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.
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?
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).
The Case of Lubuskie, Poland
Robert A. Parkin
While it can claim some historical depth, essentially Lubuskie is a new province in western Poland that emerged from the local government reforms of 1999. It is thus located in a part of the country taken over by Poland from Germany in 1945, which as a consequence experienced a complete replacement of populations (Polish for German) at that time. This makes the province a useful case in which to study the emergence of a new identity over time. At present its identity is not as strong as in the case of its neighbours like Silesia and Wielkopolska, though it is being cultivated where possible by some local bureaucrats and politicians. It is argued that it is nonetheless justified to study such cases in order to determine and account for differences in the strength of regional identities in the same nationstate. The wider framework is regional identities within Europe as part of the process of European integration and its articulation with nation-states in the EU.
Hume, Smith and the Justification of European Exploitation of Non-Europeans
Elias L. Khalil
Civil society consists of members obligated to respect each other's rights and, hence, trade with each other as equals. What determines the boundary, rather than the nature, of civil society? For Adam Smith, the boundary consists of humanity itself because it is determined by identification: humans identify with other humans because of common humanness. While Smith's theory can explain the emotions associated with justice (jubilance) and injustice (resentment), it provides a mushy ground for the boundary question: Why not extend the common identity to nonhuman animals? Or why not restrict the boundary to one's own dialect, ethnicity or race? For David Hume, the boundary need not consist of humanity itself because it is determined by self-interest: a European need not respect the property of outsiders such as Native Americans, if the European benefits more by exploiting them than including them in the European society. While Hume's theory can provide a solid ground for the boundary question, it cannot explain the emotions associated with justice. This paper suggests a framework that combines the strengths, and avoids the shortcomings, of Smith's and Hume's theories.
Laurent J.G. van der Maesen
The recently published report by Wolfgang Beck exploring the role of social cohesion in European policies (Beck, 2001) is of interest for the European Foundation on Social Quality. Indeed, in the Foundation second book, ‘Social Quality: A Vision for Europe’, the analysis of social cohesion is seen as a priority in the strengthening of the theoretical basis of social quality (Beck et al., 2001). The editors of this last book emphasise the fact that defining the substance of social cohesion is a delicate matter. Because of its long scientific and political history the concept has been, up to now, connected with a wide range of other concepts with related connotations, such as inclusion, exclusion, integration, disintegration, and social dissolution. Contrary to many studies on social cohesion, the way they approach social cohesion as one of the four components of social quality is not restricted to the strength or weakness of primary social relationships (Lockwood, 1999). It is connected with processes of differentiation, which create a manifold of subsystems that cannot be directly linked as such with the logic of social structures such as families, households and associations. As a result the individual subject is forced to react in a multi-inclusive way. This is becoming now even more complex since, because of the explosive development of communication technologies, the pace and place of social relationships are changing. (Beck et al., 2001: 343) In this contribution we will present some elements of Beck’s report and we shall connect these with herewith-related parts of the Foundation’s second book.
Democracy and governance issues in historical and socio-economic context
Robert W. Compton Jr.
English abstract: Both the Southern African Development Community (SADC) and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) support regional and national integration, the protection of human rights and civil society involvement, and non-interference in member states' internal affairs. Sometimes these goals at the regional level become mutually exclusive. Human rights groups, international organizations, and Western states have criticized human rights abuses and democracy and governance shortcomings in several ASEAN states (e.g., Vietnam and Myanmar) and SADC countries (e.g., Swaziland, Madagascar, and Zimbabwe). This article addresses ASEAN and SADC's historical context and continued development related to these issues. It also evaluates the regional organizations' effectiveness in balancing o en mutually exclusive goals and concludes that existing regional organizational strength and cohesion impact the approaches used to manage conflict and external criticism and build greater social cohesion regionally and within states. SADC utilizes a “regional compliance model“ based on political criteria whereas ASEAN utilizes a “constructive engagement“ or “economic integration first“ model. SADC places greater emphasis on placing good governance, especially as it relates to human rights, at the forefront of regionalism. ASEAN sublimates human rights to regional integration through constructive engagement and greater emphases on economic relations. Two distinct models of regional integration exist.
