Based on ethnographic fieldwork conducted between January 2012 and June 2013 in eight civil registry offices in Brussels, this article explores how assumptions about intimacy intersect with the moral standards of bureaucrats evaluating the authenticity of conjugal life in order to prevent 'marriages of convenience'. From the 'intimate conviction' of the agents of the state to the co-production of intimate narratives, this article tries to understand the intrusion of states in contemporary intimacies. I look at how the bureaucratic application of a civilizational ideology affects the subjectivities of those engaging in partnerships across two different nationalities (bi-national couples) – and blurs an historic distinction between what is public and what is private.
The Fight against Marriages of Convenience in Brussels
Why Should Anthropologists Care?
At a time when European integration faces many crises, the efficacy of public policies decided in Brussels, and in member state capitals, for managing the everyday lives of average Europeans demands scrutiny. Most attuned to how global uncertainties interact with local realities, anthropologists and ethnographers have paid scant attention to public policies that are created by the EU, by member state governments and by local authorities, and to the collective, organised, and individual responses they elicit in this part of the world. Our critical faculties and means to test out established relations between global–local, centre–periphery, macro–micro are crucial to see how far the EU's normative power and European integration as a governance model permeates peoples' and states' lives in Europe, broadly defined. Identifying the strengths and shortcomings in the literature, this review essay scrutinises anthropological scholarship on culture, power and policy in a post-Foucaultian Europe.
Identity Production and Reproduction of Portuguese MEPs
This article examines identity production and reproduction of a group of Portuguese members of the European Parliament (MEPs) through a set of ethnographic vignettes. Literature on European mobility has been underpinned by an assumption that the more we move, the more European we become. But who are these movers exactly? And how do they become European? These questions guide this article, which presents a case study of three Portuguese MEPs who maintain strong relations with their country of origin whilst having to create new attachments to Brussels and Strasbourg. The MEPs have to insert themselves into a culture of speed and smoothness. They have to redesign themselves as figures of speed. The article argues that this process makes them European. They identify with Europe because they maintain a strong relation with their country of origin, which means moving more, which in turn means being a modern European citizen.
Victor Cazares, Itay Snir, José María Rosales, Ferenc Laczó, Anja Osiander, and Heikki Haara
Zachary Sayre Schiffman, The Birth of the Past (Baltimore: The Johns Hopkins University Press, 2011), xvi + 316 pp.
Sophia Rosenfeld, Common Sense: A Political History (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2011), 337 pp.
Joris Gijsenbergh, Saskia Hollander, Tim Houwen, and Wim de Jong, eds., Creative Crises of Democracy (Brussels: Peter Lang, 2012), 444 pp.
Mary L. Dudziak, War Time: An Idea, Its History, Its Consequences (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2012), 221 pp.
Anneli Wallentowitz, “Imperialismus” in der japanischen Sprache am Übergang vom 19. zum 20. Jahrhundert: Begriffsgeschichte im außereuropäischen Kontext [“Imperialism” in the Japanese language at the turn of the 20th century: A history of concepts in a non-European context] (Bonn: Bonn University Press, 2011), 380 pp., incl. Japanese-German glossary.
Annabel S. Brett, Changes of State: Nature and the Limits of the City in Early Modern Natural Law (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2011), 242 pp.
Ann Miller, Catherine Labio, Mark McKinney, and Laurence Grove
Benoît Peeters, Lire Tintin: Les Bijoux ravis [‘Reading Tintin: The Stolen Jewels’] (Brussels: Les Impressions Nouvelles, 2007). 287 pp., ISBN 978-2-87449-037-8 (€20.00)
Bart Beaty, Unpopular Culture: Transforming the European Comic Book in the 1990s (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2007). ix+303 pp.; cloth: ISBN 978-0-8020-9133-9 (US $65, £42); paper: ISBN 978-0-8020-9412-4 (US $30.95; £20)
David Kunzle, Father of the Comic Strip: Rodolphe Töpffer (Jackson: University Press of Mississippi, 2007). xii +207 pp. ISBN: 978-1-57806-948-4 (paperback, $25.00)
Rodolphe Töpffer, Rodolphe Töpffer: The Complete Comic Strips, compiled, translated and annotated by David Kunzle (Jackson: University Press of Mississippi, 2007). xv + 650 pp. ISBN: 978-1-57806-946-0 (hardback, $65.00)
For the parties of the center-left, 2005 was a year of significant progress
toward the objective of wresting the government from Berlusconi’s center-
right coalition. It began with Romano Prodi’s initially uncertain return
to the Italian political stage after his “exile” in Brussels as president of
the European Commission, and familiar divisions—enthusiastically aired
in the media—over how the center-left should be organized and structured
and over the selection of candidates and alliances for the April
regional elections. However, 2005 went on to provide two major boosts
to the center-left: a surprisingly decisive victory in the regional elections,
and an equally decisive outcome to the primary election held to choose a
“premier candidate” for the alliance. Although big questions of organization
and coordination remained unresolved, the center-left finished the
year in a stronger position than at its beginning. After providing a little
background, this chapter will assess the coalition’s progress over the
year and offer some tentative interpretations of the key turning points.
