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Lawyers against the Law

The Challenge of Turkish Lawyering Associations

Joakim Parslow

Despite increasing subordination of the judiciary to executive authorities, Turkish cause lawyering associations are more assertive than ever in their defiance of forced closures and legal persecution. Why would activist lawyers ‘play the game’ of law when the legal system is being undermined? Focusing on the historical genesis of Turkey’s oldest activist lawyering association, the Çağdaş Hukukçular Derneği (ÇHD), I argue that Turkish legal activism results from not just clashing political causes but also the strategies attorneys are forced to adopt to effect change within an authoritarian-corporatist structure designed to constrict their activities. The ÇHD and similar groups are not merely extensions of the formal juridical order; they also constitute a grassroots engagement with the law that refuses to conform to the categories, narratives, procedures and ends of the state’s legal institutions.

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Some Responses to Globalisation in Uzbekistan

State Authoritarianism, Migrant Labour and Neo-traditionalism

Laurent Bazin

Uzbekistan offers a case study of a country that has blocked the liberalisation of its economy and that is being marginalised in the world market as well as in the international community. Even still, two typical expressions of globalisation processes can be identified: first, an attempt to reconstruct the legitimacy of the state through the reinvention of a 'national identity', and, second, the elimination of a specific form of protected salaried work that had arisen during the Soviet era, along with a concurrent proletarianisation of the population, in particular in the rural areas. The research shows that political coercion and the inculcation of a nationalist ideology, on the one hand, and the economic degradation of living standards, on the other, result in the reinforcement of family ties and repression of individuality, in spite of huge labour migrations and a (minimal) introduction of the market.

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Anthropological Reflections on Lebanese Art

How Empathy, the Human Rights Topos and Ideological Attitudes Interact with Aesthetic Perceptions

Gerald A. P.-Fromm and Bariaa Mourad

This article analyses attitudes of the art public related to subjects of the 2011 art exhibition 'Beirut', shown at the Kunsthalle Wien in Vienna. Some Lebanese artworks, especially those of the (pre-)war generation, were oriented towards utopias of their time and socio-political criticism, and still today revolve around the topoi of human rights. Socio-cultural milieux and institutions seem habited by adherents with congruent values. Art, science and education are thus particularly disputed fields since their common creative quests produce knowledge and, depending on the theme, ideology. We contextualise these topics and highlight a few empirically corroborated explanatory models developed by anthropology in order to elucidate the complex interplay between the individual and society. We appeal to those in academia, education and critical art to play a role in the debate on essential humanistic and ethical principles.

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María de Lourdes Sierra Kobeh

*Full article is in Spanish

English abstract: In this paper the author makes a preliminary assessment of the course so far taken by the so called Arab Spring and the many obstacles and challenges it has faced. Despite the high expectations that these social protest movements have generated, especially for their transformative potential, she argues that real or meaningful reforms have not been achieved so far, despite the fall of several dictators and the persistent social protests. The author stresses in particular the conditions in each of the countries in this region and the increasing external interference in the affairs of this region that allow foreign powers to exploit domestic situations to their advantage, a phenomenon not new, dating from the disintegration of the Ottoman Empire and the formation of modern nation-states in the Arab world. She proposes to analyze these movements in the light of a broader historical perspective to help us understand the full extent and complexity of the processes that are taking place in this strategic region, as these social protest movements have been present throughout the years, with periods of progress and setbacks, within a complex and long process marked by internal quarrels, regional rivalries, and strong external interference.

Spanish abstract: En este trabajo, la autora hace un balance preliminar sobre el curso que hasta ahora ha tomado la llamada “primavera árabe“ y los múltiples obstáculos y desafíos que ésta ya está enfrentando. Sostiene que, a pesar de las grandes expectativas que estos movimientos de protesta social han generado, sobre todo por su potencial transformador, no se han logrado hasta ahora reformas reales o significativas, a pesar de la caída de varios dictadores y la persistencia de las protestas sociales. Destaca en particular las condiciones existentes en cada uno de los países de la región y la creciente interferencia externa en los asuntos de la región que permite a las potencias extranjeras aprovechar las situaciones internas en su propio beneficio, un fenómeno nada nuevo, que data de la desintegración del Imperio Otomano y la conformación de los modernos Estados nacionales del mundo árabe. Propone, asimismo, analizar dichos movimientos a la luz de una perspectiva histórica más amplia, que nos ayude a comprender en toda su magnitud y complejidad los procesos que se están desarrollando en esta estratégica región, ya que estos movimientos de protesta social no son del todo nuevos. Han estado presentes a todo lo largo de estos años, con períodos de avances y retrocesos, dentro de un proceso complejo y prolongado, marcado por luchas internas, rivalidades regionales y una fuerte interferencia externa.

