This article compares the ideas of Amílcar Cabral and Amartya Sen on capability, freedom, resistance and political change, thereby revealing the importance of radical realism in political thought and development studies. Sen’s path-breaking work has been transformative for multiple disciplines, not least development. Yet, reading Sen alongside the ideas of one of Africa’s most successful anti-colonial political leaders is revelatory: it provides the basis for the argument that radical realism is most valuable if it is action-guiding, comparative and about context-specific change. This involves a distinction between realistic political theory and realism in political thought where only the latter demands utopian thinking. What follows from this regarding democracy, impartiality and justice? In answering this with reference to some social movements, the article then defends the political potential of conflict, partisan positions, resistance and political change directed towards overcoming domination.
Freedom, Resistance and Radical Realism
Why Mediterranean patron-client relations are relevant for understanding the work of international accountancy firms
Patron-clientelism and corruption were traditionally viewed as problems endemic to underdeveloped marginal countries with weak states, powerful self-serving elites, and widespread civic disengagement. However, recent decades have seen a dramatic increase in corruption scandals in the Global North, particularly its more developed banking and financial sectors. Paradoxically, this has occurred despite a massive expansion in auditing by international accountancy firms (KPMG, PwC, Deloitte, EY) who often portray themselves as warriors of integrity, transparency, and ethical conduct. How are these trends connected? Drawing on anthropological studies of Mediterranean patron-clientelism, I illustrate how collusive relations between accountancy firms and their clients create ideal conditions for corruption to flourish. Finally, I ask how can these accountancy scandals help us rethink patron-clientelism in an age of “audit culture”?
Reconfiguring labor, kinship and relational obligation
Keir Martin, Ståle Wig, and Sylvia Yanagisako
Interdependence is a fundamental characteristic of human existence. The way in which certain dependencies are acknowledged as opposed to those that are hidden, or the ways in which some are validated while others are denigrated, is central to how social inequalities are reproduced and recreated. In this introduction we explore how particular dependencies are categorized, separated, and made visible or invisible as part of their performative effect. In particular, we explore the distinction between wage labor and kinship as two forms of relatedness that are often separated in terms of the (in)dependence that they are seen to embody. Even though they are practically entangled, their conceptual separation remains important. These conceptual separations are central to how gender difference is imagined and constituted globally.
In March 2020, Melvin Richter, one of the founders of international, conceptual history passed away. This sad occasion makes it timely in our journal to reflect on the process that turned national projects within conceptual and intellectual history into an international and transnational enterprise. The text that follows—published in two parts, here and in the next issue—takes a closer look at the intellectual processes that led up to the founding meeting of the association behind our journal, the History of Concepts Group. It follows in the footsteps of Melvin Richter to examine the different encounters, debates and protagonists in the story of international, conceptual history. The text traces the different approaches that were brought to the fore and particularly looks at Melvin Richter's efforts to bridge between an Anglophone tradition of intellectual history and a German tradition of Begriffsgeschichte.
Ben Page, Olga R. Gulina, Doğuş Şimşek, Caress Schenk, and Vidya Venkat
MIGRANT HOUSING: Architecture, Dwelling, Migration. Mirjana Lozanovska. 2019. Abingdon: Routledge. 242 pages. ISBN 9781138574090 (Hardback).
THE AGE OF MIGRATION: International Population Movements in the Modern World. 6th ed. Hein de Haas, Stephen Castles, Mark J. Mille. 2020. London: Red Globe Press. 446 pages. ISBN-13: 978-1352007985.
REFUGEE IMAGINARIES: Research across the Humanities. Emma Cox, Sam Durrant, David Farrier, Lyndsey Stonebridge, and Agnes Woolley, eds. 2020. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press. 642 pages. ISBN 9781474443197 (hardback).
MIGRATION AS A (GEO-)POLITICAL CHALLENGE IN THE POST-SOVIET SPACE: Border Regimes, Policy Choices, Visa Agendas. Olga R. Gulina. 2019. Stuttgart: Ibidem Verlag. 120 pages. ISBN: 9783838213385.
