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The Urban Politics of Mega-Events

Grand Promises Meet Local Resistance

John Lauermann

This article reviews recent scholarship on the urban politics of mega-events. Mega-events have long been promoted as drivers of urban development, based on their potential to generate beneficial legacies for host cities. Yet the mega-event industry is increasingly struggling to find cities willing to host. Political arguments that promote mega-events to host cities include narratives about mega-event legacy—the potential for events to generate long-term benefits—and mega-event leveraging—the idea that cities can strategically link event planning to other policy agendas. In contrast, the apparent decline in interest among potential host cities stems from two political shifts: skepticism toward the promises made by boosters, and the emergence of new kinds of protest movements. The article analyzes an example of largely successful opposition to mega-events, and evaluates parallels between the politics of mega-events and those of other urban megaprojects.

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A "Safe Space" to Debate Colonial Legacy

The University of Cambridge Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology and the Campaign to Return a Looted Benin Altarpiece to Nigeria

Johanna Zetterstrom-Sharp and Chris Wingfield

In February 2016, students at Jesus College, Cambridge voted unanimously to repatriate to Nigeria a bronze cockerel looted during the violent British expedition into Benin City in 1897. The college, however, decided to temporarily relocate Okukor to the University’s Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology. This article outlines the discussions that occurred during this process, exploring how the Museum was positioned as a safe space in which uncomfortable colonial legacies, including institutionalized racism and cultural patrimony rights, could be debated. We explore how a stated commitment to postcolonial dialogue ultimately worked to circumvent a call for postcolonial action. Drawing on Ann Stoler’s and Elizabeth Edwards’s discussions of colonial aphasia, this article argues that anthropology museums risk enabling such circumvention despite confronting their own institutional colonial legacies.

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Francis Abiola Irele

This essay examines the centrality of Aimé Césaire's work in the emergence of a black poetic and intellectual discourse in French, and his influence, in terms both of theme and idiom, on generations of Francophone writers, an influence that can be discerned in the work of Tchikaya u Tamsi, Jean-Baptiste Tati-Loutard, Lamine Sall and Sylvie Kandé in Africa, and Frantz Fanon, Edouard Glissant, René Depestre, and Daniel Maximin in the French Caribbean region. The relationship of Césaire's work to the Créolité movement is discussed, as is the impact of his work on Anglophone Caribbean writers, such as Kamau Brathwaite of Barbados and Lansana Sekou of St Martin, as evidence of the enduring legacy of his work.

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Mark A. Wolfgram

Bill Niven, Facing the Nazi Past: United Germany and the Legacy of the Third Reich (London: Routledge, 2002)

Siobhan Kattago, Ambiguous Memory: The Nazi Past and German National Identity (Praeger: Westport, Conn., 2001)

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A Struggle for the Preservation of a German-Jewish Legacy

The Foundation of the Leo Baeck Institute in New York

Ruth Nattermann

This article focuses on the role German rabbis such as Adolf Kober and Max Gruenewald played within the founding history of the Leo Baeck Institute. I will concentrate on the creation of the institute's branch in America, where the first initiatives for a German-Jewish research enterprise had their origin. The article tries to explain the intentions behind the various projects that eventually led to the foundation of the Leo Baeck Institute in 1955, and asks in what ways the founders meant to preserve and transmit a German-Jewish legacy. Since this process was embedded in the negotiations of German-Jewish émigré groups with Jewish world organizations such as Jewish Cultural Reconstruction and Claims Conference for the necessary funds, I will view the founding history of the Leo Baeck Institute in New York as a history of conflicts. My contention is that the long-lasting struggle for a preservation and transmission of a German-Jewish legacy in America reflected to a considerable extent the deeper conflict between Eastern European and German Jewry, between tradition and modernity, and was ultimately an expression of a German-Jewish identity that the refugee rabbis defended vehemently against their ideological opponents.

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Alex Link

Although a fluid concept, ‘psychogeography’ retains consistent themes from its Lettrist and Situationist beginnings to its present-day British vogue. Despite this commonality, some of psychogeography’s key elements are absent from From Hell’s fourth chapter, which dominates discussions of it with respect to Alan Moore’s comics. Psychogeography is better represented by several other elements in From Hell in light of its consistent semiotic and political themes. Furthermore, new ways of reading spatial relations in Moore’s other work, such as Watchmen, appear when one considers psychogeography in a manner consistent with its history. A preliminary analysis of the role of psychogeography, as constructed in light of its French legacy in these two graphic novels, reveals deep structural similarities between them. These similarities include a celebration of the everyday citizen, comparable to the Situationist psychogeographers’ own rejection of fine art as a specialised cultural category removed from the aesthetic practice of everyday urban life.

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Society, Morality, Embodiment

Tracing Durkheim's Legacy

Sondra L. Hausner

This issue of Durkheimian Studies presents the collective efforts of the participants of a workshop held in late 2017, the centenary anniversary of Émile Durkheim’s death, at the University of Oxford. The articles that emerged from it, published together in this special issue for the first time along with some new material, demonstrate a continuation of classic Durkheimian themes, but with contemporary approaches. First, they consider the role of action in the production of society. Second, they rely on authors’ own ethnographies: the contributors here engage with Durkheimian questions from the data of their own fieldsites. Third, effervescence, one of Durkheim’s most innovative contributions to sociology, is considered in depth, and in context: how do societies sustain themselves over time? Finally, what intellectual histories did Durkheim himself draw upon – and how can we better understand his conceptual contributions in light of these influences?

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Jeffrey Kopstein and Daniel Ziblatt

A core lesson of Germany's federal election of September 2005 is the enduring legacy of the communist past in East Germany, a legacy that substantially shapes politics in unified Germany. Fifteen years after unification, the crucial difference in German politics still lies in the East. The 2005 election demonstrated the enduring east-west divide in German party politics. The result is that Germany today has two coherent party systems, one in the East and one in the West. Combined, however, they produce incoherent outcomes. Any party that hopes to win at the federal level must perform well in the very different circumstances in the East.

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Jeffrey Herf

The legacies of almost a half-century of divided memory continue to

influence commemoration of the Holocaust in unified Germany.

Because these practices were decisively shaped by the multiple

restorations of past political traditions in the early postwar period, I

will comment on the commemorations of the first two postwar

decades in East and West Germany and conclude with brief remarks

about how past legacies influence recent practices. I will examine

the significance of the Holocaust in these events compared to the

attention given to the suffering of Nazi Germany’s non-Jewish victims.

I will also consider the extent to which distinctions were made

among the various victims of Nazi Germany, the kind of hierarchies

that were established among them, and the use of commemoration

for political purposes.

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Francesco Clementi

This chapter describes the main events regarding the election of the president of the Republic and the legacy of Napolitano's presidency. The general elections of February 2013 resulted in political deadlock, with no party being able to form a government. In this context, the re-election of Napolitano was the key to finding a way to form a new government based on a “grand coalition” of opposing parties. This is the main reason why the presidential election stands out in importance in Italian politics in 2013. In his role as president, Napolitano focused on the necessity to achieve constitutional and political reforms through a widespread and solid agreement among disparate political forces, even if it meant breaking ideological taboos and overcoming vast political differences. This central achievement of Napolitano's new presidency adds to the legacy created in his preceding one.