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The Mendès France Milk Regime

Alcoholism as a Problem of Agricultural Subsidies, 1954–1955

Joseph Bohling

In 1954, Pierre Mendès France committed the state to curbing alcoholism as part of an effort to reorient important agricultural sectors and improve French economic performance, using milk as a symbol of his government's new direction. While Mendès France's milk drinking was often portrayed as the whim of a maverick politician, this article shows instead that it was the expression of a broadly based movement to modernize the economy. Challenging the view of an insular state that exclusively served the powerful alcohol lobbies, this article contends that the success of alcohol reform hinged on Mendès France's ability to overcome parliament and pit other economic sectors and a public health movement against those lobbies. Although it would require the more centralized authority of the Fifth Republic to implement lasting reforms to the alcohol sector, the Mendès France government helped raise public awareness about the purported link between alcoholism and agricultural subsidies that kept uncompetitive producers on the land at the taxpayer's expense.

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Contested boundaries

Border disputes, administrative disorder, and state representational practices in Nicaragua (1936–1956)

Jennifer Alvey

This article examines a 20-year border dispute between two adjacent southern interior municipalities in Nicaragua. The dispute acts as window into the politics of state formation and the consolidation of the dictatorship of Anastacio Somoza García (1936–1956). This conflict was waged by locally based “state actors” who contested each other's attempts to stake and extend spatially based claims to authority. Contending parties developed a shared language of contention that I call “administrative disorder”, which tracked closely with accusations of invasion and abuse of authority. Administrative disorder discourses were representational practices that contributed to the discursive construction of the state. They were also the means by which representatives of the state sought to justify or normalize their own activities. As such, these discourses concealed political tensions rooted in patronage networks, municipal formation, land privatization, and ethnic assimilation, which shaped the contours and longevity of the dispute, but remained lurking silences in administrative disorder discourses.

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Régis Bertrand

L'histoire des principales associations religieuses du Sud-Est-confréries "luminaires" (s'occupant d'un autel ou d'une chapelle), confréries de métier et confréries de pénitents-a connu un net essor au cours des années 1960-1980. Maurice Agulhon l'a liée à la notion de sociabilité méridionale, puis Marc Venard et Marie-Hélène Froeschlé-Chopard l'ont intégrée, dans le cadre du développement de l'histoire religieuse française, aux recherches sur les dévotions des laïcs par le dépouillement d'une source privilégiée, les visites pastorales, tournées d'inspection des évêques dans les paroisses. On propose ici la reprise de ces travaux, d'abord pour des types d'associations jusqu'ici mal prises en compte telles que les associations charitables, les congrégations séculières, ou les confréries novatrices des villes importantes, et aussi de renverser le point de vue en étudiant de l'intérieur ces groupes restreints, leurs membres et leur action dans la société.

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Safi Mahmoud Mahfouz

Shakespeare and Tyranny: Regimes of Reading in Europe and Beyond, edited by Keith Gregor (Newcastle upon Tyne: Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2014), 281 pp.

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From Relations of Power to Relations of Authority

Epistemic Claims, Practices, and Ideology in the Production of Burma's Political Order

Ingrid Jordt

Following the 1962 coup of Burma's first post-Independence and parliamentary democratic government, a succession of military régimes has asserted their legitimacy on diverse grounds. Their ability to keep the upland minorities contained and the country unified, to implement a socialist-style redistributive system, and contemporaneously to act as chief patron to the sangha (order of monks), have each functioned as claims to legitimate rule and to nation-statehood. In 1990, the régime refused to hand over power to Aung San Suu Kyi and her National League for Democracy party, following a landslide election. Aung San Suu Kyi's resistance to the régime, and claims for her own political legitimacy have been asserted, predominantly through an emergent `global society' (universalizing) discourse about human rights, régime performance, and democratic self-determination. In this paper, I examine these separate assertions for legitimacy as distinct but interrelated frameworks for thinking and action, the inconsistencies among which complicate the process of stable state making in Burma.

