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Representing Sanctuary

On Flatness and Aki Kaurismäki's Le Havre

Vinh Nguyen

Abstract

This article takes sanctuary as a problematizing challenge to the state, coming into effect when political asylum fails or is denied. Sanctuary, it argues, offers a form of protection that does not take legality as its basis or reference point, and in fact often subverts such legality. Thinking with Aki Kaurismäki's Le Havre (2011), this article seeks to understand the kinds of “individual” protection that sanctuary makes possible, and what they illuminate about conceptions of refuge that do not require sovereign authorization, but instead find their foundations in interpersonal relationality, solidarity, and community formations. Through a “flat migrant aesthetics”—deadpan, anti-realism, and unarticulated motivation—Kaurismäki's film dislodges automated perceptions and clichéd narrative expectations to redirect attention to human solidarities and the building of sanctuary, on and off screen.

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Rethinking Modes of Political Participation

The Conventional, Unconventional, and Alternative

Marcin Kaim

Abstract

Political participation is frequently defined as either being conventional or unconventional. This distinction is based on dualistic thinking. Participation is likened to other dualisms, such as legal–illegal, collective–individual, and unity–plurality. Drawing on Niklas Luhmann's system theory, I argue that understanding political participation in terms of dualisms is reductive, as it overlooks those acts of participation that do not fit the conventional–unconventional distinction. To address this issue, the article introduces the notion of alternative political participation. This category is established by conceiving the existing dualism between conventional and unconventional political participation as a continuum of options existing between polar opposites.

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Review

On Reinhart Koselleck's Intellectual Relations to Carl Schmitt

Niklas Olsen

Jan Eike Dunkhase, ed., Reinhart Koselleck/Carl Schmitt: Der Briefwechsel 1953–1983 [Reinhart Koselleck/Carl Schmitt: The correspondence 1953–1983] (Berlin: Suhrkamp Verlag, 2019), 459 pp.

Sebastian Huhnholz, Von Carl Schmitt zu Hannah Arendt? Heidelberger Entstehungsspuren und bundesrepublikanische Liberalisierungsschichten von Reinhart Kosellecks “Kritik und Krise” [From Carl Schmitt to Hannah Arendt? On the Heidelbergian genesis and the West German liberalization layers of Reinhart Koselleck's “Kritik und Krise”] (Berlin: Duncker & Humblot, 2019), 172 pp.

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Sacred Welcomes

How Religious Reasons, Structures, and Interactions Shape Refugee Advocacy and Settlement

Benjamin Boudou, Hans Leaman, and Maximilian Miguel Scholz

Abstract

This special section explores the role of religious ideas and religious associations in shaping the response of states and non-state actors to asylum-seekers and refugees. It brings together insights from anthropology, law, history, and political theory to enrich our understanding of how religious values and resources are mobilized to respond to refugees and to circumvent usual narratives of secularization. Examining these questions within multicultural African, European, and North American contexts, the special section argues that religion provides moral reasons and structural support to welcome and resettle refugees, and constitutes a framework of analysis to better understand the social, legal, and political dynamics of inclusion and exclusion in contexts of migration.

Open access

Sanctuary in Countries of Origin

A Transnational Perspective

Alexandra Délano Alonso

Abstract

While current interpretations of sanctuary are most often associated with practices to protect, support, and accompany migrants with precarious status in countries of destination in the Global North, debates around the concept and practice of sanctuary in countries of origin reveal different historical and contemporary understandings. This article explores questions related to sanctuary's symbolic and political power in the Mexican context, specifically examining three cases: the Mexico City government's declaration as a sanctuary city—specifically for returned migrants—in April of 2017, the work of migrant shelters along migration routes in Mexico, and the work of Otros Dreams en Acción to accompany deported and returned migrants and the establishment of Poch@ House as a sanctuary space in Mexico City.

Open access

Alexandra Délano Alonso, Abou Farman, Anne McNevin, and Miriam Ticktin

Abstract

In 2018, the New School Working Group on Expanded Sanctuary collaboratively organized a series of workshops in New York to reflect on the question of sanctuary as a conceptual and practical starting point for cross-coalitional politics, including its tensions and risks. This short piece is an attempt to bring together the sentiments expressed in those workshops by activists, organizers, students and academics focusing on anti-racist, pro-migrant, and pro-Indigenous struggles, in a form that engages sanctuary as an ongoing question.

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Mary Edwards

This paper aims to show that Sartre’s later work represents a valuable resource for feminist scholarship that remains relatively untapped. It analyses Sartre’s discussions of women’s attitude towards their situation from the 1940s, 1960s, and 1970s, alongside Beauvoir’s account of women’s situation in The Second Sex, to trace the development of Sartre’s thought on the structure of gendered experience. It argues that Sartre transitions from reducing psychological oppression to self-deception in Being and Nothingness to construing women as ‘survivors’ of it in The Family Idiot. Then, it underlines the potential for Sartre’s mature existentialism to contribute to current debates in feminist philosophy by illuminating the role of the imagination in women’s psychological oppression.

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Daniel O’Shiel

I argue for three different concepts of God in Being and Nothingness. First I review the relevant scholarship with regard to Sartre, religion, and God. Second I show how Sartre uses three Gods in his ontological system: God as Nature, God as radical Otherness, and God as absolute Value. Third I show that Sartre’s conception of the imaginary explains how a purer, more theoretical conception of God can be perverted into more anthropocentrised and anthropomorphised versions. Fourth I consider the consequences of sticking to more Sartrean notions which ultimately can emphasise humility, respect, and responsibility before Nature, the Other, and Value, thereby calling for a reduction of both anthropomorphism and -centrism in religious faith and our conceptions of God.

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Colin Wayne Leach and Cátia P. Teixeira

Yet another long, hot summer in 2020 brought to the broader consciousness—in the US and well beyond—what Black folks have known for centuries about the ways in which racial hegemony relies on the acute violence of a police knee on a prone neck and the chronic violence of prisons, prefects, and (public housing) projects (for discussions, see Bulhan 1985; Omi and Winant 2014; Sidanius and Pratto 1999). In their commentary, AK Thompson makes too many important points for us to address in this brief commentary. Thus, as research psychologists with a transdisciplinary social-behavioral approach to protest, resistance, and societal change, we focus on what we see as Thompson's most psychologically oriented theses: II, III, V, and VI. In sum, we see Thompson as arguing that social movements necessarily include a (more or less latent) threat of violence (II) and that this violence is noticed and suppressed because it challenges (III) the logic (economic, political, and cultural), the ethics, and the formalization (legal, political, and institutional) of racial hegemony (V). In addition, we take Thompson to argue that Black freedom struggles are, and have always been, flexible in means and aims (VI), adjusting strategically to the multifaceted dynamics of oppression and resistance.

Open access

Stephanie J. Silverman

Abstract

For a 2016 article on immigration detention in Canada, I co-created a composite case study named Amir. At the end of writing, I left him indefinitely incarcerated. This article provides an opportunity both to suggest more ethical ways to research detention, and to query White scholarly acquiescence to anti-Black racism and the build-up of detention systems. To spring Amir, I slide a series of four, interrelated doors: (1) discretionary release; (2) a writ of habeas corpus; (3) the end of anti-Black, anti-Muslim, and anti-refugee discrimination in Canada; and (4) the abolition of detention. I conclude with a reflection on promising methodological directions leading toward a new horizon of immigrant and racial justice.