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Pierre H. Boulle

Sue Peabody, “There Are No Slaves in France”: The Political Culture of Race and Slavery in the Ancien Régime (New York and Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1996).

Laurent Dubois, Les Esclaves de la République. L’histoire oubliée de la première émancipation, 1789-1794, transl. by Jean-François Chaix (Paris: Calmann-Lévy, 2000).

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Christopher E. Forth

Edward Berenson, Heroes of Empire: Five Charismatic Men and the Conquest of Africa (Berkeley: University of California Press, 2011).

Margaret Cook Andersen, Regeneration through Empire: French Pronatalists and Colonial Settlement in the Third Republic (Lincoln, NE: University of Nebraska Press, 2015).

Geoff Read, The Republic of Men: Gender and the Political Parties in Interwar France (Baton Rouge, LA: Louisiana State University Press, 2014).

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Peter Pulzer

“Votes count,” Stein Rokkan asserted many years ago, “but resources

decide.”1 Political finance is one of the many arenas in which Alexander

and Shiratori’s “conflict between real inequalities in economic

resources and idealized equalities in political resources” is fought out.2

Yet the battleground is more complex than either of these authorities

suggests. Votes are also a resource. They legitimate, and they can also

punish, if those who cast them think that economic resources are

being used unreasonably. Above all, the determination of electoral

outcomes involves players others than voters and moneyed

interests. In almost all modern democracies there are referees of

varying effectiveness. In general, the referee is “the state,” but much

depends on the organs through which the state operates. Governments

are not necessarily neutral agents; they and the parliaments

that legislate on the regulation of political finance may merely reflect

the interests of dominant or established parties. Political finance can,

however, also be regulated, as for instance in Germany or the United

States, by judicial review. In addition the media almost everywhere

play an unpredictable role as spectator, watchdog or interested participant.

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Harlan Koff

The year 2000 may have marked the modernization of integration

politics in Italy, but immigration has been central to Italian politics

while integration, a secondary component of general immigration

politics, has received significantly less political and academic attention.

Scholars of racial and ethnic integration in Europe have documented

Italy’s fragmented integration model, as being characterized

by: social programs designed to help people; the separation of public

and voluntary sectors; a paternalistic voluntary sector allowing

little space for immigrant self-representation; a lack of continuity;

and difficulties in obtaining citizenship. Until 2000, immigration

politics focused not on qualitative issues regarding the transformation

of Italian society, but on quantitative questions concerning

Italy’s social and economic capacity to absorb migrants.

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Mark Donovan and Paolo Onofri

It is difficult to tell a story pretending not to know how it ends. This volume

is concerned with the political and politico-economic events that

took place in Italy during the course of 2007, but in reality it is implicitly

the story of an aborted legislature, the fifteenth in the Republic’s history,

which began in April 2006 and ended prematurely in January 2008.

Perhaps in anticipation of this outcome, the year 2007 was permeated

by a sense of deep political malaise. The government of Romano Prodi,

despite having been in office since only May 2006, and despite its reasonably

effective management of the economy, was weak and unpopular.

Its frailty was rooted, most immediately, in the election outcome,

which gave it a majority of just two in the Senate, and that outcome in

turn resulted in large part from the effects of the electoral system reform

introduced by the center-right government in December 2005. The purpose

of that reform—or counter-reform, as some prefer to call it—was to

minimize the scale of the government’s expected defeat or, reversing the

perspective, to render the center-left’s victory as marginal as possible.

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Where Is the Public Sphere?

Political Communications and the Morality of Disclosure in Rural Rajasthan

Anastasia Piliavsky

The public sphere has been centre stage in celebrations of India's political triumphs. Leading commentators tell us that the astonishing post-independence surge of democracy has been contingent on the rise of a new kind of sociopolitical formation: the public sphere. This article takes a closer look at the popular deliberative terrain in North India to question this claim. Drawing on research conducted in a provincial town in the North Indian state of Rajasthan, we see that where metropolitan political theorists see 'transparency' as promoting discursive and political possibilities, Rajasthani villagers see an exposure which prevents expression, communication and the making of political choices. In their view, it is secrecy and social seclusion that enable political interactions and elicit political judgments. 'The public sphere' is an unfit heuristic for locating popular politics within (and beyond) Rajasthan, where it obscures much more than it reveals.

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Breaking Barriers and Coded Language

Watching Politics of Race at the Ballpark

Thomas D. Bunting

Drawing on recent literature on political spectatorship, I show how sport, and baseball in particular, can both illuminate and shape American politics. Following the history of racial segregation and immigrant assimilation in baseball, one sees that it mirrors American race politics on the whole. I argue that Jackie Robinson and the desegregation of baseball changed both American politics and the horizons within which citizens think. Although it is tempting to focus on this positive and emergent moment, I argue that for the most part, looking at the history of race in baseball shows instead coded language that reinforces racial stereotypes. This example of baseball and race shows how powerful spectatorship can be in the democratic world. Spectatorship need not be passive but can be an important sphere of activity in democratic life.

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Özlem Özmen

Julia Pascal’s The Yiddish Queen Lear, a dramatic adaptation of Shakespeare’s King Lear, merges racial identity politics with gender politics as the play both traces the history of the Yiddish theatre and offers a feminist criticism of Shakespeare’s text. The use of Lear as a source text for a play about Jews illustrates that contemporary Jewish engagements with Shakespeare are more varied than reinterpretations of The Merchant of Venice. Identity politics are employed in Pascal’s manifestation of the problematic relationship between Lear and his daughters in the form of a conflict between the play’s protagonist Esther, who struggles to preserve the tradition of the Yiddish theatre, and her daughters who prefer the American cabaret. Gender politics are also portrayed with Pascal’s use of a strong woman protagonist, which contributes to the feminist criticism of Lear as well as subverting the stereotypical representation of the domestic Jewish female figure in other dramatic texts.

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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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From Political Fringe to Political Mainstream

The Front National and the 2014 Municipal Elections in France

Gabriel Goodliffe

The March 2014 municipal elections in France confirmed the electoral effectiveness of the Front national’s (FN) strategic reorientation under Marine Le Pen by validating the party’s organizational gambit to wrest local political control from the mainstream parties. This article analyzes the FN’s performance in these elections from the standpoint of political demand and supply. First, it elaborates the social, economic, and partisan conditions of political demand that have enhanced the party’s electoral traction among a growing segment of French voters. In turn, it focuses on the factors of political supply—notably the discursive and organizational aggiornamento undergone by the FN under Marine Le Pen’s leadership—by which the party has been able to expand its local appeal. The article then assesses what the electoral results bode for the FN’s positioning and status within the French party system, arguing that they herald its transformation from serving as a protest party to occupying a direct policymaking role.