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A human rights-based approach

A gate to development of African women's land rights?

Karin Tengnäs

The global competition for African land is at a historical peak. Local effects of large-scale land acquisitions depend on multiple factors, but women's rights and livelihoods are generally very fragile due to historical and contemporary injustices. Good land governance is important for turning the land acquisitions into equal and equitable development opportunities. The human rights-based approach promotes good governance by adding strength and legal substance to the principles of participation and inclusion, openness and transparency, accountability and the rule of law, and equality and nondiscrimination. By empowering rights-holders and enhancing duty-bearers' capacity, international development cooperation can lead to wider and more gender-balanced inclusion of civil society in negotiations of large-scale land acquisitions and greater adherence of duty-bearers to the rule of law. This is especially important in African countries with large amounts of land and weak legal and institutional frameworks to protect rights, especially those of women.

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Henning Best

This article aims to empirically test the so called low-cost hypothesis. The hypothesis posits that cost moderates the strength of the relationship between environmental concern and behavior. The effects of the behavioral cost and environmental concern on household waste recycling were evaluated, using empirical data collected from 2,695 respondents in Cologne, Germany. Empirically, a clear effect of both behavioral cost and environmental concern can be identified. Recycling rates are higher when a curbside scheme is implemented or the distance to collection containers is low. In addition, the probability of recycling participation rises when the actor has a pronounced environmental concern. This effect of environmental attitudes does not vary with behavioral cost and opportunities. Therefore, the low-cost hypothesis is not supported by the study.

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Christine Hobden

Citizens increasingly engage with political issues in new ways by addressing politicians via social media, campaigning at international forums, or boycotting corporate entities. These forms of engagement move beyond more regulated electoral politics and are rightly celebrated for the ways they increase representation and provide new channels of accountability. Yet, despite these virtues, political engagement beyond voting inevitably tends to entrench and amplify inequality in citizen influence on political decision-making. The tendency toward inequality undermines relational equality between citizens and muddies the channels of political accountability and responsibility. This article unpacks the ostensible tension and argues that it reveals to us another strength in views which hold the state to be citizens’ collective project and provides argumentative resources to motivate democracies to give due attention to ensuring that democratic participatory channels remain fit for purpose in an ever-changing society.

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Javanese Kanuragan Ritual initiation

A Means to Socialize by Acquiring Invulnerability, Authority, and Spiritual Improvement

Jean-Marc de Grave

Kanuragan is a secret ritual initiation tied to local cosmological practices and cults used by the Javanese as a source of self-help on issues related to health, welfare, and protection. At basic levels, the practitioners of kanuragan use special entities called aji to gain strength and invulnerability. At the next level, the teaching of the master involves a specific mystical knowledge tied to the acquisition of spiritual authority. This article describes the process of transmission, the persons involved, and the role that kanuragan plays in Javanese society for security purposes and in warfare. The analysis shows how kanuragan competes with new secular and religious systems of value as well as with sorcery and new embodied practices such as sports competitions, to provide comparative insights on the formation of social categories.

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Ian Birchall

It is one of Sartre's greatest strengths that his declared aim was 'to write for his own time'. From the 1940s onward, he became ever less interested in 'timeless' questions, and ever more concerned to explore the concrete realities of his own age. This engagement with the contemporary makes it particularly tempting to consider what Sartre's responses to the events of our own age would be. Ever since his death in 1980, those of us who have drawn insight and inspiration from Sartre's works have tended to ask how Sartre might have judged particular political developments. And because of the central place given to violence in his thought, as well as his detailed reflections on the Second World War and the wars in Algeria and Vietnam, it is only natural to ask how Sartre would have responded to the appalling events of 11 September 2001 and the subsequent 'war on terror'.

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Social Gerontology

Concepts and Concerns in the U.S. and Europe

Anne Jamieson

Two recent publications, one American (Minkler and Estes, 1999) and one European (Arber and Attias-Donfut, 2000), provide a good opportunity to reflect on some of the issues and challenges in current social gerontology. Social gerontology is an area of study concerned with ageing and age-related social issues. Its strengths are its multidisciplinarity and the imaginative ways in which it successfully combines a range of perspectives and approaches in exploring the processes and experience of ageing. Within this broad field are widely different interests and concerns, and indeed differences of opinion as to what gerontology should be about. Whether such differences are clear-cut and perhaps even constitute ‘schools of thought’ is debatable. Judging from the discussion by the editors of Critical Gerontology: Perspectives from Political and Moral Economy, critical gerontology constitutes a field or enterprise, which appears as distinct from mainstream gerontology (Minkler and Estes, 1999).

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Masculine Appearances

Male Physicality on the Late-Victorian Stage

David Haldane Lawrence

James Eli Adams, in Dandies and Desert Saints: Styles of Victorian Masculinity (1995), has written of the ‘intractable element of theatricality in all masculine self-fashioning, which inevitably makes appeal to an audience, real or imagined … even the normative is typically asserted as an unending performance’. It could also be argued that ‘masculine self-fashioning’, and the necessity for display to an audience gaze, is taken to its extreme in the world of entertainment, where men appear on stage, in costume, wearing make-up, and acting out aspects of masculinity often alien to their own personae. Through applying this debate to nineteenth-century popular culture, this article discusses men who confronted the gaze of both sexes while posing as living statues, displaying muscular strength, or encouraging idolatry through their charismatic presences on the legitimate stage.

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Oscar A. Gómez

Recognizing the influence crises have in shaping global governance nowadays, the present work explores the possible contribution of human development thinking countering the perverse effects of shock-driven responses to major emergencies. This is done by focusing on contributions by Sen, Dreze, Haq and Stewart related to famines, violent conflict and the idea of human security, analyzed using a selection of four criteria, namely, describing the position of crisis inside human development thinking, issues of modeling and measurement, the stance toward agency, and the actors gathered around the discourse. After strengths and weaknesses are considered, the article suggests a tangential involvement through other human concepts, so human development ideas do not get muddled by the logic of shocks and fulfill the great responsibility of helping us avoid the many shortfalls of a security-obsessed view of humanity.

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Becoming Jane Addams

Feminist Developmental Theory and 'The College Woman'

Tamara Beauboeuf-Lafontant

Jane Addams (1860–1935) was a major reformer of the American Progressive Era (1890 to 1920) whose ideas about social justice continue to engage contemporary scholars. This article contributes to the recent examination of her feminist insights by investigating a source of her voice of social critique. Situating Addams in the first generation of white women to have access to both secondary and tertiary education, I use a feminist developmental lens to attend to a repeated figure in her earliest public addresses, “the college woman.” By highlighting parallels between Addams's presentation of “the college woman” and the developmental strengths, struggles, and resistance of contemporary girls and adolescents, I offer a reading of her motivations that brings into focus the socially transformative potential of young women.

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The Glass Curtain

Bridges from Ethnography to Art

Katharina Eisch-Angus

In an interdisciplinary workshop in the former Iron Curtain borderlands of the Czech Republic and Bavaria seven multi-national artists and one European ethnologist revealed the cultural dynamics of boundaries both by exploring an expressive landscape and memory field, and by experiencing cultural difference as reflected in the co-operation and creation processes within the group. By using ethnographic approaches to assist the process of developing and conceptualising artworks and self-reflexive, ethno-psychoanalytic interpretation, the project followed the impact of twentieth-century border frictions and violence into collective identities, but also the arbitrary character of borders. The results suggest how a multi-perspective, subjectively informed methodology of approaching space and spatially expressed memory could be developed both for ethnology and for art, bridging the supposed gap between 'artistic' and 'scientific' methods by combining their strengths in a complementary way.