Citizens, governments, and donors are increasingly demanding better evidence on the effectiveness of development policies and programs. Efforts to ensure such accountability in the forest sector confront the challenge that the results may take years, even decades, to materialize, while forest-related interventions usually last only a short period. This article reviews the broad interdisciplinary literature assessing forest conservation and management impacts on biodiversity conservation, climate change mitigation, and poverty alleviation in developing countries. It emphasizes the importance of indicators and identifies disconnects between a rapidly growing body of research based on quasi-experimental designs and studies taking a more critical, ethnographic approach. The article also highlights a relative lack of attention on longer-term impacts in both of these areas of scholarship. We conclude by exploring research frontiers in the assessment of the impacts of forest-related interventions with long incubation periods, notably the development of predictive proxy indicators (PPIs).
Analyzing the Social-Ecological Impacts of Forest Conservation and Management over the Long Term
Daniel C. Miller, Pushpendra Rana and Catherine Benson Wahlén
Susann Baez Ullberg
Flooding has long been a recurrent problem in the Argentinian city of Santa Fe, mainly affecting the poverty-stricken suburban outskirts. In 2003 one of the worst floods ever occurred, which also affected residents in the middle income sectors who had never been flooded before and who reacted with an extraordinary process of commemoration and protest against the government for its lax disaster management. Paradoxically, most other past disastrous floods in the city’s history seem to dwell in the shadows of social oblivion. Drawing on ethnographic fieldwork in the years 2004–2011, this article analyzes how local flood memories are made through daily life practices and places in the suburban outskirts, more than through public commemorations, which has implications for vulnerability and risk.
Duress and Upwardly Mobile Youth in the Biography of a Young Entrepreneur in Enugu
What does duress mean in the lives of those who are not by definition understood to be living in duress—namely, upwardly mobile young people in a relatively peaceful city in southeast Nigeria? In this article, I try to answer that question by presenting the life story of Azu, a young designer in Enugu who has made his way out of a poverty-stricken background through a relatively successful entrepreneurship. His biography, based on interviews and observations, and partially through a shared experience of constraint in Nigeria, serves as an example of duress in the lives of those who—by family, educational background, or career success—are considered “well-off” compared with most youths in the country. I argue that duress for these youths is informed by social expectations due to their acquired status as much as by the sociopolitical uncertainties that they have been confronted with throughout their lives.
The concept of internal colonialism h as been used to frame studies of marginalized populations exploited by the dominant or majority population. Brazil’s regional inequalities have gained notoriety, as wealth tends to be concentrated in the southern regions, while poverty is most rampant in the north and northeast. Inequality in Brazil is connected to geographic region and related to complex factors such as race, ethnicity, color, kinship, and class, and is deeply rooted in Brazil’s colonial history. Using data from in-depth, qualitative interviews with seasonal sugarcane workers, this article argues that the inequality that motivates their migration pattern is rooted in internal colonialism. These temporary labor migrants travel from northern and northeastern states to the cane fields of São Paulo, where labor demands are high and they face many of the challenges that international labor migrants encounter, including discrimination, poor wages, and inhumane working conditions.
The Potential for Shaming and Dignity Building through Delivery Interactions
Erika Gubrium and Sony Pellissery
The special issue focuses on the impact of antipoverty measures—accounting for social and structural dimensions in the poverty experience and moving beyond an income-only focus—in five country cases: China, India, Norway, Uganda, and the United States. Particularly, we focus on the implications of shame in the delivery of antipoverty measures, as an individual and social phenomenon that relates to feelings of self-inadequacy, as well to a lack of dignity and recognition. We analyze delivery interactions through an analytic framework of rights, discretion and negotiation, as this enables us to parse out how policy delivery interactions presumed or enabled individual choice, ability, control, and voice. We suggest social citizenship can structure the relationships between welfare recipients and administrators. As a concept, it expands the objects of social rights beyond the materiality of human life (e.g., housing, pensions) to include intangible processual elements (e.g., dignity) in the construct of rights.
