The Ariadne’s thread that runs through, and connects, the articles in this issue of Theoria is the modern state. How should the state approach welfare policy? Is the state’s power as absolute as once it had been? What is the importance of nationalism for states? What assumptions about the relationship between the state and civil society should be examined, and how? What, especially in a developing society such as South Africa, is—or should be—the relationship between the state and the poor? These are the overarching questions that knit together the contributions.
Keith Hart, Florence Weber, Nathan Schlanger, Gavin Flood and Mike Gane
Marcel Mauss, Manual of Ethnography, edited by N. J. Allen, translated by D. Lussier, Oxford and New York: Durkheim Press/Berghahn Press, 2007, pp. 212.
Marcel Mauss, Techniques, Technology and Civilisation, edited and introduced by Nathan Schlanger, New York and Oxford, Durkheim Press/ Berghahn Books, 2006, pp. 178.
Marcel Mauss, Essai sur le don. Forme et raison de l’échange dans les sociétés archaïques, introduction de Florence Weber, Paris: Quadrige/ Presses Universitaires de France,  2007.
Louise Child, Tantric Buddhism and Altered States of Consciousness: Durkheim, Emotional Energy and Visions of the Consort, Aldershot: Ashgate, 2007, pp. vii, 197.
James Dingley, Nationalism, Social Theory and Durkheim, London: Palgrave Macmillan, 2008, pp. 221.
Extract of the Statement at the Conference Forum 2000, 4 September 2007
The rise of extreme nationalism, racism and xenophobia that swept through France, Germany, the United Kingdom and even some Scandinavian countries during the past decade – a tendency that appears only very recently to have begun very slightly to reverse itself – is yet again evidence of the ease with which the collective mind can be swept up by demagoguery that appeals to that 'zone of faith' in the consciousness of most human beings. The 'nation' is only another article of faith – like religion and ideology, and an appeal to the irrational baggage that sustains it in the mind is no different from the irrational supports of religious or totalitarian orders.
This article examines American Zionist leaders' positions on the Jerusalem issue, taking into consideration that from the 1920s until 1948, they acted within the Zionist movement as an independent political force that sought to play an active role in shaping the Yishuv and the State of Israel according to their own worldview. Their position on Jerusalem included recognition of its significance in Jewish history and the necessity of consolidating Jewish nationalism in Palestine. Yet they demonstrated a clear preference for social and economic patterns that, they maintained, had consolidated in Tel Aviv as a counterbalance to Jerusalem.
Israel’s democratic order is currently being assailed in a concerted effort to reformulate its priorities and redefine its identity. The civic nature of Israeli nationalism, as delineated by its founders, is being questioned by a growing neo-nationalist wave bent on displacing the universal and Jewish values of equality, justice, and tolerance ensconced in its declaration of independence with an ethnically driven worldview that links the connection between the land and the people with an exclusivist package, which denies diversity and denigrates pluralism.
Tzvetan Todorov, On Human Diversity: Nationalism, Racism, and Exoticism in French Thought (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1993)
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)
Patricia M. E. Lorcin, Imperial Identities: Stereotyping, Prejudice and Race in Colonial Algeria (London and New York: I.B. Tauris, 1995)
Maxim Silverman, Deconstructing the Nation: Immigration, Racism and Citizenship in Modern France (London and New York: Routledge, 1992)
Indonesian is the national language of the world’s fourth most populous country. Although it has 200 million speakers, it is little known beyond its borders and a narrow circle of area specialists. To reduce its obscurity in the global scheme of things, I will show here how it has developed into an unusually national but ‘un-native’ language. A brief sketch of the language’s history highlights commonsense ideas about language, identity, and nationalism that the Indonesian case does not fit, further reinforcing its uncommon aspects.
Epifanio San Juan Jr.
After the excesses of fascism in World War II and inter-ethnic conflicts in Africa, the Middle East, and the former Yugoslavia, it became axiomatic for postmodernist thinkers to condemn the nation and its corollary terms, ‘nationalism’ and ‘nation-state,’ as the classic evils of modern industrial society. The nation-state, its reality if not its concept, has become a kind of malignant paradox if not a sinister conundrum. It is often linked to violence and the terror of ‘ethnic cleansing.’ Nonetheless, the U.N. and the interstate system of nation-states still function as seemingly viable institutions of everyday life.1 How do we explain these seemingly paradoxical trends?
Rethinking Sri Lanka's Constitutional Present
Roshan de Silva Wijeyeratne
Sri Lanka's civil war between the majority Sinhalese and the minority Tamil communities has now raged for nearly half a century. The Sri Lankan cum Sinhalese Buddhist state has since independence resisted all significant attempts by the Tamil political leadership at power sharing. Most constitutional lawyers and progressive Sri Lankan opinion (Sinhalese, Tamil, Muslim, Burgher, etc.) hold that short of a separate state, administrative power should be devolved in the form of a federal state, so as to give autonomy to the northeast of Sri Lanka, while the forces of Sinhalese Buddhist nationalism have sought to justify the centralized state by recourse to the history of Buddhism and the Sinhalese on the island. Such arguments have drawn on the ontological potential of the cosmic order of Sinhalese Buddhism, which is fundamentally hierarchical in intent. Here I argue that the diffused nature of this cosmic order provides the ontological grounding for a decentralized state structure that can accommodate ethnic difference in a non-hierarchical relation. Thus, the legacy of Sinhalese Buddhism can be rescued from the forces of Sinhalese Buddhist nationalism.
Jackie Clarke, Melanie Kay Smith, Margret Jäger, Anne O'Connor and Robert Shepherd
Bianca Maria Rinaldi, Ideas of Chinese Gardens: Western Accounts, 1300– 1860 (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2016), viii + 376 pp., ISBN 978-0-8122-4763-3, $89.95 (hardcover).
Susan E. Hill, Alternative Tourism in Budapest: Class, Culture and Identity in a Postsocialist City (Lanham, MD: Lexington Books, 2017), xxvii + 92 pp., ISBN-9781498528641, $80.00 (hardcover).
Amy Speier, Fertility Holidays: IVF Tourism and the Reproduction of Whiteness (New York: New York University Press, 2016), 165 pp., ISBN- 978-1-4798-4910-9, $28 (paperback).
Raphaël Ingelbien, Irish Cultures of Travel: Writing on the Continent, 1829– 1914 (London: Palgrave Macmillan, 2016), ix + 252 pp., ISBN 978-1-137- 56783-3, $80 (hardcover).
Leanne White, ed., Commercial Nationalism and Tourism: Selling the National Story (Bristol, UK: Channel View Publications, 2017), xvi + 299 pp., 9781845415884, $49.95 (paperback).