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Known Unknowns

Critical Reflections on Daniel M. Goldstein’s Outlawed

Benjamin O. L. Bowles

Goldstein, D. M. (2012), Outlawed: Between Security and Rights in a Bolivian City (Durham: Duke University Press), 344 pp., 9 photographs, 1 map, ISBN: 978-0-8223-5311-9 (paperback).

Daniel M. Goldstein’s Outlawed: Between Security and Rights in a Bolivian City (2012) is a thickly described and richly detailed ethnography of uncertainty in the barrios of Cochabamba, Bolivia. It holds important insights for legal anthropology, particularly where the sub-discipline intersects with the anthropology of the state and the anthropology of human rights. The ethnographic detail is exemplary, with the work here having serious implications for anthropological theory and opening up several avenues for further investigation. That it opens new debates more than it offers cohesive answers – as is, admittedly, possibly fitting for the ‘uncertain anthropology’ that Goldstein advocates – both is the prime strength of the work and can be offered as a gentle critique. I consider this to be because of the ambitious breadth of the work to the extent that directions that were implied were ultimately left somewhat unexplored. This review article is an attempt to consider the prime contributions of Outlawed and to tentatively map some of these implied connections.

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Touring the Dead Lands

Emily Eden, Victorian Famines, and Colonial Picturesque

Pablo Mukherjee

There is a striking tonal similarity amongst those who reviewed Emily Eden’s account of her journey with her brother George Auckland – the recently appointed Govenor-General of British India – across the northern provinces of the country between 1837 and 1840. On its publication in 1866, the Athenaeum decided that like Lawrence Sterne’s Sentimental Journey, Eden’s book had no information of interest to the Statistical Society. The Fortnightly Review agreed: ‘it is true that very little of what is commonly called “useful knowledge” will be found in these volumes’. Yet, it is precisely Eden’s failure to provide ‘useful knowledge’ that was seen as the strength of her work. Freshness, humour, feminine vivacity, grace, and charm were the typical adjectives employed to describe Eden’s prose. Moreover, the reviewers seem to have decided that Up the Country was best evoked in visual terms. The Athenaeum praised Eden for capturing the ‘picturesque appearance of Indian life’ and representing her ‘picturesque misery and magnificence’; the Fortnightly Review applauded the book as ‘a series of pictures true to life. In her letters we do not read about India; we see it’.

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Gillian Brock

In Cosmopolitan Justice1 Moellendorf carries on the work begun by theorists such as Charles Beitz and Thomas Pogge,2 further developing a cosmopolitan model of justice. Like Beitz and Pogge, he too modifies the Rawlsian approach to support a model of global justice that is more focused on individuals rather than states and proposes much bolder principles that are to define just interaction at the international level. Moellendorf also goes further than either of these theorists has hitherto gone in showing how a cosmopolitan model of justice could actually be applied to a range of pressing problems of global justice (including immigration, protectionism, justified intervention, debt cancellation, and dealing with the costs of global warming) and this is one of the key strengths of the book. With the exception of justified intervention, I will not discuss these applications here, though Moellendorf’s treatments of all these issues contain insights worthy of more attention. Rather, my focus in this paper will be on some central theoretical aspects of what cosmopolitan justice demands of us.

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Michael A. Meyer

On the hundredth anniversary of Rabbi Leo Baeck's birth, in the year 1973, Rabbi Joachim Prinz of Livingston, New Jersey, who had been his colleague in Berlin, gave a two-part radio interview devoted to his fellow rabbi. Always provocative, Prinz began by trying to deflate what we might call the myth of Leo Baeck's sainthood. According to Prinz, Baeck was not beyond reproach: he could say rather harsh things about people; he could be evasive in conversation – and he was a terrible preacher. But Prinz also recognised that although Baeck was not above human failings there was something extraordinary about the man: he seemed to derive all of his strength from his faith; it was his piety, for example, that made him courageous enough to tell the Gestapo he would not appear before them on Shabbat. And when he did appear on weekdays, the authorities found it impossible to degrade him. There was an inner dignity in Baeck that was inviolable. Sitting with him, Prinz, testified, was 'being in the presence of spirituality' - more so than sitting together with Martin Buber.

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Kristian Kristiansen

In this article I examine how long-term economic strategies in the Bronze Age of northern Europe between 2300 and 500 BCE transformed the environment and thus created and imposed new ecological constraints that finally led to a major social transformation and a "dark age" that became the start of the new long-term cycle of the Iron Age. During the last 30 years hundreds of well-excavated farmsteads and houses from south Scandinavia have made it possible to reconstruct the size and the structure of settlement and individual households through time. During the same period numerous pollen diagrams have established the history of vegetation and environmental changes. I will therefore use the size of individual households or farmsteads as a parameter of economic strength, and to this I add the role of metal as a triggering factor in the economy, especially after 1700 BCE when a full-scale bronze technology was adopted and after 500 BCE when it was replaced by iron as the dominant metal. A major theoretical concern is the relationships between micro- and macroeconomic changes and how they articulated in economic practices. Finally the nature of the "dark age" during the beginning of the Iron Age will be discussed, referring to Sing Chew's use of the concept (Chew 2006).

