This paper considers the roots of the dissonance between political modernity and Islamic societies. It argues that primacy has to be given to the analysis of different paradigms of 'ethical life' which are ways in which ethical-political categories are organized within society. A distinction is made between 'nomocentric' and 'rights-based' paradigms of ethical life, the former associated with a system of moral duties and the latter with a system of political and ethical rights accorded to the individual. I argue that the emphasis on a nomocentric paradigm of ethical life has the effect of suppressing the development of a rights-based ethical and political discourse in large enough segments of the society to limit a progressive change toward political modernity. I further analyze the ways in which forces of social and economic modernisation play a role in antagonizing the relation between modernity and the more traditional forms of ethical life which predominate in Islamic society and political/ethical thought.
The Problem of Political Modernity in the Islamic World
Michael J. Thompson
Optimizing the Dynamic Conflict of Interest in Transnational Migration
In the traditional discourses on modern international migration, the 'sending' countries of the South are supposed to derive three kinds of static benefits—remittances, transfer of technology, and return migration. In today's postmodern transnationalization-through-migration context, the stakes are no longer static but dynamic, and the relative benefits to the 'receiving' countries of the North are much bigger than those that they 'concede'. Does the South have a say in assessing these benefits for the North? Only in an equitable adversary analysis—that is, in a strategic rather than standard cost-benefit assessment, in which each party steps into each other's shoes while on a level playing field—would the dynamic conflict of interest be addressed in ways that would produce a truly global quest for development.
Toward an Ethnography of Education, Religion, and the State
In a major transformation of our times, governmental organizations are increasingly turning to faith-based groups to provide basic public services, including education. Faith-government partnering derives its power symbolically from a higher order than the secular state; the secular world of technical education is metaphorically encircled and uplifted by sacrilized forces. Drawing on fieldwork conducted in Tanzania and in the United States, and on analysis of education policy documents and reports, this article argues that faith-based governmental programs operate by a logic of hierarchical encompassment, a logic by which state education discourses of accountability, efficiency, and standards first supercede and transform the ideal of religious-moral education, defining all citizens as equally protected before the law, and then reinstate religious- moral instruction as a higher order value that, in turn, encompasses technically trained citizens through an ethic that values religion, spirituality, and faith in one God.
Indigenous Knowledge and Bureaucratic Engagement
Sally Babidge, Shelley Greer, Rosita Henry and Christine Pam
In this article we examine the concept of 'indigenous knowledge' as it is currently used in resource management discourse. In the process of engaging with government agents and researchers in the bureaucracy of resource management, indigenous knowledge is a powerful concept in the legitimization of local indigenous practice as well as the recognition of resource and socio-environmental management aspirations. Our use of the phrase 'management speak' frames our analysis of these bureaucratic engagements as process (management) and dialogue, rather than a 'space'. We do so in order to gain insights into the politics and practice of these engagements that might go beyond recognition of indigenous interests and toward more practical approaches. Our discussion draws on research conducted at Yarrabah Aboriginal Community in northern Queensland in relation to marine resource management in the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area.
An Irish Example
The analysis of electronic versus paper documents, especially in the context of computer-supported cooperative work (CSCW), has often focused on affordances, issues of design and implementation, and work practices. Issues of culture are often understated in such studies. Yet, like any object of material culture, the use of paper files, as well as an aversion to electronic information sharing, is conditioned by the cultural and political background of a society. This article will suggest that the persistence of paper files in a section of the Irish civil service during the 1990s had much to do with issues of accountability and a cult of expertise, in which papers files, as material objects, were deployed on behalf of claims of expertise and power. This intertwining of power, politics and information is a feature of Irish society, and the discourse of expertise and power is a theme that permeates many aspects of Irish culture.
This study applies critical discourse analysis to examine the relationship between the imagery and the legitimacy attached to single mothers, as well as the social policy designed for them. The correlation between images, legitimacy, and policy was examined during three decades (the 1970s, 1990s, and 2000s) of extensive legislation pertaining to single-parent mothers. The data have been drawn from a diversity of sources, including Knesset debates, Knesset committee discussions, women's organizations, the media, and semi-structured interviews. The study shows that welfare policy necessarily encapsulates cultural perceptions and basic assumptions pertaining to certain segments of society. These beliefs anchor justifications for the expansion or limitation of social rights and reveal how the development of social rights is linked to cultural and social apprehension.
Tamara L. Mix
Employing an interpretive content analysis of online forums, the author examines use of environmental themes by the United States white separatist movement in its efforts to seek legitimacy and garner a broad base of support. The contemporary white separatist movement draws upon latent National Socialist environmental discursive frames linked to history, spirituality, and stewardship. The lack of a specific position on the environment in the movement permits the manipulation of environmental themes to appeal to a wide range of audiences. Appeals to right wing environmental, population, and anti-environmental audiences include a discourse of environmental skepticism, concerns about immigration and overpopulation and discussion of rights to nature and land. Appeals to left wing and mainstream audiences involve expressions of environmental concern, preservation, stewardship, and rights of nature. A narrative of networking using environmentalism's broad appeal, perceived concerns regarding immigration and population growth, and similarities in racial characteristics was also evident.
Euroscepticism, Populism, Nationalism, and Societal Division
This article examines the 2016 Referendum on the United Kingdom’s membership of the European Union and draws on initial research into the reasons that the UK voted to leave and demographics of the leave vote. This initial analysis suggests that the Brexit (British Exit) vote reveals wider and deeper societal tensions along the lines of age, class, income, and education (Goodwin and Heath 2016). By providing an account of the background and events of the referendum, this article asserts that the vote was a case study in populist right-wing Eurosceptic discourse (Leconte 2010; Taggart 2004), but it also reveals strong elements of English nationalism (including British exceptionalism and social conservatism) in parts of British society (Henderson et al. 2016; Wellings 2010). Given this, the article begins to make sense of Brexit from a social quality perspective and outlines a possible social quality approach to the UK and Europe post-Brexit.
Cultural and Spatial Intimacy in Croatia and Turkey
Jeremy F. Walton
Based on ethnographic research in Croatia and Turkey, this article explores two projects of inter-religious tolerance in relation to broader logics of cultural and spatial intimacy. In the Croatian case, the focus is on the public discourse surrounding Rijeka's Nova Džamija [New Mosque] which pivoted on a perception of the shared victimization of Catholic Croats and Muslim Bosnians at the hands of Serbs during the wars of the 1990s. For Turkey, we focus on a project in Ankara that aims to provide a single site of worship for Sunni and Alevi Muslims, a 'mosque-cem house'. The analysis highlights some common formations of tolerance and cultural intimacy expressed by both projects, as well as the divergent spatial practices and modes of spatial intimacy that distinguish the two sites.
Secondary Movers on the Fringes of Refugee Mobility in Kakuma Refugee Camp, Kenya
Jolien Tegenbos and Karen Büscher
This article examines the migration-asylum nexus in the microcosm of Kakuma Refugee Camp in Kenya by focusing on refugees and asylum seekers who move onward from a first refuge, in Central-East Africa. By drawing on qualitative ethnographic field research in Kakuma, the article outlines how such “secondary movements” cause many anxieties, as the distinction between refugees and migrants is blurred by motivations that are not exclusively protection related. Based on a Foucauldian analysis of power and discourse, we argue that this creates a contested social and semantic space wherein all actors struggle to uphold the rigid distinction. Additionally, by combining the strengths of migration studies’ consideration for policy categories and mobility studies’ holistic perspective toward migration, the article aims to further deepen academic interaction between two literature traditions in order to enhance our understanding of how mobility is “shaped” and “lived” by people in wartime situations.