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Mark Gilbert and Gianfranco Pasquino

Unravelling the knots of Italian politics was as elusive a task as

ever in 1999. But the key thread, if anywhere, is to be found in the

interwoven themes of the creation of the D’Alema government in

October 1998 (and its subsequent political fall-out), the difficulty

of reforming the electoral law, and hence the hyper-fragmented

party system, and the short, sharp crisis of the D’Alema cabinet

just before Christmas 1999. Short though the crisis was, it jumbled

up politics once more and left new loose ends that will gradually

unwind themselves in the coming year.

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Introduction and Prefaces to the Geschichtliche Grundbegriffe

(Basic Concepts in History: A Historical Dictionary of Political and Social Language in Germany)

Reinhart Koselleck and Michaela Richter

This is the first English translation of Reinhart Koselleck's "Introduction" to the Geschichtliche Grundbegriffe (GG, Basic Concepts in History: A Historical Dictionary of Political and Social Language in Germany), which charts how in German-speaking Europe the accelerated changes occurring between the Enlightenment, the French Revolution and the Industrial Revolution were perceived, conceptualized and incorporated into political and social language, registering the transition from a hierarchy of orders to modern societies. The "Introduction" presents the problematic and method formulated in 1972 by Koselleck for writing the history of concepts (Begriffsgeschichte). During the twenty-five years needed to complete the GG, he continued to revise and develop this method. In prefaces written for subsequent volumes, he replied to criticisms of its choice of basic concepts and findings. In these prefaces Koselleck both summarized the great contribution to our historical knowledge of political and social terms that this work and its index volumes had made, and suggested further research projects to build upon its achievements.

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William R. Thompson

Evidence on river flow levels and other forms of climate indicators suggest significant variation in climate and water availability within the Bronze Age period. Intermittent deterioration in climate appears to have contributed to periodic crises (toward the ends of the fourth, third, and second millennia, as well as in the middle of the second millennium) manifested throughout the Near East. These periodic crises are associated variably with hinterland pressures on urban centers, governmental collapse, and, to a lesser extent, economic contraction. Climate was probably not the primary driver of these times of troubles, but climatic deterioration systematically made things worse.

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Karl Cordell

This paper seeks to offer an assessment of the nature of identity among Poland's German minority and to investigate why since 1950 large numbers of that minority have migrated to Germany. It does so by examining the nature of identity in the historic Polish-German borderlands, by recounting the experiences of those Germans who remained behind in Poland after the post World War Two expulsion process was completed in 1949, and by examining the continued salience of negative stereotypes of Germans and Germany among elements of Polish society. The paper highlights a number of salient factors of importance for members of the minority in deciding whether or not to stay in Poland or to migrate to Germany.

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Judith Inggs

This article explores the development of girl characters in works for children and young adults during Perestroika. First, it examines established heroines from the Soviet era, such as Elli in Volkov's Volshebnik izumrudnogo goroda [The wizard of the emerald city], and then goes on to examine the depiction of female protagonists and characters in works written during the late 1980s and early 1990s. The conclusion is that although there was a clear demand for new heroines and a new role model for girls, writers did not succeed in providing strong, independent female characters with a sense of agency. Instead, the Soviet preference for male protagonists continued, with females often being portrayed stereotypically as weak and ineffectual.

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Sensing prison climates

Governance, survival, and transition

Tomas Max Martin, Andrew M. Jefferson and Mahuya Bandyopadhyay

In December 2010 members of the Global Prisons Research Network (GPRN) met for a seminar entitled “Dissecting the 'Non-Western' Prison.” The articles showcased in this thematic section were first presented there. This introduction proposes the notion of “prison climate” as a useful way of rethinking variations and similarities across prisons. This notion directs attention away from the prison “as such” to the prison “as is” and points to the fact that the idea of prison itself is contested and changing, however hegemonic it might appear. We argue that a truly representative and international penology should go beyond the mapping of differences and similarities. Rather, the researcher should pursue the twofold question of what persists and what mutates within and across prison worlds. We advocate an ethnographic orientation to deciphering the entanglements of relations, practices, and dynamics that constitute particular prison climates and we include some reflections on the particular challenges of conducting fieldwork in prisons.

