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Harlan Koff and Carmen Maganda

Regional integration has significantly impacted sustainable development processes at the sub-national, supranational and interregional levels. Regions & Cohesion here has highlighted the complexity of interactions between policy arenas and actors/stakeholders at different levels of governance. Past articles have examined how regions can build bridges between policy arenas and levels of governance in different world regions with the objective of promoting sustainability.

Open access

Collapse

Fake buildings and gray development in Nairobi

Constance Smith

In Nairobi, the speed of urban growth is producing a parallel threat of architectural failure: in a recent spate of tower block collapses, many have died. Nairobians describe collapsed tower blocks as “fake,” referring to ideas of the counterfeit, as well as anxieties about morally suspect economies. Simultaneously, state-led development is re-envisioning Nairobi as a “world-class” city of spectacular infrastructure and gleaming high-rises. Though seemingly disconnected processes, the two are deeply entangled. Building on Africanist debates about the power of the double and the relationship between the surface and the underneath, I explore this superficially sleek but materially fragile landscape through a lens of “gray development,” complicating standard distinctions between the informal and the formal to uncover the underneath of Nairobi’s world-class fantasies.

Open access

Commitment, Convergence, Alterity

Muslim-Christian Comparison and the Politics of Distinction in the Netherlands

Daan Beekers

This contribution looks comparatively at the everyday pursuit of religious commitment among young, revivalist-oriented Sunni Muslims and Protestant Christians in the Netherlands. In both public debates and academic scholarship, the differences between these groups tend to be stressed, particularly through dichotomies such as migrant/native and minority/majority. This article, by contrast, takes their potential common ground as a starting point by examining the pursuit of religious aspirations under shared conditions of consumer capitalism and cultural pluralism. I argue that my Christian and Muslim interlocutors experienced a noticeably similar dynamic of constraint on and reinvigoration of their faith. Further, I note the different degrees to which they emphasized their moral distinctiveness, and discuss how this disparity is related to dominant public representations of these groups.

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Conceptualizing sub-national regional cooperation

Coffee Cultural Landscape of Colombia case study

Diana Morales

English abstract: Regional cooperation is a context-dependent process that is better understood using a geographical approach; this is, accounting for the region as part of the explanation for and not only as the container in which cooperative agreements operate. The case of the Coffee Cultural Landscape of Colombia, a bottom-up regional cooperation process that resulted in a regional trademark, illustrates what roles are played by a diversity of local actors and how local socio-economic conditions influence cooperation agreements. The case highlights the inadequacy of inflexible jurisdictional boundaries and the limitations of preexisting categories (such as inter-municipal cooperation or metropolitan areas). The empirical evidence includes the analysis of 19 semi-structured interviews.

Spanish abstract: La cooperación regional es un proceso que depende del contexto local y regional; y una perspectiva geográfica apoya a considerar la región donde ocurre como parte de la explicación, y no como un contenedor dentro del cual operan los acuerdos. Este artículo aborda el caso del Paisaje Cultural Cafetero Colombiano, un proceso de cooperación regional de abajo hacia arriba que resultó en una marca registrada regional. El caso ilustra participantes y roles en el proceso y cómo las condiciones socioeconómicas locales influyen en los acuerdos de cooperación. Los resultados destacan la inflexibilidad de las divisiones jurisdiccionales y las limitaciones de las categorías preexistentes (como la cooperación intermunicipal o las áreas metropolitanas). La metodología incluyó el análisis de 19 entrevistas semi-estructuradas.

French abstract: Les processus de coopération régionale dépendent de leur contexte et sont mieux appréhendés à travers une approche géographique. En d’autres termes, il est nécessaire de prendre en compte la région comme partie intégrante de l’analyse, et non uniquement en tant que simple structure où les accords de coopérations se déroulent. Le cas du Paysage culturel du café de Colombie, un processus de coopération régionale du bas vers le haut qui a abouti à la création d’une marque, illustre les rôles joués par une diversité d’acteurs locaux et comment les conditions socio-économiques influencent les accords de coopération. Il met en évidence l’inadéquation des frontières juridictionnelles inflexibles et les limites des catégories préexistantes (comme la coopération inter-municipale et les aires métropolitaines). La méthodologie repose sur une étude de cas et dix-neuf entretiens semi-directifs.

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Consuming Katniss

Spectacle and Spectatorship in The Hunger Games

Samantha Poulos

Catherine Driscoll and Alexandra Heatwole. 2018. The Hunger Games: Spectacle, Risk and the Girl Action Hero. London: Routledge.

