In this article, through a set of ethnographic vignettes from fieldwork conducted in Angola since 2015, I discuss the political semantics of crisis and austerity, and simultaneously outline an itinerary of a “traveling austerity” between Portugal and Angola, exposing the interconnectedness and mutual binding of both political and economic contexts. Invoking stories of migrant workers in Luanda and the work of local “financial activists” protesting against financial inequality in Angola, I question the relevance of national-based approaches to austerity politics, explore conceptualizations of austerity beyond its “original,” mainstream Eurocentric setting, and argue towards the necessity of analyzing transnational intersections in the study of austerity.
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Ruy Llera Blanes
Audit cultures and the weakening of public sector health systems
Austerity across Africa has been operationalized through World Bank and IMF structural adjustment programs since the 1980s, later rebranded euphemistically as poverty reduction strategies in the late 1990s. Austerity’s constraints on public spending led donors to a “civil society” focus in which NGOs would fill gaps in basic social services created by public sector contraction. One consequence was large-scale redirection of growing foreign aid flows away from public services to international NGOs. Austerity in Africa coincides with the emergence of what some anthropologists call “audit cultures” among donors. Extraordinary data collection infrastructures are demanded from recipient organizations in the name of transparency. However, the Mozambique experience described here reveals that these intensive audit cultures serve to obscure the destructive effects of NGO proliferation on public health systems.
Memories and Emotions of a Socialist Construction Project
The Baikal-Amur Mainline (BAM), a railroad in East Siberia and the Russian Far East, became the last large Soviet industrial project. Its construction in the 1970s and 1980s attracted migrants from across the USSR, who formed the bamovtsy, or group of BAM builders. They share a history of working and living along the BAM and constitute the majority population in the region. The article argues that emotionally charged social memory of the BAM construction plays the central role in reproducing and reinforcing the bamovtsy identity in the post-Soviet period. Drawing on in-depth interviews and focus groups, the article examines the dynamics of both individual and collective remembering of the socialist BAM. It forms a vibrant discursive and emotional field, in which memories and identities are reconstructed, relived, and contested. Commemorative ceremonies such as the fortieth anniversary of the BAM serve as forums of public remembering and arenas for the politics of emotions.
Domesticating Democracy: The Politics of Conflict Resolution in Bolivia Susan Helen Ellison. Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 2018, ISBN: 9780822371083, 296 pp., Pb. $25.95.
Reviewed by Nico Tassi
Ryan T. Jones, Anna Bara, Galina V Grosheva, Ekaterina Gruzdeva, Peter Schweitzer, Kathryn Demps and Roza Laptander
A World Trimmed with Fur: Wild Things and the Natural Fringes of Qing Rule Jonathan Schlesinger (Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press, 2017), 288 pp. ISBN: 9780804799966
Ethnic and Religious Minorities in Stalin’s Soviet Union: New Dimensions of Research Andrej Kotljarchuk and Olle Sundström, eds. (Stockholm: Elanders, 2017), 283 pp., paperback $27.00. ISBN: 978-91-7601-777-7.
Kosmologiia i praktika sibirskogo shamanizma Elena V. Nam (Tomsk: Tomskii gosudarstvennyi universitet, 2017), 296 pp. ISBN: 978-5-7511-2521-9.
Kul’tura i resursy. Opyt etnologicheskogo obsledovaniia sovremennogo polozheniia narodov Severnogo Sakhalina Dmitrii Funk, ed. (Moscow: “Demos,” 2015), 272 pp. ISBN 978-5-9904710-6-1.
Maritime Hunting Culture of Chukotka: Traditions and Modern Practices Igor Krupnik and Rachel Mason, eds. (Anchorage, AK: National Park Service, Shared Beringian Heritage Program, 2016), 343 pp. ISBN: 9780990725251. Litsom k moriu: Pamiati Liudmily Bogoslovskoi Igor Krupnik, ed. (Moscow: Moskva, 2016), 647 pp. ISBN 9785600013650.
T-Bone Whacks and Caviar Snacks: Cooking with Two Texans in Siberia and the Russian Far East Sharon Hudgins (Denton: University of North Texas Press, 2018), 448 pp. ISBN: 9781574417142.
