In an attempt to capture the unexpected forms taken by excessive violence since the epochal years of 1989-91, Robert Kaplan has argued that these developments indicate a coming anarchy, which has to be prevented (Kaplan 1994). This statement is based on the assumption that the level at which wars are being fought has shifted from the level of the state to a 'lower' level. It is argued that in most of these conflicts, non-state actors are involved on at least one side. The motivation and goals of these non-state actors seem not to follow political or ideological imperatives but have other sources, which may be ethnic, economic, or the fact that violence has become an autonomous force. Things would look different, however, if this diffusion were no more than a transitional phase after the breakdown of the polar order of the Cold War. The paradigm of the wars to come would then be determined not by the order/anarchy antithesis, but by the conflict between different conceptions of order. Finally, I argue that there will be a re-politicization of war and violence in the long run.
The Karaoğlanoğlu War Memorial
Mehmet Kerem Özel
The architectural and sculptural design of the Karaoğlanoğlu War Memorial (1990-1991), which this article explores, has a unique place in Turkish war memorial architecture built after 1950. Until the end of the 1990s, Turkish war memorials continued to be conceived and constructed in a traditional and conventional manner in spite of the changes that the notion of the war memorial underwent worldwide over the course of the twentieth century. The Karaoğlanoğlu War Memorial embodies certain attributes of a 'living memorial' and 'counter-monument' with regard to its architectural form and its monument characteristics, which distinguish it from other Turkish memorials. Designed in connection with the features of its geographical context, this memorial enables an awareness of the landscape of memory. With its humane dimension and vaguely figurative repre- sentation, the monument evokes a unique personal experience for each visitor.
Louis Daniel Brodsky, Larry Lefkowitz, Jeremy Robson, Robert Weiberg and David Pollard
A Death-Camp Passion
In Good Stead
Marc Chagall (1887–1985) [With Muse (Dream), Oil on canvas, 1918, Private collection]
This article questions the conceptualization of the 1930s Soviet rural mass collectivization as an opposition of 'private versus collective'. Instead a 'private-in-the-collective' (sovkhoist) approach is suggested, stemming from the essentially compromised nature of mass collectivization and offering a better key for understanding of current post-Soviet processes. Archival evidence is used to demonstrate how altruistic versus acquisitive polarities formed a major ideological debate in the 1920s and were gradually resolved as a 'private-in-the-collective' compromise in the collectivization decade. It is suggested that northern reindeer husbandry in the Russian Subarctic presents the private-in-the-collective compromise through the long-standing practice of grazing personal (private) deer mixed with the public herd. The empirical data presented in this article has been collected during fieldwork with reindeer-herding teams in the Kola Peninsula, Northwest Russia since 1995.
Shifting Constellations and Permeable Boundaries in
Maya Mynster Christensen
Contemporary warfare depends on private security contractors from countries in the Global South. In Sierra Leone, this dependency has produced emerging markets for private military and security companies (PMSCs) seeking to recruit cheap, military-experienced labor. This article explores how demobilized militia and soldiers in Sierra Leone negotiate categorical divides to make themselves employable for private security contracting in Iraq. Based on 19 months of fieldwork tracing militia soldiers as they move between shift ing security constellations, the article introduces the notion of “shadow soldiering” to explain the entanglements of public-private spheres and the blurring of boundaries between the visible and invisible that characterize these constellations. While scholarly work on PMSCs has increasingly highlighted the public-private interconnectedness, the article contributes an ethnographically informed perspective on how security contractors on the ground interpret such entanglements and how global security dynamics intersects with the local, everyday practices and processes that facilitate the supply of contractors.
Ethnographies of Private Security
Erella Grassiani and Tessa Diphoorn
This introduction emphasizes the value of an anthropological lens within the research on private security. Although much scholarly work has been conducted on private security throughout the past decades, anthropological attention for this subject was somewhat delayed. Yet, the works that have emerged from this discipline through ethnographic fieldwork have provided new and different types of insights, namely bottom-up understandings that explore the daily practices and performances of security and the experiences of the security actors themselves, that other disciplines can unquestionably draw from. As the introductory piece of this section, it also familiarizes the four articles that constitute various “ethnographies of private security.”
Neoliberal restructuring, racial politics, and resistance in post-Katrina New Orleans
Mathilde Lind Gustavussen
This article presents a study of state-imposed neoliberal education reform and resistance in post-Katrina New Orleans. In Hurricane Katrina’s aftermath, the city’s school system was dramatically reformed with most of its public schools replaced by privately administered “charter schools.” The article examines the social contradictions created by this reform and characterizes how the city’s education activists articulate their resistance to education privatization. Situating the reform within New Orleans’s post-Katrina neoliberal reconfiguration, it analyzes how simultaneous processes of education privatization and racial dispossession have made the reform lack popular legitimacy. The article concludes by considering how the neoliberal policies implemented after the storm were conditioned by race, arguing that racial politics should be considered fundamental, rather than adjacent, to the study of neoliberalization in US cities.
Privacy and Leisure in the Victorian Girl's Bedroom
Sonya Sawyer Fritz
In this article I analyze various representations of the Victorian girl's experiences with the bedroom in order to illuminate how the Victorian ideal often erased for girls the distinction between public and private that the bedroom created in the home, even as this room became more and more common as a private space allocated to girls. Though it offered girls opportunities to pursue their own interests and desires, the sanctuary of the bedroom also proved to be complicated and compromised by the familial responsibilities that followed girls there. I argue that Victorian portrayals of the girl's relationship with her bedroom reflect the unique tensions between public and private that girls of the period experienced as they navigated the variety of socio-cultural expectations placed upon them.
Private Security Work in Rio de Janeiro
Erika Robb Larkins
Drawing on 12 months of ethnographic fieldwork in the private security industry, this article focuses on the training of low-level guards, examining the centrality of the body and embodied experience to their work in hospitality settings. In a racially stratified society in which lower-class, dark-skinned bodies are oft en equated with poverty and criminality, security guards are required to perform an image of upstanding, respectable, law-abiding citizens in order to do their jobs protecting corporate property. Guards learn techniques of body management at security schools as part of their basic training. They also learn how to subdue the bodies of others, including those of white elites, who represent a constant challenge to their authority. Working from my own experiences as a student in private security schools, I argue for the relevance of an understanding of the body and its significations to private security work.
The Motorway as a Space of Neoliberalism
The article surveys a giant infrastructural construction project in Poland: the A2 motorway, connecting Poznan´ and Warsaw with the Polish-German border. It was the first private motorway in Poland, and the biggest European infrastructural project, and was realized in a public-private partnership system. The last section of A2 was opened on 1 December 2011, which can be seen as a key moment in Polish socioeconomic transformation. I examine it on two levels: (1) a discourse between government and private investors in which the motorway was the medium of economic and social development and infrastructural “the end” modernization of Poland; (2) practices and opinions of local communities, living along the new motorway. On the first level, the construction of A2 was seen as an impetus for the economic and social development of the regions where the motorway was built. But on the second level, I observe almost universal disappointment and a deep crisis experienced by local economies.