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Dialogue for Development

An Exploration of Relations between Oil and Gas Companies, Communities, and the State

Florian Stammler and Emma Wilson

This introduction provides an overview of academic research and current practice relating to stakeholder dialogue around oil and gas development in the Russian North, Siberia and the Russian Far East. We discuss the two main strands of analysis in this special issue: (a) regulation and impact assessment; and (b) relationship-building in practice, with a particular focus on indigenous communities. We argue that an effective regulatory framework, meaningful dialogue, and imaginative organization of stakeholder relations are required to minimize negative impacts and maximize benefits from oil and gas projects. Self-interest, mistrust, and a lack of collective agency frequently lead to ineffective planning and heightened tensions in relations. We identify lessons to be learned from partnerships and initiatives already established in Sakhalin and Western Siberia, despite the lack of a stable legal framework to govern relations. This issue focuses on the academic-practitioner interface, emphasizing the importance of practical application of academic research and the value of non-academic contributions to academic debates.

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Likrat – Leadership and Dialogue

Project for Jewish Teens – Forging Jewish Identity in Switzerland and Germany

Eva Pruschy

This article introduces the Leadership and Dialogue project Likrat as a creative answer to the question of how Jewish adolescents between sixteen and eighteen years-of-age can gain a nuanced understanding of Jewish themes, expand their Jewish knowledge and strengthen their Jewish identity. The genesis of the Likrat project is specifically Swiss, yet the situation of Jewish communities in other European countries, especially those with marginal Jewish populations, is not fundamentally different from that of Switzerland. As a result, Likrat can serve as a model for educating Jewish youth in other European countries.

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Regina Franco

A World Family Portrait is a joint project of the Consortium for Comparative Research on Regional Integration and Social Cohesion (RISC) and Regions and Cohesion. It aims to promote interdisciplinary and cross-cultural communication through images and essays on the different faces of humanity, including, but not limited to, our similarities and our differences, our strengths and our weaknesses, our hopes and our concerns, our legacies and our aspirations, as well as our interactions with each other and our world. This project seeks to establish a dialogue between human experiences, academic reflections and shared ethics, such as mutual respect, the protection of human dignity and solidarity.

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Softening culture, opening Europe

The European Civil Society Platform for Intercultural Dialogue

Jeff Katcherian

This article examines the development of cultural policy recommendations, in the form of “soft law,” by the Civil Society Platform for Intercultural Dialogue, a nascent European civil society collaboration aiming to make culture a separate political endeavor within the context of European integration. Drawing on fieldwork among European bureaucrats and members of European civil society in Brussels, Belgium, the article offers an alternative discussion from common understandings of soft law, paying close attention to law as an aesthetic form that challenges dominant modes of policy-making. An investigation of soft forms of law provides a useful perspective to those who attempt to define, locate, and create European identity.

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Marten Marquardt

Christianity arose out of a conflict situation, and to this day it bears the characteristics of this original conflict. It begins with individuals, families and groups of Jewish sectarians who want to assert themselves in competition with other Jewish sectarians. They withdraw from one another. They outdo one another in part rhetorically, in part in their practice and then sometimes also politically, tactically and – on the side of the Christians – eventually with acts of violence.

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Hamideh Mohagheghi

‘Clash of civilizations’, ‘discord between the religions’: terms that, in different variations, have constantly accompanied us in recent times. Some believe that conflicts between cultures and religions are unavoidable; others claim that it is only the religions that can guarantee or prevent peace on earth. At the moment, the fact that there could possibly be causes for conflict other than religion seems not to be noticed or to be purposely ignored.

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Adam Drazin and Simon Roberts

Ethnographic work conducted by the Digital Health Group, Intel Ireland, explores the questions of how concepts of health and independence relate to peoples' lives in later life. This paper serves to present artistic approaches to the design of the material culture in elderly homes in Ireland, and aims to highlight and discuss the merits and problems of such approaches. Through writing 'in miniature' about specific experiences and homes, we propose that it is possible to develop explorations of material objects in the home which, rather than presenting material contexts as terminal 'conclusions' to the research process, use them as provoking and questioning resources for engaged dialogical encounters with informants.

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Barbara Roche Rico

In this article I examine the representation of bullying in Felita (1979) and Going Home (1986), two novels by Nicholasa Mohr, an important but critically overlooked author of the Puerto Rican Diaspora. Using material from current research in the social sciences as well as a close reading of the texts, I explore the emergence of the female subject from behind her self-definition as a victim of girl-bullying. The girl’s involvement with art enables her to move from the role of object to that of subject. That involvement not only counteracts the negative effects of bullying but also brings the girl to a deeper understanding of her culture and herself. That the author would then reengage bullying episodes from these novels in a memoir written later provides a powerful example of the author’s writing back to the tween whose experiences inspired her work.

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Mats Lindqvist

This article will explore the prospects of and obstacles to the development of a transnational workers' solidarity movement in the Baltic Sea region in order to meet the challenges posed by transnational capital. The question is examined through a situational analysis of events taking place during a few hours at the Hotel Hafen in Hamburg on 10 November 2010. The subject of the analysis, which is based on personal observation and sound recordings, is the tripartite Steering Committee meeting of the Baltic Sea Labour Network (BSLN). The meeting's primary task was to formulate a statement about transnational strategies and tactics on which the parties—politicians, representatives of the employers and workers' delegations—could agree. The analysis explores the different parties' power resources in the negotiation process, and especially the workers' delegates' ability to pursue a course based on class solidarity. At each stage, we can observe how statements are formulated in an area of tension characterized by unequal power relationships and conflicting discourses in the form of neocolonial, national, transnational (class/region), and the EU's neoliberal and consensus-governed partnership discourses.

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Beata Stawarska

When remembering the past, the past appears as my own. After all, I cannot properly speaking recollect any other past than the one that I have lived, even though I can remember events from the historical past and from personal histories recounted to me by others. Authentic recollection occurs necessarily in the first person, i.e. I remember myself in given situations, circumstances and places. Recollection is therefore a cogito experience par excellence, despite the fact that I may have become estranged from my past engagements, emotional attachments or culinary preferences. The difference between myself in the past and myself in the present does not put the underlying identity of one life into question. Memory affirms my personal identity, despite the temporal difference and in that difference, it appears therefore as a privileged context for inquiry into subjective life and possibly even as the ground for upholding the contested notion of “the subject.”1 No wonder then that the way philosophers theorize memory is indicative of their conception of subjectivity as a whole. In what follows, I turn to Sartre and to Husserl with the aim of unveiling how their accounts of recollection resolve the question of identity and difference within the temporality of a subjective life. Tracing Sartre’s arguments against Husserl’s, as well as Husserl’s and Sartre’s own presentations of recollection, I inquire into the reasons that incited them to bring either the aspect of sameness or otherness at the heart of subjective life into view.