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Bringing the state back in

Corporate social responsibility and the paradoxes of Norwegian state capitalism in the international energy sector

Ståle Knudsen, Dinah Rajak, Siri Lange, and Isabelle Hugøy

Abstract

This theme section brings the state back into anthropological studies of corporate social responsibility through the lens of Norwegian energy corporations working abroad. These transnational corporations (TNCs) are expected by the government to act responsibly when “going global.” Yet, we have observed that abroad, Norwegian corporations backed by state capital largely operate like any other TNCs. We argue that the driver for the adaptation to global capitalism is not coming from the embracing of neoliberal policies in Norway, but is rather inherent to the ways internationalization of the Norwegian economy is unfolding. To the extent that the Norwegian state has an impact on the corporations’ international endeavors, it relates primarily to the imperative of managing Norway's reputation as a humanitarian superpower.

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Cacher, festive et végétarienne

La nouvelle cuisine des fêtes juives

Sophie Nizard

Abstract: While meat food is valued socially and symbolically as a part of traditional Jewish culinary culture, vegetarianism and veganism among Jews increased quite spectacularly over the past decade, especially in the USA and in Israel. According to rabbis and to interviewees themselves this new way of eating rooted in the Hebrew Bible and in the rabbinic literature. Indeed causing any cruelty or suffering to animals is prohibited according to these sacred sources; this is an absolute principle. Such changes are having effects on the increment of the Cacher, products that are certified “green” and on the increase of vegan friendly restaurants in Israel. The narrative of Jewish women about their food and culinary practices shows those ongoing changes which are often not the result of ideological radical choices.

Résumé : Alors que la viande et les produits carnés sont fortement valorisés par la culture culinaire juive traditionnelle, on assiste depuis une dizaine d’années à un développement spectaculaire des pratiques végétariennes ou véganes en milieu juif, en particulier aux Etats-Unis et en Israël. Cette nouvelle manière de manger est justifiée par les mangeurs eux-mêmes et par nombre de rabbins comme prenant sa source dans la Bible hébraïque et dans la littérature rabbinique. En effet, l’interdit de causer de la souffrance aux animaux apparaît comme un principe fort des textes de la tradition juive. Ces changements sont repérables du fait de l’augmentation de l’offre en Israël (apparition de produits green et certifiés « sans matière animale » dans les supermarchés, multiplication de restaurants vegan friendly). Les discours de femmes juives sur leurs pratiques alimentaires et culinaires, recueillis au début de l’année 2020, viennent illustrer ces changements qui s’avèrent progressifs et sont rarement le résultat de choix idéologiques radicaux.

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Filippo Contesi

Abstract

Noël Carroll's influence on the contemporary debate on the horror genre is hard to overestimate. His work on the topic is often celebrated as one of the best instances of interdisciplinary dialogue between film studies and philosophy of art. It has provided the foundations for the contemporary study of horror in art. Yet, for all the critical attention that his views on horror have attracted over the years, little scrutiny has been given to the nature itself of the emotion of horror in the genre. This article offers a critical understanding of the nature of the emotion of horror for Carroll, with a view to informing future investigations into the nature of horror in film (and beyond).

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Centralized or Decentralized

Which Governance Systems are Having a “Good” Pandemic?

Jennifer Gaskell and Gerry Stoker

Abstract

The COVID-19 pandemic has had devastating effects across the world, yet different countries have had varying degrees of success in their attempts to manage it. One of the reasons behind the different outcomes observed so far lies in the strengths and weaknesses of different governance arrangements leveraged to tackle the crisis. In this article we examine what we can learn about the operational capacity of different democracies through their early responses to the crisis. We provide a framework of four positive qualities of multilevel governance that might lead to greater chances of positive practical outcomes and present an illustrative case study of the experiences of Switzerland and the United Kingdom (UK). We conclude with some areas for further research and investigation.

