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Book Roundtable

Discussion text: Chin, C. 2018. The Practice of Political Theory: Rorty and Continental Thought.

Lasse Thomassen, Joe Hoover, David Owen, Paul Patton, and Clayton Chin

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Ioana Cîrstocea

Abstract

Established in the aftermath of the Cold War and animated by US-based scholars and activists experienced in the second wave of women's liberation movements, the Network of East-West Women (NEWW) has received little attention from scholars. This transnational and transregional group played an instrumental role in triggering and structuring the circulation of information, contacts, and academic and activist publications dedicated to women in Central and Eastern Europe, and in conceptualizing new gender politics in that region after the end of the socialist regimes. Building on original empirical evidence (archive work and interviews), this article considers NEWW's founding and its steps in establishing operations “beyond borders” in the 1990s—a time of professionalizing and globalizing women's rights politics when transnational feminist activism was faced with both new challenges and potentialities.

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Olusegun Steven Samuel and Ademola Kazeem Fayemi

Abstract

This article is a critique of Thaddeus Metz's modal relational approach to moral status in African ethics (AE). According to moral relationalism (MR), a being has moral status if it exhibits the capacity for communal relationship as either a subject or an object. While Metz defends a prima facie plausibility of MR as an African account of moral status, this article provides a fresh perspective to the debate on moral status in environmental and ethical discourse. It raises two objections against MR: (1) the capability criterion inherent in MR is not only exogenous to African thought but also undermines the viability of MR; and (2) MR cannot account for the standing of species populations. Both objections have severe implications for biodiversity conservation efforts in Africa and beyond.

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“Did You Teach Us to Do Otherwise?”

Young Women in the Tsukunft Youth Movement in Interwar Poland and Their Role Models

Magdalena Kozłowska

Abstract

The article deals with the issue of Jewish youth movements’ contribution to women's empowerment in interwar Poland using the example of the socialist movement Tsukunft. The article explores the movement's politics of memory in the interwar period and the selection of heroines whom the young women of Tsukunft were supposed to emulate, as well as real-life examples of Bundist women activists of the interwar period who served them as role models. In its examination of this alternative to the examples proposed by the mainstream state narrative, the article offers a view of Jewish social life in Poland, but also asks more specific questions, such as the true nature of relationships between Bundist women and men.

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Sharon A. Kowalsky

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Educating the Other

Foreign Governesses in Wallachia in the First Half of the Nineteenth Century

Nicoleta Roman

Abstract

This article explores the role of foreign governesses in the early nineteenth century in the province of Wallachia, a principality in the southeastern part of present-day Romania and a peripheral territory at the intersection of the Habsburg, Russian, and Ottoman empires. It focuses on the professional integration of governesses into Romanian society, exploring their complementary routes of activity, both in private educational networks for the elite and in the emerging educational institutions for girls. Their cultural identities as transnational teachers sometimes collided with local perceptions and employers’ ambitions, and the study sheds light on the different categories of governesses and how they succeeded in keeping up with a certain model for governesses that prevailed in this period.

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Instead of a Novel

Sophia Yablonska's Travelogues in the History of Modern Ukrainian Literature

Olena Haleta

Abstract

This article focuses on the life and literary strategies of Sophia Yablonska (1907–1971), a self-identified Ukrainian camerawoman, photographer, and writer. While working for a French documentary production company, traveling around the world, and living in Morocco and China, Yablonska published three books of travelogues supported by hundreds of photos (The Charm of Morocco, 1932; From the Country of Rice and Opium, 1936; and Distant Horizons, 1939) that combine autobiographical and anthropological approaches and transgress poetic and narrative conventions. In her travelogues, Yablonska examines the contradictions between traditional and modern culture and expresses them in verbal and visual forms. Abandoning the genre of the novel for that of the travelogue, Sophia Yablonska transgressed literary and life norms in terms of genre, gender, anthropology, autobiography, perception, media, culture, and discourse. Her writings not only reveal other countries, but also show the formation of a modern personality in the process of writing.

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Vittorio Bufacchi

Abstract

The principle of non-maleficence, primum non nocere, has deep roots in the history of moral philosophy, being endorsed by John Stuart Mill, W. D. Ross, H. L. A. Hart, Karl Popper and Bernard Gert. And yet, this principle is virtually absent from current debates on social justice. This article suggests that non-maleficence is more than a moral principle; it is also a principle of social justice. Part I looks at the origins of non-maleficence as a principle of ethics, and medical ethics in particular. Part II introduces the idea of non-maleficence as a principle of social justice. Parts III and IV define the principle of justice as non-maleficence in terms of its scope and coherence, while Part V argues that the motivation of not doing harm makes this principle an alternative to two well-established paradigms in the literature on social justice: justice as mutual advantage (David Gauthier) and justice as impartiality (Brian Barry).