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Aviva Halamish

The article critically examines Mapam's activity regarding the Military Government imposed on Arab-populated areas between 1948 and 1966. It analyzes and compares the party's declared stand and its parliamentary activity with the role played by the issue as a factor in coalition negotiations. The article contends that the issue of the Military Government did not serve as a crucial factor in Mapam's decision either to join the coalition or to stay out of it. It also claims that Mapam did not have a direct influence on the actual decisions concerning the Military Government, due to Mapai's dominance in the Israeli political system in those years. The article suggests that the case of Mapam and the Military Government sheds light on the modus operandi of the Israeli political system prior to the Six Day War, on the extent of Mapai's dominance of the political system in Israel prior to the 1977 political upheaval, on the limited role and influence available to small parties in a dominant party system, and on the inherent conflict and potential collision between security considerations and democracy.

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Thinking about Thinking

Mild Traumatic Brain Injury and Finding Continuity in US Military Veterans’ Embodied Minds

Anna Zogas

This article examines American military veterans’ metacognition – their ‘thinking about thinking’. After sustaining mild traumatic brain injuries (mild TBI), some veterans experience impaired memory, poor concentration and other cognitive problems that surface when they begin attending colleges and trade schools. In response, clinicians at a specialized TBI clinic at a Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Medical Centre created a programme that encourages veterans to become reflexive about their cognition. Symptoms that veterans experience as cognitive impairments are reframed by clinicians as conflicts between their military-minded bodies and their new civilian environments. We have seen the growing influence of the neuro-disciplines on the government of populations, but newly materialist understandings of the mind also shift the boundaries of what constitutes ‘the body’, suggesting new terrains for the disciplinary techniques of institutions. Analysing veterans’ experiences of their injuries and clinicians’ efforts to help them reveals cognition as a site of discipline.

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Jochen Maurer and Gerhard Sälter

The border guards were what made the Berlin Wall both function and lethal. Without them, people could escape nearly without any hindrance. Thus, it is crucial to understand the role of the border guards, who they were, and how they were prepared for their duty. They had a double task: preventing citizens, in most cases respectable and unarmed, from fleeing; and serving as an initial front-line defense in case of war. The military aspect of their mission, however, remained hypothetical, whereas preventing escapes became their daily duty. The duplicity of their task, with the military aspect determining armament, training, and structure no doubt increased the number of fatalities at the border.

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(Not) Becoming the Norm

Military Service by Religious Israeli Women as a Process of Social Legitimation

Elisheva Rosman-Stollman

Women have long served in the Israel Defense Forces, notwithstanding strong opposition by the Chief Rabbinate. In the twenty-first century, approximately 25 percent of female graduates of Israel’s religious high school system enlist, despite social disapproval. Israel’s Orthodox community has largely ignored the issue in the past. Recently, however, rabbis and public figures within the religious community have acknowledged the reality of women’s conscription and have shown some willingness to address it. Although religious female soldiers are still atypical, they are no longer viewed as the anathema they once were. This article presents a possible model for this legitimation as a social process. It then describes the relationship between religious women, military service, and conscription in Israel, concluding with a suggestion about broader contexts within which this change can be viewed.

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Nina Leonhard

On 3 October 1990, the National People's Army (NVA) of the German Democratic Republic, in which about 2.5 million East German citizens served their country, was dissolved. Its personnel either was removed from military service, placed into early retirement, or integrated into the Bundeswehr after a two-year selection and examination process. Since then, the NVA has turned into an object of history with no immediate significance for contemporary German society—despite efforts of former NVA officers to change the official interpretation of 1989-1990. This article examines the processes of remembering and forgetting with regard to East Germany's military heritage since 1990, contrasting the Bundeswehr's politics of memory and “army of unity” ethos not only with the former NVA soldiers' vision of the past, but also with the East German population's general attitude towards their former armed forces.

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Juan Manuel Sandoval Palacios

[full article is in English]


At the beginning of the 1980s a new Global Space for the expansion of transnational capital emerged in the US–Mexico Border States. The militarization and securitization of that border were justified by government policies aimed at stopping irregular immigration, drug traffic, and terrorism. In 1991 the US Congress approved the creation of a new Defense Industrial and Technology Base (DITB), which would benefit the Gun Belt linked to the Military-Industrial Complex; and in 1992 the Department of Defense (DoD) proposed to establish a Defense Reserve Industrial Base Program (DRIB), the location for which would be within the existing production-sharing centers along the US–Mexico Border. Both, the DITB and the DRIB, would take advantage of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), and transnational arms corporations established or expanded their facilities in the Global Space that has been created along the Mexico–US Border. This article examines this process.


