Search Results

You are looking at 1 - 10 of 1,640 items for :

  • All content x
Clear All
Open access

Heather Wurtz and Olivia Wilkinson

Introduction This article examines the role of local faith actors in institutional responses to refugees (henceforth refugee response), first in relation to global policy guidelines and frameworks promoted through the Global Compact for

Restricted access

Anna Henkel

This article starts with the observation that a sociological analysis of interactions concerning drugs cannot rely on accounts of drugs that were generated in the field because these accounts (such as the distinction between drugs and non-drugs or between intended effects and side effects) are shaped by strong interests. The article suggests two approaches to obtaining actor-independent accounts, both of which are based on comparisons. The first approach is a symmetrization of perspectives, which can be achieved by including the perspectives of as many different actors as possible as well as the abstract actors of science and law. The second approach starts from the definition of a problem that is contingent but grounded in practices of the field. In the case of drugs, this problem can be constructed as how laypersons can rate the identity and quality of specific things as unproblematic. In both cases, an ontological idea of the “drug as such” is replaced by a social-constructivist view of the drug, which at the same time takes the drug's materiality into account.

Restricted access

The Rational Actor Reform Paradigm

Delivering the Goods but Destroying Public Trust?

Peter Taylor-Gooby

This paper discusses the impact of an important trend in service delivery in response to the substantial pressures that now face European welfare states: the New Public Management, combining centrally imposed targets and the promotion of market systems within state services. It traces the logic underlying the reform back to the rational self-regarding actor theories of human behaviour of the Enlightenment. Using the example of the UK NHS, recently reformed in a way that follows the rational actor paradigm, it considers the impact on long-term public trust.

Free access

Enlivening the Supra-personal Actor

Vectors at Work in a Transnational Environmentalist Federation

Caroline Gatt

Recent anthropological literature on NGOs has focused on the agency and creativity of activists. The focus on the subjects of NGOs and agency in this work is an explicit response to scholarship in which actors are eclipsed by formal and technical analyses of organizational structures. This article revisits the concept of organizational structure by attending to it through the experience of activists of a transnational federation of environmental NGOs, namely Friends of the Earth International (FoEI). On a daily basis FoEI activists encounter and engage with various institutions. In certain situations, such institutions as well as the activists' own organizations are experienced as agentive entities. This article argues that from certain positioned perspectives such entities have material effects as supra-personal actors. Informed by Ingold, Latour and Haraway, but also by the FoEI activists themselves, I present the interdependent concepts of vectors, direction of attention and 'unprotected backs'. This conceptual toolbox is presented as a shared puzzle (Marcus and Fischer 1999), and as such is activism itself, that engages in conversation with environmental activists.

Restricted access

Tony Fisher

The article develops Sartre's remarks on the paradox of the actor in two ways. Firstly, it derives from them an 'existential ontology' of mimetic performance - an 'onto-mimetology'. Secondly, it uses this reconstruction in order to put pressure on Sartre's analogy of the actor with bad faith. In grasping the problem of acting from a Sartrean perspective, I show that this analogy is not as clear cut as he assumes and that a crucial difference exists between the situation of the theatre and that of bad faith. To master the paradox of his own being I argue the actor's technique indeed utilizes the same 'non-persuasiveness-of-belief ' thesis identified by Sartre as the condition of possibility for bad faith, yet in the actor's case it need not necessitate the condition of bad faith. In conclusion, I propose that through the notion of play, the actor sheds intriguing light on Sartre's notion of freedom.

Restricted access

Melody Viczko

Internationalisation of higher education has been overwhelmingly embraced by Canadian universities (Beck 2009). Yet, the decentralised nature of higher education institutions, coupled with the absence of a national governing body with responsibility for higher education, creates an interesting terrain for internationalisation. In this paper, I examine the ideas related to internationalisation pursued by one Canadian organisation, the Association of Universities and Colleges of Canada (AUCC). Responding to concerns from Canadian institutions and government ministries about their potential exclusion from global markets, the AUCC took a national lead to better acquaint Canadian institutions with the Bologna reforms, declaring an urgent need to respond to the reforms taking place in Europe (AUCC 2008a). I analyse the policy knowledge, spaces and actors involved with internationalisation through the AUCC's interaction with the Bologna Process, to argue that a deeper entangling of universities in the ideational market-based competition embedded in neoliberal reforms has created tensions in how autonomy can be conceived in Canadian higher education.

Open access

Syrian Diasporans as Transnational Civil Society Actors

Perspectives from a Network for Refugee Assistance

Shawn Teresa Flanigan and Mounah Abdel-Samad

This article presents early qualitative data from an ongoing project that includes interviews with members of a Syrian diaspora network engaged in giving and receiving philanthropy. With the onset of the Syrian refugee crisis, the network began to provide education for displaced Syrian children in Lebanon in addition to its other activities. The purpose of the research project is to understand motivations and mechanisms of humanitarian assistance toward a conflict region, and also if and how the practice of philanthropy is tied to peacebuilding on the ground and individuals’ sense of political efficacy. This article gives particular attention to the civil society aspects of diasporan assistance, and how those engaged in humanitarian aid conceive of their influence on politics, policy, and peacebuilding.

Full access

Carlo Marletti

An electoral campaign is a complex process in which political

actors interact with the mass media in order to orient the voting

preferences and choices of the electorate. It is presumed – but cannot

be taken for granted – that the election campaign is the period

in which the use of propaganda and various forms of political

communication is at its peak. In fact, the interaction between

media and politics has long since become a structural given of contemporary

democracies,1 and periods in which significant political

communication campaigns are developed form part of a cycle that

has become independent of electoral deadlines. It can even be

hypothesised that election campaigns are becoming an ‘internal

moment’ of these larger cycles during which the climate of opinion

that is asserted compromises the election result, sometimes

anticipating the election outcome by even several months.

Free access

Sara Yaneth Fernández Moreno

*Full article is in Spanish

Hasta 2004, la población desplazada en Colombia estaba expuesta a la vulneración masiva y sostenida de varios derechos constitucionales, y a la prolongada omisión de las autoridades del Estado en el cumplimiento de sus obligaciones y en garantizar los derechos y las acciones institucionales necesarias para evitar la vulneración de los derechos de esta población, cada vez más creciente en el país.1 En ese mismo año, se expide la Sentencia T-025/2004 de la Corte Constitucional colombiana, donde declara el “estado de cosas inconstitucional,” reitera los derechos constitucionales de la población afectada por el desplazamiento forzado, e imparte una serie de órdenes para proteger los derechos de la población afectada por el fenómeno.

Free access

“It’s Being, Not Doing”

Hospitality and Hostility between Local Faith Actors and International Humanitarian Organizations in Refugee Response

Olivia J. Wilkinson

In the last two years, members of the international humanitarian system have channeled considerable energy into debating how they can more frequently partner with and fund local actors. The “localization debate” in humanitarian response pushes