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Militant collectivity

Building solidarities in the Maoist movement in Nepal

Dan V. Hirslund

A stubborn, anticapitalist movement, Maoism has persisted in the global periphery for the many past decades despite its tainted image as a progressive alterpolitical platform. This article seeks to ponder why this is the case by looking at a recent and popular example of leftist radical politics in the MLM tradition. I argue that contemporary Nepali Maoism is offering a militant, collectivist, antiliberal model for confronting capitalist and state hegemony in an effort to forge new class solidarities. Responding to a changed political environment for continuing its program of socialist revolution, I trace how the Maoist party's efforts at building a mass movement become centered on the question of organization, and in particular the requirements of what I term an ethical organization. Through an analysis of how caste and gender equalities are institutionalized within the movement, and the various ways in which collectivity becomes linked to concrete practices, the article offers an ethnographic analysis of contested egalitarian agency within a movement undergoing rapid change.

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Amal Jamal

In 2006-2007, several Arab nongovernmental organizations in Israel, led by a group of politicians and intellectuals, published future vision documents that summed up the needs, aspirations, hopes, and desires of Arab society in Israel. Despite the fact that the documents did not introduce any new ideas that were not on the Israeli political stage already, this article argues that the fact that the documents were a result of collective effort shows the deep changes that have been taking place among Arab society in general and its leadership in particular. The documents mark the rising tide of frustration and self-confidence, and as a result of oppositional consciousness among leaders and intellectuals of Arab society in Israel. The documents seek to redefine the relationship of Arab society with the Israeli state, demanding the transformation of Israel from an ethnic to a democratic state and calling the Jewish majority for a dialogue. The fact that several documents have emerged is a clear indication that the internal differences within Arab society are still stronger than the uniting forces within it.

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Science and Charity

Rival Catholic Visions for Humanitarian Practice at the End of Empire

Charlotte Walker-Said

This paper explores the conflict between local expressions of Christian charity and new theories of scientific humanitarianism in the final years of French rule in Africa. Compassionate phenomena inspired by Catholic social organizing had transformed everyday life throughout French Cameroon's cities and villages in the interwar and postwar years, and yet, in 1950, poverty, crime, poor public health, and social tensions remained prevalent. Seeking a more deeply transformative approach to social rehabilitation, ecclesiastical leaders in the Catholic Church in Europe and French foreign missionary societies in Africa partnered with international medical and scientific organizations to invigorate charity with technical expertise. Revised ethics and practices departed sharply from preexisting models of collective social action, as European leaders lacked confidence in the intentions as well as the outcomes of African-led religious organizing. European humanitarian approaches conceived after World War II demanded a new focus on particular African subjects, namely the child and the family, which alienated indigenous Christian principals, who, along with large and diverse African Christian communities, had previously determined the direction of Catholic social action on the continent.

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Participatory Democracy in Unlikely Places

What Democratic Theorists Can Learn from Democratic Professionals

Selen A. Ercan and Albert Dzur

Selen A. Ercan’s Interview with Albert W. Dzur

In an era when democracy is claimed to be in crisis, citizens are portrayed as increasingly distrustful of politicians and political institutions, and change, if any, is expected to be coming from extra-institutional spaces, Albert Dzur invites us to seek and find the seeds of democratic change within the existing institutions of representative democracy. Dzur’s work captures the difference democratic professionals can make in these spaces and tells us about the fresh approach they bring to their everyday routines in schools, community centers, government agencies, and even prisons. What links democratic professionals in different institutions is their aspiration to create power-sharing arrangements and collaborative thinking skills in places that are usually characterized as hierarchical and non-participatory. Dzur explains how democratic professionals transform the way institutions function and find solutions to collective problems. Yet such transformative practices often elude the attention of democratic theorists as they fall outside of the established notions of democracy and democratic change. The following interview focuses on the relationship between democratic theory and practice, the difference between social movement actors and democratic professionals, and the challenges of bringing democratic change and sustaining it in existing institutions, organizations and work places.

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Doing Ritual While Thinking about It?

Emma Gobin

2011 ), this reflexivity of ritual has been shown to depend on the internal, often mirroring dynamics through which ritual (re)shapes individual and collective identities. It has thus been seen as a major factor in the ‘workings’ of ritual and in its

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Isaías Barreñada Bajo

The popular demonstrations triggered by the so-called Arab Spring can be explained by a combination of the multiple reasons of political, social, cultural, and economic orders. But previous mobilizations become relevant as a precedent to the Arab Spring protests given their scope; in several countries in recent years, an unusual intensification of the protest was experienced. The massive character of the protests would not have been possible without the intervention of certain experienced actors that served as catalysts and facilitators of these dynamics. Regardless of their achievements and singularities, the 2011 demonstrations have to be regarded as part of a protest continuum, being the inheritors of previous resistance, and protest movements, as well as of preceding organizational experiences and constituting a turning point in collective action. This continuum goes on.

