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Temporalization of Concepts

Reflections on the Concept of Unnati (Progress) in Hindi (1870–1900)

Mohinder Singh

This article analyzes the historical semantics of the concept of unnati in the nationalist discourse in Hindi between 1870 and 1900. The article first outlines the basic features of the Enlightenment concept of progress using Koselleck's analysis. It then goes on to discuss the place of the concept of progress in the colonial ideology of a “civilizing mission,“ and concludes by taking up the analysis of the usage of the term unnati in the nationalist discourse in North India.

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Blurred memories

War and disaster in a Buddhist Sinhala village

Mara Benadusi

This article analyzes the regimes of truth and efforts at falsification that emerged aft er the 2004 tsunami in Sri Lanka, where the experience of fear, the blurring of memory, and the fabrication of identity became normalized during the course of a long civil war. By shedding light on the memorialization processes in a Buddhist Sinhala village on the border of the northeastern Tamil zones, the article shows how the tsunami has reinforced governmental devices for controlling peoples and territories, insinuating itself into the core of the enduring process of securitization of fear in Sri Lanka. Yet, however much the politics of memory tends to cloud matters, the article also demonstrates that it never goes uncontested, as long as subjects can channel their capacity for action in unexpected directions.

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Elena Salerno

By the mid-nineteenth century, the territory of present-day Argentina was still a sparsely settled network of towns beyond which lived some native peoples. In 1860 the incomplete Martin de Moussy survey estimated a total population of about 1 million inhabitants; a decade later the first national census recorded about 1.8 million. Halperin Donghi summarizes the situation in “A Nation for the Argentine Desert,” the prologue to his classic work about this period.1 At that time, the country lacked roads, and the traditional transport system, as Enrique M. Barba describes in a pioneering book, consisted of cart tracks that were impassable during the rainy season, and some staging posts that provided rudimentary services for long-distances travelers.2 Indigenous trails trodden by livestock, called rastrilladas, supplemented them.3 Years later, Cristian Werckenthie studied the traditional transport of the pampas. Bullock carts were the principal means of transport; elsewhere, mule trains were the norm.

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Dov Waxman and Ilan Peleg

This article examines the challenge posed to the future of Israel as a Jewish state by its Palestinian minority. In particular, it analyzes a series of documents published in 2006-2007 by political and intellectual leaders of the Palestinian community in Israel in which they called upon Israel to abandon its Jewish identity and recognize its Palestinian citizens as an indigenous national minority with collective rights. After discussing the major demands and proposals made in these Vision Documents the article argues on both pragmatic and normative grounds that Israel must try to balance the demands of the Palestinian minority with those of the Jewish majority. This involves maintaining the state's Jewish character while providing greater collective rights, including limited autonomy, to its Palestinian citizens.

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Selin Çağatay

Meral Harmancı McDermott, Bastırılanın geri dönüşü: Tanzimat’tan Cumhuriyet’e kadın oyun yazarlarında toplumsal cinsiyet (Return of the repressed: Gender in women playwrights from the Tanzimat to the Republic), Istanbul: Habitus Kitap, 2016, 318 pp., TRY 26 (paperback), ISBN: 978-6-05463-046-2.

Yavuz Selim Karakışla, Osmanlı Imparatorluğu’nda savaş yılları ve çalışan kadınlar: Kadınları Çalıştırma Cemiyeti (1916–1923) (Women, war, and work in the Ott oman Empire: Society for the Employment of Ott oman Muslim Women [1916–1923]), Istanbul: Iletişim Yayınları, 2015, 408 pp., TRY 33 (paperback), ISBN: 978-9-75051-857-7.

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Being and Belonging in Kuwait

Expatriates, Stateless Peoples and the Politics of Citizenship

Nadia Eldemerdash

In this article I examine why Kuwait and other migrant-receiving countries in the Persian Gulf have failed to enfranchise migrant workers and their descendants through citizenship. I contend that the increasing exclusion of expatriate workers from these societies can be understood in comparison with the disenfranchisement of the stateless populations to which these governments are host. I argue that nationalist narratives that portray these groups as threatening to the host societies have been extremely significant in creating an atmosphere of increasing isolation and exclusion for both expatriates and stateless peoples. I conclude by examining what the Kuwaiti case tells us about how notions of membership and belonging develop and the significant role of historic and political circumstances in shaping these notions.

