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Giuseppe Berta

In 2002, Fiat, Italy’s largest manufacturer, entered the most serious crisis

in its history. Its brands collapsed on the domestic and European

markets with such a slump in sales that its yearly car production

dropped under the threshold of 2 million units. The heavy market fall

highlighted the difficult financial situation of the group, revealing the

now grievous status of its debts. On the stock exchange, Fiat shares

lost almost 11 euros in one year, dropping from 18.6 to 7.7 euros.

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Thomas Lenk and Volkmar Teichmann

This article analyses East German economic and social development of the last eight years, which, due to the reunification, represents a special case of the transformation processes occurring throughout the former socialist countries of Middle and Eastern Europe. Eight years after German reunification, an interim balance of the reform process in the new German states should be drawn up with an examination of West German financial contributions.

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Politics, Consumption, or Nihilism

Protest and Disorder after the Global Crash

Joseph Ibrahim, Bob Jeffery and David Waddington

While the first of these issues concentrated on the riots in England following the global financial crash of 2008, this second issue focuses on the social movements that emerged in this context. Whilst defining a social movement is conceptually problematic- either because it could be so narrow to exclude, or, to broad to include, any type of collective action, there are certain features that we can point to. Edwards (2014: 4-5) provides four conceptual distinctions.

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Richard Deeg

Since German unification there have been dramatic and highly visible changes in the German financial system and relations between banks and firms in Germany. The traditional Hausbank system has weakened, as securities markets have become more important for both borrowers and savers. The demands of financial investors on how German firms manage themselves have—for better or worse—become increasingly influential in this time. In this article, I advance the thesis that bank-industry relations in Germany became increasingly differentiated, with one set of firms moving into an institutional environment readily characterized as market-based finance. Meanwhile, most German firms remain in a bank-based environment that, while not quite the same as the Hausbank model that prevailed at the time of unification, is still easily recognized as such. These changes in the financial system have had numerous consequences for the German economy, including increased pressure on firms to make greater profits and increased pressure on labor to limit wage gains and make concessions in the interest of corporate competitiveness.

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After dispossession

Ethnographic approaches to neoliberalization

Oscar Salemink and Mattias Borg Rasmussen

Since the 1980s globalization has taken on increasingly neoliberalizing forms in the form of commoditization of objects, resources, or even human bodies, their reduction to financial values, and their enclosure or other forms of dispossession. “After dispossession” provides ethnographic accounts of the diverse ways to deal with dispossessions by attempts at repossessing values in connection to what has been lost in neoliberal assemblages of people and resources and thus how material loss might be compensated for in terms of subjective experiences of restoring value beyond the financial. The analytical challenge we pursue is one of bridging between a political economy concerned with the uneven distribution of wealth and resources, and the profound changes in identity politics and subject formation that are connected to these. We therefore argue that any dispossession may trigger acts of repossession of values beyond the financial realm, and consequently that suffering, too, entails forms of agency predicated on altered subjectivities. This move beyond the suffering subject reconnects the study of subjectivities with the analysis of alienation, disempowerment, and impoverishment through dispossession and attempts at recapturing value in altered circumstances.

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‘Turning Human Beings into Lawyers’

Why Anthropology Matters So Little to the Legal Curriculum

Insa Koch

Does anthropology matter to law? At first sight, this question might seem redundant: of course, anthropology matters to law, and it does so a great deal. Anthropologists have made important contributions to legal debates. Legal anthropology is a thriving sub-discipline, encompassing an ever-increasing range of topics, from long-standing concerns with customary law and legal culture to areas that have historically been left to lawyers, including corporate law and financial regulation. Anthropology’s relevance to law is also reflected in the world of legal practice. Some anthropologists act as cultural experts in, while others have challenged the workings of, particular legal regimes, including with respect to immigration law and social welfare.

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Aldo Di Virgilio and Claudio M. Radaelli

In an editorial published in the summer of 2011 in the Corriere della

Sera, Professor Mario Monti commented on the financial crisis of those

weeks and the pressures coming from the markets and from the European

institutions, making three points.1 The first was a criticism of the

Berlusconi government and its majority, which, “after claiming that it

had the ability to solve the country’s problems alone, and after turning

down the possibility of a shared effort alongside other political parties

to try to lift a discouraged Italy out of the crisis, … then actually

accepted … a super-national technical government.”

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Marco Onado

From a financial point of view, the most important event in 2004 was

the Parmalat scandal. This subsequently set in motion a proposed

reform that encountered such a wide variety of obstacles that the year

came to an end before the matter had even been discussed in Parliament.

The scandal was the latest in a series of major collapses to

have grave consequences for large numbers of investors. This fact and

above all the failure of politicians to provide an adequate response in

the shape of more efficient, more rigorous regulations throw a spotlight

on certain essential features of the Italian economy, the investigation

of which will form the object of this chapter.

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The considerable labour of many over the last three years to develop the concept of social quality, has finally been rewarded by the European Commission. Not just one, but two projects will be implemented with financial support from Brussels. The first of these projects is concerned with the development of indicators of social quality and the second one seeks to apply the theory to employment. This can be seen as recognition of the importance of the work that has been done so far and an incentive to carry on with our task.

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Road Works

Some Observations on Representing Roads

Peter Merriman

Roads may be represented in many different media and cultural forms, from planning documents and maps to postage stamps, children's books, and postcards. While there has been a tendency among some scholars to study representations for what they can tell us about the history of particular road schemes, this article argues that roads are constructed and consumed as much through paper plans, financial calculations, popular representations, and public imaginations as through concrete and steel on the ground. Representations of roads “matter,” and the article suggests that scholars should study the broad array of representations through which the meanings of roads are produced, circulated, and consumed.