This and the next issues of the International Journal of Social Quality are the outcome of the support by the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences (CASS) to develop this journal globally, delivering an opportunity to present a more extensive editorial in order to summarize the state of social quality work and to indicate essential challenges at this stage and in the near future. To reflect our new collaboration with CASS and our other growing international links, we welcome five new members from all over the world to the editorial board. We also welcome our new vice-chair to the international advisory committee. The preparations for the collaboration with CASS were made in 2017. In the beginning of 2018, Berghahn Books in New York, the International Association on Social Quality (IASQ) in Amsterdam, and CASS in Beijing signed a contract for the coming five years. At this stage, CASS is made up of 31 research institutes and 45 research centers oriented on a range of disciplines including economics, law, philosophy, political science, sociology, world religions, environmental science, and world politics. It applies cross-disciplinary approaches to regions such as Asia, Africa, Russia, Eastern Europe, and Western Europe.
The Evolution of 20 Years of Social Quality Thinking
Laurent van der Maesen
Transdisciplinary exchanges and interdisciplinary debates have always lain at the heart of Transfers, but such movements generate challenges and unanswered questions as well as productive tensions. Has a new amorphous multidisciplinary field called “mobility studies” emerged, or do disciplinary debates and imperatives still underscore mobilities scholarship? How do “mobility studies,” “transport studies,” “mobility history,” “transport history,” “media history,” “migration studies,” and other fields intersect, differ, or interact with one another? Do the variations among different strands of mobilities research reflect distinct differences in method, approach, and style in the social sciences, arts, and humanities, or do they generate interesting questions that cross disciplines? How are different journals—Transfers, Mobilities, The Journal of Transport History, and Applied Mobilities—(re)positioning themselves, and what makes them distinct and different? Should we stop forming camps or drawing boundaries around subdisciplines, and stop asking questions like those framed above? There are no easy or correct answers to any of these questions, but I would suggest that Transfers occupies a privileged position at the intersection of the humanities, arts, and social sciences.
This issue of Screen Bodies features a Screen Shots section focusing on screening disability, including essays on new disability documentaries, vacillation and the dis/abled male body—especially as it plays out in Fred Zimmerman’s 1950 film The Men—and questions of masquerade and representations of Richard III on stage and screen. It also includes general essays on “undoing” gender through complicity and subversion, the rise in the importance of the haptic in Japanese society, culture, and filmmaking in the 1920s, and an investigation of uncertainty and the “generosity paradox” with regard to gender, sexuality, and ability in cyborg cinema.
Ism Concepts in Science and Politics
This issue brings together five articles that deal with particular concepts in given historical discourses and are thus seemingly unrelated, but they are brought together because of their focus on words carrying the suffix -ism. The following issue will include two more articles that relate to the theme. The articles were chosen based on an open call for papers that was circulated widely. In parallel to this issue, a special issue on the political rhetoric of isms is also being published in the Journal of Political Ideologies. The review and publication processes have been conducted separately in the two journals, but in the end the two issues are being published nearly simultaneously, which will hopefully benefit both Contributions to the History of Concepts and the Journal of Political Ideologies.
Benjamin Abrams and Giovanni A. Travaglino
Social protest is not always a simple process. Social movements, activists, or political parties can attempt to change the status quo, but they do not often do so through a single, traceable process of contention. Instead, they encounter selective participation, community dynamics, dilemmas about how and where to spend their time, and interventions by governments and other elites that seriously impact their momentum. The articles in this issue assess these complicating phenomena, examining issues of system justification, local community responses to hate, the balancing of online and offline protest, and the role of government and media elites in circumventing the rise of protest movements.
The return of human rights
Harlan Koff and Carmen Maganda
Since 2015, Regions & Cohesion, like many other observers of global affairs, has focused significantly on sustainable development. The passage of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) called attention to this issue. Its “transformative” or “universal” or “interconnected” perspective on development signified a paradigm shift in how we view development strategies in terms of focus, content, structure, agency, and responsibilities. Human rights were subsumed in these discussions on many ways.
The first thing I would like to do in my capacity as the new editor of Projections is to warmly thank the outgoing editor, Stephen Prince, for his outstanding stewardship of the journal over the past six years. Already a success when Stephen took over in 2012, Projections has only improved since then. It has been a great pleasure for me to work with Stephen as one of the associate editors over the past few years, and I am delighted that Stephen will remain involved with the journal in some capacity, since he has recently been elected the new president of the Society for Cognitive Studies of the Moving Image (SCSMI).
With this issue of Girlhood Studies, we recognize the tenth anniversary of the death of Jackie Kirk, one of the co-founders of the journal. While we begin the issue with a visual essay “Honoring the Legacy of Jackie Kirk,” in which we document a special international event that took place earlier this year that paid tribute to her work, as the other two co-founding editors of GHS, we, Claudia Mitchell and Jacqueline Reid-Walsh, would like to offer our own tribute to Jackie. As someone who travelled the globe, Jackie was a great emailer, and managed to remain connected to vast networks of researchers, practitioners, and members of NGOs regardless of where she was, and so it is perhaps fitting that we have found ourselves emailing back on forth about what we might say about her now.
Fatima Khan, Claudia Mitchell and Marni Sommer
This year marks the tenth anniversary of the death of Jackie Kirk, a co-founder of Girlhood Studies: An Interdisciplinary Journal, and an incredibly effective member of the global education community who died at the hands of the Taliban in Afghanistan on 13 August 2008 while working on a project on girls’ education. As an activist and researcher Jackie had a great range of expertise, including that of dealing with education in emergencies, the challenges facing women teachers, and the menstruation-related needs of school-going girls, as well as a grasp of the importance of visual images in understanding the realm of girls’ education. She brought to her work an attention to critical theoretical concepts alongside the practical; she always placed girls and women (especially women teachers) at the center of her explorations, her analyses, and her recommendations for policy and practice.
Popular Religious Practices and Perceptions in the Middle East and Central Asia
Mary Elaine Hegland
People at the popular level often hold religious perceptions and engage in religious practices that make sense to them within their own existential situations, even if they fall outside orthodoxy. Although political leaders and religious authorities may attempt to mould people’s religious perceptions and practices according to their own ideas and interpretations of religion, people frequently find ways to evade or ignore such pressures, to rationalise their deviations or to continue to live and think according to their own self-generated religious frameworks. The authors of the articles in this special issue provide examples of how people’s actual practices and religious beliefs arise out of their own personal situations and histories though at odds with the pronouncements of religious specialists.