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Marjo de Theije

Based on research in Brazil, the author discusses three local situations of conflict and social protest, using a transnational perspective. She concentrates on the use of universal claims of Catholicism in local negotiations of religious change under the influence of different cultural campaigns. The clashes in question are divided into those involving local political problems and those concerning the religious domain itself. The analysis shows that in each of the cases—albeit with different intensity and outcome—the interconnection between translocal processes and the meaning and experience of locality has a significant role in the power plays and the formulations of religious or social protest in the local context.

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Sonia Bussu and Maria Tullia Galanti

In 2014, Italian local government was affected by two key events: the passage of the Delrio law, which drastically reforms areabased government (i.e., provinces, municipal unions, and metropolitan cities) in the expectation that future constitutional reform will eliminate provinces entirely, and the rationalization program drawn up by Carlo Cottarelli, the special commissioner for the review of expenditure, which has profoundly affected the role of local authorities in owning and operating public utilities companies. This chapter traces the processes that led to these two reforms and, in doing so, elucidates the factors that motivated each reform.

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Local cross-border cooperation at the European Union's external border

The meaning of local in the European Neighbourhood Policy

Andrey Demidov and Sara Svensson

English abstract: The article examines a key priority in European Union policy toward the east and south: the effort to turn the external border areas into secure, stable, and prospering regions via support for cross-border cooperation. This features highly in a range of policies brought together under the European Neighbourhood Policy and in the partnership with Russia. The main question asked by the article is if these policies live up to the goal of involving local actors. Based on a content analysis of program documents and a categorization of project partners by actor type, the article argues that the notion of "local" can be subject to various understandings, but if we understand local versus regional along the lines of the European Nomenclature of Territorial Units for Statistics (NUTS) classification, the policy in practice is undoubtedly tilted toward regional rather than local cross-border cooperation. In addition, the article argues that the four objectives of the European Neighbourhood and Partnership Instrument-Cross Border Cooperation (ENPI-CBC) do not match what could realistically be achieved with the resources available.

Spanish abstract: El artículo examina una prioridad clave en la política de la Unión Europea hacia el este y el sur: el esfuerzo de convertir las zonas fronterizas exteriores en regiones seguras, estables y prósperas a través del apoyo a la cooperación transfronteriza. Este tema es fundamental en una serie de políticas públicas reunidas en la Política Europea de Vecindad y en la asociación con Rusia. La principal cuestión planteada en el texto es si estas políticas alcanzan el objetivo de involucrar a los actores locales. Con base en un análisis de contenido de los documentos del programa y en una categorización de los socios del proyecto por tipo de actor, el artículo sostiene que la noción de "local" puede ser objeto de diversas interpretaciones, pero si entendemos lo local frente a lo regional en la clasificación NUTS (Nomenclatura de las Unidades Territoriales Estadísticas) Europea, en la práctica la política está indudablemente inclinada hacia la cooperación transfronteriza regional más que a la local. Además, el artículo sostiene que los cuatro objetivos del IEVA-CT (Instrumento Europeo de Vecindad y Asociación - Cooperación transfronteriza) no coinciden con lo que realísticamente se puede lograr con los recursos disponibles.

French abstract: Cet article examine une priorité clé dans la politique de l'Union européenne vis-à-vis de l'Est et du Sud: l'effort de transformer les zones frontalières extérieures en régions sûres, stables et prospères via un soutien à la coopération transfrontalière. Cet objectif figure au centre des priorités de la Politique européenne de voisinage et de partenariat avec la Russie. La principale question posée dans ce texte est celle de savoir si ces politiques sont en mesure de faire participer les acteurs locaux. Fondé sur l'analyse des documents et du contenu des programmes, ainsi que sur la catégorisation des projets de partenariat et du type d'acteurs, l'article affirme que la notion de «local» peut être sujette à diverses interprétations, mais que si nous analysons le terme à l'échelle régionale suivant les critères dé finis par la nomenclature européenne NUTS (Nomenclature des unités territoriales statistiques), nous verrons que dans la pratique, la politique européenne semble plus axée vers la coopération transfrontalière régionale que locale. En outre, l'article affirme que les quatre objectifs du IEVP-CTF (Instrument Européen de Voisinage et de Partenariat- Coopération transfrontalière) ne cadrent pas réellement avec les ressources disponibles.

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Crafting the Local

GIs, Jewelry, and Transformations in Valenza, Italy

Michele F. Fontefrancesco

This article examines the effects that GI (geographic indication) brands may have on the commodity producers who employ this marketing strategy. By analyzing the case of jewelry production in Valenza, Italy, and the creation of the DV brand, it demonstrates that GIs tend to impose new forms of production over the local milieu. Although based on a rhetoric about the maintenance of traditional practices, GIs enforce a techno-scientific approach over a techne-oriented understanding on the local level. Echoing Foucault's idea of disciplinary power, GIs and their regulation bodies thus become agents of a transformation of the local community and local production practice. This case suggests that these transformations of locale, which result in tension among market standards, brand regulation, and production due to the rhetoric of 'authenticity', should be reconsidered.

