Political readings of Treasure Island are rare, and of fairly recent date. David H. Jackson’s account, ‘Treasure Island as a Late-Victorian Adults’ Novel’, identifies a strong element of class antagonism. Against Robert Louis Stevenson’s claim that his early romances are amoral and ahistorical, Jackson proposes that ‘Treasure Island is a simplified account of eighteenth-century hierarchical society’, where ‘the premium virtue is duty – unquestioning loyalty to the hierarchy’, and in which Stevenson promotes ‘firm and conservative social values’. For Jackson, Treasure Island is mainly about good and bad children as defined by obedience to or disrespect for authority figures, engaging ‘the reader’s personal nostalgia for his or her own childhood’. In her postcolonial work Problematic Shores, Diana Loxley also counters the traditional view of this novel as a timeless romance. She finds that it is ‘in fact deeply marked by its moment of historical production in the heyday of Victorian imperialism’, and she convincingly provides ‘the colonial context within which Treasure Island should be read and discussed’.
Citizenship and Welfare Protection
This double issue of The European Journal of Social Quality groups a number of contributions that approach the theme of citizenship and welfare protection from various angles, all relevant to the debates that are taking place in Europe today on this issue. Indeed, citizenship has again become a preoccupation all across Europe for the best part of the last decade, in political classes, think tanks and academic circles, as well as welfare pressure groups and other NGOs. Far from being simply a fashionable buzzword soon to be forgotten again, it clearly relates to a whole series of crisis in European societies that have to do with personal and collective identities and with issues of societal and individual responsibilities, duties and rights. The old question: ‘Am I my brother’s keeper?’ still occupies a central place in the way identities and societies are defined and practically organised. Because the reform programmes of the social security and welfare systems that are now implemented in many countries question the basic tenets that have supporting the Welfare State since the Second World War, issues of solidarity and social responsibility are hotly disputed. This affects citizenship insofar as it concerns the boundaries of identity. At European level, the intricate relationship between identity and welfare protection has been identified as one of the most complex and difficult issue confronting democracies on the continent. This is shown for instance in the studies of the European network on Social Exclusion and the Development of European Citizenship, SEDEC (Roche and van Berkel, 1997).
Arguments for the provision of foreign aid to help relieve the blight of developing countries have traditionally centred on obligations of benevolence and a duty to help those less fortunate.1 However, the War on Terror has resulted in a significant shift in how foreign aid is perceived. International prosperity and stability are now recognized as key elements in a fight to ameliorate the conditions that give rise to terrorism. Public support for foreign aid in general, normally unpopular, has increased since 11 September 2001 due to greater public understanding of its role in combating terrorism.2 In particular, the need to address attitudes of foreign civilians toward the United States has become more widely recognized as a key component of efforts to reduce the ferment of the terrorist mindset. These strategies have assumed particular importance in light of the non-traditional nature of the threat posed by contemporary terrorism: a threat posed not by states or armies, but by individuals and groups who blend into, garner both the implicit and explicit support of, and are recruited from general civilian populations.
Dennis A. Gilbert
At a time when a "return to Sartre" is being heralded in France and elsewhere in preparation for the celebration of the centennial of his birth, it seems appropriate to ponder the nature and tenor of this renewal. To which aspects of Sartre's work are we returning as the centennial approaches, and are we doing so with fresh eyes or with the same critical prejudices that have obscured our appreciation of this work in the past? If one looks for answers to Bernard-Henri Lévy (aka BHL), the principal instigator of this current renewal, with specific regard to the genre that interests us in these pages—the theater—one is going to be sorely disappointed. For while Lévy considers Sartre "the first [writer]—the only [writer]—to know how to split himself equally well between being a theoretician and an accomplished storyteller," he lavishes this praise solely on the theory and practice of Sartre's novels: "The concept of engagement is not a political concept stressing the social duties of the writer; it is a philosophical concept highlighting the metaphysical powers of language. … Sartre … has never really written a novel with a [totalizing] thesis or message" (BHL 85, 86).
A Response to Richard Rorty
When they were first penned (in 1963), in the midst of the civil rights struggle in the United States, these lines stirred the conscience of a nation and awakened many people previously on the sidelines to a full awareness of the infamy of racial hatred and injustice. There can be no doubt that, partly under the inspiration of Baldwin and Martin Luther King, Americans were able – at least for a time – to ‘achieve’ their country in a better, nobler way than before, thus living up more seriously to the promise contained in their history. In the meantime, nearly half a century has passed and, despite many ennobling ventures, much ‘nightmare’ still remains – both in America and in the rest of the world. With sickening repetitiveness, the conscience of humankind is affronted by large-scale atrocities, from genocide and ethnic cleansing to random outbursts of violence; almost invariably, the root causes of these calamities can be traced to racial, cultural and/or economic factors. In our time of rapid globalisation or intensified global interdependence, is it still possible to heed Baldwin’s challenge to shoulder ‘our duty now’? Is there a chance – in the opening new millennium – to ‘achieve’ our global humanity by drawing on the promise contained in the histories of multiple countries?
