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Timo Pankakoski and Antto Vihma

This article examines the concept and metaphor of fragmentation and its underlying assumptions in international law and global governance. After engaging with fragmentation historically, we analyze current debates through five conceptual perspectives. Fragmentation is oft en perceived as a process, a gradation, a process with a single direction, a prognosis, and normatively as either loss or liberation. These interlinked tendencies carry conceptual implications, such as making fragmentation apparently inevitable or provoking positive revaluations of fragmentation in terms of differentiation. Furthermore, the conceptual coupling of fragmentation with modernity enhances these effects with an historical thesis. Consequently, fragmentation appears as a ubiquitous and necessary, rather than contingent, feature of modern law—a conceptual implication that may hinder empirical work, and that merits critical analysis.

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Christianity and the City

Simmel, Space, and Urban Subjectivities

Anna Strhan

This article examines the growing scholarly interest in urban religion, situating the topic in relation to the contemporary analytical significance of cities as sites where processes of social change, such as globalization, transnationalism, and the influence of new media technologies, materialize in interrelated ways. I argue that Georg Simmel's writing on cities offers resources to draw out further the significance of “the urban” in this emerging field. I bring together Simmel's urban analysis with his approach to religion, focusing on Christianities and individuals' relations with sacred figures, and suggest this perspective opens up how forms of religious practice respond to experiences of cultural fragmentation in complex urban environments. Drawing on his analysis of individuals' engagement with the coherence of God, I explore conservative evangelicals' systems of religious intersubjectivity to show how attention to the social effects of relations with sacred figures can deepen understanding of the formation of urban religious subjectivities.

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Fabrizio Di Mascio and Alessandro Natalini

The modernization of the public administration has been one of the main objectives pursued by the Renzi government. What distinguishes the reform cycle launched in 2015 is the emphasis on centralization, unification, and the reduction of institutional fragmentation in the public sector after a long period in which autonomy and the organizational pluralism of administrations and government levels were enhanced. This reform strategy is consistent with the underlying trends of transformation in the political and institutional systems, in which the power of the prime minister has gradually increased. The actual impact of these reform measures, however, depends on concrete organizational instruments of subsequent implementing legislation in a context characterized by persistent spending cuts, which are necessary to maintain financial stability.

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Sex and Death in Quebec

Female AutobioBD and Julie Doucet's Changements d'adresses

Catriona MacLeod

In comparison to the U.S. market, the trend for autobiographical sequential art arrived late within the history of the francophone bande dessinée. Its rising popularity throughout the 1990s and into the new millennium coincided, and to an extent connected, with another belated development in the French-language industry however: that of the growing presence of the female artist. This article considers the strong presence of life narratives in bandes dessinées created by women, before presenting a case-study examining the manipulation of the medium to an autobiographical end in Québécoise artist Julie Doucet's 1998 Changements d'adresses ['Changes of Addresses']. It considers how, in this coming-of-age narrative set first in Montreal and then New York, Doucet utilises the formal specificity of the bande dessinée to emphasise both the fragmentation and then reintegration of her hybrid enunciating instances. It further examines Doucet's usage of the life-narrative bande dessinée to oppose her representation from that of the disruptive male figures in her life, whose sexual presence in her personal evolution is often connected to images of dysfunction and death, finally suggesting via this examination of Julie Doucet and Changements d'adresses the particular suitability of female-created life narratives to feminist reappropriations of the francophone bande dessinée.

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Francesco Raniolo

This chapter deals with the political crisis of the Italian center-right that started with the fall of the Berlusconi IV government and the 2013 general elections. In 2015, the struggle for leadership of the center-right took place between Matteo Salvini and Silvio Berlusconi, resulting in the reversal of the balance of power between Forza Italia and the Lega Nord. Based on election results and some electoral surveys, Lega Nord seems to have become the third party at the national level and, through a process of radicalization, also the party of the new Italian right. From an organizational point of view, Salvini’s leadership can be defined as a personalized and postmodern media leadership. The systemic risks of this scenario are the absence of a center-right party that can compete with the Partito Democratico led by Matteo Renzi, the growing fragmentation of the center-right, and the conflict between moderate and radical tendencies. All these factors challenge the return to an alternating democracy.

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Coalition Politics in Crisis?

The German Party System Before and After the 2017 Federal Election

Frank Decker and Philipp Adorf

The 2017 federal election illustrated the transformation of Germany’s political party system with six parties managing to enter the Bundestag. With the Christian and Social Democrats finally coming to an agreement almost half a year after the election, a grand coalition is set to govern for two consecutive terms for the very first time. The Alternative for Germany’s success also signaled the definite parliamentary establishment of right-wing populism in Germany. Multiparty coalitions that bridge ideological gulfs as the political fringe has grown in size are a new reality that must be accommodated. The 2017 election and subsequent arduous negotiations point towards a period of uncertainty and further upheaval for Germany’s party system.

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Adrienne Harris

This article examines Jonathan Caouette's Tarnation as a creative enterprise that opens up new ideas about documentary film and insights into working with new media. It considers how the making of this film worked as a prosthetic aspect to the filmmaker's identity and stability. In examining the interplay of sound, image, and written text, I note how Tarnation develops an artistic meditation on a number of important topics: the representation of trauma, the abstract and formal means of expressing the fragility of survival, the damage to memory and to identity that family dys-function causes, the technical demands of creating narratives of broken and contested lives. The material in the film and its mode of composition from the perspective of psychoanalytic studies of mourning, gay performance and identity, gender dysphoria and its relation to loss, and artistic projects as acts of healing are also considered.

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Renaud Chavanne

In this article, I set out to establish the principles underlying the composition of images on the comics page, not by predetermining in advance what such principles might be, but by empirical investigation of the works of artists. I arrive at three major categories of page composition: to the terms 'regular' and 'rhetorical', used respectively by Thierry Groensteen and Benoît Peeters, I add the category of 'semiregular', the transformation of a regular composition as the effect of merging or splitting of panels. However, in both rhetorical and semiregular compositions, panels within the same strip may be vertically aligned according to a further principle that I designate as 'fragmentation'. I propose a notation system to account for patterns produced by fragmentation, including second- (and nth-) degree fragmentation, whereby a vertically aligned panel is split into two (or more) horizontally aligned ones, one or more of which may then be vertically split and so on. The article ends with a consideration and critique of the work of Groensteen, Peeters and Neil Cohn on page composition.

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Gustavo Lins Ribeiro

Public higher education has been strangled in Brazil by personnel policies, fragmentation through privatisation and competition with a growing private sector. Central to the productivist turn in Brazil is the annual 'CAPES report' which ranks departments and determines their funding. The Forum of Executive Officers of Graduate Programs in Anthropology was created, years ago, to discuss problems regarding anthropology's teaching and research. Its efficacy depends on the political skills of its members to influence interlocutors. We need to understand the sociology of change around us and the power structures of the agencies structuring our field of action to be able to propose solutions.

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Frank Decker

The recent federal elections refuted a number of established hypotheses on the development of the German party system and contradicted the electoral strategies of nearly all parties involved. The outcome was neither a further fragmentation of the parliamentary landscape nor the unavoidable establishment of a grand coalition. On the contrary, in most cases, the respective parties failed as a result of their own mistakes in selecting adequate campaign issues, strategies and/or candidates. Aside from party-specific questions, such as the trajectories of both the AfD and the FDP, the future of the German party system seems largely dependent on the relationships between the three left-of-center parties at the federal level.