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Sociocultural Change in Hungary

A Politico-Anthropological Approach

Ferenc Bódi and Ralitsa Savova

of Gothic cathedrals. The eminent historian also claims that Western European Christianity, which created modern states and societies, was born in this historical and cultural field. In essence, the American political scientist, political adviser

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“Stop it, f*ggot!”

Producing East European Geosexual Backwardness in the Drop-In Centre for Male Sex Workers in Berlin

Victor Trofimov

sexuality regimes in both parts of the continent to understand how this difference came into being. In Western Europe the social change of the 1960s brought liberalisation of sexual norms, the emergence of gay and lesbian movements, a gradually increasing

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A Mistrustful Society?

The Lack of Trust in Government Institutions in the Czech Republic

Nicole Horáková

lack of communication ( Marková 2004 ). In general, we can state that the trust of the Czech population in government institutions is, compared to other (Western-) European countries, at a relatively low level as the following survey from 2017 shows

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Editorial

A Thematic Issue about Central and Eastern European Societies

Zuzana Reptova Novakova and Laurent van der Maesen

conservative than many western European societies. For both ruling parties, appeals to family values are popular with their rural, older voter base. But evocations of traditional values also create a narrative that obscures the true nature of the showdown with

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The Longue Durée of Empire

Toward a Comparative Semantics of a Key Concept in Modern European History

Jörn Leonhard

Against the background of a new interest in empires past and present and an inflation of the concept in modern political language and beyond, the article first looks at the use of the concept as an analytical marker in historical and current interpretations of empires. With a focus on Western European cases, the concrete semantics of empire as a key concept in modern European history is analyzed, combining a reconstruction of some diachronic trends with synchronic differentiations.

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European Union

Are the Founding Ideas Obsolete?

Isabelle Petit and George Ross

On 9 May 1950, in an elegant salon of the Quai d’Orsay in Paris, France’s Foreign Minister Robert Schuman proposed that France and Germany, plus any other democratic nation in Western Europe that wanted to join, establish a “community” to regulate and govern the coal and steel industries across national borders. France and Germany had been at, or preparing for, war for most of the nineteenth and twentieth century, at huge costs to millions of citizens. Moreover, in 1950 iron and steel remained central to national economic success and war-making power. The Schuman Plan therefore clearly spoke to deeper issues.

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The Boundaries of Eurasia

Dividing Lands, Minds, and Bodies in Eighteenth-Century Siberia

Henry Jennings

During the eighteenth century, Western European travelers enjoyed unprecedented access to Siberia and many of those who visited believed themselves to have observed a clear boundary between Europe and Asia. This article examines the books of eight such travelers and explores how they categorized those living in Siberia into one of two categories, European or Asian. These travelers interpreted their observations in ways that led them to conclude that a clear binary division existed in the region, separating the European Russian settlers and government from the Asiatic indigenous peoples. Presenting their work as new information, they reproduced older categorizations, repackaged within the scientific language of the Enlightenment.

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Ofra Or

This article deals with midlife heterosexual Israeli-Jewish women in living-apart-together (LAT) partnerships after a previous marriage. The main issue that this research seeks to explore is how Israeli women experience these living arrangements. The most prominent justification for this type of partnership is the need for autonomy. The drive to achieve autonomy and the ambivalence expressed toward independence and intimacy are examined in three areas of identity formation: personal, partnership, and familial. In comparison to LAT partnerships in Western Europe, in which decisions are more likely to be made without taking the future into account, most partners in Israel negotiate possible changes in their living arrangements. In familial Israel, LAT partners also involve the extended family in the relationship. As a result, in Israel, LAT partnerships engender more ambivalence toward autonomy and interdependence than in other Western countries.

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Gareth E. Hamilton

This auto-ethnographic/biographical account deals with the experiences that a non-flying Northern-Ireland-born anthropologist living in the Baltic States has of mobility, infrastructure and connectedness, in particular with reference to academic and personal life. The article considers the movements which a career as an academic anthropologist requires, as well as the difficulties and intricacies that being located in Eastern Europe has for such land travel. Based on years of experience, it questions travel time and cost with particular reference to the seeming need to travel towards Western Europe in order to remain connected to the discipline’s main ‘movements’. The article also examines solutions such as the Via Baltica, and looks forward to improvements that new infrastructure (such as high-speed railways) can bring.

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Pamela Ballinger and Kristen P. Ghodsee

Scholars of religion have increasingly brought secularism within the framework of critical studies of spirituality, analyzing the dialogic relationship between religions and secularisms past and present. This emerging field of “postsecularist” studies examines the multiple meanings and practices that different cultures and societies attach to the concepts of “religion,” “faith,” and “piety.” The articles presented in this special section of Aspasia contribute to these larger academic debates by focusing on the multiethnic and historically pluralistic region of Southeastern Europe, an area too often ignored in larger scholarly discussions that have focused primarily on Western Europe and the so-called Third World. More important, the articles in this volume demonstrate how secularization projects are intricately interwoven with gender relations in any given society. Collectively, the articles urge readers to draw connections between the shifting spiritual cartographies, state formations, and definitions of appropriate masculinity and femininity of particular Southeastern European societies.