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Challenging Hegemonic Patriarchy

A Feminist Reading of Arab Shakespeare Appropriations

Safi Mahfouz

Drawing on feminist theory, this article offers a feminist reading of some Arab Hamlet appropriations to demonstrate whether or not such plays qualify as feminist Shakespeare re-visions. It shows how some female characters in these plays have been, unlike their Shakespearean counterparts, empowered to challenge the hegemonic patriarchal structures of their societies while others remain oppressed and submissive. The discussed Arab Shakespeare renditions constitute only illustrative samples of heroic and oppressed women in the Arab Shakespeare canon which has been known for producing political satires. The featured plays include Ahmad Shawqī’s Masra‘ Kileopatrā (The Fall of Cleopatra), Egypt, 1946; Nabyl Lahlou’s Ophelia Is Not Dead, Morocco, 1968; Mamdūh Al-ʻUdwān’s Hamlet Wakes Up Late, Syria, 1976; Yūsuf Al-Sāyyegh’s Desdemona, Iraq, 1989; Jawād Al-Assadī’s Forget Hamlet, Iraq, 1994; and A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Palestine, 2011.

Open access

Circling around the really Real in Iran

Ethnography of Muharram laments among Shi'i volunteer militants in the Middle East

Younes Saramifar

Abstract

Iranian Shi'i believers claim that capturing sorrow and lamentation in their fullest sense falls beyond language and reason. They constantly refer to their inability to articulate in order to explain martyrdom and highlight a form of unsaid that explains all that appears impalpable for them. I undertake a journey among Iranian Shi'i youth to trace the unarticulated and the sense of wonder generated via religious experiences. By way of an ethnography of Muharram lamentation ceremonies, this article highlights how the unarticulated and the unsaid are socially and politically used in service of Shi'i militancy. I explore those uncharted terrains in the darkness of the Lacanian Real and in terms of how the Real is authenticated in order to address how realities are crafted and religious subjectivities are enacted in the realm of militancy.

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Competing Visions

The Visual Culture of the Congo Free State and Fin de Siècle Europe

Matthew G. Stanard

Studies of the visual culture of the Congo Free State (CFS) have focused overwhelmingly yet narrowly on the “atrocity” photograph used to criticize Leopold II’s colonial misrule. This article presents a new picture of the visual culture of Leopold II’s Congo Free State by examining a broader, more heterogeneous range of fin de siècle images of varied provenance that comprised the visual culture of the CFS. These include architecture, paintings, African artwork, and public monuments, many of which were positive, pro-Leopoldian images emphasizing a favorable view of colonialism. The visual culture of the CFS was imbued with recurring themes of violence, European heroism, and anti-Arab sentiment, and emerged from a unique, transnational, back-and-forth process whereby Leopold and his critics instrumentalized images to counter each other and achieve their goals.

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Concerning Durkheim's 1899 Lecture ‘On Penal Sanctions’

Introduction, Translation Notes, and Comments

Ronjon Paul Datta and François Pizarro Noël

Abstract

This article provides a critical introduction to the first English translation of Durkheim's Saturday, 2 December 1899, lecture that he entitled ‘Course Outline: On Penal Sanctions’. It was written for the first class of the final year of his course ‘General Physics of Law and Morality’. We provide some context to the lecture, a description of the four-year long course at Bordeaux of which it was a part, offer notes on our translation, and discuss the salience of its content. Of particular note is Durkheim's sociological reasoning, and the critical impact of antisubjectivism on the development of his special theory of sanctions and conception of morality as part of social reality.

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Milja Kurki

Abstract

As the challenges presented by the coronavirus are being processed within national communities and the international order, important new avenues for re-thinking democratic theory and practice present themselves. This short article discusses the potential implications of a shift toward planetary politics whereby we engage not only human communities but also non-human ones in our thinking and practice of democracy. New opportunities to rethink “international order” and how we negotiate with ecosystems are presented by opening up (rather than closing down) our political imaginations in the context of the coronavirus challenge.

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Marcos S. Scauso, Garrett FitzGerald, Arlene B. Tickner, Navnita Chadha Behera, Chengxin Pan, Chih-yu Shih, and Kosuke Shimizu

Abstract

Liberal democracies often include rights of participation, guarantees of protection, and policies that privilege model citizens within a bounded territory. Notwithstanding claims of universal equality for “humanity,” they achieve these goals by epistemically elevating certain traits of identity above “others,” sustaining colonial biases that continue to favor whoever is regarded more “human.” The COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated these fault lines, unveiling once more the often-hidden prevalence of inequalities that are based on race, gender, class, ethnicity, and other axes of power and their overlaps. Decolonial theories and practices analyze these othering tendencies and inequalities while also highlighting how sites of suffering sometimes become locations of solidarity and agency, which uncover often-erased alternatives and lessons.