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Impolite Interventions?

English Satirical Prints in the Presence of the Academy, c. 1750–1780

Danielle Thom

This article examines the reciprocity between satirical and academic modes of image making, and locates that relationship within the context of an emergent bourgeois public sphere. The cultural and commercial imperatives of that sphere enabled its inhabitants to engage with conflicting modes of cultural output, consuming grotesque and bawdy satire as an exercise in political autonomy, while simultaneously emulating 'elite' politeness. In particular, the commercial growth and increasing visibility of satirical prints challenged the polite hierarchy of art as it was understood by the nascent academies and societies of art established in the same period. This process of establishment needs to be re-framed in the context of satirical intervention, and will be examined via two paintings that provoked distinct satirical responses: Benjamin West's The Death of Wolfe and Francis Hayman's The See-Saw. Correspondingly, satirical print culture itself can be reframed in light of its use (and parody) of academic visual tropes and techniques.

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Jonathan Skinner

I am pleased to present five articles in this special issue of Anthropology in Action. They show a lively, challenging and engaged set of interventions that cross social and applied anthropology boundaries, doing so through combined arts health practices. That many of them take place in Northern Ireland and are propelled by anthropology graduates is an additional boon to a challenging and economically deprived part of the U.K. Three – Raw, McCaffery, Zeindlinger – were originally presented at the Arts Care 21st anniversary conference held in Belfast, ‘Sustainable Creativity in Healthcare’, May 2012. They represent work by publicly engaged anthropologists, a number living, working and practising in Northern Ireland. Other presenters from the conference could not join us but were also anthropologists practising anthropo - anthropologically informed community-relations work in Northern Ireland on deprived and segregated estates(Emma Graham) and in creative dance choreography with special needs and third-age performers (Lauren Guyer). Not so ‘half-baked’ applied anthropology, to challenge Lucy Mair’s (1969: 8) original castigation of such intervention work.

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Michael W. Doyle

In a widely cited and controversial speech, UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan highlighted the moral character of the boundaries of political sovereignty when he questioned whether respecting national sovereignty everywhere and always precluded the international protection of human rights. He argued that it did not and highlighted the importance of multilateral authorization. In this article, I explore the difference that multilateral authority, as opposed to unilateral national decision, should make in justifying armed intervention. Should the more salient role of the United Nations lead us to a more expansive tolerance of international intervention? And, if multilateralism does make a difference—and many think its impartiality is key—are good intentions enough? Had the international community also discovered how to intervene more effectively, with a better prospect of self-sustaining self-determination, at an acceptable humanitarian cost? I will conclude that multilateralism should widen our acceptance of intervention, even though the intentions at play are not reliably superior to unilateral intentions.

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Osvaldo Croci and Marco Valigi

The uprising against Colonel Muammar Gaddafi was part of the “Arab

Spring,” a wave of demonstrations that began at the end of 2010 and

led, in a short space of time, to the fall of regimes in Tunisia and

Egypt; uprisings in Syria, Yemen, and Bahrain; and street protests in a

number of other Arab countries. Following the collapse of the ruling

administrations in neighboring Tunisia and Egypt on 14 January and 11

February, respectively, street protests against Gaddafi began in Libya.

The violent reaction of the Libyan regime led to uprisings throughout

the country. On 27 February, anti-Gaddafi forces established a provisional

government, known as the National Transitional Council (NTC),

in Benghazi. The ensuing civil war resulted in the intervention of a

NATO-led coalition to enforce United Nations (UN) Security Council

Resolution 1973, which provided for the establishment of a no-fly zone

to protect civilians. From their stronghold in eastern Libya, the anti-

Gaddafi forces, aided by NATO air cover and air strikes, slowly took

control of the rest of the country. They captured Tripoli on 28 August

and then moved against the remaining pro-Gaddafi forces in northeastern

Libya. Gaddafi’s last stand in his hometown of Sirte ended on 20

October, when he was captured and killed.

