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“Communists” on the shop floor

Anticommunism, crisis, and the transformation of labor in Bulgaria

Dimitra Kofti

capable” workers would get paid more and have access to promotion opportunities, while in reality their livelihoods were becoming more precarious, comparable to those reported in other ethnographies of decline, labor flexibilization, and dispossession

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The Decline of Rome

The Never-Ending Crisis in the Capital

Giada Zampano

The first female mayor in Rome’s history, Virginia Raggi, is faced with a dual challenge. First, she must try to solve the chronic problems of a city mired in debt and struggling with an ongoing emergency caused by chronic traffic problems and chaotic waste disposal. Then the young mayor must experiment with new ways of exercising power to establish the transparency required to restore the reputation of a political class that has led Rome to become known as the “Mafia Capital,” with its own “in-between world” made up of corrupt politicians, business people, and criminals. Since assuming office, Raggi has faced a political impasse, and her administration has suffered an embarrassing string of resignations and judicial scandals that have brought into question the city’s future prospects. Rome is now at a crossroads that may lead to either a much-awaited renaissance or a definitive meltdown.

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Don Nonini

housing commons. As industry underwent decline in the Netherlands, so too did Dutch industrial capital and its broader Fordist commitment to the state’s provision of welfare services to industrial workers as a means of keeping wages low. In its place

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Richard H. Robbins

itself that requires little justification, an idea reinforced by some linguistic sleight of hand (see, e.g., Friedman 2005 ). Growth, after all, connotes advancement, expansion, improvement, and, most of all, progress, and contrasts with decline, loss

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Putting-out’s return

Informalization and differential subsumption in Thailand’s garment sector

Stephen Campbell

capitalist development. These arise from Karl Marx’s use of the rise and decline of the putting-out system in England’s early modern textile industry to analyze the historical emergence of industrial capitalism and to mark the shift from the “merely formal

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Mathijs Pelkmans

This essay reviews the revolutionary situations that recently emerged in the post-Soviet world, focusing on the 'Tulip Revolution' in Kyrgyzstan. Observers were quick to explain this revolution in terms of democratic resistance to authoritarianism. This view is particularly problematic given that Kyrgyzstan was among the 'fast reformers' in the region and made its name as an 'island of democracy'. Instead of assuming that problems started when the country digressed from the ideals of liberal democracy, this essay argues that democratic reform and market-led development generated both the space and motivations for revolutionary action. Democratic reforms created the possibility of political dissent, while neo-liberal policies resulted in economic decline and social dislocations in which a temporary coalition between rural poor and dissenting political leaders was born.

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Selina Stead, Tim Daw and Tim Gray

This article reviews methods used in the increasing use of fishers' knowledge in contemporary fisheries management. During the last one hundred years, fisheries science has been used extensively to inform management decisions for the regulation of sea fisheries. However, the decline of many fish stocks has cast doubt on the sufficiency of fisheries science, and has led to demands from fishers that their own expertise—fishers' knowledge—should be taken into account in decision-making. In this article, we examine four case studies of such attempts to take account of fishers' knowledge in the management of North Sea fisheries, comparing their different methods of identifying and using fishers' expertise, and assessing their respective outcomes. Our conclusion is that the value of fishers' knowledge improves according to the extent to which the method of obtaining it is participative and interactive.

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Matteo Salvini's Northern League in 2016

Between Stasis and New Opportunities

Davide Vampa

Under Matteo Salvini’s leadership, the Northern League has sought to move away from its status of regionalist party to become a truly national (even nationalist) party, following the example of the National Front in France. For the new leader, the issues of federalism and devolution seem to play a less relevant role than opposition to the European Union and, more generally, to the so-called political establishment. This chapter shows that 2016 has been a transition year for the party. After two years of significant electoral expansion, the 2016 local elections seemed to mark a moment of stagnation. Salvini’s popularity ceased to grow and even started to decline. This posed some challenges to his right-wing populist project. Yet the concluding section of the chapter highlights the new political opportunities arising from Donald Trump’s victory in the US presidential election and from Renzi’s constitutional referendum defeat at the end of 2016.

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The predominant vision of war, in the system of sovereign nation-states that evolved in the aftermath of the Treaty of Westphalia, has been one of violence used by nation-states, or alliances of nation-states, against one another. Indeed, as Martin van Creveld in The Rise and Decline of the State suggests, one of the principal functions of the modern state was to wage war. War, in von Clausewitz’s famous formulation, was an instrument of international statecraft that entailed the ‘continuation of politics by other means’. The great wars of the twentieth century to a large extent took this form. It might even be said that inter-state war came to be seen by some as a ‘natural’, if somewhat episodic and terrifying, feature of the modern nation-state system.

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Riccardo Rovelli

I shall approach the theme of this chapter bearing in mind two facts.

The first is that the worst post–World War II crisis in the world economy

has been halted, and we are slowly getting back to the surface.

The second is that Italy is a small, open, slow-growing economy with

little room to maneuver by itself and is part of a large, rich, open, and

most probably irresolute and relatively declining area of the world. Let

me clarify. The world economy has indeed been rescued. A wide range

of emergency measures have been adopted throughout the world to

arrest its descent along a downward spiral. Generally speaking, the

measures adopted were prompt, untested, and partial, and many went

against conventional wisdom. But they seem to have worked, which is

even more of a tribute to those who decided to adopt them. However,

rescue is not recovery. That will take more time and will be more difficult

to achieve, in part because during a recovery there usually is

much less pressure to act immediately.