COMPARATIVE REVIEW: Migration and Development in India: Provincial and Historical Perspectives
INDIA MOVING: A History of Migration. Chinmay Tumbe. 2018. New York: Penguin Viking. 285 pages. ISBN: 9780670089833.
PROVINCIAL GLOBALISATION IN INDIA: Transregional Mobilities and Development Politics. Carol Upadhya, Mario Rutten, and Leah Koskimaki, eds. 2020. New York: Routledge. 193 pages. ISBN: 978-1-138-06962-6.
Marie Paxton and Uğur Aytaç
George Robert Bateman, Jr., The Transformative Potential of Participatory Budgeting: Creating an Ideal Democracy.
Garett Jones, 10% Less Democracy: Why You Should Trust Elites a Little More and the Masses a Little Less.
SimonMary Aihiokhai, Lorina Buhr, David Moore, and William Jethro Mpofu
Teresia Mbari Hinga, African, Christian, Feminist: The Enduring Search for What Matters. Maryknoll, NY: Orbis Books, 2017, 244pp.
Michael Marder, Political Categories: Thinking Beyond Concepts. New York: Columbia University Press, 2019, 255pp.
António Tomás, Amílcar Cabral: The Life of a Reluctant Nationalist. London: Hurst, 2021, 272 pp.
Sabelo Ndlovu-Gatsheni, Epistemic Freedom in Africa: Deprovincialization and Decolonization. London: Routledge, 2018, 282pp.
Harlan Koff and Carmen Maganda
April 2021 is here, one year and a month after the World Health Organization (WHO) declared a state of emergency for the COVID-19 pandemic. The vaccines have arrived, bringing us closer to the end of this crisis, but COVID-19 is not gone; therefore, the call for action remains relevant. We want to take this opportunity to remember and embrace the emphasis that has been put on the need for joint efforts and coordinated strategies, so we can thrive together, bringing everyone on board irrespective of geographic, economic, and political differences.
Reflections on ethnographic writing and response-ability
Nicholas Smith and George Mantzios
Berlant, Lauren and Kathleen Stewart. 2019. The hundreds. Durham: Duke University Press.
Pandian, Anand and Stuart McLean, eds. 2017. Crumpled paper boat: Experiments in ethnographic writing. Durham: Duke University Press.
Pilivet Aguiar Alayola, Christine McCoy Cador, and Lucila Zárraga Cano
English Abstract: The city of Cancun, Quintana Roo, Mexico, is characterized by its tourism activity due to the tourist attractions it offers. The objective of this research is to determine the level of sustainability according to urban, environmental, fiscal, and tourism dimensions. The research methodology consists of results obtained from the model for measuring sustainability and quality of life for tourist cities, through secondary and primary data, and through an exploratory study on a sample of 416 inhabitants of the city of Cancun, Quintana Roo. The results show that Cancun has areas for improvement to contribute to sustainability.
Spanish Abstract: La ciudad de Cancún, Quintana Roo, México, se caracteriza por su actividad turística, debido a los atractivos turísticos que ofrece. El objetivo de esta investigación es determinar el nivel de sostenibilidad de las dimensiones urbana, ambiental, fiscal y turística. La metodología de investigación son los resultados obtenidos a partir del modelo de medición de la sostenibilidad y calidad de vida para ciudades turísticas, a través de datos secundarios y primarios, mediante un estudio exploratorio a una muestra de 416 habitantes de la ciudad de Cancún, Q. Roo. Los resultados arrojan que Cancún tiene áreas de mejora para coadyuvar a la sostenibilidad.
French Abstract: La ville de Cancun, au Quintana Roo, Mexique, se caractérise par son activité touristique, en raison des aĴ ractions qu’elle offre dans ce domaine. L’objectif de cette recherche est de déterminer le niveau de durabilité des dimensions urbaine, environnementale, fiscale et touristique. La méthodologie s’appuie sur les résultats obtenus à partir d’un modèle de mesure de la durabilité et de la qualité de vie des villes touristiques obtenu à travers des données secondaires et primaires pour une étude exploratoire d’un échantillon de 416 habitants de la ville de Cancun. Les résultats montrent que Cancun présente des domaines à améliorer pour contribuer à la durabilité.