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Allen Feldman

Loader concludes his analysis of the trend in Britain and elsewhere toward private security systems by suggesting that “the value of other more deliberative ways of addressing the crime question and structuring the relationship between the police and the ‘publics’ they serve; ways that seek to subject ‘consumer’ demands for particular kinds of policing and security to the test of public discourse oriented to the common good, and so temper with democratic reason the passions that consumer culture threatens to unleash” (1999: 389). The privatization of public services and the undermining of professionalism have taken hold in many countries on the advice of international monetary agencies. In New Zealand, a provincial reading of new right philosophy within the close-knit circle of the New Zealand Business Roundtable generated a power lobby group that served as a conduit for free market libertarian ideas. This article traces the response to these trends as a measure of the strength of civil society and public life in Auckland City, with a specific focus on the resistance by the New Zealand firefighters to restructuring and downsizing the fire service.

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Jenny Wüstenberg

The memory landscape in Germany has been lauded for its pluralism: for reckoning with the past not only critically but in its many complex facets. Nevertheless, particularly victims of repression in East Germany lament that their plight is not adequately represented and some have recently affiliated themselves with the Alternative for Germany (AfD) party and other groups on the far-right spectrum. This article seeks to explain the seeming contradiction between existing pluralism in German public memory and dissatisfaction with it by tracing how memory activists have shaped memory policy and institutions. Based on extensive interview and archival research, I argue that the infiltration of civil society into the institutions that govern memory in large part explains the strength of critical memory in unified Germany and the country’s ability to accommodate a variety of pasts. However, there is also a distinct lack of pluralism when it comes to the rules of “how memory is done,” to the exclusion of more emotional and politicized approaches that are sometimes favored by some victims’ groups. Using the case of the recent debate about the Hohenschönhausen Memorial, I contend that this explains some of the attraction felt by these groups towards the right.

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The Temperate Passion of Democratic Reason

The New Zealand Firefighters' Struggle against Restructuring, Downsizing, and Privatizing

Eleanor Rimoldi

Loader concludes his analysis of the trend in Britain and elsewhere toward private security systems by suggesting that “the value of other more deliberative ways of addressing the crime question and structuring the relationship between the police and the ‘publics’ they serve; ways that seek to subject ‘consumer’ demands for particular kinds of policing and security to the test of public discourse oriented to the common good, and so temper with democratic reason the passions that consumer culture threatens to unleash” (1999: 389). The privatization of public services and the undermining of professionalism have taken hold in many countries on the advice of international monetary agencies. In New Zealand, a provincial reading of new right philosophy within the close-knit circle of the New Zealand Business Roundtable generated a power lobby group that served as a conduit for free market libertarian ideas. This article traces the response to these trends as a measure of the strength of civil society and public life in Auckland City, with a specific focus on the resistance by the New Zealand firefighters to restructuring and downsizing the fire service.

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Pertti Anttonen

All scholarly fields feed on rhetoric of praise and criticism, mostly self-praise and self-criticism. Ethnology and folklore studies are not exceptions in this, regardless of whether they constitute a single field or two separate but related ones. This essay discusses questions concerning ethnological practice and object formation, cultural theory and the theory of tradition (or the lack thereof), cultural transmission, cultural representation, and the ethics and politics of cultural ownership and repatriation. It draws on general observations as well as on work in progress. The main concern is with a discursive move: from tradition to heritage, from the ethnography of repetition and replication to cultural relativist descriptions and prescriptions of identity construction and cultural policy, from ethnography as explanation to ethnography as representation and presentation. In addition, the essay seeks to delineate other underlying tenets that appear to constitute our traditions and heritages - both as strengths and as long-term constraints and biases. Where is ethnology headed in its quest to transcend theories and practices? Less theory and more practice? More theory on practice? Or more practice on theory?

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Debate

In Response to Charlie

Faisal Devji, Jane Garnett, Ghassan Hage, and Sondra L. Hausner

There is a close relation between satire and secularism as the latter came to emerge in Europe. Secularism, as is well-known, gained strength historically as a reaction to an era of European interreligious violence and massacres. It was not only a desire for the separation of church and state, as the classical formula has it. It was also an attempt to keep religious affect out of politics. This was in the belief that religion, because it is faith rather than reasoned thinking, produces too much of a narcissistic affect—that the faithful are unable to ‘keep their distance’ from what they believe in. It was thought that this narcissism was behind the murderous intensity of religiously driven conflicts. Being able to laugh at yourself literally means being able to not take yourself overly seriously. This, in turn, is crucial for the deintensification of the affects generated by the defense of what one believes in and for the relativization of one’s personal beliefs. Such relativization, as Claude Lévi- Strauss argued, is crucial for thinking oneself comparatively and in relation to others (the opposite of narcissism).