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Peter Levine

Abstract

The COVID-19 pandemic raises questions about the future of democracy and civil society. Some recent predictions seem to use the suffering to score points in ongoing political arguments. As a better example of how to describe the future during a crisis, I cite the prophetic voice of Martin Luther King, Jr. King does not merely predict: he calls for action, joins the action, and makes himself responsible for its success or failure. With these cautions about prediction in mind, I venture two that may guide immediate responses. First, communities may erect or strengthen unjustifiable barriers to outsiders, because boundaries enhance collective action. Second, although the pandemic may not directly change civic behavior, an economic recession will bankrupt some organizations through which people engage.

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Un manuscrit inédit de Durkheim

Physique générale du droit et des mœurs, IVe Année du Cours. 1re Leçon, 2 Décembre 1899, Plan du Cours – Les Sanctions pénales

Émile Durkheim and édité par François Pizarro Noël

Résumé

Ce texte daté du 2 décembre 1899 est la première leçon de la quatrième année du cours de Durkheim sur la Physique générale du droit et des mœurs. Il est intitulé Plan du Cours – Les Sanctions pénales. Dans la première partie du texte, Durkheim présente le plan de cette dernière année du cours. Il se propose d'abord de compléter l'étude de l'éthique objective des systèmes de morale familiale, professionnelle, civique et juridique (que nous connaissons parce qu'elles ont été publiées dans les fameuses Leçons de sociologie) par l'étude objective des sanctions et responsabilités. Cette première partie du cours sera consacrée à la théorie spéciale des sanctions (négatives pénales et civiles, positives) et responsabilités. La dernière partie du cours, sa conclusion, portera sur l'éthique subjective. Une fois ce plan de cours exposé, dans la deuxième partie du texte, Durkheim propose une définition sociologique de la sanction pénale qu'il justifie d'abord par la réfutation des définitions de la peine qui postulent un lien entre souffrance et peine. Ensuite, pour illustrer le caractère sociologique et justifier sa définition préalable de la peine, Durkheim commence à présenter une typologie des sanctions négatives (sanctions punitives pénales, publiques ou privées, sanctions restitutives civiles, etc.). Au terme de sa leçon, il considère avoir défini la peine de manière sociologique, c'est-à-dire en s'en tenant aux caractéristiques extérieures les plus saillantes de son objet, sans recourir à l'intention du patient ou du législateur ni à la question de la responsabilité.

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An Unpublished Manuscript by Durkheim

‘On the General Physics of Law and Morality, 4th Year of the Course, 1st Lecture, December 2, 1899, Course Outline: On Penal Sanctions’

Émile Durkheim, edited and translated by François Pizarro Noël, and Ronjon Paul Datta

Abstract

This is the first English translation of Durkheim's lecture for the first class of the fourth and final year of his course ‘On the General Physics of Law and Morality’. The content from the previous year's course is contained in Professional Ethics and Civic Morals (Durkheim [1950] 1992). Durkheim discusses the importance of a special theory of sanctions and provides a typology of their negative and positive forms. He makes a case for the sociology of penalties and responsibilities, one based on the examination of their external and visible characteristics. Crucially, Durkheim displaces the ostensible causal importance of the intentions of juridical subjects, whether legislators or wrong-doers. The translation is accompanied by an extended critical introduction by R. P. Datta and Fr. Pizarro Noël.

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Jing Zhang

Abstract

This literature review presents seven major works on Durkheim written by leading Chinese researchers and published during the last 10 years. Some of them try to analyse Durkheim's views in order to understand contemporary Chinese society, by questioning what Durkheim teaches us about moral education, or by examining his conception of the nation. Others are more in the nature of scholarly commentary on his theory, whether by examining notions of anomie, the division of labour, suicide or a moral science.

Résumé

Cette revue de littérature présente sept principales publications (écrites par des chercheurs parmi les plus reconnus) consacrées à l'œuvre de Durkheim en Chine et parues durant les dix dernières années. Certaines d'entre elles s'essayent à analyser l'actualité de Durkheim pour comprendre la société chinoise contemporaine, en interrogeant ce que Durkheim nous apprend à propos de l'éducation morale, ou encore en examinant sa conception de la nation. D'autres relèvent plus du commentaire érudit de sa théorie, que ce soit en se penchant sur la notion d'anomie, de division du travail, sur le suicide ou encore la science morale.

