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Human Connection in the Light of the Writings of Karl Marx and Amartya Sen

An Investigation Using Franz Kafka's Metamorphosis and Manik Bandyopadhyay's Ekannoborti

Simantini Mukhopadhyay

readings of Marx's depiction of class. Amartya Sen, who has perhaps been the best-known contemporary economist to study the problem of transcending self-interest, draws on Marx's idea of human freedom as the ultimate end but rejects any idea of antagonism

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Cooperative Antagonism in Development Research

A Perspective From Bangladesh

Manzurul Mannan

Development research in Bangladesh creates friction in projects among various stakeholders—donors, NGOs, managers, researchers or the poor beneficiaries. Research is an element of power relations among the contending actors. The mutually reinforcing relations of power between different actors determine the quality and outcomes of research. All the contending actors' aims may be to serve the poor by promoting development in order to alleviate poverty, but cooperation between them becomes a source of antagonism that can seriously hamper the promotion of local knowledge issues, which become lost in the ensuing differences of opinion and aims.

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Rafael Guendelman Hales


“Objects Removed for Study” is a creative remaking of a fraction of the Library of Ashurbanipal (part of the Assyrian collection of the British Museum) by a group of women from the Iraqi Community Association in London. Inspired by the main role of the library as a guide for the Assyrian king Ashurbanipal, and considering the current situation in Iraq, the women were invited to rewrite and re-create a series of ceramic books and artifacts. This project aims to critically rethink both the identity and the role of these old artifacts in the articulation of new sensitivities and possibilities in today's context of displacement.

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The Merchant ON Venice [Boulevard, Los Angeles], Chicago, 2007

Universalizing Shakespeare’s Play after the Holocaust

Michael Shapiro

Jewish-Christian conflict onto other ethnic or religious antagonisms. (1) The first strategy, continuing , means perpetuating the Victorian tradition of playing Shylock as a dignified human being capable of evoking sympathetic engagement. Before that

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Maria Ferretti and Enzo Rossi

Agonist theorists have argued against deliberative democrats that democratic institutions should not seek to establish a rational consensus, but rather allow political disagreements to be expressed in an adversarial form. But democratic agonism is not antagonism: some restriction of the plurality of admissible expressions is not incompatible with a legitimate public sphere. However, is it generally possible to grant this distinction between antagonism and agonism without accepting normative standards in public discourse that saliently resemble those advocated by (some) deliberative democrats? In this paper we provide an analysis of one important aspect of political communication, the use of slippery-slope arguments, and show that the fact of pluralism weakens the agonists' case for contestation as a sufficient ingredient for appropriately democratic public discourse. We illustrate that contention by identifying two specific kinds of what we call pluralism slippery slopes, that is, mechanisms whereby pluralism reinforces the efficacy of slippery-slope arguments.

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High Comics Art

The Louvre and the Bande Dessinée

Margaret C. Flinn

This article concerns the eight albums currently available in a series of bandes dessinées commissioned by the Louvre from established, well-respected bédéistes and co-published with Futuropolis since 2005. This successful, high-profile series has elicited positive critical response, but that response has also exposed persistent mutual antagonisms between bande dessinée and the establishment art world as represented by the Louvre Museum. These tensions between 'high' and 'low' culture can be read within the narratives of the albums themselves, in which we see reflexivity used to highlight bande dessinée's artistic value, and various types of obstruction and sensory impairments (realist and supernatural) are used to disrupt quotidian relationships to museum space.

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Danny Burkeman

In 1947, at the Second Conference of the International Council of Christians and Jews, the Christian participants published a document known as ‘The Ten Points of Seelisberg’. This document was addressed to the churches, as a result of having ‘recently witnessed an outburst of antisemitism, which has led to the persecution, and extermination of millions of Jews’ (ICCJ 1947). This can be considered the first Christian statement on Judaism prompted by the Holocaust, and as such one of the triggers in the development of Jewish–Christian relations that has taken place since that tragedy. As David Fox Sandmel has noted, ‘The Shoah…has provided a moral imperative for Jews and Christians to move beyond traditional antagonisms’ (Frymer-Kensky, Novak, Ochs, Sandmel and Signer 2000: 367). Since the Holocaust, there has been increased dialogue between Jews and Christians, as well as increased scholarship in the field, and many statements relating to it.

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Stephen Kalberg

The process of social integration between eastern and western Germans has been significantly slowed by unexpectedly severe tensions along two major axes: the tempo of life and work on the one hand, and interaction patterns on the other. Although distinct explanations for the antagonisms have been offered by easterners and westerners, they share a number of similar weaknesses: a tendency to look outward toward the putative weaknesses of “the other,” a failure to provide multidirectional and broadly multicausal explanations, and a neglect of the manner in which single factors are embedded contextually in configurations of forces. Articulating a series of arguments in opposition to all unidirectional, monocausal, and acontextual modes of analysis, and emphasizing the importance of bringing values, customs, and conventions into the debate, this study calls for an expansion of the parameters of the explanatory framework and a greater acknowledgment of the complexities of east/west social integration.

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Peter O'Brien

This article analyzes the most influential weltanschauungen at play in the politics of immigration in Europe. I categorize relevant value judgments into what I, following Theodore Lowi, call "public philosophies." I highlight three competing public philosophies in the politics of immigration in Europe: 1) liberalism; 2) nationalism; and 3) postmodernism. Liberalism prescribes universal rights protecting the autonomy of the individual, as well as rational and democratic procedures (rules of the game) to govern the pluralism that inevitably results in free societies. Against liberalism, nationalism stresses community and cultural homogeneity in addition to a political structure designed to protect both. Rejecting both liberalism and nationalism, postmodernism posits insurmountable relativism and irreducible cultural heterogeneity accompanied by ultimately irrepressible political antagonism. I examine the three outlooks through a case study of the headscarf debate. The article concludes with consideration of how normative ideas combine with other factors to influence policymaking.

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Antagonistic Insights

Evolving Soviet Atheist Critiques of Religion and Why They Matter for Anthropology

Sonja Luehrmann

This article offers a critique of the common notion in contemporary anthropology that a positive attitude toward the people under study is a necessary precondition for a sophisticated understanding of their social world. The empirical sociology of religion that evolved during the last decades of the Soviet Union's existence started from the premise that religion was a harmful phenomenon slated for disappearance. Nonetheless, atheist sociologists produced increasingly complex accounts of religious life in modern socialist societies. Their ideological framework simultaneously constrained Soviet scholars and forced them to pay closer attention to religious phenomena that contradicted political expectations. Drawing on this extreme example of militant atheist scholarship, I argue that studying 'repugnant cultural others' always requires some form of affective motivation. Antagonism can be as powerful, and as problematic, a motivating force as empathetic suspension of judgment.