Indonesia is in the midst of a publishing renaissance. The number of published titles doubled in 2003 to a sum greater than any year under Suharto. Titles unimaginable 10 years ago now line bookstore shelves: books about Marx, books by and about ethnic Chinese, and books with the words ‘sex’ or ‘homosexual’ and ‘Islam’ in the same title. In 2000, the publisher of Nobel Prize–nominated author Pramoedya Ananta Toer released a special Emancipation Edition of the previously banned Buru Quartet, named after the island on which the Suharto regime had imprisoned the writer for almost 14 years.
New Freedoms, Old Worries, and Unfinished Democratic Reform
Michael Nieto Garcia
Anwar Tlili and Susan Wright
The UK government's 2004 law, aiming to make universities contribute to Britain's success in the global knowledge economy, creates an explicit market in higher education. Students are presumed to occupy the status of consumer in an economic transaction with universities. The law gives students a right to information and an audit function so that their choices as 'intelligent consumers' will 'drive change' in universities. Interviews in two contrasting universities explore students' responses to this discourse and reveal their different aspirations and concepts of education. Yet they share doubts that regimes of audit and notions of accountability to consumers will not make their voices really 'count'.
The rise of neo-Nazism in the capital of the former German Democratic Republic (GDR) was not inspired by a desire to recreate Hitler's Reich, but by youthful rebellion against the political and social culture of the GDR's Communist regime. This is detailed in Fuehrer-Ex: Memoirs of a Former Neo-Naxi by Ingo Hasselbach with Tom Reiss (Random House, New York, 1996). This movement, however, eventually worked towards returning Germany to its former 'glory' under the Third Reich under the guidance of 'professional' Nazis.
A Personal Account of Jewish Rebirth in Prague
This personal account of a former Czechoslovak Jewish Youth leader offers insights into the process of searching for Jewish identity and its meaning in post-Communist Czechoslovakia. The author discusses the conceptual struggles faced by his generation, raised during the last two decades of the Communist regime, the impact of imported ideological infighting and factional splits on the makeup of an emerging community, the pop-appeal of Judaism to the Czech masses and the varied reactions of the highly assimilated Czech Jews to the eventual arrival of a dogmatic religious leadership.
Conflicts over rural land expropriation, which have intensified over the past decade in China, pose a significant threat to the country's social stability and the sustainability of its economic development. This article argues that such conflicts are inevitable under China's current political and legal system. After a brief introduction of the present situation in China and an overview of China's land regime, the article first analyzes reasons for the escalation of land conflicts, including the vague definition of public interest, the inadequate compensation, and the ambiguous nature of collective land ownership. It then argues that even the few existing rights of rural peasants under the present land regime are not adequately protected due to China's poor law enforcement. The article further elucidates that impunity with regard to illegal land grabbing is common in China for a variety of reasons that all have roots in the Communist Party's monopoly over Chinese society. With no fundamental reform to China's party politics, the article concludes, there will be no effective measure to prevent further conflicts over land in the near future.
Stefan Berger, Anna Cento Bull, Cristian Cercel, Nina Parish, Małgorzata A. Quinkenstein, Eleanor Rowley, Zofia Wóycicka, Jocelyn Dodd and Sarah Plumb
War Museums and Agonistic Memory
Within the EU-Horizon-2020-funded project Unsettling Remembering and Social Cohesion in Transnational Europe (UNREST),1 one work package (WP4) analyzed the memorial regimes of museums related to the history of World War I and World War II in Europe. An article by Anna Cento Bull and Hans Lauge Hansen (2016) entitled “Agonistic Memory” provided the theoretical framework for the analysis. Drawing on Chantal Mouffe’s work (2005, 2013), the authors distinguish three memorial regimes: antagonistic, cosmopolitan, and agonistic.
Unexpected Encounters: Museums Nurturing Living and Ageing Well
As the world’s population ages, how can museums nurture living and aging well? The conference Unexpected Encounters: Museums Nurturing Living and Ageing Well, organized by the Research Centre for Museums and Galleries (RCMG) from the School of Museum Studies, University of Leicester, set out to interrogate this question, and invited conference delegates to consider how museums unconsciously make assumptions about older people and perpetuate the dominant societal view of aging as a “problem.”
