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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.

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Note from the Editorial Board

The Challenges of Brexit and COVID

crisis level, so that now the societal and environmental futures of all European countries are inextricably bound together. And fourth, there is the rapid rise of populist nationalism across Europe, which has been caused by the exclusion and

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Editorial

Maesen and Walker 2012: 90 ). References Corbett , S. 2016 . “ The Social Consequences of Brexit for the UK and Europe: Euroscepticism, Populism, Nationalism, and Societal Division .” International Journal of Social Quality 6 ( 1 ): 11 – 32 10

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Abstracts

structures within the social networks of the café and “legitimate” commercial operations. Keywords : Algerian nationalism, clandestine networks, Paris, policing Muriel Cohen , Les circulations entre France et Algérie: un nouveau regard sur les migrants (post

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Romanticizing Difference

Identities in Transformation after World War I

Nadia Malinovich

empire were enjoined to respect their residents’ linguistic identities as a critical element in ensuring that Europe would have a peaceful future. Maggy Hary’s comparison of representations of Irish and Zionist nationalism in British political discourse

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Editorial

Edited by H. C.

others might follow. She finds that France’s standing has declined in many (though by no means all) areas, and she asks what prospects the current moment—Emmanuel Macron’s electoral victory in the face of Europe’s resurgent nationalism—might hold for a

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Abstracts

meaning and embraced new cultural scenarios created by the rise of a modern nationalism and the perception of national territory. The analysis examines two major scientific discourses on nostalgia, medical and geographical, recognizing that these

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Introduction

Writing History and the Social Sciences with Ivan Jablonka

Nathan Bracher

his childhood until the present, Jablonka sets out to save them from oblivion, seeking even to recover a measure of their lives’ ardent, generous humanity that had been systematically repressed by the various agents of antisemitic nationalism in Poland

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Rethinking World War I

Occupation, Liberation, and Reconstruction

George Robb and W. Brian Newsome

current issues and events. As Jeremy Black recently noted, the Great War was a key factor in “the making of the modern world,” and many contemporary phenomena flow inexorably from its unbridled nationalism and totalizing violence. 14 From shell shock to

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Editorial

The Evolution of 20 Years of Social Quality Thinking

communities in the city of Stoke-on-Trent in the United Kingdom, which had one of the highest percentages of the Leave votes resulting in Brexit. These voters were oriented to Euroscepticism, populism, and nationalism, as earlier discussed in this journal