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Fabian Frenzel

Social and political organizing and organization has a spatial dimension, and there is increasing interest in academic studies of organization to understand better how space and organization relate, interact, and conflict. There is a range of studies that look at business and workplace organization, but little evidence from social movement organization or what is sometimes referred to as alternative organization studies. This article addresses this gap by observing and analyzing the effects of spatial organization in social movements. It focuses particularly on protest camps, a form of social movement organization in which spatial organization is particularly important. It looks at the Resurrection City protest camp of 1968 to identify the development of spatial organization practices. They are carried onwards across social movements, as they resolve organizational desires for the social movement organization, such as enabling mass organization without resorting to formal membership or hierarchical structures. In summary, the article provides insight into the relationship between spatial and social organization.

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Liliana L. Jubilut

This article reflects on the roles that universities from Brazil and Latin America can play in the protection of refugees and other migrants in the context of a debate of “recentering” the Global South in Refugee and Forced Migration Studies. To that end, it draws on teaching, research, and outreach initiatives as well as general reflections on the topic, and presents examples from Brazil and Latin America.

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Azim Malikov

The Kazakhs, Turkmens, Tajiks, Qaraqalpaqs, Uyghurs and Uzbeks in Central Asia share some distinct sacred lineages – Sayyids and Xojas – some of which appear in two or more of these ethnic groups. In the article, I will analyse some data on the history and identity of Islamic sacred lineages of Samarqand, compiled during ethnographic research of the population and archival materials. I will analyse the stories of the representatives of sacred families about their past, as well as published narratives. The analysis of the sources shows that despite the preservation of the historical family library, a secularised society and the Sovietera education influenced the views and the identity of sacred families.

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Spatializing Radical Political Imaginaries

Neoliberalism, Crisis, and Transformative Experience in the Syntagma Square Occupation in Greece

Dimitris Soudias

This article seeks to make sense of why participants in square occupations point to the transformative character of their experience. Drawing from narrative research on the 2011 occupation of Syntagma Square in Athens, I argue that the transformative quality of the occupation lies in the spatialized emergence and practice of radical political imaginaries in these encampments, which signify a demarcation from and an alternative to the neoliberalizing of everyday life in Greece. By scrutinizing the spatial demarcation between the “upper” and “lower” parts of the Syntagma Square occupation, one can think more carefully about the conditions of possibility for the emergence of the radical imagination.

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The Territorialization of Vietnam’s Northern Upland Frontier

Migrant Motivations and Misgivings from World War II until Today

Sarah Turner, Thi-Thanh-Hien Pham and Ngô Thúy Hạnh

Agricultural expansion and resource exploitation are reconfiguring the Southeast Asian Massif in important ways, with related in-migration to these uplands increasing rapidly. Within this region, the northern Vietnam frontier has an unusual migration history, including state-sponsored resettlement and spontaneous migration. While analyzing the reflections of 90 migrants, we investigate the patterns and processes by which Vietnam’s northern uplands have been peopled with lowland migrants from World War II until today, revealing three key waves or temporal groups. Focusing on these groups, we compare migrants’ everyday lived experiences during and soon after their journeys, with a range of unmet expectations, concerns, and tensions becoming apparent. This combination means that while the taming and territorialization of this upland frontier can be considered structurally complete, for migrant settlers their new home remains an ambiguous social space.

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Transit Migration in Niger

Stemming the Flows of Migrants, but at What Cost?

Sébastien Moretti

Since 2015, the European Union has stepped up its efforts to curb irregular migration from sub-Saharan Africa through increasingly restrictive measures targeting transit countries along migratory routes, including Niger. While the EU has heralded the success of its policies to limit migration through Niger, EU migration policies have disrupted the economic system in Agadez, where transit migration has been one of the main sources of income and a factor of stability since the end of the Tuareg rebellions in 2009. This article discusses the impact that EU migration policies may have at the local level in countries of transit, and highlights the potential for these policies to fuel tensions between local and national authorities. The Agadez case study illustrates the importance of a multilevel approach to migration governance that takes into full consideration the role of local authorities and local communities in countries of transit.

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Using Art to Resist Epistemic Injustice

The Aesthetics of the Oppressed and Democratic Freedom

Gustavo H. Dalaqua

This article argues that the aesthetics of the oppressed—a series of artistic practices elaborated by Augusto Boal that comprises the theatre of the oppressed, the rainbow of desire technique, and legislative theatre—utilizes art in order to resist epistemic injustice and promote democratic freedom. By constraining people’s ability to know and explore the potentialities of their bodies and desires, epistemic injustice perpetuates oppression and blocks the advent of democratic freedom. Whereas the theatre of the oppressed tackles corporal oppression, the rainbow of desire technique resists psychological oppression by encouraging the oppressed to critically examine their desires and self-knowledge. Finally, legislative theatre furthers democratic freedom by allowing citizens to protest against any epistemic injustice that might result from the enactment of laws made by representatives.

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When Transit States Pursue Their Own Agenda

Malaysian and Indonesian Responses to Australia's Migration and Border Policies

Antje Missbach and Gerhard Hoffstaedter

The growing literature on transit countries places much emphasis on the policy interventions of destination countries. In the case of Southeast Asia, Australian policies have disproportionate effects across borders into the region, including those of Indonesia and Malaysia. However, so-called transit countries also counterweigh foreign policy incursions with domestic politics, their own policies of externalizing their borders, and negotiations with destination countries to fund their domestic capacity. While Malaysia and Indonesia share many characteristics as transit countries, they are also noteworthy cases of how they negotiate their own interests in making difficult decisions regarding irregular migration in the region and how responsibility and burdens should be shared.

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"Your debts are our problem"

The politicization of debt in Azerbaijan

Tristam Barrett

Unlike in other countries with debt-saddled populations, the issue of consumer debt has been weakly politicized in Azerbaijan. There have been no social movements of the kind that occurred around the financial crises in the United States, the European periphery, or even in Ukraine’s post-revolution attempt at a “financial Maidan.” The lack of a public politics of debt left banks to act as predators, using a weak court system to intimidate people and obtain repayment of debts. Yet the constraints to the public sphere within which a contentious politics might unfold does not mean no such politicization exists. Using the example of Antikollektor, a successful anti-debt-collection agency in Baku, this article demonstrates the usefulness of building an understanding of civil society outside of the reductivist frames that shape recent debates over the authoritarian backlash against foreign-funded organized civil society in the former Eastern Bloc.

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Multiscalar moral economy

Global agribusiness, rural Zambian residents, and the distributed crowd

Tijo Salverda

This article addresses the relevance of the moral economy concept in light of unequal socioeconomic relations between a European agribusiness and rural residents in Zambia. It argues that the moral economy concept offers a helpful heuristic device for analyzing how relationships are constituted, negotiated, and contested among interdependent actors with “opposing” socioeconomic interests. To explain the dynamics of their relationships, however, the moral economy concept has to extend beyond its usual, spatially restricted (i.e., local) focus. Instead, “external,” distant, non-local actors, such as foreign critics concerned about “land grabbing,” also influence the local character of moral-economic exchanges between the agribusiness and rural residents. Hence, the article proposes a multiscalar perspective to account for the influence of a wider array of actors.