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Editors' Note

We write this only two weeks after the 2015 Israeli elections, as newly reelected Prime Minister Netanyahu is starting to put together his new government. Although reams of journalistic prose have already provided all sorts of analyses, many more months of research are needed before significant academic papers analyzing the election campaign and outcomes will be published. Thus, we offer some preliminary observations on the election and its larger significance.

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Introduction

Approaching Perpetrators

Erin Jessee

The rationale for this special section of Conflict and Society lies in anthropology’s relatively recent and steadily growing application to the study of political violence in its various manifestations, from everyday instances of subtle structural violence to more overt cases of war and mass atrocities. In the late 1990s, Carolyn Nordstrom’s (1997) work among soldiers and ordinary civilians whose lives had been intimately affected by Mozambique’s civil war and Antonius Robben’s (1996) work among survivors and perpetrators of Argentina’s Dirty War enabled an important shift among ethnographers. Whereas in the past ethnographers typically focused on violence and warfare in substate and prestate societies, Nordstrom and Robben emphasized the foundations of political violence in complex state societies. Their work led to the emergence of a small cohort of ethnographers—among them Philippe Bourgois (2003), Nancy Scheper-Hughes (1997, 2002), and Neil Whitehead (2002, 2004)—specialized in what was soon termed “the ethnography of political violence”

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Introduction

Sovereignty and Social Contestation—Between Violence and Alternative Sociocultural Orders

Martijn Oosterbaan and Wil G. Pansters

In the past decade, the concept of sovereignty has swiftly risen in popularity within anthropological circles, especially in relation to violence in postcolonial and post-authoritarian societies (Das and Poole 2004). The rationale of this section is rooted in the aspiration to build on and further develop anthropological understandings of conflict and violence centered on the notion of sovereignty. Whereas the contributors to the section are indebted to theoretical approaches influenced by the writings of Agamben (1998, 2005), they also present analytic advantages and shortcomings. For instance, a recent critique of Agamben’s notion of sovereignty—and of many of his followers—is that it reproduces totalitarian notions of modern politics that cannot account for the historical existence of “ordered” communities “free from subjection, and … free from subjecting others” (Jennings 2011: 43).

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Benchmarks for a truly universal Post-2015 Agenda for Sustainable Development

Jens Martens

Kapuscinski Development Lecture/Keynote Address of the 2014 Conference of the Consortium for Comparative Research on Regional Integration and Social Cohesion (RISC) University of Helsinki, Finland, 29 October 2014.

“Post-2015” is the “flavor of the day”; it is currently right in the center of the development discourse. The United Nations, governments, civil society organizations, researchers, and even business people are currently discussing what will come aft er the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). As you all know, the reference period for the MDGs will expire in 2015, and this is the reason why the world community is now engaged in the task of formulating an agenda for the following period. But this Post-2015 Agenda can and must be much more than just an updated list of MDGs.

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Introduction to the Leadership Forum

2015: A decisive year for development?

Harlan Koff and Carmen Maganda

The Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) mean many things to many people. Public debates have recognized the critical role they played in helping the topic of development, the related struggle against poverty and its environmental implications to emerge in the collective consciousness of global actors. In fact, diminishing the number of people living in extreme poverty by half, the main priority of the MDGs, is the most notable success of this political process that began with the Millennium Development Summit in 2000. At the same time, the MDGs have been heavily criticized by leaders and academics for being indicator-driven and, in some cases, unrealistic. It still seems that five of the eight MDGs will not be met before the goals expire in 2015.

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Reflexiones sobre la importancia de una educación holística dentro de un proyecto de comunidad sostenible

Gibran Cervantes

*Full article is in Spanish

Mi nombre es Gibran Cervantes, soy padre de tres hermosas niñas, empresario, músico de profesión y un apasionado en temas de conservación de la naturaleza. Hace 15 años después de perder la estabilidad de mi salud a raíz de un accidente, decidí reorientar el rumbo de mi vida para comenzar a formarme a nivel profesional de manera independiente, fuera de las instituciones, ya que mi manera de aprender no se ajustaba a las estructuras educativas convencionales y no despertaron gran interés en mí en ese entonces. Por otra parte, mi estado físico no me permitía asistir con regularidad a la universidad. De este modo decidí comenzar un viaje de reconstrucción. Gracias al apoyo de amigos y de colegas pude desarrollarme en distintas áreas y entendí la manera en que debía articular distintas disciplinas para lograr la integración de un proyecto polifacético, el cual hoy con gusto quiero compartirles.

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Editors' Note

We are writing this note in late July, during a temporary cease-fire in this summer’s Gaza War, and wondering how and when this particular subwar will end. We dare not even think about long-range peace solution in the current circumstances.

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Entrevista a la Sra. Evangelina Arce, activista social y madre de Silvia Arce, desaparecida en Ciudad Juárez en 1998

Evangelina Arce

*Full article is in Spanish

En octubre 2013, la Asociación de Latinoamericanistas en Bélgica y Luxemburgo (LABEL) organizó su conferencia internacional anual sobre “Seguridad Humana y Medioambiental en regiones transfronterizas: Aproximaciones multidisciplinarias para América Latina”. Dentro de un contexto de diálogo académico y social en temas de seguridad humana, los organizadores de la conferencia invitaron a la Señora Evangelina Arce y al Profesor Alfredo Limas Hernández para discutir sobre el tema de las mujeres desaparecidas en la Ciudad Juárez (México). LABEL agradece a la Señora Arce por compartir sus experiencias y al Profesor Limas Hernández por brindar su análisis. Dentro de este contexto de diálogo académico previamente mencionado, los organizadores de la conferencia de la Universidad de Luxemburgo están complacidos de publicar estos escritos en Regions & Cohesion.

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(In)seguridad humana, violencia feminicida, democracia y capital

Del desarrollo y la democracia frente a la violación de los derechos de las mujeres y niñas Juárez, México, 2008–2013

Alfredo Limas Hernández

*Full article is in Spanish

Este texto aborda la situación de inseguridad y violencia, sobre todo hacia las mujeres, que persisten en Ciudad Juárez (México) así como la situación de victimización (i.e. desapariciones) que padecen las mujeres de cierto per fil social. Amplios sectores de la población juarense sobreviven con escasos derechos y garantías dentro de un marco de violencia sociopolítica en los últimos veinte años, en particular, entre 2008–2012, periodo de “la guerra contra la delincuencia y el narcotrá fico”, del sexenio del Gobierno Federal de Felipe Calderón Hinojosa (2006–2012). Ante una emergente fractura del estado de derecho, con políticas que restringen el bienestar, se incrementa la inseguridad y la victimización para ciertas categorías culturales vulnerables. Dentro de este contexto valga preguntar ¿qué significa ese contexto de violencia social y política para la construcción de la ciudadanía y de la cultura de derechos humanos y de su vigencia?

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Introduction to the Leadership Forum

Harlan Koff and Carmen Maganda

Security is one of the most salient issues in Latin America today. Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos won re-election in June 2014 in a vote that was essentially a referendum on the peace negotiations that he has established with the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC acronym in Spanish) in hopes of ending Colombia’s decades-old civil war. Simultaneously, Mexico has witnessed further upheaval as citizens in some areas have taken up arms, and received support from the federal government, in opposition to drug cartels. These are only two examples of high profile developments in Latin America related to security issues.