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Diasporas as Audiences of Securitization

Jewish American Diaspora and BDS

Ronnie Olesker


This study conceptually develops and analytically examines the role and function of diasporas as audiences in the securitization process by examining the American Jewish Diaspora in Israel's securitization of Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS). It argues that Israel's use of antisemitism as a metanarrative for the securitization of the BDS movement incorporates diasporic Jews as internal audiences in the securitization process. Audiences, however, are not monolithic. While homeland Jews, including both elites and the public, tend to support Israel's securitization process, American Jews are split; the elite support the process but public opinion is far less sympathetic to Israeli constructions of BDS as a threat. The disparity between audiences’ reactions weakens the support for Israel's counter-BDS policies and undermines its securitization process.

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Editors’ Note

Oded Haklai and Adia Mendelsohn-Maoz

The current issue features a special section dedicated to the study of the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) movement. One would be hard-pressed to identify issues that currently stir more passionate contestation and stronger emotions in academic circles than the BDS campaign in the groves of academe. Views on this issue vary considerably and have been keenly articulated in multiple and diverse outlets. Some view BDS as a legitimate, nonviolent campaign in support of the Palestinians; some find it threatening to academic freedom; and some identify the singling out of Israel as an expression of antisemitism.

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Explaining Non-Diasporic Mobilizations for Distant Causes

A Comparative Study of the Palestinian and Kurdish Struggles

David Zarnett


While the Palestinian struggle has received widespread support from non-Palestinian activists across North America and Europe, the Kurdish struggle in Turkey, which is similar to the Palestinian cause in important ways, has not received such extensive support from non-Kurdish activists. Existing explanations do not fully account for this difference. I argue that this variation in non-diasporic support is in part a product of the impact that differences between the Palestinian and Kurdish diasporas in the West have had on how each group has sought to mobilize grassroots support for their cause. The small size and internal divisions of the Palestinian diaspora incentivized Palestinian activists to focus on recruiting non-Palestinians, creating the conditions for their mobilization. The larger size and greater degree of organization of the Kurdish diaspora incentivized Kurdish activists to focus primarily on mobilizing their ethnic kin and less on recruiting non-Kurds, resulting in relatively little non-Kurdish support.

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A Game of Whac-A-Mole

The BDS Movement and Its Fluidity across International Political Opportunity Structures

Naama Lutz


This article focuses on the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) movement's utilization of ‘fluidity,’ conceptualized as the ability to adapt campaign tactics to multiple arenas and political opportunity structures simultaneously. Framing BDS as both a social movement and a transnational advocacy network, it demonstrates the movement's fluidity in the context of three campaigns: the campaign at the 65th FIFA (Federation Internationale de Football Association) congress in 2015, which illustrates an ‘outsider’ strategy aimed at intergovernmental institutions; the 2014 Olive Declaration of municipalities endorsing BDS, which illustrates how local ‘insider’ campaigns can combine to create a translocal campaign; and the ‘Ferguson-Gaza moment’ in 2014, which illustrates how movements can engage at the level of civil society and embed themselves in the broader global justice movement.

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The Palestinians, Israel, and BDS

Strategies and Struggles in Wars of Position

Ian S. Lustick and Nathaniel Shils


Israel and the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions movement (BDS) have been in conflict within one another for nearly two decades. In this article we compare trajectories of Palestinian-led BDS mobilization and Israeli-led counter-mobilization by deploying two theoretical perspectives, a rationalist, strategic learning model and a political competition model. We find that the difference in balance of power on each side between state and civil society led to strategic convergence by Israel in its counter-BDS efforts but not (yet at any rate) on the Palestinian side. We locate BDS as an example of a transnational boycott movement and identify patterns in its conflict with Israel observed in association with other such movements. Our analysis leads to an explanation of why both sides see the battles between them taking place in the United States and Europe as particularly crucial.

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Alojzija Štebi, “Mišljenje javnosti i feminizam u Jugoslaviji” (Public Opinion and Feminism in Yugoslavia)

Ženski pokret [Women's Movement] 9 (1924), 376–379

Isidora Grubački


This contribution is a translation of a speech given by the president of the Yugoslav Feminist Alliance, Alojzija Štebi, to the second conference of the Little Entente of Women (LEW) in Belgrade in 1924. The introduction contextualizes the source, introduces Alojzija Štebi through a biographical note, and offers a glimpse into Yugoslav women's participation in the Little Entente of Women. It shows that Štebi's conceptualization of feminism was inseparable from politics, called for political reform, and invited the members of the LEW to move toward the full-scale participation of women in politics and state affairs.

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Arctic “Laboratory” of Food Resources in the Allaikhovskii District of the Republic of Sakha (Yakutia)

Nikolai Goncharov


This article proposes a view of the Allaikhovskii district (Republic of Sakha (Yakutia)) located in the Russian Arctic as a “laboratory” in which various actors (the state, regional authorities, local communities) have been actively working on the production of food security. Based on both field experience and published literature, I describe a multilayered process of foodscape formation in this region. The unique elements that characterize the foodscape of the district are the nonautomated modes of food production caused by territorial isolation, unsatisfactory infrastructure, the high price of food delivery, and environmental changes. All these factors create fragile foodscape; the life of local residents can be characterized as “being with risk,” which inspires certain compensatory measures implemented by different layered actors. The impossibility of creating a consistent and reliable system of subsistence thus reinforces a “laboratory” regime of permanent experiments to maintain food security. The Arctic laboratory is not located in separate place with specialists (as in the case discussed by Bruno Latour) but distributed throughout the actors and their activities connected with their lifestyles in this specific territory.

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Bato-Dalai Ochirov

A Buryat Activist at the Turn of the Twentieth Century

Robert W. Montgomery


In the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, a native intelligentsia took shape among Siberia's Buryat Mongols that, combining indigenous and Russian influences, pursued cultural survival alongside social, political, and economic modernization. One of its significant, yet relatively unsung, members was Bato-Dalai Ochirov (1874 or 1875–1913). He is best known as the only Buryat ever to serve in the Russian State Duma (in the short-lived Second Duma in 1907). Yet over the course of his short life, Ochirov also was an administrator, political activist, author, philanthropist, and supporter of culture and science. This article provides an overview of Ochirov's life and seeks to elucidate his worldview, which stressed the defense of Buryat interests using the possibilities available within the existing autocratic order.

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Between Transnational Cooperation and Nationalism

The Little Entente of Women in Czechoslovakia

Gabriela Dudeková Kováčová


Focusing on the involvement of feminist activist women from Czechoslovakia in the Little Entente of Women (LEW), this article examines the ideological and political limits of transnational cooperation within such an international organization, one that aimed to promote women's rights and pacifism in Central and Eastern Europe. The case of Czechoslovakia suggests that deep, ideological divisions between liberal feminist and conservative nationalist threads within the LEW's national branch seriously undermined efforts at unity and “global sisterhood” on the international level. It became possible to overcome ideological and political differences in the 1920s without questioning the very existence of the LEW. However, the antirevisionist political agenda of states involved in the LEW was a decisive factor in its reorganization. This article characterizes the rather limited impact of the LEW's activities in Czechoslovakia and presents new details on its reorganization in the 1930s.

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Book Review

Ellen A. Ahlness

Once Upon the Permafrost: Knowing Culture and Climate Change in Siberia, Susan Alexandra Crate. (Tucson: University of Arizona Press, 2021), x + 327 pp. ISBN: 978-0-8165-4155-3.