Twenty years after the end of communist rule in Czechoslovakia, numerous public and private acts of remembrance both hail the end of state socialism and rally Czech society to be on guard against its possible return. This article compares three sets of remembrances-official commemorations sponsored by the state and/or private corporations, activists' alternative memory acts, and personal accounts of Czech citizens-to reveal how each of these give voice to fears and anxieties over the possibilities of “forgetting“ communism. Promoting a vision of the nation as united in ensuring that the future remains “communist-free“, widespread concerns over social amnesia and civic apathy become, I argue, a means of bonding citizens together and to the state. What, however, exactly characterizes a “noncommunist“ society is left necessarily ambiguous.
Speculative state planning, informality, and neoliberal governance on the Hooghly
This article examines the forms of state planning associated with neoliberalism, through a history and ethnography of the Kolkata Port Trust during liberalization. All state plans are promised futures which create a contested dialogue between bureaucrats and citizens. Neoliberal governance makes these interactions particularly ambiguous and opaque, because it relies on decentralized, speculative planning and the stimulation of public-private partnerships. These produce diverse, behind-the-scenes negotiations whose outcome is entirely different from the schemes initially outlined in textual state promises. It also places low-level bureaucrats in a liminal, Janus-faced role, in which they act both to create and to cross a boundary between public and private action. This new mode of rule is particularly problematic in settings such as the Hooghly River, where informality dominates in labor relationships. Bureaucrats deploy practices previously associated with “corruption” and patronage in order to enfold networks of unprotected labor into the revenue streams and plans of the state.
Donatella della Porta, Salvatore Sberna and Alberto Vannucci
This chapter examines two episodes of large-scale corruption that erupted in 2014: the procurements process for the MOSE tidal barrier project, which is intended to surround and protect Venice, and the contracts signed in the run-up to Expo 2015 in Milan. The chapter shows how networks of corruption have survived the “clean hands” scandal of the early 1990s and thrive in a world of neo-liberal policies that promote privatization, deregulation, and liberalization. These policies have not led to a reduction in corruption; rather, they have shifted governance structures toward private figures who, in the name of the free market, often end up with better opportunities to corrupt or to be corrupted.
The Perspective of Outsiders
Soli Vered and Daniel Bar-Tal
This study explores features of the routinization of the Israeli-Arab conflict in everyday life in Israel. Specifically, it examines how foreign students view this aspect of the culture of conflict, compared to the point of view of Israeli students born into the day-to-day reality of a society that has been engaged in an intractable conflict for decades. Findings show that foreigners perceived and identified various conflict-related routines that have been absorbed into the social and physical spaces of daily life in Israel, becoming unnoticeable to Israelis. This was the case particularly with various images and symbols of the conflict that saturate both public and private spaces, conflict-related informal norms of behavior, and the central place that the conflict occupies in private interpersonal discourse. These results are discussed in relation to the functionalities of the routinization of the conflict and its implications.
Hebrew literature has always been inseparable from the national narrative. Public expectations from the writer have been extremely demanding: a writer must carry the national moral beacon. The effects of this demanding role can be easily recognized in current Hebrew literature. Few are those who ignore the call. Authors may opt for one of three alternatives: Alexander Penn's way, Natan Alterman's way, or Joseph Brenner's way. Penn's way entails direct public involvement embedded in literary works. Alterman's way means the separation between the 'public' and the 'private'. Brenner's way is the complex fusion of the 'public' and the 'private'. This last approach seems to have become the dominant one, with contemporary Hebrew literature and the state of the nation upholding and supporting each other.
T.H. Marshall’s Trinity of Rights Revisited
Each one of T.H. Marshall’s trinity of human rights rested on the state as, simultaneously, its birth place, executive manager and guardian. And no wonder. At the time Marshall tied personal, political and social freedoms into a historically determined succession of won/bestowed rights, the boundaries of the sovereign state marked the limits of what humans could contemplate, and what they thought they should jointly do, in order to make their world more user-friendly. The state enclosed territory was the site of private initiatives and public actions, as well as the arena on which private interests and public issues met, clashed and sought reconciliation. In all those respects, the realm of state sovereignty was presumed to be self-contained, selfassertive and self-sufficient.
Wells, Watering Practices, and Water Supply Infrastructure
Brock Ternes and Brian Donovan
Private water wells and municipal water supplies function as different systems of water provision, creating distinct—but understudied—patterns of water consumption. This article examines private well ownership to assess the relationships among conspicuous water consumption, cultural practices, and environmental structures. We surveyed well owners and non-well owners throughout Kansas, a state highly reliant on groundwater (n = 864). Borrowing insights from Bourdieu’s analysis of cultural consumption, this research considers the relationships between demographic variables and watering routines. We provide evidence that well ownership is a significant predictor of conspicuous water usage, and suggest attention to individuals’ hydrologic habitus—a disposition toward water usage shaped by infrastructure, class, and pertinent social variables—facilitates a better understanding of well ownership, drought-time watering, and conspicuous water consumption.
Benjamin Abrams and Giovanni A. Travaglino
When we think about protest, we often associate it with the notion of organized social movements, but studying organized movements only captures a small part of the realities of social protest. Dissent often takes alternative forms, and can be studied from myriad angles. The articles in this issue offer different perspectives on social protest, examining the roles of small activist collectives, organized policing efforts, local private politics, digital communities, and revolutionary vanguards in instances of collective action and political behavior.
The Re-establishment of a Jewish School in Düsseldorf
The Yitzhak-Rabin-Schule is the Jewish primary school in Düsseldorf. Opened in 1993, it is considered by its sponsor, the Jewish Congregation Düsseldorf, as a successor of the 'Private Jüdische Volksschule' which was forced to close by law in 1942. The primary school started with seventeen pupils in a transitional space and was finally able to move into its own building ten years after its establishment. Currently 150 pupils visit the only Jewish school in Düsseldorf.
What is a vocation? Already as a young girl, I did not consider my faith to be something private. Faith was my way of seeing the world; it was also what showed me my responsibility in and for the world. Ever since I was about sixteen years old, it became ever clearer to me that this faith should also become my profession. With that, I made a decision in favour of a public mission where religious matters were concerned.