This essay is concerned with where the current of global political and economic events runs. It addresses this concern by erecting an argument in three stages. First, a string being theory (SBT) is outlined. Second, this theory is used to formulate an SBT approach to imperialism, one that might be imagined as Lenin by alternative (theoretical) means, emphasizing the role of violent force. The 'seven deadly sirens'—generalizations that predict the exercise of violent force under different conditions in imperial systems—are introduced. Third, certain post-1945 US government uses of violence are analyzed in terms of their fit with the seven sirens' predictions. Oil depletion is considered as contributing to systemic crisis in capital accumulation, and its role in Gulf War II is explored. It is concluded that US government violence is consistent with the sirens' predictions. The essay terminates with speculation about where the current runs.
What can Transnational Studies offer the analysis of localized conflict and protest?
Nina Glick Schiller
After reviewing the strengths and limitations of Transnational Studies, including its methodological nationalism, this article calls for the field to develop a theory of power. A transnational theory of power allows us to set aside binaries such as internal/external, global/local, or structure/agency, when analyzing historical and contemporary social processes and conflicts. Previous and current scholarship on imperialism can contribute to this project by facilitating the examination of the role of finance capitalists and of states of unequal financial and military power. However, Transnational Studies also must assess the contestatory possibilities of transnational social movements. The articles in this special section contribute to the development of Transnational Studies by examining past and present transnational constructions of locality, identity, authenticity, and voice, within social fields of uneven power. The articles also illuminate the types of transnational practices, conflict, and struggle that emerge. v
A reflection on John Kerry's Viet Nam quagmire
The 'Viet Nam War' entered the 2004 US presidential election in a most uncanny fashion, sparking a surrogate discussion of the limits of present imperial ambition and doctrine. This essay explores the limitations and possibilities of this proxy discussion to facilitate an understanding of John Kerry's political unraveling, as well as the continuing political dilemmas facing the US left.
On War and Accountability
This article centers on a set of discussions around accountability' as it pertains to war: accounts of war, accounting for war, what war accounts for, and accountability, including anthropological accountability. The essay details stories that ethnographers tell about what they have seen, heard, and done on the front lines. It reviews explanations for the causes, patterns, and practices of war, and for the occurrences of specific wars. The discussion also highlights what war explains, that is, how war creates its own outcomes. It considers who is to be held responsible for all the death and destruction that war inevitably brings and discusses impunity as systemic and strategic. Also considered is the responsibility of anthropology and anthropologists in facing up to the most significant crises of our times.
Europe and East Asia in Russian Political Caricature, 1900–1905
gruesome details of conflict to present European imperialism as harsh and callous. A Complicated Sympathy for China Although the Boxers had posed a real threat to Russia's economic and political interests in China and Manchuria, Novoe vremia' s and Iskry
Project Camelot and the post–World War II operationalization of social science
Philip Y. Kao
research in Latin America, but not much has been analyzed with respect to its scientific failures, epistemological shortcomings, and what consequences this has meant (if any) for a substantial understanding of US imperialism. 1 Project Camelot enjoys a
imperialism of Anglo-Saxon anthropologists’, which appears in one of the articles and is also echoed in another piece, following a critique developed in a review of the first conference of the European Association of Social Anthropologists ( Vale de Almeida
Matthew P. Romaniello
Russian imperialism continues to leave a strong imprint on indigenous cultures across Siberia, and throughout the Russian Federation and the post-Soviet republics. Imperialism is invasive and persistent, and it might be impossible to escape its consequences. In 1986, African novelist and postcolonial theorist Ngũgĩ wa Thiong’o published his influential essay collection, Decolonising the Mind: The Politics of Language in African Literature. One of his arguments is that no postcolonial subject could be free from the constraints of imperialism until she or he succeeded in freeing the mind from the trap of an imposed (and foreign) language. Ngũgĩ’s experience was based on his own life growing up in Kenya, but his lesson is as applicable to Siberia as it is for East Africa. For indigenous Siberians, language and education are at the forefront of the ongoing postcolonial struggle to maintain their cultural identities in modern Russia.
Francisca de Haan
The years 1917 and 1918 witnessed the end of the Russian, German, Habsburg, and Ottoman empires, with huge consequences for European and global history. Yet despite the obvious importance of empires to the history of Central, Eastern, and Southeastern Europe, gendered imperialism—especially within Eastern Europe—has received little attention from scholars. The theme section included here, “Rethinking Empire from Eastern Europe,” for which Susan Zimmermann served as guest editor, aims to begin addressing this omission.
This special issue of Critical Survey explores the reciprocal relationships between Victorian literature and Victorian science – both the representation of science in literature, and the appearance of the literary within scientific discourse. Recent trends in historicism inspire this collection to contextualise Victorian literature and culture through Victorian understandings of bodies. These critics rightfully begin from the assumption that only once we understand Victorian bodies as Victorians might have understood them can we theorise historical bodies as sites integral to the legitimisation of flows of cultural power: capitalism, imperialism, heteronormativity, and beyond.