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Sergio Moldes-Anaya, Francisco Jiménez Aguilar, and Francisco Jiménez Bautista

Full article is in Spanish.

English abstract: This article analyses the perceptions of immigration in Spain through the last two rounds of the European Social Survey. A new methodology of combined analysis of the Social Epidemiology of the Conflict and the Transcend method is proposed from conflict research. The objective of this study is to verify the suitability and viability of this approach and to evaluate the evolution of the perception toward immigration in Spain in recent years. As a result, more effective therapeutic measures have been proposed to face their discrimination and social rejection.

Spanish abstract: Este artículo analiza las percepciones hacia la inmigración en España a través de las dos últimas rondas de la Encuesta Social Europea. Partiendo de la investigación en conflictos, se propone una nueva metodología de análisis combinado entre Epidemiología Social del Conflicto y el método Transcend. El objetivo de este estudio será tanto comprobar la adecuación y viabilidad de esta propuesta como evaluar la evolución de la percepción hacia la inmigración en España en los últimos años. Gracias a ello se han planteado una serie de propuestas terapéuticas más eficaces para afrontar su discriminación y rechazo.

French abstract: Cet article analyse les perceptions de l’immigration en Espagne à partir des deux dernières versions de l’Enquête sociale européenne. Il propose une nouvelle méthodologie d’analyse qui combine l’épidémiologie sociale du conflit et la méthode Transcend. Son objectif est de confirmer l’adéquation et la viabilité de cette proposition de recherche pour évaluer l’évolution de la perception de l’immigration en Espagne au cours des dernières années. Cette analyse combinée permet de considérer une série de propositions thérapeutiques plus efficaces pour faire face à la discrimination et au refus de l’immigration.

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Marilyn Strathern

This stimulating collection puts agriculture into current conversations on the Anthropocene. In particular it relates, as an effect of the impetus toward defining responsibility, the contemporary sense of urgency that makes “us” find new reasons for thinking of humankind as a whole. The articles carefully unpick this holism, both in terms of people’s varying relations to the circumstances of cultivation or marketing and in terms of populations being divided through offsetting or knowledge-distribution strategies. It is a small extrapolation to observe that the same must be true of the particularity of crops: no more than persons can they be lumped together.

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Transforming the matryoshka

Merger of Russian regions

Igor Yu. Okunev, Petr V. Oskolkov, and Maria I. Tislenko

English abstract: This article assesses the 2000s reforms of the Russian administrative divisions and the implications of the reforms for the institutional structure and related discourse through institutional and discourse analysis. The authors reach the conclusion that the “special status” of the newly formed territorial entities remains undefined, while the representation norm is highly uneven, since the competences of governing bodies in the merged entities lie predominantly in the ethnic and cultural sphere. The reform was not a single and coherent policy measure but rather a number of incoherent initiatives. This can be seen from the presence of different (re)integration models in respective amalgamation cases, different models of a “special status” and a variety of reactions to the reform emanating from the population.

Spanish abstract: Este artículo evalúa las reformas del 2000 en las divisiones administrativas rusas y las implicaciones de dichas reformas en la estructura institucional y el discurso relacionado, a través del análisis institucional y del discurso. Los autores llegan a la conclusión de que el “estatus especial” de las entidades territoriales recién formadas permanece indefinido, mientras que las normas de representación son desiguales, ya que las competencias de los órganos rectores en las entidades fusionadas residen predominantemente en la esfera étnica y cultural. La reforma no fue una medida política única y coherente, sino una serie de iniciativas incoherentes. Esto se puede ver por la presencia de diferentes modelos de (re) integración en los respectivos casos de amalgamación, diferentes modelos de un “estatus especial” y una variedad de reacciones a la reforma que emanan de la población.

French abstract: Cet article analyse les réformes des divisions administratives russes de l’année 2000 et leurs implications pour la structure et le discours institutionnels, en utilisant les méthodes institutionnelle et discursive. Les auteurs concluent que le « statut spécial » des entités territoriales nouvellement formées reste indéfini, tandis que la norme de représentation demeure très inégale, les compétences des organes directeurs des entités fusionnées étant principalement concentrées dans les domaines ethnique et culturel. La réforme ne constitue pas une mesure politique cohérente, mais un certain nombre d’initiatives incohérentes. La présence de différents modèles de (ré)intégration dans les cas de fusion évoqués, les divers cas de « statut spécial » et la variété des réactions populaires face à cette réforme en témoignent.

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The Weatherman

The Making of Prepared Farmers and the Postcolonial Predictive State in Kenya

Martin Skrydstrup

This article explores weather forecasting as an emergent technology of governmentality through a detailed ethnography of the ways in which the relationships between weather and crops are rendered knowable in a two-day “participatory scenario planning” (PSP) workshop in Naromoru in the Central Highlands of Kenya. Farmers were “made into meteorologists” and developed their preparedness for hazards, impacts, opportunities, strategies, and responsibilities within the context of facing El Niño. The ethnography targets seemingly novel ways of preparing farmers for El Niño. I argue that the PSP served two principal functions: (1) to redistribute responsibilities of the farmers themselves by making them into “meteorologists”; and (2) to integrate “scientific expertise” with “local knowledge” to generate public trust in the metrological institutions of the postcolonial predictive state.

