This article analyzes the relationship between conflict, social invisibility, and negative potentiality. Taking its empirical point of departure in fieldwork conducted in Belfast, Northern Ireland, and Bissau, Guinea-Bissau, it illuminates the manner in which people orient themselves toward precarious prospects and potentialities. Little attention has been paid to the orientational effects generated by long-term conflict—that is, the way that violence, as an underlying possibility, an imagined oncoming event, influences social life. Moving from the empirical to the theoretical, and from the specific to the general, the article compares two areas of conflict and orientation toward negative potentiality before moving on to a more general discussion of invisibility and potentiality in social life and theory.
On Conflict, Social Invisibility, and Negative Potentiality
When I first joined the JCM I was still young and certainly did not know what I was getting into. The conference theme in 1985 was Between Two Worlds – and that is where I was when I arrived in Bendorf. I had just returned from eighteen months in Northern Ireland where I worked for the Society of Friends (Quakers) with women and children across the divide. I had learned that it was important to know where others came from and that religion might be at the heart of the troubles – but it had also become clear that they were definitely to be part of the solution. Quakers from Ulster (among others) continued to play a significant role in what evolved into the Good Friday Agreement in 1998.
The Culture Concept and the Peace Process in Ireland
This article is animated by a concern that anthropological ideas of culture, particularly the 'old' idea of culture as the way of life of a distinct people, have been misapplied in the government of Northern Ireland during the period of the peace process. Rather than accept disciplinary responsibility for this, I trace the provenance of the notions of culture and identity implicit in the Good Friday Agreement. While people trained in anthropology have been involved in implementing cultural policy, other disciplines—notably law, history and political science—have been more influential in its conception, with only occasional references to anthropology for legitimation. Paradoxically, the influence of the old anthropological concept of culture is a sign of the relative weakness of anthropological influence in government circles. Ultimately, though, anthropological circumspection in this regard might be preferable to the hasty and vainglorious claims of other academic disciplines.
Rebekka King, Jonathan Spencer, Liam D. Murphy, Frederick P. Lampe, Sherry Angela Smith, Michael Rowlands, Nanlai Cao, Julie Botticello, Joana Santos, Joël Noret, José Mapril, George St. Clair, Tom Boylston, Marie Brossier, Alexander Horstmann, Detelina Tocheva, Galina Oustinova-Stjepanovic, Michael W. Scott, Uday Chandra, Ana Stela de Almeida Cunha, Steven J. Sutcliffe, Jackie Feldman, Benedikte Moeller Kristensen, and Alyssa Grossman
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German Reactions to Brexit
that the outcome would mirror the result of the Scottish independence referendum of September 2014, in which 55 percent voted to remain in the United Kingdom. Fissures within the British electorate were clear. London, Scotland, Northern Ireland
(Dis) Uniting the Kingdom on Holiday
, compared to only 27 percent in the eighteen to twenty-four age group. In terms of location, the differences were even more obvious. Scotland voted overwhelmingly to remain, as did Northern Ireland and London. By contrast Wales, Cornwall, the English
An Unfortunate Case of Anglo-Saxon Parochialism?
England and Wales voted to Leave, Scotland, Northern Ireland and a number of large, multicultural cities, including Liverpool, Newcastle, Manchester, Bristol, Brighton and London, voted by large margins to ‘Remain’. Many of the reasons behind these voting
How Public Opinion Got Ahead of Government in Summer 2015 and Stayed There
change in the UK, as has the visible leadership shown by Angela Merkel, Justin Trudeau in Canada, Pope Francis and, closer to home, by Nicola Sturgeon and the devolved governments in Wales and Northern Ireland. I would also suggest that the alacrity with
of military involvement in civilian environments. In comparison, for example, to the past activity of the British army in Northern Ireland or the more recent American occupation of Iraq, the Israeli forces in the Occupied Territories are deeply
Rabbi Alexandra Wright
people facing a new day with as much cheerfulness as they can muster. (Lord, turn thy gaze on Bangladesh, and its starving millions … Lord we lay Northern Ireland and its problems before thee … Lord…).’ 7 He needed to take a holiday from religion and