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Neglected Tropical Diseases

Creating a New Disease Grouping

Samantha Vanderslott

Neglected tropical diseases show how a disease group can be formed to compete in the global health policy marketplace. The naming and branding of a new disease category is used to organize activities, direct attention and resources, and rationalize the governance of diseases. The politics of classification involves processes of negotiation and conceptual development by key actors. Here, discussions about central characteristics, naming, and inclusion and exclusion criteria are rarely settled. Contradictions are present in the “tropical” and “neglected” characterizations, as well as choices of universalist rather than particularist approaches. Interacting with these considerations is a continued progression in means of dealing with disease from health actors and changing attributes of diseases in populations.

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Neither Shadow nor Spectre

Populism as the Ideological Embodiment of the Democratic Paradox

Anthony Lawrence Borja

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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Sandra Häbel

English abstract: The European Union (EU) is often understood as a normative power. However, based on a case study of European policy networks in Vietnam, this article shows that despite the EU’s commitment to norms and transformative development, norms are not a priority in the implementation of development policies. Rather, norm promotion is delegated to political and diplomatic representatives, whereas development and trade representatives are responsible for technical work. Consequently, policy networks created around these four sectors tend to operate separately from each other, undermining the spillover of norms from diplomatic and political networks to development and trade networks. As a result, this article shows that the structural–institutional separation of sectoral policy networks is one of the EU’s systemic characteristics that restrict normative policy coherence for development.

Spanish abstract: La Unión Europea (UE) es considerada un poder normativo, comprometida con las normas y el desarrollo transformativo. En cambio, usando un caso de estudio de redes europeas políticas en Vietnam, este artículo demuestra que las normas no son prioridad en la implementación de políticas de desarrollo. Al contrario, la promoción de normas se delega a representantes políticos y diplomáticos, mientras que los representantes del desarrollo y comercio se hacen cargo del trabajo técnico. Consecuentemente las redes políticas de estos cuatro sectores tienden a aislarse, dificultando la transferencia de las normas de redes políticas y diplomáticas a redes de desarrollo y comercio. El resultado demuestra que la separación estructuro–institucional de las redes políticas sectoriales es una de las características sistémicas de la UE que restringen la coherencia normativa de políticas para el desarrollo.

French abstract: L’Union européenne est souvent considérée comme une puissance normative. Cependant, sur la base d’une étude de cas de réseaux de politiques publiques au Vietnam, cet article montre que, malgré son engagement normatif et de développement réformateur, les normes ne sont pas une priorité dans la mise en oeuvre des politiques de développement. Au contraire, leur promotion est déléguée aux représentants politiques et diplomatiques, tandis que les représentants du développement et du commerce sont responsables des travaux techniques. Par conséquent, les réseaux politiques créés autour de ces quatre secteurs ont tendance à fonctionner séparément les uns des autres, ce qui compromet le transfert des normes des réseaux diplomatiques et politiques aux réseaux de développement et du commerce. Ainsi, cet article montre que la séparation structuro-institutionnelle des réseaux sectoriels de politiques publiques est l’une des caractéristiques systémiques de l’UE qui restreint leur cohérence normative en matière de développement.

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Queer Girlhoods in Contemporary Comics

Disrupting Normative Notions

Mel Gibson

In this article, I look at how comics aimed at young readers can serve to disrupt normative notions, gendered binaries, and fixed designations through featuring, or focusing on, queer girlhoods. In doing so I consider two contemporary series, Ms. Marvel and Lumberjanes. I contextualize these titles against aspects of the publishing of comics, before analyzing some of the narratives and characters in the texts in relation to queer girlhoods. I conclude that the comics offer different approaches and, therefore, differentiated reading experiences for the young readers who engage with them, but that they also form part of a wider grouping of titles that offer diverse images of young people embracing affiliations going beyond family and nation.