French abstract: Dans cet essai, l'auteur fait un compte rendu préliminaire sur le chemin pris par ce qui a été nommé « Le printemps arabe », ainsi que les multiples obstacles et défis auxquels ce phénomène à été confronté. Il met particulièrement en relief, les conditions dans lesquelles ce phénomène est survenu dans chaque pays de la région, ainsi que l'ingérence croissante des puissances étrangères dans les affaires internes des pays concernés et dont les agissements lors de la crise feront d'eux les principaux bénéficiaires. Un phénomène qui n'est pas nouveau et qui date de la chute de l'Empire ottoman et de la naissance des États-nation du monde arabe. En même temps, cet article se propose d'analyser ces mouvements sous l'angle d'une perspective historique plus étendue a fin d'offrir une meilleure compréhension de la magnitude et de la complexité des processus qui se développent dans ce e région stratégique, puisque tous ces mouvements de protestation sociale ne sont pas nouveaux. Ces mouvements ont été présents tout au long de ces années où il y a eu des périodes positives et aussi négatives dans le cadre d'un processus complexe et d'une longue durée, marqué par des lu es internes, des rivalités régionales et une forte intervention externe.

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Pınar Melis Yelsalı Parmaksız

examining Turkish modernization. 15 However, in this article, I aim to understand the way that modernization operated to validate an authoritarian political power (i.e., a single-party regime) on the basis of a specific understanding of gender relations

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Methodology Matters in Iran

Researching Social Movements in Authoritarian Contexts

Paola Rivetti

movements in authoritarian contexts, generating better and fairer knowledge. This is part of a broader methodological reflection that looks at research methods as an integral part of a research project, not as a mere instrument for gathering evidences, and

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Georgeta Nazarska

The article explores the history of the Bulgarian Association of University Women (BAUW) (1924-1950) within the broader framework of two historical periods in Bulgarian history (before and after the political change in September 1944) and during a democratic, an authoritarian, and a totalitarian regime. The article outlines the internal and external prerequisites for the emergence of the BAUW, its profile as a feminist organisation in Bulgaria, and its position in the context of other professional feminist organisations with a social profile after the First World War. It discusses some particularities in the ideology and the organisational structure of the BAUW, and details the process of the organisation's destruction.

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Aliabad of Shiraz

Transformation from Village to Suburban Town

Mary Elaine Hegland

Anthropological participant observation, in-depth, open-ended interviewing and oral history reveal aspects of social change and modernisation that have taken place in Aliabad, Iran, over more than half a century. These developments have transpired in interplay with economic, political and cultural processes. As a result of economic transformation from sharecropping and trading to urban-style jobs, and due to outside influences as a consequence of advances in transportation, communication, education and travel, villagers have been able to make other choices. Through bottom-up social and political change, relationships in all areas of life have become less authoritarian and hierarchical and more egalitarian and subject to negotiation and individuation.

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Introduction

Rethinking Power in Turkey through Everyday Practices

Élise Massicard

In an increasingly authoritarian Turkish context that precludes any serious chance of making tangible political gains, challenging common conception of ‘the political’ may expand our understanding of power dynamics. Attempting to track power relations outside the most official, legitimate, conventional and formalised forms of politics provides alternative and sharper insights into how the political is being reframed and how actors retain, uphold, perpetuate or transform their capacity for agency. In an interdisciplinary perspective, but drawing mainly on anthropological literature and methodology, the issue addresses four questions – both empirically in the Turkish case and more conceptually: politicisation, visibility, social stratification and domination.

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Emma Findlen LeBlanc

most promising strategy for its fulfilment, democracy is also their answer to Islam, the collective practice through which authoritarian trends in Islam are thwarted, and its true radical vision for justice realised. This article is based primarily on