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"We have to transform ourselves first"

The ethics of liberal developmentalism and multicultural governance in South Korea

Euyryung Jun

Multiculturalism has often been articulated through imperial and civilizational discourses that identify tolerance with the liberal West and intolerance with nonliberal societies and cultures. This article explores how the focus of the civilizational gaze is turned on the allegedly “not yet tolerant self“ in the neoliberal developmental state of South Korea. The mode of the liberal government that recently emerged in South Korea has been shaped not in the self-celebratory rhetoric of “what we are“ but in the self-critical, developmentalist rhetoric of “what we lack.“ Drawing from my fieldwork among local civic actors working in the field of migration, I discuss how the civic discourse of damunhwa, or “multiculturalism,“ that emerged in opposition to the “governmental objectification“ of migrant groups redirects the focus onto the ethical improvement of the general population, relying on another form of reified otherness that captures migrants and their presence in the country as “opportunities“ for South Korea's moral ventures.

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Søren Christensen

Focusing on Singapore's 'Global Schoolhouse' project, this article discusses how efforts to transform Singapore into a 'world class' knowledge economy entail changes to the status of citizenship in Singapore. The project of wooing top foreign universities to Singapore is permeated with an entrepreneurial ideal of Singapore as the 'Boston of the East'. Since Singaporeans tend to be viewed by the Singapore government as particularly risk averse compared to Westerners and other Asians, the government has increasingly relied on 'foreign talent' to provide entrepreneurial dynamism to Singapore. The expansion of high-quality university education in Singapore serves as a vehicle of this 'foreign talent' policy as much as it accommodates the needs of local students for higher education. The ensuing questions about citizenship in Singapore's knowledge economy are finally discussed in terms of a differentiated 'entrepreneurial citizenship'.

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After Ujamaa?

Cultures of Governance and the Representation of Power in Tanzania

Maia Green

This article explores some cultural dimensions of governance in Tanzania in the context of transnational efforts to establish a vibrant civil society as part of the democratization agenda. Far from providing alternative modalities of political organization intermediate between the family and the state, the newly established community organizations formed in response to donor initiatives actually replicate social relations and practices associated with government. Governance as a cultural practice in Tanzania enacts the hierarchical relations between lower and higher tiers in models premised on the conceptualization of the village as both object and lowest level of government. Parallels between civil society models of governance and those associated with local governance are explained by identical vertical relations between donors and rural residents, and by shared expectations about the performance of power.

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Governing through Uncertainty

Experiences of Being a Refugee in Turkey as a Country for Temporary Asylum

Kristen Sarah Biehl

This article addresses the question of how to theorize the relation between uncertainty and governmentality with regard to displacement and its consequences. It explores the experiences of asylum seekers in Turkey and the bureaucratic processes of refugee status determination, local dispersal, and third country resettlement, illustrating two main points throughout. First, 'protracted uncertainty', characterized by indefinite waiting, limited knowledge, and unpredictable legal status, is a central element of the experience of being an asylum seeker in Turkey. Second, this uncertainty serves to demobilize, contain, and criminalize asylum seekers through the production of protracted uncertainty, which in turn is normalized as a necessity of bureaucracy and/or security. The article invites readers to question the governmentalities of asylum and border regimes that not only discipline refugees' everyday movements but also determine the uncertainty of 'refugeeness'.

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Grounding Rights

Populist and Peasant Conceptions of Entitlement in Rural Nicaragua

David Cooper

Since the Sandinistas returned to power in Nicaragua in 2007, ideas about rights have been central to the governing party’s populist project. The rights in question are understood to require the production of ‘organized’ citizens, integrated into mechanisms of popular governance. But for rural Sandinistas who participated in the revolutionary agrarian reform of the 1980s, rights are about land; and for some, realizing rights has required disentangling themselves from local organs of organized life, resulting in their exclusion from the government’s populist model of rights. The contending ideas about how to legitimately ground rights that result—and the effort of these excluded Sandinistas to make revolutionary ‘struggle’ the basis of entitlements—trouble a standard anthropological model that views abstract rights as subsequently particularized in practice.

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Lain Dare

Alternative forms of political participation that place little emphasis on traditional representative forms of democracy are becoming more prevalent. Typifying the shift from government to governance, forest certification provides important opportunities for political participation with local, national, and global influence. Using Pippa Norris's three dimensions of political participation—agencies, repertoires, and targets—this article explores political participation within the practice of forest certification. The article highlights how traditional and alternative forms of political participation do not act as a dualism and instead occur simultaneously in practice due to historical, spatial, and practical influences.

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Tamara V. Litvinenko and Takeshi Murota

Eastern Siberia and the Russian Far East have traditionally been seen as a vast storehouse of natural resource wealth to be developed for the benefit of the Russian Federation. This article investigates the social and ecological problems that face potentially rich but sparsely populated regions. The article is based on numerous field trips to the two regions between 2001 and 2007. We find that processes aimed at mitigating the negative impacts of resource utilization are weak and that the federal government takes too much tax gained from resource development from the locations where the resources are exploited. Consequently, local authorities cannot fund adequate social and environmental protection measures.

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Antipodean Audits

Neoliberalism, Illiberal Governments and Australian Universities

Margaret Jolly

This article explores neoliberalism in Australian universities, in the context of the politics of a higher education 'reform package' introduced by the Liberal-National Party Coalition presently in power in federal government. I focus attention on the relationship between the broader national environment and the local university configuration at the Australian National University and the dialectic between university academics and students as objects of bureaucratic practices and self-auditing subjects in these new modalities of power. I situate the Australian experience in broader global debates about neoliberalism and universities and earlier ethnographies of audit cultures.

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Jewish Museums

From Jewish Icons to Jewish Narratives

David Clark

The first Jewish museums were established in the late nineteenth century. By then, museums were coming into vogue all over Europe, with encouragement from central and local government. Furthermore, while private collections of objects of art had existed for centuries, these collections were now entering the public domain. And, for the first time, this trend also applied to the collection of Jewish ritual objects. As Cohen (1998) notes, art patronage in the form of donations to public museums was a way of displaying patriotism while at the same time seeking legitimacy in society.

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Carol Hager

The energy revolution poses a fundamental challenge to the German corporatist institutional model. The push for renewables in Germany arose almost entirely outside the prevailing channels of institutional power. Eventually, federal legislation helped support the boom in local energy production that was already underway, and it encouraged the further development of new forms of community investment and citizen participation in energy supply. Recently, the federal government has tried to put the genie back in the bottle by shifting support to large energy producers. But, as this article shows, the energy transition has provided a base for local power that cannot easily be assailed. The debate over German energy policy is becoming a contest between centralized and decentralized models of political and economic power. Prevailing institutionalist theories have difficulty accounting for these developments. I analyze the local development of renewable energy by means of a case study of the Freiburg area in southwestern Germany, which has evolved from a planned nuclear power and fossil fuel center to Germany's “solar region”. Incorporating insights from ecological modernization theory, I show how the locally based push for renewables has grown into a challenge to the direction of German democracy itself.