‘Business as usual’ in contemporary Albania takes place between different and conflicting systems of meaning and value. Drawing from ethnographic material collected in Tirana, Albania, this article examines the complexities of social and economic life in a city where distinct moral economies routinely clash with the capitalist principle of profit. Starting from the ethnographic impulse to learn how two local booksellers made sense of the contradictory systems of meaning operating in their everyday lives, the analysis shows how a grinding of discordant value systems produced the more general paradox of an ‘ordinary tragedy’.
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An Ordinary Tragedy in Now-Capitalist Albania
Teaching Religious Zionist History in the Postmodern Era
In recent decades, the impact of postmodern approaches to history teaching has triggered an extensive worldwide debate that accommodates diverse and contrasting voices. This article examines how the education system of Religious Zionism, one of the most important ideological movements in Israel, copes with this issue. This inquiry, which is based on Peter Seixas’s conceptualization, analyzes the system’s history curriculum, its latest textbooks, and an array of lesson plans. The analysis reveals a complex method of coping with postmodernism, including the adoption of clearly postmodern attitudes at the declarative level and the neutralization of their influence in practice.
A Literature Review
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.
Ehud Olmert, In Person [in Hebrew] (Tel Aviv: Yedioth Ahronoth Books, 2018), 896 pp. Hardback, $42.00.
Avi Gil, The Peres Formula: Diary of a Confidant [in Hebrew] (Modi’in: Kinneret Zmora-Bitan Dvir, 2018), 368 pp. Hardback, $28.00.
Ehud Barak, My Country, My Life: Fighting for Israel, Searching for Peace (New York: St. Martin’s Press, 2018), 496 pp. Hardback, $29.99.
Anshel Pfeffer, Bibi: The Turbulent Life and Times of Benjamin Netanyahu (London: Hurst, 2018), 432 pp. Hardback, $36.95. Kindle, $19.99.
Greed Accusations in an Australian Coal Mining Town
In Australian mining towns like Moranbah, relationships between labour, capital and the state have long been defined by struggles over housing amidst cascading cycles of boom and bust linking global commodity markets to local real estate. Most recently, the emergence of ‘fly-in-fly-out’ labour arrangements, partially in response to rampant real estate speculation, have challenged mine workers’ rights to housing and community. Focusing on the schadenfreude that accompanied the public vilification of one failed, small-time real estate speculator as a case study who is contrasted with the figure of the Cashed-up-Bogan, this article shows how accusations of greed are mobilized to political effect. While greed’s tendency to emerge discursively as an accusation might make it seem like an attractive critical discourse, its putative connections to embodiment and the visceral give it an individualizing tendency that allows it to be wielded more easily against persons than institutions, undermining broader structural critiques.
Kobi Michael, Rob Geist Pinfold, Nadav Shelef, Hayim Katsman, Paul L. Scham, Russell Stone, Haim Saadoun, Raphael Cohen-Almagor, Tamar Hermann, Hanna Herzog, Sam Lehman-Wilzig and Ruvi Ziegler
Stuart A. Cohen and Aharon Klieman, eds., Routledge Handbook on Israeli Security (New York: Routledge, 2018), 350 pp. Hardback, $220.00.
Wendy Pearlman and Boaz Atzili, Triadic Coercion: Israel’s Targeting of States That Host Nonstate Actors (New York: Columbia University Press, 2018), 367 pp. Hardback, $65.00.
Dmitry Shumsky, Beyond the Nation-State: The Zionist Political Imagination from Pinsker to Ben-Gurion (New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 2018), 320 pp. Hardback, $40.00.
Moshe Hellinger, Isaac Hershkowitz, and Bernard Susser, Religious Zionism and the Settlement Project: Ideology, Politics, and Civil Disobedience (New York: SUNY Press, 2018), 348 pp. Hardback, $95.00.
Avi Sagi and Dov Schwartz, Religious Zionism and the Six-Day War: From Realism to Messianism (New York: Routledge, 2018), 134 pp. Hardback, $140.00.
Yoav Peled and Horit Herman Peled, The Religionization of Israeli Society (New York: Routledge, 2018), 250 pp. Hardback, $150.00.
Joel Peters and Rob Geist Pinfold, eds., Understanding Israel: Political, Societal and Security Challenges (New York: Routledge, 2018), 292 pp. Hardback, $145.00. Paperback, $51.95. Kindle, $25.98.
Orit Bashkin, Impossible Exodus: Iraqi Jews in Israel (Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press, 2017), 320 pp. Hardback, $85.00.
Shapiro Prize Winner: Diego Rotman, The Stage as a Temporary Home: On Dzigan and Shumacher’s Theater (1927–1980) [in Hebrew] (Jerusalem: Magnes Press, 2017), 354 pp. Paperback, $33.00.
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.
The Case of Bernie Madoff
Sherry B. Ortner
Investment broker Bernie Madoff ran what is still considered the largest Ponzi scheme in history, defrauding thousands of investors over a 20-year period of more than $20 billion. He worked his game almost entirely through kinship connections—relatives, friends of relatives, and relatives of friends. The relationship between kinship and capitalism has drawn renewed attention by anthropologists, part of a broader effort to rethink capitalism not as a free-standing ‘economy’ but as deeply embedded in a wide range of social relations. In this article I use the Madoff case to illustrate, and develop further, several aspects of the kinship/capitalism connection. I also consider briefly the boundary between fraud and ‘legitimate’ capitalism, which many economic historians consider a fuzzy boundary at best.
Emotion, Law, and Witchcraft Accusations in a Botswana Village Customary Court
Pnina Werbner and Richard Werbner
Legal anthropologists have been latecomers in the debate surrounding law and emotion, a movement responding to the notion that the law is ‘imbued with emotion’. As in the US and Europe, in Botswana cases of public insults are emotionally charged, and this is particularly so in witchcraft insult hearings. Akin to hate crimes, these insults threaten public peace, kinship amity, and decency. Members of a customary court mobilize an elaborate moral lexicon from everyday life in order not simply to ascertain the forensic facts, but to persuade offenders to regain their rational good sense, reach a self-conscious emotional balance, and recover spiritual calmness. The procedure culminates in a dialogue intended to restore public peace and to elicit an apology or show of regret from defendants and forgiveness from insulted plaintiffs.
Contrasts and Congruence within and between Germany and England
Eleanor Brown, Beatrice Szczepek Reed, Alistair Ross, Ian Davies and Géraldine Bengsch
This article is based on an analysis of the treatment of the European Union in a sample of textbooks from Germany and England. Following contextual remarks about civic education (politische Bildung) in Germany and citizenship education in England and a review of young people’s views, we demonstrate that textbooks in Germany and in England largely mirror the prevailing political climate in each country regarding Europe. At the same time, the analysis reveals a disparity between the perspectives presented by the textbooks and young people’s views. The textbooks in Germany provide more detail and take a more open approach to Europe than those in England. Finally, we argue that the textbooks may be seen as contributing to a process of socialization rather than one of education when it comes to characterizations of Europe.