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Kathleen James-Chakraborty

Few tools of Nazi propaganda were as potent or as permanent as

architecture. At the instigation of Hitler, who had once aspired to be

an architect, the Nazi regime placed unusual importance on the

design of environments—whether cities, buildings, parade grounds, or

highways—that would glorify the Third Reich and express its dynamic

relationship to both the past and the future. Architecture and urban

design were integral to the way the regime presented itself at home

and abroad. Newsreels supplemented direct personal experience of

monumental buildings. Designed to last a thousand years, these edifices

appeared to offer concrete testimony of the regime’s enduring

character. A more subtle integration of modern functions and vernacular

forms, especially in suburban housing, suggested that technological

progress could coexist with an “organic” national community

rooted in a quasi-sacred understanding of the landscape.

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As'ad Ghanem

The question of the nature of the Israeli regime is related to two different but connected inquiries. First, its proper classification under the categories of democracy/non-democracy, a question that is closely connected to our understanding of the nature and basic features of democracy. This question has received considerable scholarly attention in the past two decades. Beside its traditional classification as a liberal democracy (see, e.g., Yakobson and Rubinstein 2008), Smooha (1990, 1998) formulated the “ethnic democracy” model to account for Israel’s political structure, Rouhana (1997) classified Israel as “ethnic state” and its regime as “exclusive ethnic state,” Peled and Navot (2005) refer to the Israeli regime as a “majoritarian democracy,” while Yiftachel (1997, 2006) described it as an archetype for “ethnocracy.” I have also dealt with the classification of the Israeli regime on several previous occasions (Ghanem 1998, 2001, 2010; Ghanem, Rouhana, and Yiftachel 2000; Rouhana and Ghanem 1998).

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Reclaiming the streets

Black urban insurgency and antisocial security in twenty-first-century Philadelphia

Jeff Maskovsky

This article focuses on the emergence of a new pattern of black urban insurgency emerging in major US metropolitan areas such as Philadelphia. I locate this pattern in the context of a new securitization regime that I call “antisocial security.” This regime works by establishing a decentered system of high-tech forms of surveillance and monitory techniques. I highlight the dialectic between the extension of antisocial security apparatuses and techniques into new political and social domains on the one hand and the adoption of these same techniques by those contesting racialized exclusions from urban public space on the other. I end the article with a discussion of how we might adapt the commons concept to consider the centrality of race and racism to this new securitization regime.

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The Frontier and the Affrontier

French-Language Algerian Comics and Cartoons Confront the Nation

Mark McKinney

Algerian and Algerian-French cartoonists have often thematised national identity in their art. Their interest in this subject has created problems for them when they have crossed the 'affrontier', a line of demarcation whose nature and place have been determined to a considerable degree by the military regime. The analysis of some of its key dimensions - political, religious, spatial, historical and symbolic - allows us to understand how it operates. By studying striking examples of cartoons and comics, their production and consumption, we can come to an understanding of how the affrontier has functioned since 1962, when Algeria gained its independence. The year 1988, when the Algerian regime killed and tortured hundreds of young rioters, stands out as a watershed, because cartoonists then began to redefine their relationship to the military regime, the nation and the affrontier.

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Simeon Mitropolitski

Modern political theory, while defining a democratic political regime, puts an emphasis on institutions and procedures. According to this view, whether a particular country is democratic or not depends on the ability of the opposition to oust the incumbent government without leaving the framework of existing institutions and procedures. Cultural values that sustain the democratic polity, including the spirit of political equality, are given much less attention. These values are assumed to be already present, either as a reflection of our similar physical constitution or as a reflection of the presence of democratic political regimes. This research challenges both the monopoly of the procedural understanding of democracy and the lack of particular interest regarding the construction of egalitarian political culture. I claim, first, that the rise of an egalitarian political culture contributes to the establishment of a democratic political regime and, second, that the establishment of modern schools in the late sixteenth century contributed to the construction of this egalitarian political culture.