic of war that characterized the city's public security policies. As such, it adopted “soft” strategies of policing aimed at reducing violence and asserting state sovereignty in “pacified” favelas. Drawing on a postcolonial framework of analysis, we argue that these favelas can be understood as sites for experiments in imperial statecraft, where a new set of socio-moral relations that we call police moralism were inscribed onto spaces and bodies. Pacification, in this context, means the reassertion of Brazil's historical racial order. In our conclusion, we read the moral order implemented in the favelas as a prefiguration of President Jair Bolsonaro's right-wing authoritarianism on a national scale.

Open access

Introduction

Performance, Power, Exclusion, and Expansion in Anthropological Accounts of Protests

Aet Annist

Abstract

This introductory article offers a theoretical frame for the current special section, discussing protests’ value for analyzing performance, power, expansion, and exclusion, and contributes its own case study from the ongoing anti-logging protests in Estonia. While arising from power imbalances, protests hold powerful tools for achieving their aims. The introduction considers protests’ ability to expand in space, through time, and beyond topics, and to capture wider support, creating communities in the process. At the same time, considering the contexts of protests, it also demonstrates how such movements get caught up in the normative features of human sociality, reproducing the existing power relations, including those the protests aim to challenge. The Estonian case study enables further insight into this by analyzing dispossessions that protests both aggravate and suffer from.