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Between Trauma and Healing

Tourism and Neoliberal Peace-Building in Divided Societies

John Nagle

Deeply divided societies that have undergone extreme civil violence are often framed as "collectively traumatized" or in a state of "melancholia." Such aetiologies support peace-building initiatives, which seek either to normalize society by forgetting the legacy of violence and starting anew or by engendering societal remembering to work through trauma and bring about societal healing and eventual "closure." Examining the case of Northern Ireland, this article considers how these discrepant processes regarding collective trauma have become bound with fierce ethnopolitical debates and counter-insurgency methods regarding how to promote the region to tourists. I argue that both approaches represent nostrums, which do little to support peace-building and are ultimately complementary with neoliberal designs concerning the relationship among tourism, economic prosperity and conflict-regulation. Discourses concerning "collective trauma" must therefore be viewed as political strategies to shape the nation, which are finally embodied in the tourist journey to "traumatized sites."

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An Arab University in the State of Israel

Challenges, Obstacles, and Possibilities

Nohad ‘Ali and Rima’a Da’as

The notion of having an Arab university in the State of Israel is exceedingly controversial, but also of great value and political and cultural significance. Can such a dream become a reality in a state that defines itself as Jewish, as well as democratic? This article discusses the vision of establishing an Arab university, including the previous attempts to establish one, the barriers and obstacles encountered, the reality of inequality of academic rights, and how this dream might actually be brought to fruition. The creation of an Arab university could represent an important step in serving the needs of Israel’s Arab citizens, promoting their status in the state, and protecting their identity, culture, and even existence.

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Sectarianism and Recognition in Iraq

From Consociationalism to Deliberation?

Nicolas Pirsoul

This article uses the theory of recognition to analyze sectarian conflicts in Iraq. After describing the sectarian and historical background of contemporary Iraqi politics, the article critiques the implementation of consociationalism and policies influenced by liberal multiculturalism in deeply divided societies. It argues that these policies lead to a dangerous reification of identities. The article argues that a progressive implementation of deliberative democracy practices could improve identity-related issues in Iraq and explains how democratic practices are legitimized by the most influential Islamic religious figure in Iraq.

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Guy Ben-Porat, Between State and Synagogue: The Secularization of Contemporary Israel Review by Netanel Fisher

Hanna Lerner, Making Constitutions in Deeply Divided Societies Review by Mordechai Kremnitzer

David Ohana, Israel and Its Mediterranean Identity Review by Sammy Smooha

Margalit Toledano and David McKie, Public Relations and Nation Building: Influencing Israel Review by Anat First

Myron J. Aronoff and Jan Kubik, Anthropology and Political Science: A Convergent Approach Review by Joel Migdal

Rachel S. Harris and Ranen Omer-Sherman, eds., Narratives of Dissent: War in Contemporary Israeli Arts and Culture Review by Tal Dekel

Yigal Zalmona, A Century of Israeli Art Review by Tal Dekel

Ilana Szobel, A Poetics of Trauma: The Work of Dahlia Ravikovitch Review by Eric Zakim

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Where Are the Minorities?

The Elusiveness of Multiculturalism and Positive Recognition in Sri Lankan History Textbooks

Anne Gaul

This article analyzes the representation of Sri Lanka's communities in history textbooks that are currently in use. Even before the end of the war in 2009, the education system was recognized as an instrument with which the country's divided society could be rebuilt. The issues addressed in this article concern a period in which ambitious educational reforms are being implemented that envision textbooks as a tool for the creation of a new generation of citizens in a postwar society. It reveals that the general lack of recognition of minority communities, and the negative representations of the Tamil community in particular, that appear in these textbooks are not compatible with the proclaimed vision of a multicultural yet integrated society. Instead of fostering social cohesion, these textbooks may deepen ethnic divides and stereotypes, and therefore thwart reconciliation and long-term peace.