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Irina Gigova

This article considers the Club of Bulgarian Women Writers as a case study on the interrupted feminisation of twentieth-century Bulgarian belles-lettres and culture. It argues that the modernisation project of Bulgarian intellectuals in the interwar years led to an environment propitious for the emergence of a cohort of women literati who furthered women's emancipation, and generated an original and popular textual tradition. The Club, which existed between 1930 and 1949, was emblematic of the wide acceptance of women intellectuals in patriarchal monarchical Bulgaria, and their subsequent marginalisation in the post-war socialist republic. Having declared gender equality fulfilled, the communist regime considered literary interest in womanhood or the individual hostile to its social and political agenda. Interwar women intellectuals, whose very worldview demanded an unrestrained confluence of personal, female and intellectual identities, lost their social importance. Likewise, the Club and its members were excised from cultural and public memory until the 1990s.

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Shaped by Shock

Staff on the Emergency Department 'Shop Floor'

Mark Powell, Stephanie Glendinning, Vanesa Castán Broto, Emma Dewberry and Claire Walsh

In this article we consider the impact of shock in hospital emergency departments where people seek urgent medical care and access hospital services. We define shock as an unexpected event or set of circumstances, for although emergency departments plan for uncertainty, shock moments are when protocols and procedures fail to meet operational demands. We reveal how, depending on the professional experience and personality of staff, shocks are experienced and defined in a variety of ways. On some occasions shocks result in critical departmental failure, while at other times they generate new working practices. Shocks can empower individuals through celebrating teamwork and a sense of belonging, to take personal responsibility at a range of 'shop-floor' scales. These emotional and embodied engagements contribute to the operational resilience of the department.

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Im Spannungsfeld von Regionalismus und nationaler Identität

zur Deutung und Vermittlung von Geschichte in katalanischen Schulbüchern

Martina Clemen

The Tension between Regionalism and National Identity When Interpreting and Mediating History in Catalan Textbooks

In den letzten Jahren ist in Spanien in den Medien eine heftig ausgetragene Kontroverse entbrannt über Deutung und Vermittlung von Geschichte an öffentlichen Schulen. Eine vergleichende Analyse von Geschichtslehrwerken (2008-2010) dreier Verlagshäuser verschiedener spanischer Regionen bestätigt die dem Beitrag vorangestellte These, dass die Darstellung und der Diskurs der spanischen Historie bewusst zum Aufbau einer nationalen katalanischen Identität eingesetzt werden. Die Divergenzen in der kulturellen bzw. geschichtlichen Perzeption werden durch einen nuancierten Sprachgebrauch, gezielte Selektion der Abbildungen und Quellen sowie strukturelle Anordnung der Schulbuchtexte sichtbar.

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Rwandan Women No More

Female Génocidaires in the Aftermath of the 1994 Rwandan Genocide

Erin Jessee

Since the 1994 Rwandan genocide, the current government has arrested approximately 130,000 civilians who were suspected of criminal responsibility. An estimated 2,000 were women, a cohort that remains rarely researched through an ethnographic lens. This article begins to address this oversight by analyzing ethnographic encounters with 8 confessed or convicted female génocidaires from around Rwanda. These encounters reveal that female génocidaires believe they endure gender-based discrimination for having violated taboos that determine appropriate conduct for Rwandan women. However, only female génocidaires with minimal education, wealth, and social capital referenced this gender-based discrimination to minimize their crimes and assert claims of victimization. Conversely, female elites who helped incite the genocide framed their victimization in terms of political betrayal and victor’s justice. This difference is likely informed by the female elites’ participation in the political processes that made the genocide possible, as well as historical precedence for leniency where female elites are concerned.