Browse

You are looking at 121 - 130 of 10,752 items for

Restricted access

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.

Restricted access

"We Are Not Dead Souls"

The Good Petroleum Fairies and the Spirits of the Taiga in Subarctic Siberia

Dominique Samson Normand de Chambourg

Through the example of the Khanty-Mansi Autonomous Okrug–Yugra, which has become one of the country’s main energy hubs (accounting for 62 percent of Russian oil production) and a pioneer in matters of native rights, this article sheds light on what is at stake in the Siberian taiga of the early twenty-first century between two worlds that, over the years, have variously clashed, assisted each other, and ignored each other. Based primarily on fieldwork carried out between 2013 and 2018, as well as on interviews with local cultural and economic actors, the article outlines a local aspect of a history in movement that is still to be written.

Restricted access

"We Are Not Racists, We Are Nationalists"

Communitarianism and Beitar Jerusalem

Guy Abutbul-Selinger

This article explores the opposition expressed by fans of the Beitar Jerusalem football club to the presence of Arab players on their team. I suggest that instead of suspecting that fans’ behavior originates in false consciousness, we suspend suspicion and reconstruct the meanings they bring to their actions. Narrative analysis of fan interviews reveals the communitarian logic underlying their points of view. By appropriating sacred spheres in Judaism that demarcate the boundaries of the Jewish community, and identifying them with Beitar as opposed to signifying Arab players as defiling Beitar, fans delineate boundaries between Jews and Arabs. Through the sanctification of Beitar, the fans define Jewish collective boundaries and thereby preserve their worldview and identity while maintaining a hierarchy that grants Jews advantages in Israel.

Restricted access

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.

Restricted access

Dannica Fleuß and Gary S. Schaal

The article analyzes the (often implicit) understanding of democratic theory that is presupposed by scholars who engage in this practice and provides an answer to the question: “What are we doing when we are doing democratic theory?” We flesh out the core features of this scholarly activity by relating it to and differentiating it from assessments made from the perspective of political philosophy and political science. We argue that democratic theory aims at proposing institutional devices that are (a) problem-solving approaches and (b) embodiments of normative principles. This two-faced structure requires democratic theorists to engage in feedback loops with political philosophy on the one hand and empirical political science on the other. This implies that democratic theorists must adopt a dynamic approach: democratic theories must “fit” societal circumstances. In consequence, they must be adapted in case of fundamental societal transformations. We exemplify this dynamic character by referring to digitalization-induced changes in democratic societies and their implications for democratic theorists’ practice.

Free access

Rikki Dean, Jean-Paul Gagnon and Hans Asenbaum

What is democratic theory? The question is surprisingly infrequently posed. Indeed, the last time this precise question appears in the academic archive was exactly forty years ago, in James Alfred Pennock’s (1979) book Democratic Political Theory. This is an odd discursive silence not observable in other closely aligned fields of thought such as political theory, political science, social theory, philosophy, economic theory, and public policy/administration – each of which have asked the “what is” question of themselves on regular occasion. The premise of this special issue is, therefore, to pose the question anew and break this forty-year silence.

Restricted access

John Keane

In this critical commentary, John Keane defends, extends, and reasserts the role of history in democratic theory through an articulation of seven methodological rules: (1) treat the remembrance of things past as vital for democracy’s present and future; (2) regard the languages, characters, events, institutions, and effects of democracy as a thoroughly historical way of life and handling of power; (3) pay close attention to the ways in which the narration of the past by historians, leaders, and others is unavoidably a time-bound, historical act; (4) see that the methods that are most suited to writing about the past, present, and future of democracy draw attention to the peculiarity of their own rules of interpretation; (5) acknowledge that, until quite recently, most details of the history of democracy have been recorded by its critics; (6) note that the negative tone of most previous histories of democracy confirms the rule that tales of its past told by historians often harbor the prejudices of the powerful; and (7) admit that the task of thinking about the past, present, and future of democracy is by definition an unending journey. There can be no Grand Theory of Democracy.

Restricted access

Hélène Périvier and Rebecca Rogers

This article considers how women adopted a “scientific” statistical language at the end of the nineteenth century to draw attention to their role in the moral and social economy. It explores in particular the messages contained in La Statistique générale de la femme française, a series of eighteen murals that the moderate feminist Marie Pégard sent for exhibition at the Woman’s Building at the Chicago World’s Fair in 1893. The article begins by considering the place statistics held in France in the final decades of the century within the context of universal exhibitions. It then examines Pégard’s choice of quantified categories of social analysis to convey a sustained argument about the comparative weight of women in a modernizing French economy. The article seeks to understand how contemporaries read and interpreted the graphs, and how this mode of rendering visible the issue of women’s work played into the politics of an emerging feminist movement.

Restricted access

Fieldwork at sunset

Visual representations of anthropology online

Bryonny Goodwin-Hawkins and Hannah Gould

Most institutional anthropology departments have a website, to tout credentials, attract students, and offer information. These websites also take up the visual task of disciplinary representation, but their images have skipped the scrutiny that is necessary and overdue. Th is article analyzes online images of sociocultural anthropology across one hundred high-ranking universities worldwide. We show how, online, a discipline defined by diversity becomes readily reducible to “exotic” geographies and objectified “others.” While the urban serves as an unattractive foil, frequent images of children recall charity campaigns. Such visual tropes—which comprise a significant, public interface for anthropology—are not just awkwardly dated but also do disservice to ambitions for public anthropology. Change, we suggest, must begin at (the) home(page).

Restricted access

The Academic Reserve

Israel's Fast Track to High-Tech Success

Gil Baram and Isaac Ben-Israel

Why is Israel world-renowned as the ‘start-up nation’ and a leading source of technological innovation? While existing scholarship focuses on the importance of skill development during Israel Defense Forces (IDF) service, we argue that the key role of the Academic Reserve has been overlooked. Established in the 1950s as part of David Ben-Gurion’s vision for a scientifically and technologically advanced defense force, the Academic Reserve is a special program in which the IDF sends selected high school graduates to earn academic degrees before they complete an extended term of military service. After finishing their service, most participants go on to contribute to Israel’s successful high-tech industry. By focusing on the role of the Academic Reserve, we provide a broader understanding of Israel’s ongoing technological success.