Rolf Dieter Hepp
In our society, the relationship between periphery and center is changing. Questions discussed under the conditions of outsiders and suspended social groups penetrate the center of society and systematically determine the social correlations. Inequality, poverty, social insecurity, and precariousness are equated with changes in social change when the risk of social exclusion is undermined by unskilled activities. This is, for example, very much the case in the German discussion so that outsider groups are defined in Germany, which have themselves maneuvered into a corresponding social situation through wrong biographical decisions. The French approach of Pierre Bourdieu, Robert Castel, and Luc Boltanski and Ève Chiapello differed decisively in this respect, since they reoriented social uncertainties and precariousness in a reorganization of the work structure. This article shows how precariousness is shifted to the center of society and how qualified work develops into unsafe and precarious working conditions within the framework of the reorganization in project activity.
The Rule of Law—A Heuristic Perspective?
In the final article of this issue, Giovanni Polcini presents the Italian approach of the “rule of law,” promoted by its governmental institutions in multilateral fora on priority areas related to the struggle against global crime, drugs, money laundering, and terrorism. We must distinguish this from “rule by law.” According to Polcini, the first is dedicated—in order to pave the way for a just and fair society—to counter the abuse of power by authorities and to build new legally oriented societal circumstances. The latter may be used for political reasons to oppress or discriminate against people and avoid accountability under the guise of formality, legality, and legitimacy. It is argued that the rule of law delivers a concrete basis from which to eradicate poverty, to fight discrimination and exclusion, and to protect the environment, also by providing predictability.
Neoliberal Governance and Government Educational Resource Manuals in Canada
Lisa Smith and Stephanie Paterson
Nova Scotia’s Guide for Girls and Manitoba’s 4 Girls Only! represent recent shifts in policy that aim to include and empower young women vis-a-vis public policy. In this article, we analyze these manuals, illuminating the ways in which young women are configured as subjects in late modern capitalist societies such as Canada. We show that, as neoliberal subjects, young women are increasingly expected to be autonomous and self-governing yet appear to require guidance to follow the right path towards future ideal neoliberal citizenship. Thus, despite their notable intentions, the manuals identify and target certain forms of conduct as problematic, eschewing a broader discussion of the structural causes of a variety of social problems such as poverty, unemployment, poor health, sexual violence, and stress, thus raising important questions regarding policy by, for, and about young women.
Alessandro Nova, The Book of the Wind: The Representation of the Invisible (2011) Reviewed by Tomas Macsotay
Tej Vir Singh, Critical Debates in Tourism (2012) Reviewed by Chiara Gius
Fabian Frenzel, Ko Koens, and Malte Steinbrink, eds., Slum Tourism: Poverty, Power and Ethics (2012) Reviewed by Clare A. Sammells
Jennifer Laing and Warwick Frost, Books and Travel: Inspiration, Quests and Transformation (2012) Reviewed by Olga Denti
Stuart Alexander Rockefeller, Starting from Quirpini: The Travels and Places of a Bolivian People (2010) Reviewed by Marie D. Price
Churnjeet Mahn, British Women's Travel to Greece, 1840-1914: Travels in the Palimpsest (2012) Reviewed by Semele Assinder
Naghmeh Sohrabi, Taken for Wonder: Nineteenth-Century Travel Accounts from Iran to Europe (2012) Reviewed by Arash Khazeni
In 2004, the beginning of the political year was marked by an intense
focus on the middle class. Even earlier, during the closing months
of the previous year, the public had been alerted to the middle class
as an issue by virtue of journalistic investigations documenting the
malaise of social groups, which, all things considered, had been supposed
to be in good or passable health up to that point. There was
talk of poverty among vulnerable sections of the population, but not
yet of the impoverishment of the middle classes. Whether or not the
middle class was indeed becoming poorer then became the main focus
of the discussion. In this chapter we shall try to see how the question
emerged, how far it corresponds with the facts, and, finally, its significance
for Italian politics. With this in mind, we shall be asking, in particular,
whether in future the crisis of the middle class is destined to be
an important topic and recognized as such in the political arena.