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Volunteering as Protest

Against State Failure or the State Itself?

Jan Křeček

Although the Czech Republic (CR) is not a favorite destination nor even a transit country for migrants through Europe, the refugee crisis has materialized into a strict state policy of rejection. The CR rejects proposals for European solutions and detains and imprisons immigrants, most of whom are inadvertently arrived there. This preliminary refusal strategy is peculiar to both the political and media spheres (and public opinion) and is described in the opening sections of this work. However, the CR, is also a country in which the tally of immigrants is less than the number of Czechs citizens traveling beyond their national borders to help refugees congregating along the “Balkan Route”, where they frequently outnumber volunteers from other countries. This paper goes on to describe the development of these grassroots Czech volunteer organizations and activities in 2015. From the beginning it was characterized by spontaneity and a lack of hierarchy, with the Internet and social media playing a vital role during mobilization and organization. The methodological section defines how this sample was analyzed and the manner in which it was dealt. Section five summarizes the most important findings of the case study: (1) the results of a questionnaire survey among volunteers, (2) the results of a qualitative content analysis of their communication in social networks. Besides basic mapping steps (features of volunteer’s participation), the analysis attempts to capture motivations for volunteer’s participation. Comparison with selected motivation typologies emphasizes the protective (later the normative) motivation, on which the hypotheses are based regarding the dispute about the national identity of volunteering as an ideological, and therefore foreseeable, dispute.

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The 'Real Experience' industry: Student development projects and the depoliticisation of poverty

Jason Hickel

Participation in development projects in the Global South has become one of the most sought-after activities among American and British high school graduates and college students. In the United States this often takes the form of Alternative Spring Break trips, while in Britain students typically pursue development work during their 'gap years'. Development projects offer students a way to craft themselves in an alternative mould, to have a 'real experience' that marks them off from the cultural mainstream as 'authentic' individuals. The student development craze represents an impulse to resist consumerist individualism, but this impulse has been appropriated and neutralised by a new logic of consumption, transforming a profoundly political urge for change into a form of 'resistance' compatible with neoliberal capitalism. In the end, students' pursuit of self-realisation through development has a profoundly depoliticising effect, shifting their attention away from substantive problems of extraction and exploitation to the state of the inner self.

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Welcoming Acts

Temporality and Affect among Volunteer Humanitarians in the UK and USA

Rachel Humphris and Kristin Elizabeth Yarris

In this article, we compare local mobilizations of volunteers working through civic organizations to welcome asylum seekers in the USA (Oregon) and the UK (Yorkshire). Contributing to extant literature on “volunteer humanitarians” ( Sandri 2018

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Beyond the Glittering Golden Buddha Statues

Difference and Self-transformation through Buddhist Volunteer Tourism in Thailand

Brooke Schedneck

never be able to fully understand the meaning behind each of these details. But others feel lucky that they will be able to consider these deeper meanings by joining a Buddhist community and volunteering their time to teach English. Buddhist travel and

Free access

Giving Aid Inside the Home

Humanitarian House Visits, Performative Refugeehood, and Social Control of Syrians in Jordan

Ann-Christin Wagner

volunteering as an interpreter for VIVA, 1 a grassroots Evangelical organization, that regularly delivered aid to Syrians’ houses. This day, I was part of a team of Europeans distributing second-hand clothes and food packages. After another one of these visits

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War and Memory

The Israeli Communist Commemoration of the Spanish Civil War, 1936–1986

Amir Locker-Biletzki

Eastern Europe, accompanied by rabid anti-Semitism, affected the lives of Jews in various ways. Some, who held leftist and anti-Fascist views, went to Spain. Among them were volunteers from Palestine, most of whom fought in the ranks of the International

Open access

The Case of Germany

Civil Society and Civic Activism in the Pandemic

Susann Worschech

based on the German Survey on Volunteering that is conducted and published on a five-year basis by the German Centre for Gerontology on behalf of the German Federal Ministry for Family Affairs, Senior Citizens, Women, and Youth. 5 In a second step, I

Open access

From Vulnerability to Trust

Personal Encounters and Bordering Processes in the British Refugees Welcome Movement

Pierre Monforte and Gaja Maestri

—defined as charity or humanitarian volunteers 1 —make sense of their encounters with refugees. Looking at the transformative dimension of these encounters ( Darling and Wilson 2016 ), we analyze how volunteers relate to government-led discourses and practices

Free access

Editorial

Lukas Ley and Nikolai Ssorin-Chaikov

operation’ in Ukraine. Control over the city was surrendered to the Russian military in May 2022. Volunteers provide survivors of a three-month-long siege with clothes, food, medicine and firewood – the latter being important as heavy bombardment and severe

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“Who Were You?”

Temporality and Intergenerational Empathy in Community Girlhood Studies

Sarah Winstanley and Alexe Bernier

women's lived experience and recognizes them as experts in their own lives ( Hurlock 2010 ; Women's Centre of Calgary 2020 ). The WCC is thus run primarily by volunteers who work collaboratively as peers with paid staff in an attempt to challenge expert