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Diane Duclos, Sylvain L. Faye, Tidiane Ndoye and Loveday Penn-Kekana

The notion of performance has become dominant in health programming, whether being embodied through pay-for-performance schemes or through other incentive-based interventions. In this article, we seek to unpack the idea of performance and performing in a dialogical fashion between field-based evaluation findings and methodological considerations. We draw on episodes where methodological reflections on performing ethnography in the field of global health intersect with findings from the everyday practices of working under performance-based contracts in the Senegalese supply chain for family planning. While process evaluations can be used to understand contextual factors influencing the implementation of an intervention, we as anthropologists in and of contemporary global health have an imperative to explore and challenge categories of knowledge and practice. Making room for new spaces of possibilities to emerge means locating anthropology within qualitative global health research.

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Marilyn Strathern

This stimulating collection puts agriculture into current conversations on the Anthropocene. In particular it relates, as an effect of the impetus toward defining responsibility, the contemporary sense of urgency that makes “us” find new reasons for thinking of humankind as a whole. The articles carefully unpick this holism, both in terms of people’s varying relations to the circumstances of cultivation or marketing and in terms of populations being divided through offsetting or knowledge-distribution strategies. It is a small extrapolation to observe that the same must be true of the particularity of crops: no more than persons can they be lumped together.

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Medical Ethnography over Time

Penetrating “the fog of health” in a Nigerian community, 1970–2017

Murray Last

Too often, research into the health of a particular community is brief and superficial, focusing only on what is public and leaving the private health of women and children ‘foggy’. By contrast, long-term anthropology can offer access to processes taking place within a local culture of illness. Here, an account of a community’s experience of health over the past 50 years not only outlines the key changes as seen anthropologically but also shows how even close ethnography can initially miss important data. Furthermore, the impact of a researcher – both as a guest and as a source of interference – underlines how complex fieldwork can be in reality, especially if seen through the eyes of the researcher’s hosts.

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Adaptation Lived as a Story

Why We Should Be Careful about the Stories We Use to Tell Other Stories

Nicole Klenk

Within the field of climate change adaptation research, “stories” are usually simply mined for data, developed as communication and engagement technologies, and used to envision different futures. But there are other ways of understanding people’s narratives. This article explores how we can move away from understanding stories as cultural constructs that represent a reality and toward understanding them as the way in which adaptation is lived. The article investigates questions such as the following: As climate adaptation researchers, what can and should we do when we are told unsolicited stories? How can storytelling, as a way of life rather than as a source of data, inform and elaborate scientific approaches to adaptation research and planning? In this article, I move away from the literature that seeks to develop narrative methods in adaptation science. Instead, I focus on stories that we do not elicit and the world-making practice of storytelling.

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Alain Corbin

Vous admettrez aisément que je n’ai pas manqué d’éprouver, au cours de ces deux journées, un sentiment mêlé de surprise et d’étrangeté. Étant loin d’estimer mon travail digne d’une telle attention, je suis très touché du regard porté sur lui par l’ensemble des participants à cette réunion. Cela dit, Priscilla Ferguson nous a proposé une explication de l’intérêt paradoxal suscité par mes travaux: la Frenchness de mes French Stories ferait que mes livres plaisent aux lecteurs anglo-saxons, ou les agacent.

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Andrew Fiala

What has come to be known as ‘the Bush Doctrine’ is an idealistic approach to international relations that imagines a world transformed by the promise of democracy and that sees military force as an appropriate means to utilize in pursuit of this goal. The Bush Doctrine has been described in various ways. It has been called ‘democratic realism,’ ‘national security liberalism,’ ‘democratic globalism,’ and ‘messianic universalism’.1 Another common claim is that this view is ‘neoconservative’.2 In what follows I will employ the term ‘neoconservative’ as a convenient and commonly accepted name for the ideas that underlie the Bush Doctrine. The Bush Doctrine has been expressed in numerous speeches by President Bush and members of his administration.3 It is stated in the policy of the National Security Strategy of the United States.4 And it was employed in the invasion of Iraq. The hopeful aspiration of the Bush Doctrine is that democratization will result in peace.