Coal was once deemed a means through which humans could distance themselves from nature and create a world of unending progress. The “fateful union of iron and coal,” as noted by Max Weber (quoted in Foster and Holleman 2012: 1646 ), fueled the
Erin R. Eldridge
The Difficult Politics of German Coal
Tessa Coggio and Thane Gustafson
This article considers Germany’s contentious exit from brown coal (lignite), now set for 2038. While greener alternatives, such as wind, solar, or natural gas have been reducing coal’s standing in Germany’s energy mix for years, coal proponents, backed by special interests, have pushed back at all levels of government. With a focus on the politics of coal during the 2017 parliamentary elections, the tedious months of coalition negotiations and the work of the coal committee since summer 2018, we explore how policymakers try to reconcile competing interests at the federal state, local, as well as international levels.
Greed Accusations in an Australian Coal Mining Town
In Australian mining towns like Moranbah, relationships between labour, capital and the state have long been defined by struggles over housing amidst cascading cycles of boom and bust linking global commodity markets to local real estate. Most recently, the emergence of ‘fly-in-fly-out’ labour arrangements, partially in response to rampant real estate speculation, have challenged mine workers’ rights to housing and community. Focusing on the schadenfreude that accompanied the public vilification of one failed, small-time real estate speculator as a case study who is contrasted with the figure of the Cashed-up-Bogan, this article shows how accusations of greed are mobilized to political effect. While greed’s tendency to emerge discursively as an accusation might make it seem like an attractive critical discourse, its putative connections to embodiment and the visceral give it an individualizing tendency that allows it to be wielded more easily against persons than institutions, undermining broader structural critiques.
Michael Shnayerson. Coal River: How a Few Brave Americans Took on a Powerful Company—and the Federal Government—to Save the Land They Love. New York: Farrar, Strauss and Giroux, 2008.
Jeff Goodell. Big Coal: The Dirty Secret Behind America’s Energy Future. New York: Houghton Mifflin, 2007.
Silas House and Jason Howard. Something’s Rising: Appalachians Fighting Mountaintop Removal. Lexington: University Press of Kentucky, 2009.
The coal industry exercises a pervasive influence upon mining communities in Appalachia even though it makes minimal contributions to employment. Miners rarely participate in movements that fight against coal companies for better working conditions. One explanation for this paradox is the depletion of social capital. In this article, I first use the existing body of literature to build a theoretical framework for discussing bonding social capital. Second, I analyze how the United Mine Workers of America in Harlan County, Kentucky at the beginning of the twentieth century worked to generate social capital. The results show that these coalfield residents demonstrated a high degree of social capital in terms of a strong shared sense of reliability and a dedication to collective activities and intimate networks. The union during that period engaged in strategies that were instrumental in creating this high level of social capital: holding regular meetings, organizing collective actions, promoting collective identity, and electing charismatic leaders.
Noces de diamant ou chronique d'un divorce annoncé?
The proposal of 9 May 1950 by Robert Schuman to put coal and steel industries under a common High Authority was a signal of reconciliation with the new Germany. General de Gaulle, in spite of his opposition to the federal perspective, decided to implement the Treaty of Rome (1957) establishing a common market between France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Belgium, and Luxembourg. The French presidents and the German chancellors maintained a strong relationship despite differences of views about British application, NATO, trade and monetary policies, institutional development and, more recently, the consequences of the collapse of the Soviet empire.
Ana Horta, Harold Wilhite, Luísa Schmidt, and Françoise Bartiaux
Energy consumption inconspicuously bridges nature and culture. Modern societies and cultures depend on intensive energy use from the extraction of natural resources. In fact, the industrialization process required large amounts of energy, but main sources such as oil and coal, have been gradually depleted and found to be heavily polluting the environment. Despite their environmental impacts, these resources have provided cheap and abundant power to fuel technological progress and economic growth. (See Agustoni and Maretti  for a good historical summary of the relations between energy production and usages.)
Are the Founding Ideas Obsolete?
Isabelle Petit and George Ross
On 9 May 1950, in an elegant salon of the Quai d’Orsay in Paris, France’s Foreign Minister Robert Schuman proposed that France and Germany, plus any other democratic nation in Western Europe that wanted to join, establish a “community” to regulate and govern the coal and steel industries across national borders. France and Germany had been at, or preparing for, war for most of the nineteenth and twentieth century, at huge costs to millions of citizens. Moreover, in 1950 iron and steel remained central to national economic success and war-making power. The Schuman Plan therefore clearly spoke to deeper issues.
The Federal Legacy of the Schuman Declaration
The purpose of the article is to establish and assess the significance of the federal legacy of the Schuman Declaration (9 May 1950) in the evolution of postwar European integration. To this end it provides a sharp focus upon the political strategy of Jean Monnet and his active role in promoting the cause of a federal Europe. His approach to the building of Europe is outlined and its direct relationship to the Schuman Declaration, which he wrote, is explored. Monnet's conception of Europe is confirmed as federal and the author draws upon the theoretical concepts of supranationalism and intergovernmentalism in order to demonstrate precisely how Europe's first construction, the European Coal and Steel Community (ECSC) created in 1951, was illustrative of a distinctly new and unprecedented form of European integration. The conclusion confirms this to be incremental federalization.
A scorpion, its poisonous tail torn out, runs desperate circles around a piece of burning coal. A small boy sits in front of a screen, watching a film of a play translated from one language he does not understand into another. Twenty-five years later, these two events – an upper- Egyptian game, a Russian film of an English play – coalesce into a one-act play called Dance of the Scorpions, an Arabic-language offshoot of Shakespeare’s Hamlet. This, at any rate, is the simple etiology offered by the offshoot play’s creator, Egyptian playwright/ director Mahmoud Aboudoma. Let me summarise Aboudoma’s offshoot play and two versions of his first Shakespeare encounter before pointing to the larger questions these stories help to frame. This article will then make a start at addressing those questions.