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On Memory Work in Post-communist Europe

A Case Study on Romania's Ways of Remembering its Pronatalist Past

Lorena Anton

Taking the memory of pronatalism in contemporary Romania as a case study, this article is an attempt to view the national politics of memory of contemporary Europe with regard to its communist past from an anthropological perspective. From 1966 to 1989, the communist regime imposed extreme policies of controlled demography in Romania, as it was imputed, for 'the good of the socialist nation'. Profamily measures were developed in parallel to the banning of abortion on request and the making of contraception almost inaccessible. The social remembering of such a difficult past is still a taboo in contemporary Romanian society. This general lack of public remembering, which is still playing a role in the current situation of Romania's reproductive health, is influenced by the interrelations between the different forms of pronatalist memory. The analysis is based on oral history fieldwork conducted between 2003 and 2008, and is theoretically informed by the interdisciplinary field of Memory Studies.

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Negotiating international development

The making of the Millennium Development Goals

Iris Borowy

English abstract: The Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) evolved in the competition between two perspectives on development: one that sees the reasons for poverty and misery in the specificities of the countries concerned (the localist view) and another that looks at the global context, including and especially the policies of “developed” high-income countries (the globalist view). The core of the MDGs emerged in the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) and shifted the public focus from the globalist approaches of recent United Nations (UN) conferences to a localist approach. Subsequent UN discussions broadened the perspective again, leading to a more hybrid final form. In the process, goals on equitable trade and financial relations, on market access for products from the Least Developed Countries and on HIV/AIDS and malaria were added, while a goal on access to reproductive health was dropped. Meanwhile, inherent economic–environmental contradictions have remained unresolved.

Spanish abstract: Los Objetivos de Desarrollo del Milenio (ODM) evolucionaron a través de la competencia entre dos puntos de vista sobre el desarrollo: uno que ve las razones de la pobreza y la miseria en las especificidades de los países en cuestión (la visión localista) y otro que las ve en el contexto global, incluyendo especialmente las políticas de los países “desarrollados” de altos ingresos (la visión globalista). El núcleo de los ODM surgió en la Organización para la Cooperación y Desarrollo Económicos (OCDE) y cambió la perspectiva pública de enfoques globalistas de las conferencias recientes de Naciones Unidas por un enfoque localista. Discusiones posteriores de las Naciones Unidas ampliaron la perspectiva de nuevo, dando lugar a una forma final más híbrida. A lo largo de este proceso, se añadieron metas sobre el comercio justo y las relaciones financieras, el acceso a los mercados para los productos de los países menos adelantados, el VIH/SIDA y la malaria, mientras que se redujo el objetivo del acceso a la salud reproductiva. Mientras tanto, las contradicciones inherentes a temas económicos y ambientales han quedado sin resolver.

French abstract: Les Objectifs du Millénaire pour le développement (OMD) ont évolué entre deux points de vue concurrents sur le développement : celui qui voit les causes de la pauvreté et de la misère dans les spécificités des pays concernés — la vision localiste — et un autre qui prend en considération le contexte mondial, y compris surtout les politiques des pays «développés» -la vision mondialiste-. Le noyau des OMD a émergé au sein de l'OCDE et il a détourné l'attention publique des approches globalistes des conférences récentes des Nations Unies vers une approche localiste. Les discussions ultérieures des Nations Unies ont de nouveau élargi la perspective, conduisant finalement à une forme plus hybride. Au cours de ce processus, les objectifs en matière de commerce équitable et de relations financières, l'accès aux marchés pour les produits des pays les moins avancés et ceux qui concernent le VIH / sida et le paludisme ont été ajoutés, tandis que l'objectif de l'accès à la santé reproductive a été abandonné alors que les contradictions inhérentes à l'économie et à l'environnement sont restées en suspens