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María de Lourdes Sierra Kobeh

*Full article is in Spanish

English abstract: In this paper the author makes a preliminary assessment of the course so far taken by the so called Arab Spring and the many obstacles and challenges it has faced. Despite the high expectations that these social protest movements have generated, especially for their transformative potential, she argues that real or meaningful reforms have not been achieved so far, despite the fall of several dictators and the persistent social protests. The author stresses in particular the conditions in each of the countries in this region and the increasing external interference in the affairs of this region that allow foreign powers to exploit domestic situations to their advantage, a phenomenon not new, dating from the disintegration of the Ottoman Empire and the formation of modern nation-states in the Arab world. She proposes to analyze these movements in the light of a broader historical perspective to help us understand the full extent and complexity of the processes that are taking place in this strategic region, as these social protest movements have been present throughout the years, with periods of progress and setbacks, within a complex and long process marked by internal quarrels, regional rivalries, and strong external interference.

Spanish abstract: En este trabajo, la autora hace un balance preliminar sobre el curso que hasta ahora ha tomado la llamada “primavera árabe“ y los múltiples obstáculos y desafíos que ésta ya está enfrentando. Sostiene que, a pesar de las grandes expectativas que estos movimientos de protesta social han generado, sobre todo por su potencial transformador, no se han logrado hasta ahora reformas reales o significativas, a pesar de la caída de varios dictadores y la persistencia de las protestas sociales. Destaca en particular las condiciones existentes en cada uno de los países de la región y la creciente interferencia externa en los asuntos de la región que permite a las potencias extranjeras aprovechar las situaciones internas en su propio beneficio, un fenómeno nada nuevo, que data de la desintegración del Imperio Otomano y la conformación de los modernos Estados nacionales del mundo árabe. Propone, asimismo, analizar dichos movimientos a la luz de una perspectiva histórica más amplia, que nos ayude a comprender en toda su magnitud y complejidad los procesos que se están desarrollando en esta estratégica región, ya que estos movimientos de protesta social no son del todo nuevos. Han estado presentes a todo lo largo de estos años, con períodos de avances y retrocesos, dentro de un proceso complejo y prolongado, marcado por luchas internas, rivalidades regionales y una fuerte interferencia externa.

French abstract: Dans cet essai, l'auteur fait un compte rendu préliminaire sur le chemin pris par ce qui a été nommé « Le printemps arabe », ainsi que les multiples obstacles et défis auxquels ce phénomène à été confronté. Il met particulièrement en relief, les conditions dans lesquelles ce phénomène est survenu dans chaque pays de la région, ainsi que l'ingérence croissante des puissances étrangères dans les affaires internes des pays concernés et dont les agissements lors de la crise feront d'eux les principaux bénéficiaires. Un phénomène qui n'est pas nouveau et qui date de la chute de l'Empire ottoman et de la naissance des États-nation du monde arabe. En même temps, cet article se propose d'analyser ces mouvements sous l'angle d'une perspective historique plus étendue a fin d'offrir une meilleure compréhension de la magnitude et de la complexité des processus qui se développent dans ce e région stratégique, puisque tous ces mouvements de protestation sociale ne sont pas nouveaux. Ces mouvements ont été présents tout au long de ces années où il y a eu des périodes positives et aussi négatives dans le cadre d'un processus complexe et d'une longue durée, marqué par des lu es internes, des rivalités régionales et une forte intervention externe.

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The Poetics of Anti-Americanism in Greece

Rhetoric, Agency, and Local Meaning

Elisabeth Kirtsoglou and Dimitrios Theodossopoulos

In this article we examine the content and rationale of anti-Americanism in Greece, drawing ethnographic information from two urban centers, Patras and Volos. We pay special attention to the conspiracy theory attributes of this rhetoric, and, instead of dismissing it or seeing it primarily as a manifestation of nationalist thinking, we attempt to unpack the threads of meaning that make it so appealing in local contexts. We look in particular at the etiology of blame within this particular discourse and try to explain the specific readings of history and politics that make it significant in local contexts. We argue that Greek anti-Americanism has an empowering potential for local actors, as it provides them with a certain degree of discursive agency over wider political processes that are beyond their immediate control.

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Posthumous Rescue

The Shafia Young Women as Worthy Victims

Yasmin Jiwani

This article focuses on the coverage of the murders of the young Shafia women. Based on an analysis of the coverage published in The Globe and Mail (July 2009 to March 2012), I argue that the young women were constructed as exceptional and worthy victims of a particularly heinous crime—honor killing—allegedly imported from Afghanistan by the Shafia patriarch. I interrogate the different threads that were interwoven to construct these young women's representations to make them intelligible as girls and young women. Within the coverage, the trope of culture clash anchored in an Orientalist framing worked to consolidate their representations as worthy victims and re-inscribe the national imaginary of Canadian society as egalitarian, tolerant and beyond gender violence. These different maneuvers served to accomplish a kind of posthumous rescue in a domestic context akin to the strategies of rescue implemented by Western powers in the War on Terror to save Afghan women.

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“A Land of Limitless Possibilities”

British Commerce and Trade in Siberia in the Early Twentieth Century

Janet Hartley

This article looks at the prospects and the reality of British commercial activity in Siberia in the early twentieth century, before the outbreak of World War I, and is based on contemporary comments by travelers, businessmen, and commercial agents. Contemporaries agreed that the dynamic Siberian economy opened up opportunities for British exports and trade. British firms, however, lagged behind commercial rivals, in particular in Germany, and the United States. The article explores the reasons for this and also looks at the subjects of the British Empire who went to Siberia and the conditions under which they worked. The article demonstrates the vibrancy of Siberian economic development in this period and the active participation of Western powers in this process.