Spanish Las movilizaciones populares que desencadenaron las llamadas “primaveras árabes“ se explican por la combinación de múltiples razones de orden político, social, cultural y económico. Pero las dimensiones adquiridas por las protestas ponen de relieve cómo éstas tenían antecedentes; en varios países en los últimos años se vivió una intensificacioacute;n inusitada de la contestación. El carácter masivo de las protestas no hubiera sido posible sin la intervención de determinados actores que contaban con experiencia y que lograron actuar como catalizadores y facilitadores de esta dinámica. Independientemente de sus logros y de sus singularidades nacionales, las manifestaciones del 2011 se inscribieron así en un continuum contestatario, siendo herederas de experiencias de resistencia, protesta y organización previas, y constituyeron un punto de inflexión en el proceso. Este continuum prosigue en las transiciones políticas en curso.

French Les mobilisations populaires déclenchées par les dénommés “printemps arabes“ s'expliquent par la combinaison de multiples raisons d'ordre politique, social, culturel et économique. Mais les dimensions a eintes par les protestations me ent en relief leurs antécédents; dans plusieurs pays, durant ces dernières années, a eu lieu une intensification inusitée de la contestation. Le caractère massif des protestations n'aurait été a eint sans l'intervention de certains acteurs qui comptaient avec de l'expérience y qui purent jouer un rôle de catalyseurs et de facilitateurs de ce e dynamique. Indépendamment de leurs réussites et de leurs singularités nationales, les manifestations de 2011 se sont ainsi inscrites dans un continuum contestataire, étant héritières d'expériences de résistance, de protestation et d'organisations antérieures, et elles constituèrent un moment d'inflexion dans le processus. Ce continuum se prolonge dans les transitions politiques en cour.

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Djénéba Traoré

*Full article is in French

English abstract:

This article gives an overview of the organization and execution of the 4th World Forum for Local Economic Development in Praia (Republic of Cabo Verde) from 17 to 20 October 2017. During the Forum, relevant refl ections were made on themes pertaining to local economic development. The freedom of expression during the exchanges allowed participants to express ideas and beliefs without restrictions. The aim of the SDGs is to measure the importance and scope of the objectives that have been developed by a Working Group of representatives of 70 countries at the collective and individual levels. The Forum looked into the issue of sustainable development and proposed ways to operationalize these objectives. What will remain of the engagements taken in Praia? This remains to be seen.

Spanish abstract:

Este artículo intenta dar una visión general de los principales momentos de la organización y el desarrollo del Cuarto Foro Mundial sobre Desarrollo Económico Local (4FMDEL) celebrado en la ciudad de Praia (República de Cabo Verde), del 17 al 20 de octubre de 2017. Durante estas reuniones memorables, el Comité Científi co del Foro realizó refl exiones relevantes sobre los temas previamente identifi cados sobre el desarrollo económico local. Además, la libertad de expresión que prevaleció durante los intercambios permitió a todos los participantes expresar sus ideas y creencias sin ninguna restricción. 4FMDEL examinó la cuestión del desarrollo sostenible y propuso nuevas estratégias para lograr los objetivos. La autora se pregunta ¿Qué quedará de los compromisos hechos en Praia?

French abstract:

Cet article tente de donner un aperçu des principaux moments de l’organisation et du déroulement du quatrième Forum mondial sur le développement économique local (4èFMDEL) qui s’est tenu dans la ville de Praia (République de Cabo Verde), du 17 au 20 octobre 2017. Durant ces mémorables assises, des réfl exions extrêmement pertinentes ont été menées sur les thèmes préalablement identifi és sur le développement économique local par le Comité scientifi que du Forum. En outre, la liberté d’expression qui a prévalu durant les échanges, a permis à tous les participants d’exprimer leurs idées et leurs convictions sans aucune restriction. Le 4èFMDEL s’est penché sur la problématique du développement durable et a proposé des pistes visant la concrétisation des objectifs. Que restera-t-il des engagements pris à Praia ? La question reste posée.

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Eileen Baker

Linda Woodhead, James T. Richardson, Martyn Percy, Catherine Wessinger and Eileen Barker

, but in a more epistemologically problematic way: it affected the data she was researching. Indeed, it meant that she and her organization became part of the data they were concerned with, and part of the ongoing social construction of reality. Barker

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The Death Throes of Sacrificed Chicken

Triggering Critical Reflexive Stances on Ritual Action in Togo

Marie Daugey

reflexivity’ ( Hojbjerg 2007 ) or, more recently, as ‘critical reflexivity’ ( Gobin and Vanhoenacker 2016 ). 2 The rite’s formal organization gives rise to self-critical stances; in other words, it contains internal devices that trigger critical reflexivity

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Jens Kreinath and Refika Sariönder

dernekleri) and led to the development of Alevi organizations as a response to this act of terror ( Şahin 2001: 102–112 ; Sariönder 2000: 180–184 ; Sökefeld 2008: 116–144 ). Since then, the struggle of the Alevis began to be publicly recognized ( Sariönder