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Refugee studies in Austria today

From challenges to a research horizon

Leonardo Schiocchet, Sabine Bauer-Amin, Maria Six-Hohenbalken and Andre Gingrich

This article sets out to highlight present-day anthropological contributions to the field of forced migration and to the current debates on this topic in Europe through the experience of developing an international and interdisciplinary network for the study of refugees based in Vienna, Austria. To this end, this article engages with the grounding facts of the present Central European sociohistorical context and global political trends, grapples with shifting and questionable research funding landscapes such as the focus on “integration,” illustrates some of the main current research challenges, and highlights pressing topics. It concludes proposing a research horizon to counter present strong limitations on forced migration research and steer this research toward a more meaningful direction.

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Scale and Number

Framing an Ideology of Pastoral Plenty in Rural Mongolia

Joseph Bristley

Much recent anthropology reflects on how scales are contested and contingent products of heterogeneous social interactions, not the ‘ontological givens’ (sensu Carr and Lempert) described in earlier scholarship. This article examines the importance of number in the formation of scales of measurement. It does so regarding a pastoral Mongolian scale of livestock-counting based on the number ten thousand, or tüm[en]: a qualitative-cum-quantitative term suggesting plenty and abundance. Drawing on literature on the anthropology of number, and bringing it into dialogue with studies of scale and ideology, this article argues that number is not just a means for calibrating pre-existing scales. Instead, as something endowed with particular qualities and conceptual stability, number can be mobilized to produce ideologically charged scales of measurement.

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Marie Puysségur

In this article, I explore the use of space in Andrea Arnold’s Fish Tank and Céline Sciamma’s Bande de Filles, two films that depict the experiences of 15-year-old girls in a British housing estate and a Parisian banlieue respectively. The spatial motifs related to identity that circulate throughout the films establish a regime of flux, ambiguity, and reversibility that contributes to a depiction of female adolescence as unfixed and unsettled. I argue that both films, in their focus on the lived experience of their protagonists, investigate the landscape of economically and socially peripheral spaces to develop a specifically female approach to contemporary coming-of-age narratives that takes into account the difference that gender makes.

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Claudia Mitchell

This first issue of Girlhood Studies in 2020 brings together a collection of articles and reviews that pose, as a whole, critical questions about the ways in which conventional yet imaginative textual genres such as literature, film, and comics can sometimes line up in fascinating ways with the imaginative texts of space and place in the metro underground transport network of Helsinki or the farming communities of Scotland.

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Matthew P. Romaniello

With the arrival of volume 19, our readers will notice there have been some changes to the editorial organization of Sibirica. This special issue on “Asia in the Russian Imagination,” of which I am one of the guest editors, will be my final contribution to Sibirica. Last year I was presented the opportunity to become the editor of The Journal of World History for the next five years, which is a full-time obligation. I am excited to let you know that I have been succeeded as editor by Jenanne Ferguson. Professor Ferguson has a decade of experience working for the journal, in addition to her research contributions to the field, including her recent monograph, Words Like Birds: Sakha Language Discourses and Practices in the City (2019). I know that you all join me in wishing Professor Ferguson and her editorial team success as they steer the journal into the future.

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Traversing Fields

Affective Continuities across Muslim and Christian Settings in Berlin

Omar Kasmani and Dominik Mattes

This article, a reflection on collaborative fieldwork involving a Sufi Muslim and a Pentecostal Christian setting in Berlin, examines whether distinct and diverse religious groups can be brought into a meaningful relation with one another. It considers the methodological possibilities that might become possible or foreclose when two researchers, working in different prayer settings in the same city, use affect as a common frame of reference while seeking to establish shared affective relations and terrains that would otherwise be implausible. With two separately observed accounts of prayer gatherings in a shared urban context, we describe locally specific workings of affect and sensation. We argue that sense-aesthetic forms and patterns in our field sites are supralocal affective forms that help constitute an analytic relationality between the two religious settings.