Farewell Laurie Eisenberg
Neil Caplan, The Israel-Palestine Conflict: Contested Histories Review by Alan Dowty
Rachel Feldhay Brenner, The Freedom to Write: The Woman-Artist and the World in Ruth Almog’s Fiction Review by Avraham Balaban
Jackie Feldman, Above the Death Pits, Beneath the Flag: Youth Voyages to Poland and the Performance of Israeli National Identity Review by Noam Schimmel
Michael R. Fischbach, Jewish Property Claims against Arab Countries Review by Aviva Klen-Franke
Asima A. Ghazi-Bouillon, Understanding the Middle East Peace Process: Israeli Academia and the Struggle for Identity Review by Mira Sucharov
Aviva Halamish, Meir Yaari: A Collective Biography: The First Fifty Years, 1987–1947 Review by Ilan Peleg
Tamar S. Hermann, The Israeli Peace Movement: A Shattered Dream Review by Gordon Fellman
Alexandra Nocke, The Place of the Mediterranean in Modern Israeli Identity Review by Karine Hamilton
Ami Pedahzur and Arie Perliger, Jewish Terrorism in Israel Review by Eran Schor
Yaron Peleg, Israeli Culture between the Two Intifadas: A Brief Romance Review by Philip Hollander
Orit Rosin, Duty and Love: Individualism and Collectivism in 1950s Israel Review by Michael Feige
Nita Schechet, Disenthralling Ourselves: Rhetoric of Revenge and Reconciliation in Contemporary Israel Review by Eran Fisher
Amit M. Schejter, Muting Israeli Democracy: How Media and Cultural Policy Undermine Free Expression Review by Dan Caspi
Patricia J. Woods, Judicial Power and National Politics: Courts and Gender in the Religious-Secular Conflict in Israel Review by Amnon Cavari
In July 2003, a lavish award ceremony was held at a five-star hotel in Jakarta. At the Polygamy Awards, as it was called, the financial sponsor and master of ceremonies, a wealthy entrepreneur named Puspo Wardoyo, handed out awards to several dozen Indonesian men who, in the view of the selection committee, had upheld the high moral and religious standards needed to be a successful polygamist. The idea of the ceremony was to bring polygamy and its practitioners out of the closet, so to speak, and to celebrate polygamy’s virtue as a respected Islamic tradition that should be a source of pride rather than shame for both men and women. Puspo Wardoyo, the jovial president of the Indonesian Polygamy Society (Masyarakat Poligami Indonesia), had embarked upon a highly publicized crusade to popularize polygamy. Although legal with some restrictions for Muslim men in Indonesia, polygamy had a social taint to it that Puspo and others like him wanted to see erased. “A man who can afford it financially and who is of good character has the duty to have more than one wife. Polygamy is the most praiseworthy of actions … I want to spread the polygamy virus,” he commented in a magazine interview.
In a 1909 article for the North American Review on ‘The American “Tramp” Question’, Bram Stoker turns his attention to the issue of vagrancy and urges the necessity of swift action to deal with the ever increasing problem of the ‘wilfully-idle class’: ‘When certain persons – or classes of persons – are manifestly dangerous to the more peaceful and better-ordered classes of communities’, he declares, ‘it is the essence of good government – indeed, a necessary duty to responsible officials – to keep them in restraint, or certainly under observation’. There is consequently a need for some means of identifying these ‘undesirable’ characters, so that they can easily be located and detained in order to be taught to be industrious. Anticipating the introduction of GPS (Global Positioning System) or electronic tagging, he suggests that while the primitive system of ‘ear-marking with a “hot yron”’may not be acceptable to the modern age, ‘surely the resources of science are equal to some method of personal marking of an indelible quality’.
Race, Masculinity and Closure in Ernest Gaines's Fiction
Suzanne W. Jones
In A Rage For Order: Black/White Relations in the American South Since Emancipation, Joel Williamson explores the conjuncture of race, manhood, and violence peculiar to the American South. He argues that for southern white men the traditional Victorian masculine role of provider and protector was directly linked with violence because of plantation society’s ‘necessity of controlling a potentially explosive black population.’ As early as the seventeenth century, a patrol system, made up of masters and overseers enforced the laws of slavery. By the nineteenth century, the duty of patrolling was extended to all white men, who had authority over all blacks (even free blacks) and over whites who conspired with blacks. Thus a system for controlling slaves became a practice ‘of all whites controlling all blacks … a matter of race.’ The martial role white men created for themselves became entrenched, particularly in the last decades before the Civil War as slavery came under attack by northerners from without and by rebellious slaves from within. Whites created a complementary stereotype of black people as ‘simple, docile, and manageable’ who if properly handled were like children, but if improperly cared for became animals. Williamson argues that this ‘Sambo’ figure was a figment of white wishful thinking, which functioned ‘to build white egos’ while masking their fears of black rebellion.
Eva Infante Mora, Davydd J. Greenwood, and Melina Ivanchikova
This special issue is devoted to a study of an action research-based reform of a US university study abroad programme to make it a genuine intercultural immersion experience. The four-year collaborative reform process combined participatory organisational redesign, the development of a comprehensive active learning approach and the teaching of intercultural competence through ethnographic immersion and community engagement in Seville, Spain. The case is an example of the development of intercultural competencies through guided behavioural change, of action research to reform higher education programmes and of active learning combined with formative and summative evaluation. The reader will learn about the experiences of the staff, faculty and mentors in the Consortium for Advanced Studies Abroad (CASA)-Sevilla study abroad programme and those of the sponsoring US universities as they together achieved a fundamental reform of a decades-old study abroad immersion programme. This special issue has many authors because this was a collaborative action-research project with continuous group work and brainstorming. The authors’ names are placed in the sections where the authorship is clear, but, as befits a collaboration, many of the ideas are the result of the combined thinking of all the authors. Authorship of the various sections has been allocated mainly to clarify for readers the most relevant author to contact to learn more about particular dimensions of the process. The guest editors took on the editorial duties on behalf of this larger group.