Spanish abstract: La Comunidad de Desarrollo de África Austral (SADC por sus siglas en inglés), y la Asociación de Naciones del Sudeste Asiático (ASEAN en inglés), apoyan la integración regional/continental y nacional, la protección de los derechos humanos, la participación de la sociedad civil, y la no injerencia en los asuntos internos de los estados miembros. A veces, estas metas son mutuamente excluyentes a nivel regional. Grupos de derechos humanos, organizaciones internacionales y estados occidentales han criticado las violaciones de los derechos humanos y las deficiencias en democracia y gobernabilidad en varios Estados de la ASEAN (por ejemplo, Vietnam y Myanmar) y en algunos países de la SADC (por ejemplo, Suazilandia, Madagascar y Zimbabue). En este artículo se aborda el contexto histórico de la SADC y la ASEAN y su continuo desarrollo relacionado con los temas mencionados. También se evalúa la eficacia de las organizaciones regionales, haciendo el balance entre los objetivos a menudo mutuamente excluyentes, y concluye que la existente fuerza regional de organización y cohesión impacta los enfoques utilizados para manejar el conflicto y la crítica externa, y promueve la construcción de una mayor cohesión social regionalmente y dentro de los estados. La SADC utiliza un “modelo de cumplimiento regional“ basado en criterios políticos, mientras que la ASEAN utiliza un modelo de “compromiso constructivo“ o “integración económica primero“. La SADC pone mayor énfasis en afianzar la buena gobernanza, especialmente en lo relacionado con los derechos humanos, a la vanguardia del regionalismo. La ASEAN vincula los derechos humanos a la integración regional a través de un compromiso constructivo y pone un mayor énfasis en las relaciones económicas. Dos existentes modelos diferentes de integración regional.
French abstract: La Communauté de développement d'Afrique australe (SADC en anglais), aussi bien que L'Association des nations de l'Asie du SudEst (ANASE) soutiennent respectivement les principes relatifs à l'intégration régionale et nationale, à la protection des droits de l'homme, à la participation de la société civile dans l'agenda publique, ainsi qu'à la non-ingérence dans les affaires internes des Etats. Toutefois, il arrive que ces objectifs deviennent mutuellement exclusifs au niveau régional. Les organisations de défense des droits de l'homme et les gouvernements occidentaux n'ont jamais cessé de critiquer les violations des droits de l'homme, ainsi que les lacunes en matière de démocratie et de gouvernance qui prévalent dans les pays membre de l'ANASE (ex : le Viet Nam, Myanmar) et ceux de la SADC (ex : le Swaziland, Madagascar et le Zimbabwe). Cet article aborde le contexte historique dans lequel l'ANASE et la SADC ont vu le jour ainsi que la nature des enjeux qui l'ont suivi. Il évalue également d'un point de vue comparé, l'efficacité de ces organisations régionales sur la base des objectifs qu'ils se sont fixés, tout en penchant pour la conclusion selon laquelle la présence d'une force régionale influente impacte nécessairement dans la gestion des conflits, et combien la critique externe participe à la construction d'une plus grande cohésion sociale et régionale au sein des États. La SADC s'appuie un “modèle de conformité régionale» fondé sur des critères politiques, tandis que l'ANASE fait appel à un “engagement constructif“ ayant pour modèle “l'intégration économique“. La SADC accorde davantage plus d'importance à la mise en œuvre d'une bonne gouvernance, particulièrement en ce qui concerne les droits de l'homme et l'évolution vers un régionalisme plus avancé. L'ANASE sublime les droits de l'homme à l'intégration régionale par le biais d'un engagement constructif et de grandes insistances dans les relations économiques. Ce qui fait d'eux deux modèles d'intégration régionale distincts.
that repentance guarantees fertility (Genesis 20:17–18). – The death of David and Bathsheba’s newborn baby. If we believe God afflicts children (2 Samuel 12:15), how can we ask God for strength to face tragedy ourselves? – The statement that women die
The RISC Consortium
images and essays on the different faces of humanity, including, but not limited to, our similarities and our differences, our strengths and our weaknesses, our hopes and our concerns, our legacies and our aspirations, as well as our interactions with
Rabbi Dr Leo Baeck
stronger than good fortune, but surely it has always proved itself stronger than ill fortune. It has in many ways become poorer today, but not weaker. In those parts where it remained unscathed, it has become all the more conscious of its strength and its