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Lourdes Zamanillo Tamborrel, Joseph M. Cheer, Jeet Dogra, Irina Herrschner, David Wills and Petra Kavrečič

Siobhan Carroll, An Empire of Air and Water: Uncolonizable Space in the British Imagination, 1750–1850 (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2015), 290 pp., ISBN 9780812246780, $59.95 (Cloth).

Ann Brigham, American Road Narratives: Reimagining Mobility in Literature and Film (Charlottesville: University of Virginia Press, 2015), x + 262 pp., ISBN 978-0-8139-3750-2, US $29.50 (paperback).

Sue Beeton, Film-Induced Tourism, 2nd ed. (Bristol: Channel View Publications, 2016), xxv + 311 pp., ISBN: 9781845415853, $40.00 (paperback).

Michael Carroll, Greece: A Literary Guide for Travellers (London: I. B. Tauris, 2017), xiv + 290 pp. ISBN: 978-1-78453-380-9, £16.99 (hardcover).

John Eade and Mario Katić (eds.), Military Pilgrimage and Battlefield Tourism: Commemorating the Dead (London: Routledge, Taylor and Francis Group, 2017), xxi + 164 pp., ISBN: 9781472483621, $140 (hardcover).

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From Relations of Power to Relations of Authority

Epistemic Claims, Practices, and Ideology in the Production of Burma's Political Order

Ingrid Jordt

Following the 1962 coup of Burma's first post-Independence and parliamentary democratic government, a succession of military régimes has asserted their legitimacy on diverse grounds. Their ability to keep the upland minorities contained and the country unified, to implement a socialist-style redistributive system, and contemporaneously to act as chief patron to the sangha (order of monks), have each functioned as claims to legitimate rule and to nation-statehood. In 1990, the régime refused to hand over power to Aung San Suu Kyi and her National League for Democracy party, following a landslide election. Aung San Suu Kyi's resistance to the régime, and claims for her own political legitimacy have been asserted, predominantly through an emergent `global society' (universalizing) discourse about human rights, régime performance, and democratic self-determination. In this paper, I examine these separate assertions for legitimacy as distinct but interrelated frameworks for thinking and action, the inconsistencies among which complicate the process of stable state making in Burma.

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Douglas Smith

In June 1951, Sartre’s play The Devil and the Good Lord (Le Diable et le Bon Dieu) was first produced at the Théâtre Antoine in Paris. Set during the German Peasants’ War, the play recounts the story of Goetz, a military leader who transforms himself from a feared and notorious war criminal into a saint and folk hero through a series of arbitrary acts of clemency and generosity. First sparing the besieged town of Worms from total destruction, Goetz then proceeds to break up his own estates and redistribute the land among the peasantry. Far from being presented as an ethical conversion from Evil to Good, however, Goetz’s generosity is twice criticised within the play as a strategem to achieve even greater domination over the beneficiaries of his mercy and munificence.

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Nicholas Toloudis

Most studies of the social and political upheavals of the Second Republic treat violence as the main way people resisted the military coup and repression of 1851 and view political dissent through the lens of class. But the suppression of unorthodox political voices in the academy brings another form of resistance to light. Close personal networks and the organizational culture of the French academy distinguished the universitaires' animosity toward Louis Napoleon. To map the patterns of teachers' dissent, I use the proceedings of the Carnot Commission, an organ created by the emergency government of 1870 to gather information about the universitaires who had suffered political persecution around the time of the 1851 coup and offer them restitution. The Commission's work reveals a pattern of personal connections and distaste for authoritarianism that reflected the republican consensus as it emerged in the 1870s.

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Antonius Robben

Technological developments in the security field are calling for a new anthropological approach to the study of violence. The anthropology of violence shifted during the late 1980s from an emphasis on the structural and symbolic dynamics of violence to a focus on historical and social practices. The concern for violence exercised through political relations was replaced by attention to the everyday experience of violence, while central concepts such as state, power, ritual, mobilization, and resistance made way for terror, trauma, suffering, subjectivity, and resilience. The time has arrived for a new take on violence that can help us understand the revolutionary impact of technological innovations adopted by police, military, secret services, and private companies. The push for seamless surveillance systems, the tapping of e-mail traffic, phone and wireless communications, permanent camera supervision, body scans, biosensors, and activity analyses of cars and people circulating in public places are affecting people’s daily lives, bodily integrity, and freedom of personal expression and selfhood.

