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Natural Resources by Numbers

The Promise of “El uno por mil” in Ecuador’s Yasuní-ITT Oil Operations

Amelia Fiske

In 2013, Ecuadorian President Rafael Correa announced the end of the Yasuní-ITT initiative. The initiative had proposed to combat climate change by not exploiting oil reserves in one section of the Yasuní National Park. Anticipating outcry, Correa promised that operations would affect less than one thousandth of the park, or “menos del uno por mil.” This article examines the role of numerical calculations in the governance of subterranean resources. Numbers do a particular kind of labor to rationalize the shift contained in the Yasuní-ITT initiative that rhetoric alone does not. Metrics such as el uno por mil constitute and translate between diverse realms of value. Yet, contrary to the assumption that numbers are derived from strictly technical, expert processes, I show how such metrics are fundamental to translations between incalculable matters of nature, the future, and the “good” when deployed in contests over the effects of oil on life.

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Ariela Zycherman

The expansion and intensification of agriculture is a major driver of deforestation in tropical forests and for global climate change. However, over the past decade Brazil has significantly reduced its deforestation rates while simultaneously increasing its agricultural production, particularly cattle and soy. While, the scholarly literature primarily attributes this success to environmental policy and global economic trends, recent ethnographic depictions of cattle ranchers and soy farmers offer deeper insight into how these political and economic processes are experienced on the ground. Examples demonstrate that policy and markets provide a framework for soy farming and ranching, but emerging forms of identity and new cultural values shape their practices. This article argues that to understand the full picture of why Brazil’s deforestation rates have dropped while the agricultural industry has flourished, the culture of producers must be present in the analysis.

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Autobiography, Journalism, and Controversy

Freya Stark's Baghdad Sketches

Mary Henes

This article examines Freya Stark's life-writing over a forty-year period in order to shed light on her experience of Baghdad from 1929 to 1933. The article focuses on Stark's resistance to expected feminine norms of the British community, and contextualizes her experience alongside that of Gertrude Bell and Stefana Drower. Stark's experiences, and those of Drower, reveal the ways in which British women resisted the mundane expatriate lifestyle, and gained a great deal of cultural understanding though their interaction with Iraqis. Furthermore, the article discusses Stark's work at the Baghdad Times, a literary apprenticeship that also led to the publication of Baghdad Sketches. The article not only highlights the plurality of autobiographical presentation characteristic of Stark's oeuvre, but also reveals how Stark refashioned her experiences throughout her life, taking into account her changing status and the different political and cultural climates in which the works were published.

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Carlo Marletti

An electoral campaign is a complex process in which political

actors interact with the mass media in order to orient the voting

preferences and choices of the electorate. It is presumed – but cannot

be taken for granted – that the election campaign is the period

in which the use of propaganda and various forms of political

communication is at its peak. In fact, the interaction between

media and politics has long since become a structural given of contemporary

democracies,1 and periods in which significant political

communication campaigns are developed form part of a cycle that

has become independent of electoral deadlines. It can even be

hypothesised that election campaigns are becoming an ‘internal

moment’ of these larger cycles during which the climate of opinion

that is asserted compromises the election result, sometimes

anticipating the election outcome by even several months.

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Ilvo Diamanti and Salvatore Vassallo

Analyses of the general election held on 9–10 April 2006 can differ considerably

depending on one’s standpoint and the yardstick one adopts.

This is especially the case if one chooses to analyze the outcome based

on the expectations prior to the election rather than the result itself or

if one focuses on parliamentary rather than party or social representation.

The differences between various analyses are thus dictated by the

types of approaches and methods used and, in particular, by factors

linked to the opinion climate of the time. There can be little doubt, for

example, that the expectations regarding the outcome influenced not

only the election campaign itself and the eventual result but also the

manner in which these were perceived by politicians and voters alike.

This in turn shaped the impact and effects of the result.

