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In Pursuit of Masculinity

On Aging Bodies, Migration and Youthful Masculinities

Usman Mahar


In this article, I describe the roles played by society and individual life-history on the aging process of a South Asian artist in Europe. Using participant observation and the life-history method, I look at my informant's emotional practices of aging. The resultant case study delineates his emotional pursuits and his views on what it means to be a man in his early sixties. I start by reviewing anthropological critiques of many of the current taken-for-granted gendered and biomedical conceptions of the aging body. Thereafter, I try to add to the debate surrounding these conceptions by looking into the affective economy of aging that my informant is embedded in. The article is as such an effort to understand the role that affect and emotional practices play in youthful ideals and self-conceptualizations of aging and masculinity.

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Bodies, Sexualities, and Masculinities in the Time of Coronavirus

Jonathan A. Allan, Chris Haywood, and Frank G. Karioris

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Fuelling Capture: Africa's Energy Frontiers

Michael Degani, Brenda Chalfin, and Jamie Cross


The introduction to this special issue begins by surveying the significance of what we call Africa's internal energy frontiers for understanding a global energy realignment marked by experiments in renewable technologies as well as revanchist investments in fossil fuels. It then discusses capture as a concept rooted in both Marxist informed accounts of global energy regimes as well as the political histories and practices of African populations. Finally, it discusses the articles as spanning three economies of capture along Africa's energy frontier: resurgent extractivism, post-carbon development and consumer renewables.

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Israel’s Ground Forces in the Occupied Territories

Policing and the Juridification of Soldiering

Eyal Ben-Ari and Uzi Ben-Shalom

The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) routinely rotate ground forces in and out of the Occupied Territories in the West Bank. While these troops are trained for soldiering in high-intensity wars, in the Territories they have long had to carry out a variety of policing activities. These activities often exist in tension with their soldierly training and ethos, both of which center on violent encounters. IDF ground forces have adapted to this situation by maintaining a hierarchy of ‘logics of action’, in which handling potentially hostile encounters takes precedence over other forms of policing. Over time, this hierarchy has been adapted to the changed nature of contemporary conflict, in which soldiering is increasingly exposed to multiple forms of media, monitoring, and juridification. To maintain its public legitimacy and institutional autonomy, the IDF has had to adapt to the changes imposed on it by creating multiple mechanisms of force generation and control of soldierly action.

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Laughter in the Ghetto

Cabarets from a Concentration Camp

Lisa Peschel


The World War II Jewish ghetto at Theresienstadt, forty miles northwest of Prague, was the site of an uncommonly active cultural life. Survivor testimony about the prisoners’ theatrical performances inspired a question: why were almost all of the scripts written in the ghetto comedies? The recent rediscovery of several scripts has made possible a detailed analysis that draws from recent research on the psychological effects of different types of humour. This analysis reveals that, regardless of age, language or nationality, the Theresienstadt authors universally drew upon two potentially adaptive types of humour (self-enhancing and affiliative humour) rather than two potentially maladaptive types (aggressive and self-defeating humour). Perhaps instinctively, they chose the very types of humour that have a demonstrated association with psychological health and that may have helped them preserve their psychological equilibrium in the potentially traumatising environment of the ghetto.

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Alexandra Senfft


This article addresses the transgenerational consequences of the Second World War and the Holocaust for the descendants of the Nazi perpetrators and bystanders. Using the example of her own family, the author traces the external obstacles and the psychological difficulties arising from working through a legacy of crime, compounded by the fact that an atmosphere of taboos, silence and denial has persisted within German families – in spite of all the research and enlightenment in the academic and political spheres. The author argues that the patterns of feeling, thinking and action are often passed down when they are not scrutinised. Meaningful dialogues with the survivors and their descendants, as well as authentic remembrance, the author claims, can only take place if descendants of the victimisers break away from those generationally transmitted narratives which continue to evade the entire truth about the crimes committed by the Nazis and their accomplices in Europe.

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Nir Gazit

Since 1967, the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) have been engaged in various military missions in the Occupied Palestinian Territories, including occasional high-intensity fighting and counter-insurgency, as well as civilian duties, such as administration and policing. While existing literature emphasizes the organizational and professional burden this combination of duties places on the military, the actual forces that shape soldiers’ policing practices in the field remain largely unexamined. The present article offers a micro-sociological examination of the patterns of military policing implemented by Israeli soldiers in the West Bank. It explores the social and political forces that shape soldiers’ ‘logics of action’ and demonstrates the reciprocal relations between the IDF’s disparate modes of policing of Jewish settlers and Palestinians. Three clusters of factors shape these interrelations: the relationships between soldiers and settlers, the blurring between ‘security’ and ‘civilian’ missions, and situational variables. The research for this article was conducted between 2004 and 2018.

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Chava Brownfield-Stein

Examining the activities of the Israel Defense Forces along the Gaza-Israel border, this article identifies a new phase in what the author calls ‘military-police fusion’. The analysis focuses on novel technologies—remote-controlled weapon stations and unmanned ground vehicles—and on the women soldiers who operate these systems. The central claim is that the blurring of boundaries between military and policing missions, combined with high-tech weaponry, has resulted in the development and implementation of new modes of violence that are currently undergoing a process of redefinition and feminization. The article addresses three key dimensions of the processes occurring in the hybrid operational environment along the Gaza-Israel border: the legal dimension, the technological dimension, and the gender dimension.

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The Missing Policing

The Absent Concept of Policing and Its Substitutes in Israeli Military Doctrine

Ofra Ben-Ishai

The Israeli army’s policing since 1967 has raised public awareness of the suffering of the Palestinian population, thereby implicating it as a key player in the Israeli political debate. This article discusses how policing has been presented in the leading military journals Ma’arakhot and Bein HaKtavim from 1967 to 2018. It argues that this coverage has served to mitigate the controversy by avoiding the explicit term ‘policing’ and replacing it with euphemisms that construct it differently in three distinct periods. In particular, since early in the twenty-first century, these journals have suggested alternative terms, which provide policing with hybrid military connotations that respond to pressure from both nationalist and liberal groups. New terms such as ‘the war between the wars’ promote broad public acceptance of the intractable nature of the conflict and legitimize the need to use violence.

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A Negative Theory of Justice

Towards a Critical Theory of Power Relations

Leonard Mazzone


This article outlines the chief challenges concerning the philosophical theories of emancipation and clarifies the solutions provided by a so-called negative theory of justice. Besides highlighting the classic questions that every philosophical theory of emancipation is expected to answer, the article aims to highlight the link between this theoretical framework and an immanent critique of conditions of domination. Moreover, it sheds light on the main differences between this theoretical perspective and Honneth's theory of recognition, Fraser's three-dimensional conception of justice, and the critique of power relations recently advanced by Rainer Forst. The comparative analysis of these theoretical approaches will make it possible to highlight and appreciate the main merits of a so-called negative theory of justice that combines a multidimensional diagnosis of existing asymmetries of power with an immanent critique of their justifications.