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Civil Societies and Uncivil Times

The Rubber Band Ball of Transnational Tensions

Brian Callan

This article introduces a special issue of Contention Journal addressing various contemporary mobilizations of civil society in response to the war in Syria and the migration of refugees into Europe. With contributions from Turkey, Israel, Lebanon, Canada, the Czech Republic and Germany, the cases represent a breadth of multidisciplinary approaches and a variety of stylistic standpoints, from statistical media analysis to troubled personal reflections of engaged activist academics. The subject matter ranges from political mobilization against authoritarianism and austerity, transnational philanthropy, the emergence of local grassroots voluntary aid to right-wing populist nationalism. Though diverse, a coherent narrative is seen to converge around the refugee crisis as it unfolds in Europe; one of radical polarization within civil societies and starkly conflicting imaginaries of social futures that claim to preclude the legitimacy of other possibilities. At the same time alliances are being generated beyond borders in an attempt to bolster ideological capacity, authority, and force. This is not a clash of civilizations but the rubber band ball of transnational tension, a strained, chaotic and overlapping global contestation. At stake is the understanding of what a civil society should be.

Open access

Liberation Autochthony

Namibian Veteran Politics and African Citizenship Claims

Lalli Metsola

citizenship. I will argue Namibian ex-combatant and veteran politics exemplify a particular kind of exclusionary nationalism that is comparable with autochthonous and ethnonationalist politics of citizenship that tend to operate through “cultural” designators

Open access

Decolonising Durkheimian Conceptions of the International

Colonialism and Internationalism in the Durkheimian School during and after the Colonial Era

Grégoire Mallard and Jean Terrier

the twentieth century vis-à-vis colonisation. On the one hand, these scientists set up the theoretical foundations for a coherent criticism of essentialist racialism and nationalism – some of them, like Marcel Mauss, went as far as developing an

Open access

Francis, a Criollo Pope

Valentina Napolitano

Anderson's thesis, Criollo nationalism in the Americas (and Mexico in particular) was also sacralized, rather than secularized, through its belief that all people, regardless of place of birth, were children of the same blood of Christ ( Lomnitz-Adler 2001

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Towards Dalit Ecologies

Indulata Prasad

, G. 2005 . Interpreting Kerala's Social Development . New Delhi : Critical Quest . Aloysius , G. 2010 . Nationalism without a Nation in India . Oxford : Oxford University Press . Ambedkar , B. R. 1979a . Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar

Open access

Book Reviews

Adwaita Banerjee, Emma Banks, Julie Brugger, Maya Daurio, Florence Durney, Wendi A. Haugh, Lisa Hiwasaki, David M. Hoffman, Raka Sen, David Stentiford, and Weronika Tomczyk

Australian nationalism tied to local flora and fauna, while at the same time dispossessing local Aboriginal Ngarrindjeri peoples from bird hunting and egg collection in their Country. Though the chapter is artful in its deeply layered local focus, broader