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Introduction

The Social Life of Contentious Concepts

Ronald S. Stade

Concepts have cultural biographies and social lives. Some concepts become social and political keywords that can be both indicative of and instrumental in social and political conflicts. (It might even be possible to speak of conceptual violence.) But they are not just contentious; they also tend to be contested. Contentious and contested concepts have been studied by historians and social scientists from varying temporal and spatial horizons. It is a research area that lends itself to cross-disciplinary approaches, as is demonstrated in the three contributions to this section, the first of which investigates the Russian obsession with the concept of “Europe.” The second contribution to the section explores the military roots of the concept of “creative thinking,” and the final contribution examines the social life of “political correctness” as a fighting word.

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Pushkar Sohoni

The domestication and use of animals is an integral part of the history of technology, as beasts were used to improve the efficiency of agricultural, military, and transportation activities. Individuals and social groups often had to be introduced along with animal technologies, as the domestication, breeding, training, and handling of animals was a culture that could not be immediately learned. In the age of European empires, several ethnic groups were imported along with the animals that they tended. This article highlights the role of humans as part of animal technologies, as an important anthropological component when technologies that involve animals are introduced to new settlements and areas. Using three case studies in which animal technologies from Asia were introduced to other parts of the world, it can be seen that humans are an essential and integral component of animal technologies.

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Echoes of Colonial Logic in Re-Ordering “Public” Streets

From Colonial Rangoon to Postcolonial Yangon

Beth E. Notar, Kyaw San Min and Raju Gautam

This article investigates three historical moments in Rangoon, Burma (Yangon, Myanmar) when the city has restricted certain forms of mobility. The first occurred in 1920, when British authorities restricted rickshaws pulled by Indian laborers. The second was in 1960, when the military “caretaker government” sought to sideline pedicabs and horse carts as part of an urban “cleanup” campaign. The third happened in 2017, when city authorities under a new democratic government sought to limit the number of taxis and allow digital ride-hailing services such as Uber and Grab to operate in the city. Despite three very different forms of government, the later discourses eerily echo the exclusionary logic that certain forms of migrant driven mobility need to be cleared away for more “modern” mobility.

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Eva Hahn and Hans Henning Hahn, Die Vertreibung im deutschen Erinnern: Legenden, Mythos, Geschichte (Paderborn: Ferdinand Schöningh, 2010)

Reviewed by Michael Ennis

Katherine Pratt Ewing, Stolen Honor: Stigmatizing Muslim Men in Berlin (Stanford: Stanford University Press, 2008)

Reviewed by Julia Woesthoff

Shelley Baranowski, Nazi Empire: German Colonialism and Imperialism from Bismarck to Hitler (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2011)

Reviewed by Daniel J. Walther

Andrew Beckford, Fallen Elites: The Military Other in Post-Unification Germany (Stanford: Stanford University Press, 2011)

Reviewed by Dale Herspring

Annemarie H. Sammartino, The Impossible Border: Germany and the East, 1914-1922 (Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 2010)

Reviewed by Catherine Epstein

Charles Lansing, From Nazism to Communism: German Schoolteacher under Two Dictatorships (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 2010)

Reviewed by Catherine Plum

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Hans Kundnani

In this paper I examine the use of the concept of "normality" in debates about German foreign policy since unification. In the early 1990s, left-wing intellectuals such as Jürgen Habermas tended to criticize the idea of "normality" in favor of a form of German exceptionalism based on responsibility for the Nazi past. A foreign policy based on the idea of "normality" was associated above all with the greater use of military force, which the right advocated and the left opposed. Thus, "normality" became a synonym for Bündnisfähigkeit. Yet, from the mid 1990s onwards, some Social Democrats such as Egon Bahr began to use the concept of "normality" to refer instead to a foreign policy based on sovereignty and the pursuit of national interests. Although a consensus has now emerged in Germany around this realist definition of foreign-policy "normality," it is inadequate to capture the complex shift in the foreign policy of the Federal Republic since unification.