While still vastly underrepresented and lagging behind political representation in several other European democracies, more ethnic minorities and immigrants have entered the German Bundestag in 2013 than ever before. This is one of several indicators of Germany's political departure from hegemonic ethnic self-understandings, signaling the nation's complicated, partly still-contested evolution towards political self-conceptions as a “country of immigration.” A significant unanswered question is how and how far this process, which can be conceived as cosmopolitanization, has transformed party politics. This article examines the scope and causes of cosmopolitanization in three dimensions of German party politics after the 2013 Bundestag election: political discourse and programmatic positions on immigration, citizenship, identity, and ethno-cultural diversity; the policy regime of mainstream parties on immigration and the inclusion of ethnic minorities; and the fielding of minority candidates for national public office. It is argued that a belated postethnic cosmopolitanization of German party politics is primarily caused by transformed demographic realities, value change, and new electoral demands. Mainstream political parties—including the center right—have been reluctant but ultimately rational strategic agents reacting to these transformations in the electoral market. Yet, the scope and character of cosmopolitanization also depends on external and internal supply side conditions that enable parties to make programmatic changes, depolarize key issues of the immigration and citizenship policy regime, and recruit ethnic minorities for political representation. In European comparative perspective, the German case may serve as a model for theorizing the cosmopolitanization of party politics.
Osvaldo Croci and Marco Valigi
The uprising against Colonel Muammar Gaddafi was part of the “Arab
Spring,” a wave of demonstrations that began at the end of 2010 and
led, in a short space of time, to the fall of regimes in Tunisia and
Egypt; uprisings in Syria, Yemen, and Bahrain; and street protests in a
number of other Arab countries. Following the collapse of the ruling
administrations in neighboring Tunisia and Egypt on 14 January and 11
February, respectively, street protests against Gaddafi began in Libya.
The violent reaction of the Libyan regime led to uprisings throughout
the country. On 27 February, anti-Gaddafi forces established a provisional
government, known as the National Transitional Council (NTC),
in Benghazi. The ensuing civil war resulted in the intervention of a
NATO-led coalition to enforce United Nations (UN) Security Council
Resolution 1973, which provided for the establishment of a no-fly zone
to protect civilians. From their stronghold in eastern Libya, the anti-
Gaddafi forces, aided by NATO air cover and air strikes, slowly took
control of the rest of the country. They captured Tripoli on 28 August
and then moved against the remaining pro-Gaddafi forces in northeastern
Libya. Gaddafi’s last stand in his hometown of Sirte ended on 20
October, when he was captured and killed.
Ethnographies of corporate ethicizing
Catherine Dolan and Dinah Rajak
As the global community confronts increasing economic, social, and environmental challenges, the corporate social responsibility (CSR) movement has demonstrated a powerful capacity to offer itself up as a solution, circulating new ethical regimes of accountability and sustainability in business. This article introduces five contributions that explore ethnographically the meanings, practices, and impact of corporate social and environmental responsibility across a range of transnational corporations and geographical locations (India, South Africa, the UK, Chile, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo). In each of these contexts corporations are performing ethics in different ways and to different ends, from the mundane to the ritualistic and from the discursive to the material, drawing a range of actors, interests, and agendas into the moral fold of CSR. Yet across these diverse sites a set of common tensions in the practice and discourse of CSR emerge, as the supposedly “win-win” marriage between the social and the technical, the market and morality, and the natural and the cultural becomes routinized in global management practice. By tracing the connections and conflicts between the local micropolitics of corporate engagement and the global movements of CSR, the collection reveals the ambiguous and shifting nature of CSR and the ways in which social and environmental relations are transformed through the regime of ethical capitalism.
(And Why Wile E. Coyote Never Catches Roadrunner)
Over the last five years or so, we have witnessed increasing forms of violence and unrest across the world. In the media, these depictions are presented as actions of resistance to oppressive regimes and corrupt politics, yet are, at the same time, deliberately detached from a global politik which is collapsing in numerous ways: the manifestations evident in market instability, and increasing austerity, unemployment and social inequality; a sign perhaps that the orgy of globalisation is reaching its climax. Some of all this was reflected in what we saw across English cities during the summer of 2011 and in this article, I discuss these riots and why they might have happened and the State response. Perhaps more importantly, I show how they should be reconsidered alongside other forms of violence and dissatisfaction against oppressive regimes and corrupt politics as a collective response to a global system on the brink of collapse as a result of its never-ending pursuit of rampant profit at the expense of millions of people. I relate this fruitless quest of profit to Wile E. Coyote’s incessant pursuit of Roadrunner.