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Dagmar Haase

Whereas environmental and social impacts of urban sprawl are widely discussed among scholars from both the natural and social sciences, the spatial consequences of urban decline are nearly neglected when discussing the impacts of land transition. Within the last decade, "shrinkage" and "perforation" have arisen as new terms to explain the land use development of urban regions faced with demographic change, particularly decreasing fertility, aging, and out-migration. Although shrinkage is far from being a "desired" scenario for urban policy makers, this paper argues that a perforation of the built-up structure in dense cities might bring up many positive implications.

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Adam Reed

This afterword is not a direct response to individual essays; it is instead a response to the spirit of the 'Afrinesia' experiment as a whole. It is prompted by a desire to imagine a return on the goodwill of the contributors to this special issue: Africanists thinking through the lessons and limits of Melanesian anthropology. In considering what Melanesianists might gain from thinking through Africanist anthropology, I speculate on potential openings. This includes an appreciation of the way that the experiment produces an effect of conventionality in the (Melanesianist) reader.

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After Philosophy

The Novelist as Cultural Hero of Modernity? On Richard Rorty’s New Pragmatism

Marek Kwiek

Let us begin with a generalisation: Richard Rorty’s approach to literature is consistently – to use his own opposition – ‘solidarity-related’; what he calls the ‘other side’, literary self-creation, remains programmatically and intentionally undiscussed. One gets the impression that literature, and the novel in particular, is being burdened with an (‘unbearable’) heaviness of responsibility. Does the novel in Rorty’s reflections appear as a source of multifarious metaphors, of whole worlds born out of a writer’s imagination? Is there in it another dimension, where mundane obligations no longer bind the human being and where one can give rein to usually hidden desires and passions? The answer is in the negative.

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Introduction

Why Revisit Intimacy?

Sertaç Sehlikoglu and Aslı Zengin

Intimacy is tightly bound up with notions of privacy, sexuality, proximity and secrecy, and with dynamics of sensual and affective attachments and forms of desire. It is therefore integral to the formation of human selves and subjectivities, as well as communities, publics, collectives and socialities. The articles in this Special Section all offer an anthropological inquiry into intimacy, seeking a conceptual formulation that might capture its actual operations, the ways intimacy is done in talk and action. They thus contribute ethnographically to ongoing anthropological debates about intimacy, and explore how multiple domains and forms of intimacies are defined, shaped, constructed and transformed across different social worlds.

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Skin and Bone, Spirit and Self

Interpreting Ezekiel's Vision

Diana Lipton

Ezekiel’s vision of the valley of the dry bones contains what may well be the most powerful and memorable images of a book overflowing with powerful and memorable imagery. Readers, Jews and Christians alike, have traditionally found in this vision an extraordinary sign of hope concentrated in the idea of resurrection; even the dead can live. For me, however, it signifies something very different, though equally extraordinary: the depth of God’s desire that people should empathise with Him, and the extent of His willingness to help them reach that goal.

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Eric Brothers

The rise of neo-Nazism in the capital of the former German Democratic Republic (GDR) was not inspired by a desire to recreate Hitler's Reich, but by youthful rebellion against the political and social culture of the GDR's Communist regime. This is detailed in Fuehrer-Ex: Memoirs of a Former Neo-Naxi by Ingo Hasselbach with Tom Reiss (Random House, New York, 1996). This movement, however, eventually worked towards returning Germany to its former 'glory' under the Third Reich under the guidance of 'professional' Nazis.

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'Beauty in Usuality'

Ivor Gurney and the Twistedness of Things

Hugh Underhill

For Ivor Gurney nothing came easily. ‘The price of almost anything that one desires worthily’, he wrote from France in 1917, ‘is only Pain … long ago I decided that to accomplish what I wish was worth a great deal of pain and was ready to undergo it’. ‘We Who Praise Poets’ suggests that the poet may expect no praise from his contemporaries, and his worth is only to be measured against the ‘great trees’ of past poetry, ‘the able and the mighty dead’: in effect, those dead are envisaged as pronouncing the verdict on his achievement.

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Henrik Åström Elmersjö and Daniel Lindmark

History as a school subject has been a thorny issue for advocates of peace education at least since the 1880s. Efforts, including the substitution of cultural history for military history, have been made to ensure that history teaching promotes international understanding, not propagates chauvinism. The Norden Associations of Scandinavia, which were involved in textbook revision since 1919, achieved some success by altering contents, but national myths remained central to each country's historical narrative, making it difficult to give history education its desired international orientation.

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Liberalism in Israel

Between the ‘Good Person’ and the ‘Bad Citizen’

Menachem Mautner

In the 1950s, hundreds of thousands of immigrants from Muslim countries arrived in Israel. These Mizrahi immigrants were resented by the Ashkenazi ‘veteran public’, whose desire for normalcy outweighed the state’s call for sacrifice. A geographical separation between Ashkenazim and Mizrahim was created, and more recent processes of integration between the two have only partially succeeded, as is attested by much socio-economic data. The failure to integrate the Mizrahim has had an effect on the basis of support for liberalism in Israel. Israeli liberalism is backed mainly by the veteran public, while lower-class Mizrahim appear to offer little support for it.

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Le salafisme quiétiste en France

Un exemple d’apolitisme militant ?

Mohamed-Ali Adraoui

How do purist Salafist communities frame the issue of politics? Known to display a reluctance towards political engagement and activism, unlike Islamists and Jihadists, purist Salafists, especially those who live within a non-Muslim-majority country such as France, highlight that Islam has nothing to do with classical political activism. Consequently, a major issue that needs to be examined is how purist Salafists reconcile their desires to preach and shape society through a process of public involvement and their efforts to refrain from engaging with political institutions. This article explores to what extent the notion of militant apoliticism is useful in describing this strategy of public engagement.