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Sarah Townsend, Anna J. Willow, Emily Stokes-Rees, Katherine Hayes, Peter C. Little, Timothy Murtha, Kristen Krumhardt, Thomas Hendricks, Stephanie Friede, Peter Benson and Gregorio Ortiz

ANDERSON, E. N., Caring for Place: Ecology, Ideology, and Emotion in Traditional Landscape Management

ÁRNASON, Arnar, Nicolas ELLISON, Jo VERHUNST, and Andrew WHITEHOUSE, eds., Landscapes Beyond Land: Routes, Aesthetics, Narratives

BARNARD, Timothy P., ed., Nature Contained: Environmental Histories of Singapore

BARTHEL-BOUCHIER, Diane, Cultural Heritage and the Challenge of Sustainability

FOOTE, Stephanie and Elizabeth MAZZOLINI, eds., Histories of the Dustheap: Waste, Material Cultures, Social Justice

HAKANSSON, Thomas N. and Mats WIDGREN, eds., Landesque Capital: The Historical Ecology of Enduring Landscape Modifications

PERLMUTTER, David and Robert ROTHSTEIN, The Challenge of Climate Change: Which Way Now?

RUPP, Stephanie, Forests of Belonging: Identities, Ethnicities, and Stereotypes in the Congo River Basin

SODIKOFF, Genese Marie, ed., The Anthropology of Extinction: Essays on Culture and Species Death

SWANSON, Drew A., A Golden Weed: Tobacco and Environment in the Piedmont South

WILBER, Tom, Under the Surface: Fracking, Fortunes, and the Fate of the Marcellus Shale

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Peter Collins and Yulia Egorova

I (Peter) remember sitting in a departmental meeting, doodling, preoccupied with the image of a hospital chapel. I had recently been involved in a research project seeking to document and explain the construction of religious/spiritual space in National Health Service (NHS) acute-care hospitals in the north of England. What was becoming more and more obvious was the growing tension between the distinction that staff and patients were making between ‘religion’ and ‘spirituality’. Admittedly, this tension was not especially surprising; indeed, it can be understood, in principle, as a reflection of the ambient climate of religiosity in the UK, as in many other Western countries (Flanagan and Jupp 2007; Heelas 2008; Heelas et al. 2004).

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Hugh Beach, Dmitri Funk, and Lennard Sillanpää, eds., Post-Soviet Transformations: Politics of Ethnicity and Resource Use in Russia Anna Bara

Susan A. Crate and Mark Nuttall, eds., Anthropology and Climate Change: From Encounters to Actions Zareen Pervez Bharucha

Benjamin Isitt, From Victoria to Vladivostok. Canada’s Siberian Expedition, 1917–1919 J. L. Black

U. K. Kuznetsova, The Dictionary of Tuvan Culture: Angloiazychnyi slovar’ tuvinskoi kul’tury Alexander D. King

Yu. V. Popkov and E. A. Tyugashev, Filosofiia Severa: Korenye Malochislennye Narody Severa v Stsenariiakh Miroustroistva [Philosophy of the North: Indigenous Peoples of the North in World Order Scenarios] Karl Mertens

Douglas Rogers, The Old Faith and the Russian Land: A Historical Ethnography of Ethics in the Urals David Z. Scheffel

Open access

‘Is Anthropology Legal?’

Anthropology and the EU General Data Protection Regulation

Cassandra Yuill

In May 2018, the European Union (EU) introduced the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) with the aim of increasing transparency in data processing and enhancing the rights of data subjects. Within anthropology, concerns have been raised about how the new legislation will affect ethnographic fieldwork and whether the laws contradict the discipline’s core tenets. To address these questions, the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS) at the University of London hosted an event on 25 May 2018 entitled ‘Is Anthropology Legal?’, bringing together researchers and data managers to begin a dialogue about the future of anthropological work in the context of the GDPR. In this article, I report and reflect on the event and on the possible implications for anthropological research within this climate of increasing governance.

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Returning

Jewish Life in Antwerp in the Aftermath of the Second World War (1944–45)

Veerle Vanden Daelen

At the end of the war the German Occupier declared Antwerp Judenrein. In his Ph.D. thesis Vreemdelingen in een wereldstad, historian Lieven Saerens has demonstrated that a general anti-semitic climate had already surfaced in Antwerp in the 1930s. During the occupation, more Jews fell prey to persecution and annihilation in Antwerp than in any other Belgian city, partly due to the negligent attitude of the local authorities. Nevertheless, already in the first year after the liberation Jewish life in Antwerp was back on its feet. This contribution focuses on the settlement of the practical and legal consequences of the war and on the early reconstruction of Jewish life in Antwerp immediately after the war.