From a Fragmented to an Integrated Approach in France and Europe (1972–1998)
Most research into road safety in Europe has focused chiefly on public action, without closely examining the role of car manufacturers or their coordination with public initiatives. This article explores how manufacturers transitioned from a fragmented conception of road safety in the 1970s—with vehicles being the responsibility of manufacturers, and prevention and roads that of institutions—to an increasingly integrated approach in the twenty-first century. The study uses industry archives to present manufacturer strategies from 1972 onward, which at first exclusively focused on vehicle safety standards. After 1986, the European Year of Road Safety, manufacturers’ official discourse increasingly stressed user education, as opposed to technical improvements to the product. Th is article will use the French case, as well as a more European approach to the automobile lobby in Brussels, to chart the gradual emergence of an integrated approach to safety combining the vehicle, infrastructure, and user behavior.
Examining the Infrastructuring Processes in Brussels (1950–2019) through the Lens of Social Imaginaries
This article analyzes the dialectic of fast and slow mobilities as a continuous tension, since the mid-twentieth century, characterized by three evolutions of the functional, phenomenological, and social dimensions of mobility infrastructure and practices in Brussels, Belgium. It is based on the content analysis of diverse “embodiments” of social imaginaries: mobility infrastructures, narratives and sensory-motor behaviors, and images, movies, and photographs. It casts light on the great triple evolution of (1) the scale of the designed city; (2) the limits between spaces devoted to speed, slowness, and overlaps; and (3) the promoted aesthetics in terms of atmospheres and urban experience. These developments strongly relate to the changing meaning of slow and fast mobilities and to a broader change in the societal relationship to space and time.
Entre enjeux locaux et perspective globale
This article discusses the circulation of francophone news, information, and literary content between Western Europe and North America in the nineteenth century. During this period, big metropolitan cities (Paris, Brussels, Montreal, New Orleans) were forming a dense media network. For the western Atlantic region, New York City and the Courrier des États-Unis (1828–1938) served as the hub of this network. Francophone readers on both sides of the Atlantic shared a large common corpus, including works such as Eugène Sue’s Mystères de Paris (1842–1843), which was distributed in North America by the literary supplement of the Courrier. By providing a general overview of this French-speaking network, this article invites scholars to explore how texts, and literature in particular, operated through an interlinked dynamic system of publication rather than as independent unconnected works.
Advancing regional social integration, social protection, and the free movement of people in Southern Africa
The round table on “Advancing regional social integration, social protection, and free movement of people in Southern Africa” was organized as part of the conference “Regional governance of migration and social policy: Comparing European and African regional integration policies and practices” held at the University of Pretoria (South Africa) on 18–20 April 2012, at which the articles in this special issue were first presented. The discussion was moderated by Prince Mashele of the South African Centre for Politics and Research and the participants included: Yitna Getachew, IOM Regional Representative for Southern Africa, Migration Dialogue for Southern Africa (MIDSA); Jonathan Crush, University of Cape Town and Balsillie School of International Affairs, Canada, representing the Southern Africa Migration Program (SAMP); Vic van Vuuren, Director of Southern African ILO; Vivienne Taylor, South Africa Planning Commission; Sergio Calle Norena, Deputy Regional Representative of UNHCR; Laurent De Boeck, Director, ACP Observatory on Migration, Brussels; Wiseman Magasela, Deputy Director General Social Policy, South African Department of Social Development; and Sanusha Naidu, Open Society Foundation for South Africa.