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Daniel F. Ziblatt

The collapse of communism did not follow any single path in east

central Europe. In Hungary and Poland, the transition was marked

by early negotiations between opposition elites and the ruling Communist

party. In East Germany and Czechoslovakia, the regimes fell

victim to a sudden and quick implosion. In Romania and Bulgaria,

internal coups replaced the ruling communist elite with other members

of the nomenklatura. The transitions away from communist rule

diverged from each other in timing, manner, and degree.

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Caroline Humphrey

From a distance—I was glued to television and newspapers in Cambridge—nothing dramatic seemed to be happening in the Siberian provinces of Russia in 1989. All attention was focused on the amazing events in Germany, Czechoslova- kia, Romania, and Bulgaria; yet I remember not only my astonishment at the tumbling of regimes but also constant twinges of regret and impatience that I could not be there.

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Buffeted by Political Winds

Children’s Literature in Communist Romania

Adrian Solomon

This article provides insight into the practically uncharted territory of children’s literature published during the Communist regime in Romania, with a special emphasis on boys’ roles and masculinity in the context of major themes and obsessions. Its purpose is to reveal both the nonideological side of this literature and the extent to which it might have exerted a decisive influence on education. The conclusion is that the power of nonideological seduction was greater than that of indoctrination.

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Debarati Sen and Sarasij Majumder

The global circulation of food and agricultural commodities is increasingly influenced by the ethical choices of Western consumers and activists who want to see a socially and environmentally sustainable trade regime in place. These desires have culminated in the formation of an elaborate system of rules, which govern the physical and social conditions of food production and circulation, reflected in transnational ethical regimes such as fair trade. Fair trade operates through certifying producer communities with sustainable production methods and socially just production relationships. By examining interdisciplinary academic engagements with fair trade, we argue that fair trade certification is a transnational bio-political regime; although, it holds the potential for reflecting global counterpolitics. By reviewing the literature on the emergence and history of fair trade certification, agro-food chains, case studies on certified producer communities and the certification process, this article shows that fair trade certification is a new governing mechanism to discipline farmers and producers in the Global South by drawing them into globalized market relationships. However, recent studies suggest that fair trade also leaves open the potential for creative iterations of the fair trade idea in producer communities to give voice to their situated struggles for justice. Thus, fair trade constitutes a contested moral terrain that mediates between the visions of justice harbored by producers and activists in the Global South and reflexive practices of the Western consumers. To map these critical developments around fair trade and fair trade certification, close ethnographic attention to the material and symbolic life of certification is vital.

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Trading places

Post-socialist container markets and the city

Caroline Humphrey and Vera Skvirskaja

This article discusses a vast, new and semi-legal marketplace of shipping containers on the outskirts of Odessa, Ukraine. It is suggested that such markets, which have sprung up at several places in post-socialist space where routes intersect, have certain features in common with mediaeval trade fairs. However, today's markets have their own specificities in relation to state and legal regimes, migration, and the cities to which they are semi-attached. The article analyzes the Seventh Kilometer Market (Sed'moi) near Odessa as a particular socio-mythical space. It affords it own kind of protection and opportunities to traders, but these structures may be unstable in a changing economic climate.

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A. James McAdams

The author ponders over the identity of the last self-identifying East German and wonders what he or she will say before leaving memories of the region behind. He distinguishes among three possible candidates for this honor: the ordinary citizen with little aspiration to political or social notoriety; the enthusiast with an interest in perpetuating the old regime's values; and the dissident activist dedicated to transforming that order. After identifying the likely last East German, the author speculates about the message our protagonist will have to share with the leaders of unified Germany. Finally, he provides reasons for why the Federal Republic can benefit from this advice.

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Gerhild Perl

How are politics generated by grief actually lived, and how do they endure? By exploring long-term repercussions of Europe’s lethal borders, I show what shape shared grief takes in the minute encounters between ‘ordinary people’ across borders and how alternative politics are lived as a vivid critique of the moral economy of the EU border regime. Therefore, I explore intimate uncertainties that arise both in the confrontation with death and in the unexpected affection between strangers. The analysis of a single shipwreck in 2003 indicates the need for more ethnographically nuanced, historically informed and translocal approaches to death during migration in anthropology.

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Every Dog Has Its Day

New Patterns in Pet Keeping in Iran

Ahahita Grisoni and Marjan Mashkour

In the perspective of human–animal relationships, considered a social change marker, pet dogs in modern Iranian society constitute a form of acculturation that started under the former regime and perpetuates, if not intensifies, nowadays. At first glance, this acculturation form seems to be directly borrowed from Western patterns, but this article shows the peculiarities of the adaptation models to the Iranian context. This work, based on individual, semistructured interviews with dog owners aims to study the subjective representations of pet dogs and the acquisition and cohabitation material conditions with this animal, within the context of a changing contemporary Iranian society.

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‘Turning Human Beings into Lawyers’

Why Anthropology Matters So Little to the Legal Curriculum

Insa Koch

Does anthropology matter to law? At first sight, this question might seem redundant: of course, anthropology matters to law, and it does so a great deal. Anthropologists have made important contributions to legal debates. Legal anthropology is a thriving sub-discipline, encompassing an ever-increasing range of topics, from long-standing concerns with customary law and legal culture to areas that have historically been left to lawyers, including corporate law and financial regulation. Anthropology’s relevance to law is also reflected in the world of legal practice. Some anthropologists act as cultural experts in, while others have challenged the workings of, particular legal regimes, including with respect to immigration law and social welfare.

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Balancing Victimhood and Complicity in Austrian History Textbooks

Visual and Verbal Strategies of Representing the Past in Post-Waldheim Austria

Ina Markova

This article focuses on the impact of images on reconstructions of the past. In order to analyze the function of images in history textbooks, image-discourse analysis is applied to a case study of Austrian postwar memory. The analysis of recent Austrian history textbooks provides insight into strategies by which notions of Austria as both "victim" and "perpetrator" of the National Socialist regime are held in balance. The article also focuses on the intentional framing of iconic depictions of two central Austrian sites of memory, Heroes' Square (Heldenplatz) and the State Treaty (Staatsvertrag).