A principios de los años ochenta surgió un nuevo Espacio Global para la expansión del capital transnacional en los estados fronterizos de Estados Unidos y México. La militarización y la securitización de esta frontera ha sido justifi cada por estrategias para detener la inmigración irregular, el narcotráfi co y el terrorismo. En 1991 el Congreso de los Estados Unidos aprobó la creación de una nueva Base de Tecnología y Defensa Industrial (DITB) que benefi ciaría al llamado Cinturón de Armas ligado al Complejo Militar-Industrial; y en 1992 el Departamento de Defensa (DoD) propuso la creación del Programa de Base Industrial de la Reserva de Defensa (DRIB), cuya ubicación estaría dentro de los centros de producción compartida a lo largo de la frontera México–Estados Unidos. Tanto el DITB como el DRIB aprovecharían el Tratado de Libre Comercio de América del Norte (TLCAN), y las corporaciones transnacionales de armamentos establecerían o expanderían sus instalaciones en el Espacio Global creado a lo largo de la frontera México-Estados Unidos. Este artículo examina este proceso.


Au début des annéesquatre-vingt, un nouvel Espace Global pour l’expansion du capital transnational surgit à la frontière entre les États-Unis et le Mexique. Depuis, la militarisation et la sécuritisation de cett e frontière a été justifi ée par des stratégies pour contenir la migration clandestine, le traffi c de drogue et le terrorisme. Cependant, ces processus protègent et supportent également cet espace global, qui est lié au “ceinturon armé” qui a surgit durant l’administration Reagan. Depuis cett e époque, des propositions ont été présentées au Congrès des États- Unis pour établir une nouvelle Base de Technologie et de Défense Industrielle (DITB selon ses sigles en anglais), qui serait bénéfi que pour la ceinturon armé ainsi qu’un Programme de Base Industrielle de la Réserve de Défense (DRIB en anglais) dont la localisation a été proposée tout au long de la frontière entre le Mexique et les États-Unis. Cet article étudie comment le DITB et le DRIB ont évolué dans le contexte de l’Accord de Libre Échange Nord-Américain (ALÉNA) et ont permis à des corporations transnationales d’armes d’établir ou de renforcer des installations dans l’Espace Global qui a été créé tout au long de la frontière entre le Mexique et les États-Unis. Cett e article examine ce processus.

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Elisabeth Schober

Catherine Lutz, ed., The bases of empire: The Global Struggle against US Military Posts. New York: New York University Press, 2009, 356 pp., ISBN: 0-814-75244-6.

Network of Concerned Anthropologists, The counter-counterinsurgency manual: Or, notes on demilitarizing American society. Chicago: Prickly Paradigm Press, 2009, 190 pp., ISBN: 0979405750.

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David G. Havlick, Marion Hourdequin and Matthew John

Identifying appropriate restoration goals has long posed a challenge in ecological restoration. The task becomes even more difficult in settings with diverse land use histories. After two decades of remediation, a former chemical weapons facility near Denver, Colorado, has become a national wildlife refuge. Restoration efforts have isolated contaminants and restored bison and native prairie, but the site's complex history invites a deeper consideration of reference conditions. This article presents data from a visitor survey and interviews with land managers and citizen groups to examine conceptions of historical fidelity at this site. Results indicate that visitors and land managers orient toward restoration that features a traditional reference condition. Citizen groups point to restoration of cultural features as the highest priorities. This research highlights disparities between constituencies and suggests that restoration work itself may shape values that inform visitors and affirm how a landscape ought to exist.

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Bodily Transgression

Conflicting Spaces and Gendered Boundaries of Modernity and Islam in Contemporary Turkey

Mahiye Seçil Dağtaş

As Islamic discourses and practices gain increasing public visibility in Turkey and redefine the gendered boundaries of the state, officers' clubs have become the ideal national 'public sphere' of the military and therefore the site in which female citizens' bodies are displayed as the secular markers of Turkey's modernity. Focusing on an anecdote from ethnographic research on wedding ceremonies held in military officers' clubs in Istanbul, this article explores how the competing discourses on modernity and secularism are manifested and contested concretely in specific gendered, corporeal, emotional and spatial practices in contemporary Turkey.

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Performing humanitarian militarism

Public security and the military in Brazil

Stephanie Savell

This article investigates a case in which the Brazilian military, according to national press, “invaded” and “occupied” a Rio de Janeiro favela neighborhood under the auspices of a public security program. Rio’s “pacification” program aims to replace drug trafficking organizations’ control of favelas with Pacifying Police Units and counts on the occasional participation of the military. Based on research with military personnel and favela residents, I investigate the construction and consequences of the pairing of militarism with humanitarianism. I show how these logics are not opposed, as they might at first sound, but in practice, deeply aligned. Among other reasons, both state force and state caregiving are performances to justify military presence on the streets to audiences in and outside the favela. The visible spectacle of humanitarian militarism effaces abuses and makes light of the everyday fears and insecurities suffered by the urban poor.