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Stephanie Russo

Anne Boleyn has been narrativized in Young Adult (YA) historical fiction since the nineteenth century. Since the popular Showtime series The Tudors (2007–2010) aired, teenage girls have shown increased interest in the story of Anne Boleyn, Henry VIII’s second and most infamous queen. This construction of Boleyn suggests that she was both celebrated and punished for her proto-feminist agency and forthright sexuality. A new subgenre of Boleyn historical fiction has also recently emerged—YA novels in which her story is rewritten as a contemporary high school drama. In this article, I consider several YA novels about Anne Boleyn in order to explore the relevance to contemporary teenage girls of a woman who lived and died 500 years ago.

Open access

Crisis and retirement

Alienation in Kerala's tea belt

Jayaseelan Raj

The recent crisis in the tea industry has devastated the livelihood of the Dalit workforce in the South Indian state of Kerala. Retired workers were worst affected, since the plantation companies—under the disguise of the crisis—deferred their service payout. This article seeks to understand the severe alienation of the retirees as they struggle to regain lost respect, kinship network, and everyday sociality in the plantations and beyond. I argue that the alienation produced through their dispossession as wage laborers and the discrimination as Tamil-speaking Dalit must be understood as an interrelated process, whereas the source of alienation cannot be reduced to production or categorical relations alone.

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Olusegun Steven Samuel and Ademola Kazeem Fayemi

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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Desarrollo vs. satisfacción de necesidades básicas

Recepción de remesas en Morelos, México

Ana Melisa Pardo Montaño and Claudio Alberto Dávila Cervantes

*Full article is in Spanish

English abstract: This article responds to the following questions: Which sociodemographic characteristics of households influence the reception of remittances in Morelos? What are the differences in household expenditure in basic needs if a household receives internal or international remittances, or if it receives none? Using the National Income and Expenditure Survey of 2016, we employed a logistic regression to examine the factors associated with the reception of remittances, and we analyzed different areas of expenditure by type of household. We present some reflection on a sending community in Morelos (Axochiapan) where we conducted 23 semi-structured interviews with people who receive remittances, who explained the main uses of these resources. We observed household characteristics that favor the reception of remittances, mainly used to satisfy basic needs.

Spanish abstract: Este artículo buscó responder: ¿qué características socio-demográficas en hogares influyen en la recepción de remesas en Morelos? y ¿cuáles son las diferencias en el gasto de los hogares respecto a sus necesidades básicas recibiendo o no remesas internas o internacionales? Utilizando la Encuesta Nacional de Ingresos y Gastos de los Hogares 2016, estimamos una regresión logística para examinar los factores asociados a la recepción de remesas y analizamos los rubros del gasto por tipo de hogar. Presentamos opiniones de una comunidad de origen en Morelos (Axochiapan), donde realizamos 23 entrevistas semiestructuradas a personas receptoras de remesas, quienes explicaron los principales usos de estos recursos. Observamos características de los hogares que favorecen la recepción de remesas, mayormente ocupadas en la satisfacción de necesidades básicas.

French abstract: Cet article pose la question suivante: quelles caractéristiques sociodémographiques des ménages influencent les transferts de fonds au Morelos? Quelles sont les différences de dépenses des ménages quant à leurs besoins fondamentaux, en fonction des transferts de fonds internes ou internationaux? A partir de l’Enquête nationale sur les revenus et dépenses de 2016, nous avons réalisé une régression logistique afin d’analyser les facteurs associés à la réception de fonds et les types de dépenses selon les ménages. Nous présentons ici les résultats concernant une communauté originaire du Morelos (Axochiapan), où nous avons effectué vingt-trois entretiens semi-structurés avec des destinataires de fonds qui ont expliqué les principales utilisations qu’ils faisaient de ces revenus. Nous en concluons les caractéristiques des ménages qui favorisent la réception des transferts de fonds, destinés principalement à satisfaire des besoins fondamentaux.

Open access

Dividing Worlds

Tsunamis, Seawalls, and Ontological Politics in Northeast Japan

Andrew Littlejohn

In 2011, a tsunami devastated Japan’s Northeast coastline following a magnitude 9.1 earthquake. In its aftermath, disaster scientists, civil engineers, and central government officials advocated protecting people and property from future oceanic incursions by armoring the coast with giant seawalls. Many survivors challenged this recommendation, arguing for other ways of ensuring safety and organizing human-nonhuman relations across the land-water interface. This article analyzes such resistance as acts of what I call ‘ontological dissensus’: the lodging of alternative ways of attuning to, conceptualizing capacities of, and arranging relations between beings in one’s environment into dominant ones. I argue that such a theory helps us not only to understand anti-seawall activism in post-tsunami Japan, but also to consider how, and when, ontological difference becomes active in political controversies.