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Rudolf Valkhoff

This article traces the main methodological and substantial similarities between Reinhart Koselleck's notion of Begriffsgeschichte and J. G. A. Pocock's approach to the history of political thought. Both approaches are responses to the shift in the unit of analysis in the study of human historical consciousness. Rather than focusing on ideas, Koselleck and Pocock concentrate on how language articulated heightened awareness of historical change. Concepts and paradigms reflect in varying manners the intensity of historical sedimentation. The more sedimentation, less space there is for innovation, and political action tends to be conservative. Conversely, unstable concepts or obsolete paradigms, reflect historical change and space for linguistic innovation.

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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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Cora Sol Goldstein

In December 1945, less than six months after the unconditional defeat of the Third Reich and the military occupation of Germany, two anti-Nazi German intellectuals, Herbert Sandberg and Günther Weisenborn, launched the bimonthly journal, Ulenspiegel: Literatur, Kunst, und Satire (Ulenspiegel: Literature, Art and Satire), in the American sector of Berlin. Sandberg, the art editor, was a graphic artist. He was also a Communist who had spent ten years in Nazi concentration camps—the last seven in Buchenwald. Weisenborn, a Social Democrat and the literary editor, was a playwright, novelist, and literary critic. He had been a member of the rote Kapelle resistance group, was captured and imprisoned by the Gestapo in 1942, and was liberated by the Red Army in 1945.

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Md Saidul Islam

Contesting the U.S.-centric bias of modern environmentalism, this essay uncovers an “old“ paradigm of environmentalism found in the medieval Islamic tradition, the Islamic Ecological Paradigm (IEP)—which, in many respects, is tantamount to many ideologies of modern environmentalism. According to IEP, human beings are a part of, and not above, nature, and have the responsibility to preserve nature. Many paradigms of modern environmentalism have largely embraced this ideology, though they do not necessarily trace their origin to IEP. This essay also analyzes Muslim environmental activism today by focusing on how its proponents are inspired by modern environmentalism while grounding their activism in IEP. Despite substantial variance and occasional tension, the author argues that both modern environmentalism and IEP can form an ontological alliance, an alliance that is of paramount importance to addressing environmental problems that transcend physical and cultural borders.

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Ulrich Herbert

Over two years after the appearance of Hitler’s Willing Executioners,

very little can be heard about the so-called Goldhagen Debate in

Germany: no more scholarly reviews, at most a few echoes here and

there. Over two hundred thousand copies of the book were sold,

and it was certainly read almost as many times. But it does not

appear in the syllabi of university courses on the Holocaust, except

perhaps in those that cover historiographical debates. In the German

edition of Saul Friedländer’s new book, Nazi Germany and the Jews,

Daniel Goldhagen does not rate a mention, except for a three line

footnote on page 420 in which his theory is described as “unconvincing

on the basis of the materials presented as part of the study.”2

Goldhagen’s book, one can confidently predict, will not play a role

in future Holocaust research.

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Rainer Baumann

When German foreign policy is being described, a reference to multilateralism

is rarely ever omitted. Together with Westbindung, restraint

in using military force, and a trading-state orientation, Germany’s

preference for multilateral settings is recognized as one of the central

elements of its foreign policy. In recent years, a number of studies

have shown that, in contrast to realist expectations from the early

1990s, the more powerful unified Germany has continued to embrace

this multilateralism. This applies to Germany’s willingness to bind

itself to NATO and other European and Euro-Atlantic security institutions,

1 to Germany’s policy within and vis-à-vis the EU,2 and to its

foreign policy on a global scale.

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Will Gartside

Torture porn's crowning achievements, as identified by Gregory A. Burris (2010), are the Saw and Hostel series. He argues that the Saw series represents a puritanical mind-set running amok, while the Hostel movies reflect a culture struggling to come to terms with the horrors of Abu Ghraib. This article challenges this position. It identifies thematic patterns within the Saw and Hostel films to demonstrate how the images of violence on display throughout both series tend to reinforce, rather than subvert, the popularly held belief that the Abu Ghraib scandal represented mere abuse, as opposed to torture. The article shows how these films trivialize and rationalize torture and the roles that sex and gender play in this process.

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Maria Stehle

After presenting a brief summary of the events leading up to the German Autumn, this article offers a close analysis of media responses in major German newspapers and magazines in the months following these violent and confusing political developments. It compares these responses to reports in January 1980, where the events of the late 1970s serve as a catalyst for fears of global change. Media articulate these fears about the stability and identity of the West German nation state in increasingly vague and generalized terms and relate them to a global situation that is "out of control." The discussions in this article suggest that these expressed fears reveal tensions, interruptions, and gaps in the conservative fantasy of the secure and prosperous Western nation state.

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Working Hard, Hanging Back

Constructing the Achieving Girl

Colette Slagle

Michele Paule. 2016. Girlhood, Schools, and Media: Popular Discourses of the Achieving Girl. New York: Routledge.

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Tetiana Shevchenko

This article deals with religious discourse in modern history school textbooks in Ukraine that cover early modern times in Ukrainian history. It analyzes the place of religious discourse within national discourse, the correlation between local Ukrainian religious and more general discourse, and the representation of the relationships between Christian churches. Further, it defines a methodological approach and assesses the accuracy of facts presented in textbooks as well as the interpretation of religious life, normative language, and denominational labeling. It demonstrates the discrepancy between the achievements of academic historiography and school history, including the isolated and exclusive nature of history discourse in Ukrainian schools today.