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Social Quality

A New Concern in Hungary

Zsuzsa Széman

Following the systemic change which affected Eastern and Central Europe in the late 1980s and early 1990s, Western experts considered that individual countries had different chances of catching up to the West. According to Zbigniew Brzezinski, the former US National Security Adviser, the Central European countries would take at least ten years to become pluralistic, free-market democracies. Five countries (Poland, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Slovenia and Estonia) were thought to have better chances of transforming themselves into successful liberal democracies, and so to come near to Western standards in the foreseeable future.

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Instead of a Defence

Thoughts on the Humanities at Home and Abroad

Peter Vale

The place and future of the Humanities is under scrutiny in many parts of the world. The diminution in the university commenced in the 1980s with the rise of free-market thinking associated with Thatcher and Reagan. It was the end of the Cold War, however, with the rise of globalisation that control was tightened in higher education under the guise of increased freedom. The increasing emphasis on utilitarian forms of knowledge needed for economic growth further imperilled the Humanities. In South Africa, upon which the argument draws for illustration, policy-makers paid increasing lip service to academic freedom and institutional autonomy while directing policy interest and resources away from the Humanities.

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Kathleen M. Blee

Interpretive and ethical frameworks circumscribe how we study the perpetrators of politically motivated violence against civilian populations. This article revisits the author’s studies of two eras of white supremacism in the United States, the 1920s and 1980s–1990s, to examine how these were affected by four frameworks of inquiry: the assumption of agency, the allure of the extraordinary, the tendency to categorical analysis, and the presumption of net benefit. It concludes with suggestions on how scholars can avoid the limitations of these frameworks.

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Introduction

Friends and Family Figures in Contemporary Fiction

Katharine Cockin

During the twentieth century, scientific advances, especially in the field of reproductive technologies, have fundamentally altered ideas about parenting, the family and what it means to be human. In the 1980s, the family became a significant site of political conflict in the UK when family values were defended and so-called pretended families were condemned. New information technologies make it possible for online chat between friends who have never met. Changes in legislation have defined and protected the rights of the child and spectacular campaigns have developed for fathers’ rights. Meanwhile tracing your family history has become one of the most popular hobbies.

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Ana Prata

Despite recent interest in port issues by researchers across a variety of disciplines, the field of port studies in Portugal would still benefit from a sustained research effort on the part of the academia. There is still much ground to be broken, but the historical picture of Portuguese ports is not as bleak as it was in the 1980s. Even though the future is bright, gaps remain. This article presents existing works and recent trends of research and explores limits and understudied paths.

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Squatted Social Centers in London

Temporary Nodes of Resistance to Capitalism

E.T.C. Dee

This article assesses squatted social centers in London as a means to understand the cycles, contexts and institutionalization processes of the local squatters movement. This diffuse social movement had its heyday in the late 1970s and early 1980s when there were 30,000 squatters and still exists today despite squatting in residential buildings being criminalized in 2012. Analysis is based on a database of 245 social centers, which are examined in terms of duration, time period, type of building and location. Important centers are briefly profiled and important factors affecting the squatters movement are examined, in particular institutionalization, gentrification, and criminalisation.

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Philip H. Gordon and Sophie Meunier

The nature of the French economy has changed radically in recent years. Breaking with its mercantilist and dirigiste past, France has since the early 1980s converted to market liberalization, both as the necessary by-product of European integration and globalization and as a deliberate effort by policymakers. Whereas the French state used to own large sectors of the economy, partly to keep them from foreign control, now even a Socialist-led government proceeds with privatization, with scant regard for the nationality of the buyer.

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Singular Pluralities

A Critical Review of Religious Pluralism

Anne-Sophie Lamine

From the 1980s onwards, much research has been carried out in order to analyze and compare the situation and the management of religious plurality in Western countries. While scholars in the social sciences of religion have seized on the question of plurality, those in migration studies have started to pay more and more attention to the religious dimension of migrants and their descent. Although macro-level plurality is more commonly investigated, internal religious plurality is of equal importance. This article provides a critical review of the various approaches of religious pluralism and emphasizes some under-investigated areas such as conflicts and internal plurality.

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Decolonizing Situations

The Rise, Fall, and Rise of Colonial Studies, 1951-2001

Frederick Cooper

When Georges Balandier published “The Colonial Situation” in 1951, colonial empires were at the heart of profound debates and struggles. By the 1970s, colonialism had been banished from the realm of legitimate forms of political organization. What remained “colonial” in world politics passed itself off as something else. The burst of scholarship on colonial societies in the 1980s and 1990s thus appears paradoxical, and so too does the lack of response and follow-up to Balandier’s brilliantly incisive article in the two decades after its appearance.

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Gerdien Jonker

In this article, I explore the dominant narratives about Islam in German history textbooks from the eighteenth century until the present day. I thereby deconstruct a longue durée script with a rather curious pattern. Until the 1980s, textbook narratives about Islam were rooted exclusively in people's historical imagination. Only when the children of Turkish workers entered the classroom did textbook authors try to accommodate knowledge based on real encounters. By addressing the di erent stages of this longue durée script, I enquire into the functions of narratives as they underpinned a German and European "we."