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Who Governs in Deep Crises?

The Case of Germany

Wolfgang Merkel

Abstract

The Berlin Republic of today is neither Weimar (1918–1932) nor Bonn (1949–1990). It is by all standards the best democracy ever on German soil. Nevertheless, during the COVID-19 crisis there was a shift from democracy as a mode of governance to what the controversial legal theorist Carl Schmitt (1922) affirmingly described as a “state of exception”; a state that is desired and approved by the people (through opinion polls). It was the hour of the executive. The parliament disempowered itself. There was very little, if any, contestation or deliberation during the first eight weeks of the COVID-19 crisis. This article reflects on the implications of this mode of governance on institutions and actors of democracy in Germany, and offers a way of assessing the wellbeing of democracies in times of deep crisis.

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Audit failure and corporate corruption

Why Mediterranean patron-client relations are relevant for understanding the work of international accountancy firms

Cris Shore

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”?

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Dissenting poses

Marginal youth, viral aesthetics, and affective politics in neoliberal Morocco

Cristiana Strava

In the spring of 2014, an unprecedented wave of police raids swept over every lower-class (sha‘abi) neighborhood across Morocco. Dubbed “Operation Tcharmil,” the raids targeted young, lower-class men that matched viral online images in which track-suit-wearing teens boastfully displayed status objects and white weapons. Drawing on the theoretical apparatus of the “affective turn,” in this article I unpack the structural and historical factors that shaped both popular reactions and policing actions toward the sudden, online visibility of a politically and economically disenfranchised group. I situate this episode within current debates about the entanglement of neoliberal disciplinary regimes and the reproduction of particular social orders, and argue that attention to such outbursts can help us revitalize and rethink existing notions of class.

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Horizontal and vertical politics

Strategic uses of abajo and arriba in the construction of the Venezuelan socialist State

Stefano Boni

The spatial expressions of egalitarian and hierarchical political relations, respectively along the horizontal and vertical axis, are visually illustrated in a broad cross-cultural perspective. The dichotomy between los de abajo (those below) and los de arriba (those above) is explored in contemporary Venezuelan politics, using ethnographic and visual evidence. Th e socialist party, which presents itself as representative of los de abajo, has been increasingly criticized for being los de arriba both by the opposition and by grassroots PSUV (Partido Socialista Unido de Venezuela; United Socialist Party of Venezuela) activists who denounce the persistence of hierarchical dynamics through metaphors such as paracaido (para-shooter) and poner la escalera (holding the ladder).

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In the shade of the chinar

Dushanbe’s affective spatialities

Malika Bahovadinova

This article evaluates the ongoing reconstruction of Dushanbe, the capital of Tajikistan, from the perspective of the affective registers it has elicited: from the despair of those who fondly remember the city’s earlier Soviet facade to those who have benefitted from the expansion of housing stock and green space across the city center. Exploring these positions and the role of statist conceptions of modernity, personal and political memories of space, and the emotions called forth by urban redevelopment, the article elaborates on the place of affect and sentimental politics in the processes of city beautification and development. It argues that the despair experienced by city residents in their protests against redevelopment projects has both enabled and constrained citizens in terms of their participation in Dushanbe’s urban development, economic redistribution, and the politics of memory.

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Navigating the sustainability landscape

Impact pathways and the sustainability ethic as moral compass

Matthew Archer

Sustainability professionals believe their work has positive social and environmental impacts in the “real world,” but they recognize that their impactfulness is contingent on a number of other factors, especially the willingness of other, typically more powerful actors to consider their findings and implement their recommendations. In this article, I develop the notion of “impact pathways” to think about the relationship between paths, maps, travelers, terrains, and ethics in the context of what my informants regularly refer to as the sustainability “landscape.” I show how the interpretation of a map and the choice between different possible paths can be partially explained by an actor’s particular ethical framework, in this case something I identify as the sustainability ethic.