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Becoming an Agricultural Growth Corridor

African Megaprojects at a Situated Scale

Serena Stein and Marc Kalina

Agricultural growth corridors (AGCs) have begun proliferating across the actual and policy landscapes of southeastern Africa. Cast as an emerging megaproject strategy, AGCs combine the construction of large-scale logistics (i.e., roads, railways, ports) with attracting investment in commercial agribusiness and smallholder farming. While scholars have long attended to spatial development schemes in the Global South, literature on the rising AGCs of Africa’s eastern seaboard has only recently shifted from anticipatory to empirical studies as policy implementation reaches full force. The article reflects on a new crop of studies that confront the problem of tracing policy imaginaries to the people, places, practices, and ecologies shaped by AGC schemes. In contrast to scholarship that accepts corridors as given entities, we explore directions for research that interrogate the grounded yet provisional becoming of these megaprojects. At such sites, the return of high modernist development logics encapsulated by the corridor concept may be questioned.

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Veronica Davidov

This literature review of biomimicry and related models of treating nature as a meta-resource on a mega-scale integrates concepts of resources and abundance. Biomimicry, which lies at the intersection of biosciences and industrial design, is a praxis for drawing on designs and processes found in nature and using them as inspirational sources for technologies. Environmental anthropology often focuses on processes such as extraction and commodification that position nature as governed by an economy of scarcity with its existential state characterized by attenuation. The paradigm of biomimicry, on the other hand, construes nature as an infinitely renewable and generative mega-resource and meta-resource, one that is governable by an economy of abundance rather than scarcity. This literature review analyzes intellectual and epistemological trends and frameworks that have served as precursors to and have emerged around biomimicry across disciplines that treat the paradigm of biomimicry as a highly variable epistemological object.

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Marcos Mendoza, Sierra Ramirez, Antonia Sohns, Alex Souchen, Marcus Hamilton, and Erika Techera

Barandiarán, Javiera. 2018. Science and Environment in Chile: The Politics of Expert Advice in a Neoliberal Democracy. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press. 284 pp. ISBN: 978-0-262-53563-2.

Hoover, Elizabeth. 2017. The River Is in Us: Fighting Toxics in a Mohawk Community. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press. 360 pp. ISBN: 978-1-51790-303-9.

McKenzie, Matthew. 2018. Breaking the Banks: Representations and Realities in New England Fisheries, 1866–1966. Amherst: University of Massachusetts Press. 224 pp. ISBN: 978-1-625-34391-8.

Sarathy, Brinda, Vivien Hamilton, and Janet Farrell, eds. 2018. Inevitably Toxic: Historical Perspectives on Contamination, Exposure, and Expertise. Pittsburgh, PA: University of Pittsburgh Press. 317 pp. ISBN: 978-0-822-94531-4.

Scott, James C. 2018. Against the Grain: A Deep History of the Earliest States. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press. 336 pp. ISBN: 978-0-300-24021-4.

Westbrook, Vivienne, Shaun Collin, Dean Crawford and Mark Nicholls. 2018. Sharks in the Arts: From Feared to Revered. London: Routledge. 188 pp. ISBN: 978-1-138-92966-1.

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Contemporary Megaprojects

An Introduction

Seth Schindler, Simin Fadaee, and Dan Brockington

There is renewed interest in megaprojects worldwide. In contrast to high-modernist megaprojects that were discrete projects undertaken by centralized authorities, contemporary megaprojects are often decentralized and pursued by a range of stakeholders from governments as well as the private sector. They leverage cutting-edge technology to ‘see’ complex systems as legible and singular phenomena. As a result, they are more ambitious, more pervasive and they have the potential to reconfigure longstanding relationships that have animated social and ecological systems. The articles in this issue explore the novel features of contemporary megaprojects, they show how the proponents of contemporary megaprojects aspire to technologically enabled omnipresence, and they document the resistance that megaprojects have provoked.

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Home and Away

The Politics of Life after Earth

Micha Rahder

This article examines the reinvigoration of outer space imaginaries in the era of global environmental change, and the impacts of these imaginaries on Earth. Privatized space research mobilizes fears of ecological, political, or economic catastrophe to garner support for new utopian futures, or the search for Earth 2.0. These imaginaries reflect dominant global discourses about environmental and social issues, and enable the flow of earthly resources toward an extraterrestrial frontier. In contrast, eco-centric visions emerging from Gaia theory or feminist science fiction project post-earthly life in terms that are ecological, engaged in multispecies relations and ethics, and anticapitalist. In these imaginaries, rather than centering humans as would-be destroyers or saviors of Earth, our species becomes merely instrumental in launching life—a multispecies process—off the planet, a new development in deep evolutionary time. This article traces these two imaginaries and how they are reshaping material and political earthly life.

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Mega-Plantations in Southeast Asia

Landscapes of Displacement

Miles Kenney-Lazar and Noboru Ishikawa

This article reviews a wide body of literature on the emergence and expansion of agro-industrial, monoculture plantations across Southeast Asia through the lens of megaprojects. Following the characterization of megaprojects as displacement, we define mega-plantations as plantation development that rapidly and radically transforms landscapes in ways that displace and replace preexisting human and nonhuman communities. Mega-plantations require the application of large amounts of capital and political power and the transnational organization of labor, capital, and material. They emerged in Southeast Asia under European colonialism in the nineteenth century and have expanded again since the 1980s at an unprecedented scale and scope to feed global appetites for agro-industrial commodities such as palm oil and rubber. While they have been contested by customary land users, smallholders, civil society organizations, and even government regulators, their displacement and transformation of Southeast Asia’s rural landscapes will likely endure for quite some time.