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Stephen M. Lyon

Since independence in 1947, highly politicised kinship practices have shaped the country from rural agricultural villages to the highest legislative and executive branches of government and the military. Ideal models of patrilineal affiliation have defined and guided patterns of factional loyalties. Although my earlier work has principally focused on village networks and politics, the same patterns of factional alliances can be seen at national levels to shed light on the activities of party politics. The mechanisms adopted by the traditional landed elite, far from being challenged, are integral to the strategic success of non-landed elites in securing the top, public, elected positions of power. So, rather than suggesting landed elites have become irrelevant, I argue the source of wealth is ultimately less relevant than the broader socio-economic shard class and familial interests of a minority elite bound together through marriage.

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Henrike Rau

Ireland’s transition from a predominantly rural to a (sub)urban society over the course of the twentieth century coincided with fundamental changes in its socio-cultural and environmental fabric (Corcoran et al. 2007; Moore and Scott 2005; Punch 2004).1 In particular, the recent suburbanization of many Irish towns and cities has raised interesting questions about the spatial organization of human social life. How important is public space for democratic participation? What kinds of spaces do people require to engage with others, or to get involved in community activities? Can we use spatial resources more sustainably and, if so, what are the consequences of such a transition for public and private spaces?

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Robert A. Denemark

Copeland, Daryl. 2009. Guerrilla Diplomacy: Rethinking International Relations. Boulder, Colo.: Lynne Rienner Publishers.

Mittelman, James. 2010. Hyperconflict: Globalization and Insecurity. Stanford: Stanford University Press.

Thompson, William R., ed. 2009. Systemic Transitions: Past, Present, and Future. New York: Palgrave Macmillan.

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Elizabeth Turk

Engaging Humphrey and Laidlaw’s ‘archetypal actions of ritual’, this article explores the thing-like and seemingly externally derived quality of ritualized action in ‘alternative’ medical settings in Mongolia. The cultural rupture of the Soviet era presents a case study in which the continuity of ritualized action cannot be assumed in ritual making during the post-1990 (re)construction of national culture. Elements derived from shared public knowledge have become constituted in ritual more recently and frequently than can be accounted for by an aperture-like model, where previously external elements gradually filtered in. Building on regional literature concerning loss of ritual form and recent syncretic innovation, I suggest that the affordances of form—mobility, iterability, and malleability—capture the politics inherent in the reordering of associations in the making of ritual.

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Contemporary religious life in the Republic of Altai

The interaction of Buddhism and Shamanism

Agniezka Halemba

Based on extensive fieldwork, this article analyses the state of religious beliefs and practices in present-day and recent Altai. The contending claims and historical traditions of Shamanism, Buddhism and Burkhanism are discussed as part of the process of forging a new Altaian national identity. Altaian intellectuals tend to favour Buddhism over Shamanism, as providing more systematic philosophical content and links with the wider Buddhist community in neighbouring countries. Shamanism, however, more spiritual, unstructured and heterogeneous in its make-up, is more popular at grass-roots level, though there are some attempts at institutionalization and interaction with the political process. Supporters of this view see Buddhism as extraneous and non-indigenous and 'un-Altaian'. Despite instances of open clashes, the author concludes that in the future there may develop more constructive interaction between the two religious traditions.

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Elena Liarskaya

Residential schooling has been widely blamed for destroying aboriginal cultures. This article, based on extensive fieldwork with Nenets schoolchildren in the Yamal Autonomous Okrug, argues that for Yamal Nenetses the residential school can become a part of their traditional culture. The article compares the experiences of Nenets pupils in the 1950s to those of Nenets pupils today. It argues that present-day residential school experience is different, owing to the large number of Nenetses living in settlements, the fact that Nenetses use their language in the settlement context, and the fact that elder kinsmen actively prepare tundra children for the experience of schooling.

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Eric Langenbacher

Micha Brumlik, Hajo Funke and Lars Rensmann, Umkämpftes Vergessen: Walser-Debatte, Holocaust-Mahnmal und neuere deutsche Geschichtspolitik (Berlin: Verlag Das Arabische Buch, 2000)

Robert G. Moeller, War Stories: The Search for a Usable Past in the Federal Republic of Germany (Berkeley: University of California Press, 2001)

Klaus Naumann, Der Krieg als Text: Das Jahr 1945 im kulturellen Gedächtnis der Presse (Hamburg: Hamburger Edition, 1998) Klaus Neumann, Shifting Memories: The Nazi Past in the New Germany (Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 2000)

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Ruth Hatlapa and Andrei S. Markovits

There is no question that with Barack Obama the United States has a rock star as president who—behooving rock stars—is adored and admired the world over. His being awarded the Nobel Peace Prize nary a year after being elected president and barely ten months into his holding the office, testified to his global popularity rather than his actual accomplishments, which may well turn out to be unique and formidable. And it is equally evident that few—if any—American presidents were more reviled, disdained and distrusted all across the globe than George W. Bush, Obama's immediate predecessor. Indeed, the contrast between the hatred for the former and the admiration for the latter might lead to the impression that the negative attitudes towards America and Americans that was so prevalent during the Bush years have miraculously morphed into a lovefest towards the United States on the part of the global public. This paper—concentrating solely on the German case but representing a larger research project encompassing much of Western Europe—argues that love for Obama and disdain for America are not only perfectly compatible but that, in fact, the two are merely different empirical manifestations of a conceptually singular view of America. Far from being mutually exclusive, these two strains are highly congruent, indeed complementary and symbiotic with each other.

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Daniel Williams

Scholarship on citizenship-in its definition as nationality or formal membership in the state-has been both the basis for evaluating and comparing national citizenships as "ethnocultural" or "civic," and used to imply the meaning of citizenship to prospective citizens, particularly immigrants and non-citizen residents. Doing so ignores a perspective on citizenship "from below," and oversimplifies the multiplicity of meanings that individuals may attach to citizenship. This article seeks to fill this gap in scholarship by examining young adult second-generation descendants of immigrants in Germany. The second generation occupies a unique position for examining the meaning of citizenship, based on the fact that they were born and grew up in Germany, and are thus more likely than adult immigrants to be able to become citizens as well as to claim national belonging to Germany. Among the varied meanings of citizenship are rights-based understandings, which are granted to some non-citizens and not others, as well as identitarian meanings which may depend on everyday cultural practices as well as national origin. Importantly, these meanings of citizenship are not arbitrary among the second generation; citizenship status and gender appear to inform understandings of citizenship, while national origin and transnational ties appear to be less significant for the meaning of citizenship.

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Irene Sywenky

This article examines post 1989 Polish literary production that addresses German-Polish history and border relations in the aftermath of World War II and participates in the German-Polish dialogue of reconciliation. I consider the methodological implications of border space and spatial memory for the analysis of mass displacements in the German-Polish border region with particular attention to spatiocultural interstitiality, deterritorialization, unhomeliness, and border identity. Focusing on two representative novels, Stefan Chwin's Death in Danzig and Olga Tokarczuk's House of Day, House of Night, I argue that these authors' attention to geospatiality, border space, and displacement forms a distinct characteristic of Polish border narratives. Chwin's and Tokarczuk's construction of interstitial border spaces reflects a complex dynamic between place, historical memory, and self-identification while disrupting and challenging the unitary mythologies of the nation. With their fictional re-imagining of wartime and postwar German-Polish border region, these writers participate in the politics of collective memory of the border region and the construction and articulation of the Polish perspective that shapes the discourse of memory east of the border.