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William D. Irvine

Scholars of Third Republic France have long assumed that the political spectrum was divided into a readily identifiable Right and Left, adhering to mutually exclusive positions. But this comfortable political taxonomy could, at times, to violence to political reality. The Right could at some periods in the history of the Third Republic be aggressively nationalistic; at other times it could be positively irenic. The Left was often pacifist, but not always and there were moments when it, or some fraction of it, could be quite bellicose. Neither anti-Semitism nor racism in general were the exclusive province of the Right. On critical issues, the Left could be more refractory to women's rights than was the Right. French fascism claimed to be neither right nor left and at least some French fascist movements could list as many former members of the Left among its leaders as former members of the Right.

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The Terror of their Enemies

Reflections on a Trope in Eighteenth-Century Historiography

Ronald Schechter

This article attempts to explain the appeal of "terror" in the French Revolution by examining the history of the concept of terror. It focuses on historiographical representations of sovereign powers, whether monarchs or nations, as "terrors" of their enemies. It argues that the term typically connoted majesty, glory, justice and hence legitimacy. Moreover, historiographical depictions of past rulers and nations frequently emphasized the transiency of terror as an attribute of power; they dramatized decline in formulations such as "once terrible." For the revolutionaries, terror therefore provided a means of legitimation, but one that always had to be guarded and reinforced.

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Amotz Giladi

The trajectory of the writer and critic Camille Mauclair (1872–1945) was marked by two ruptures: having begun his career within the internationalized avant-gardes, oriented toward Symbolism and Anarchism, he moved away from these circles at the turn of the century. Indeed, the crisis that Symbolism and Anarchism underwent during these years led Mauclair toward Neo-Classicism. To his new esthetic vision was added, during the Great War, a nationalist positioning that led him to virulent xenophobia in the interwar period. Foreign artists were henceforth denounced by Mauclair as being the cause of France's so-called cultural decadence. The turnaround in Mauclair's esthetic and political vision reflects the “return to order” tendencies that grew stronger in French culture from the end of the nineteenth century, attaining their summit during World War II. The propagation of these tendencies was largely due to the influence that the esthetic and ideological reflections of Charles Maurras exerted in intellectual circles.

French La trajectoire de l'écrivain et critique Camille Mauclair (1872–1945) fut marquée par deux ruptures: ayant commencé sa carrière au sein des avant-gardes internationalisées, orientées vers le symbolisme et l'anarchis me, il s'éloigna de ces milieux au tournant du siècle. En eff et, la crise subie par le symbolisme et l'anarchisme durant ces années amena Mauclair vers le néo-classicisme. À cette nouvelle vision esthétique s'ajouta, durant la Grande Guerre, un positionnement nationaliste qui déboucha, dans l'entre-deux-guerres, sur une xénophobie virulente. Dès lors, les artistes étrangers furent étiquetés par Mauclair comme les responsables d'une prétendue décadence culturelle de la France. Le revirement esthétique et politique de Mauclair reflète les tendances de “retour à l'ordre,” qui se renforçaient dans la culture française depuis la fin du dix-neuvième siècle et atteignirent leur sommet durant la Seconde Guerre mondiale. La propagation de ces tendances était due, en grande partie, à l'influence que la réflexion esthétique et idéologique de Charles Maurras exerçait dans les milieux intellectuels.

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Liberation Autochthony

Namibian Veteran Politics and African Citizenship Claims

Lalli Metsola

Th is article examines Namibian ex-combatant and veteran politics in the context of African claims and struggles over citizenship. Namibian veteran politics has unfolded as long-term negotiation between claimants and political authorities over recognition, realization of citizenship, and legitimacy. This process has operated through repeated claims and responses, material techniques such as employment and compensation, and changing delimitations of the categories of ex-combatant and veteran. Compared with citizenship struggles elsewhere in Africa, particularly the much-discussed surge of autochthony and ethnonationalism, this article discusses how the institutional environment and the particular histories of those involved have influenced modes of claim-making and logics of inclusion and exclusion. It finds that the citizenship politics of Namibian veterans are not based on explicit “cultural” markers of difference but still do construct significant differentiation through a scale of patriotism based on precedence in “liberation.”