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Learning to Judge Politics

Professor John Dunn (Interviewed by Professor Lawrence Hamilton)

John Dunn and Lawrence Hamilton

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Valentina Mitkova

Boiko Penchev, Nikolay Papuchiev, Noemi Stoichkova, Bilyana Borisova, Kristina Iordanova, Nadezhda Stoyanova, and Sirma Danova, eds., Literaturata: Udovolstvia i predizvikatelstva. Jubileen sbornik v chest na prof. Milena Kirova (The literature: Pleasures and challenges. Anniversary collection in honor of Prof. Milena Kirova), Sofia: University Press St. Kliment Ohridski, 2018, 728 pp., BGN 26 (hardback), ISBN: 978-954-074-573-2.

Kamelia Spasova, Darin Tenev, and Maria Kalinova, eds., Parachoveshkoto: Gracia i gravitacia. Jubileen sbornik v chest na prof. Miglena Nikolchina (The parahuman: Grace and gravity. Anniversary collection in honor of Prof. Miglena Nikolchina), Sofia: University Press St. Kliment Ohridski, 2017, 976 pp., BGN 30 (hardback), ISBN: 978-954-07-4268-7.

Lyudmila Malinova, Kristina Iordanova, and Marineli Dimitrova, eds., Zhenite v bulgarskata literatura i kultura (The women in Bulgarian literature and culture), Sofia: University Press St. Kliment Ohridski, 2018, 526 pp., BGN 22 (paperback), ISBN: 978-954-07-4363-9.

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Neither Shadow nor Spectre

Populism as the Ideological Embodiment of the Democratic Paradox

Anthony Lawrence Borja

Abstract

The beating heart of democratic politics is a set of paradoxes revolving around the issues of popular identity and sovereignty. Populist ideology appeals to the sovereign people, consequently engaging the democratic paradox in a manner akin to either moving an immoveable object or catching something in constant flux. Marginal consideration has been given by scholars to populism's relationship with the democratic paradox, with current notions of the former seeing it more as a result of the latter. Thus, by recasting the democratic paradox as a question and analysing its relationship with populist ideology, this article seeks to clarify the supposedly ambiguous relationship between populism and democracy. In analysing the transformative processes within populism by using early Peronism and Italian Fascism as case studies, it argues that as the ideological embodiment of the democratic paradox populist ideology preserves and expresses the paradox in the public sphere.

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Public Health in Eastern Europe

Visible Modernization and Elusive Gender Transformation

Evguenia Davidova

Heike Karge, Friederike Kind-Kovacs, and Sara Bernasconi, eds., From the Midwife's Bag to the Patient's File: Public Health in Eastern Europe, Budapest: Central European University Press, 2017, vii–xix, 349 pp., $70.00/€62.00 (hardback), ISBN: 978-963-386-208-7.

Constantin Barbulescu, Physicians, Peasants, and Modern Medicine: Imagining Rurality in Romania, 1860–1910, translated by Angela Jianu, Budapest: Central European University Press, 2018, xi–xii, 292 pp., $60.00/€50.00 (hardback), ISBN: 978-963-386-267-4.

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Stiletto Socialism

Social Class, Dressing Up, and Women's Self-Positioning in Socialist Slovenia

Polona Sitar

Abstract

This article explores how women interpreted everyday clothing practices and decoration of their body and how they positioned themselves in different social milieus during the period of socialist Slovenia (1945–1991). The new socialist middle class in Slovenia and Yugoslavia was defined by participation in a lifestyle, created and expressed through consumption and behaviors that turned everyday life into a symbolic display of taste and cultural distinction. This article shows the ways women engaged in self-expression and negotiated dressing up. It analyzes the self-emancipation of women as they challenged the boundaries of social hierarchies on the basis of self-transformations, pointing out the active role that women had in their self-positioning in social categories.

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Chiara Bonfiglioli

Jocelyn Olcott, International Women's Year: The Greatest Consciousness-Raising Event in History, Oxford University Press, 2017, 352 pp., $34.95 (paperback), ISBN: 978-0-19532-768-7.

Kristen Ghodsee, Second World, Second Sex: Socialist Women's Activism and Global Solidarity during the Cold War, Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 2019, 306 pp. $25.35 (paperback), ISBN: 978-1-47800-181-2.

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Anastasia Deligiaouri and Jane Suiter

How can we define democracy today given the continuous changes that modern societies are undergoing? What is the role of a democratic theorist? This paper articulates a threefold argument in responding to these questions by analyzing the term of democracy in vitro, in vivo, and in actu. The first step is to secure a democratic minimum and the core principles of democracy. The second step involves studying democracy as an ongoing project and examining how the principles of this democratic minimum are encoded. In the third step we deploy the basic premises of discourse theory of Laclau and Mouffe when evaluating a specific discourse of democracy, as this approach encompasses both discursive and nondiscursive practices. Utilizing this three-level evaluative framework for democratic theory will allow us to not only articulate normative principles but also evaluate them according to their mode of implementation.

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Book Reviews

On Machiavelli as Plebeian Theorist

Marc Stears, Jérémie Barthas, and Adam Woodhouse

Reading Machiavelli: Scandalous Books, Suspects Engagements, and the Virtue of Populist Politics, by John McCormick. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2018. 288 pp.

Machiavelli in Tumult. The Discourses on Livy and the Origins of Political Conflictualism, by Gabriele Pedullà. Translated by Patricia Gaborik and Richard Nybakken. Revised and updated by the author. Cambridge and New York: Cambridge University Press, 2018. xix + 284 pp.

Machiavelli and the Orders of Violence, by Yves Winter. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2018. 230 pp.

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Niklas Olsen, Irene Herrmann, Håvard Brede Aven, and Mohinder Singh

Crisis and Existentialism in the Work of Reinhart Koselleck

Gennaro Imbriano, Der Begriff der Politik: Die Moderne als Krisenzeit im Werk von Reinhart Koselleck [The concept of politics: Modernity as a time of crisis in the work of Reinhart Koselleck] (Frankfurt: Campus Verlag, 2018), 187 pp.

Jan Eike Dunkhase, Absurde Geschichte: Reinhart Kosellecks historischer Existentialismus [Absurd history: Reinhart Koselleck's historical existentialism] (Marbach: Deutschen Literaturarchiv Marbach, 2015), 67 pp.

Humanity in Practice: New Approaches to Conceptual History

Fabian Klose and Mirjam Thulin, eds., Humanity: A History of European Concepts in Practice from the Sixteenth Century to the Present (Göttingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 2016), 324 pp.

The Merits of Mistranslation

Eric Schatzberg, Technology: Critical History of a Concept (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2018), 344 pp.

Beyond Universalism and Nativism: The Conceptual Vocabulary of Indian Modernity

Gita Dharmpal-Frick, Monika Kirloskar-Steinbach, Rachel Dwyer, and Jahnavi Phalkey, eds., Key Concepts in Modern Indian Studies (New Delhi: Oxford University Press, 2015), 350 pp.