Bij de Joekagieren. Het oudste toendravolk van Noord-Oost Siberië / Life with the Yukaghir: Northeast Siberia’s Oldest Tundra People Cecilia Odé (Lias, Uitgeverij: Verschijningsjass, 2018), 240 pp., €29.95 (paperback). ISBN: 978-90-8803-099-4.
Jeff Smith, Dominic Topp, Jason Gendler and Francesco Sticchi
Giorgio Biancorosso, Situated Listening: The Sound of Absorption in Classical Cinema (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2016), xi + 246 pp., $55 (hardback), ISBN: 9780195374711. Reviewed by Jeff Smith
Lea Jacobs, Film Rhythm after Sound: Technology, Music, and Performance (Oakland: University of California Press, 2015), 280 pp., $34.95 (paperback), ISBN: 9780520279650. Reviewed by Dominic Topp
Miklós Kiss and Steven Willemsen, Impossible Puzzle Films: A Cognitive Approach to Contemporary Complex Cinema (Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 2017), 240 pp., £70.00 (hardback), £19.00 (paperback), ISBN: 9781474406727. Reviewed by Jason Gendler
Steffen Hven, Cinema and Narrative Complexity: Embodying the Fabula (Amsterdam: Amsterdam University Press, 2017), 261 pp., €22.00 (paperback), ISBN 9789462980778. Reviewed by Francesco Sticchi
Scott Lasensky, Ilan Peleg, Ned Lazarus, Don Seeman and Assaf Zimring
Michael Brenner, In Search of Israel: The History of an Idea (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2018), 392 pp. Hardback, $22.50.
Keren Or Schlesinger, Gadi Algazi, and Yaron Ezrahi, eds., Israel/ Palestine: Scholarly Tributes to the Legacy of Baruch Kimmerling [in Hebrew] (Jerusalem: Magnes Press, 2017), 525 pp. Paperback, $39.00.
Omer Zanany, From Managing Conflict to Managing a Political Settlement: Israeli Security Doctrine and the Prospective Palestinian State [in Hebrew] (Tel Aviv: Tami Steinmetz Center for Peace Research and Molad: The Center for Democratic Renewal, 2018), 99 pp.
David Ohana, Nationalizing Judaism: Zionism as a Theological Ideology (New York: Lexington Books, 2017), 224 pp. eBook, $64.40.
Arie Krampf, The Israeli Path to Neoliberalism: The State, Continuity and Change (London: Routledge, 2018), 254 pp. Hardback, $145.00. eBook, $54.95.
Naomi J. Andrews and Benoit Coquard
Gavin Murray-Miller, The Cult of the Modern: Trans-Mediterranean France and the Construction of French Modernity (Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 2017).
John Murphy, Yearning to Labor: Youth, Unemployment, and Social Destiny in Urban France (Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 2017).
Charles Middleburgh, Marc Saperstein, Ursula Rudnick and Lia D. Shimada
Bar Mitzvah: A History, by Rabbi Michael Hilton, University of Nebraska Press/Jewish Publication Society, 2014, ISBN: 978-0-8276-0947-1, 360pp., £22.99
The Beginnings of Ladino Literature: Moses Almosnino and His Readers, by Olga Borovaya, Bloomington, Indiana University Press, 2017, ISBN: 978-0- 253-02552-4 (hardback), 317 pp., $60.00
Deep Calls to Deep: Transforming Conversations between Jews and Christians, edited by Tony Bayfield, London, SCM, 2017, ISBN: 978-0-334-05512-9 (paperback), 368 pp., £40.00
Confessions of a Rabbi, by Jonathan Romain, London, Biteback Publishing, 2017, ISBN: 978-1-78590-189-8 (paperback), 306 pp., £12.99
Patrick O’Hare and Anna Szolucha
Kathleen Millar, Reclaiming the Discarded: Life and Labor on Rio’s Garbage Dump. Durham, NC: Duke University Press, pp. 248, 2018.
Sara Ann Wylie, Fractivism: Corporate Bodies and Chemical Bonds. Durham, NC: Duke University Press, pp. 424, 2018.