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Jaro Stacul

At a time when European cities redefine themselves through 'culture' in an attempt to attract tourists, investors and potential residents, policymakers have to negotiate different notions of 'local culture' defined by state governments on the one hand and by the EU on the other. Drawing upon research conducted in the Polish city of Gdańsk in the context of the redevelopment of its urban landscape, the article illustrates how 'local culture' is redefined as 'culture of freedom' by municipal and state institutions in order to establish a relationship of historical continuity between the time when Gdańsk was a thriving multicultural city and the post-socialist present. The article puts forward the argument that while the reformulation of local culture as 'culture of freedom' involves reconciling notions of national identity with new norms of local, regional and European integration, it does not necessarily entail the supersession of nationalism.

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Social Innovation, Local Governance and Social Quality

The Case of Intersectoral Collaboration in Hangzhou City

Yong Li, Ying Sun and Ka Lin

In contemporary European policy discussion, “innovation“ is a term popularly used for finding responses to the pressure of global competition. In various forms of innovation, the accent is mainly given to technical and business innovation but less to social innovation. This article studies the issue of social innovation with reference to the local practice in Hangzhou city, which aims to strengthen the life quality of citizens in this city. These practices develop various forms of inter-sectoral collaboration, resulting in numerous "common denominator subject" (CDS) groups that are promoted by the local government. These practices follow the principles of cooperation and partnership, and thus develop a corporatist mechanism for urban development. Through discussion of these practices this article explores the nature and the features of these CDS groups, and evaluates its meaning for social innovation, local administration, life quality and social quality.

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“It’s Being, Not Doing”

Hospitality and Hostility between Local Faith Actors and International Humanitarian Organizations in Refugee Response

Olivia J. Wilkinson

Local faith actors are deeply involved in assisting refugees around the world. Their place in refugee response, however, can be in parallel with and, at times, in disagreement with the efforts of international humanitarian organizations. Focusing on the interactions between local faith actors and refugees and local faith actors and international organizations, the lenses of hospitality and hostility are used to analyze the tensions between these types of actors. Through a review of the literature and interviews with 21 key informants, I show that processes of marginalization occur to the extent that local faith actors lose their positions of host to the dominance of the international humanitarian system, and feelings of hostility ensue. This demonstrates to international actors why they might be ill received and how they can approach partnerships with local faith actors in more diplomatic ways.

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Fabiola Lizama-Pérez, María de los Ángeles Piñar-Álvarez, Alejandro Ortega-Argueta, María Azahara Mesa-Jurado, María del Carmen Sandoval-Caraveo and Ady Patricia Carrera-Hernández

English abstract: This article assesses the implementation and performance of Local Agenda 21 (LA21) in Mexico over a decade (2004–2013). Official records of municipal evaluations from all 31 Mexican states were analyzed, comprising 39 indicators of four dimensions of sustainable development: institutional, economic, social and environmental. A positive evolution of the implementation of LA21 was observed, with the economic and social dimensions presenting the best and worst performances, respectively. In general, the local governments of northern Mexico performed better than their southern counterparts. The voluntary nature of LA21 implementation is highlighted, yet necessitating a strengthening of municipal capacities in long-term planning, inter-administration continuity, efficacy evaluation, and integration of all sectors into a more coherent municipal agenda.

Spanish abstract: Este estudio analiza la implementación y desempeño de la Agenda Local 21 (AL21) en México en un periodo de una década (2004–2013). Se analizaron registros oficiales de evaluaciones municipales de los 31 estados de la república, que comprenden 39 indicadores de cuatro dimensiones del desarrollo sustentable: institucional, económico, social y ambiental. Se observó una evolución positiva en la implementación de la AL21, con las dimensiones económica y social mostrando el mejor y peor desempeños, respectivamente. En general, los gobiernos locales del norte de México tuvieron mejores desempeños que sus contrapartes del sur. Se destaca la naturaleza voluntaria de la implementación de la AL21, que todavía necesita un fortalecimiento de las capacidades municipales en la planificación de largo plazo, en la continuidad inter-administrativa, la evaluación de eficacia y la integración de todos los sectores en una agenda municipal más coherente.

French abstract: Cette étude analyse la mise en oeuvre et les performances de l’Agenda 21 local (AL21) au Mexique sur une période de dix ans (2004-2013). Les archives officielles des évaluations municipales des trente-et-un états de la République ont été analysées. Elles comprennent trente-neuf indicateurs de quatre dimensions du développement durable: institutionnel, économique, social et environnemental. Une évolution positive a été observée dans la mise en oeuvre du LA21, les dimensions économique et sociale affichant respectivement les meilleures et les plus basses performances. En général, les administrations locales du nord du Mexique ont obtenu de meilleurs résultats que leurs homologues du sud. On souligne la nature volontaire de la mise en oeuvre de la LA21, qui nécessite toutefois encore un renforcement des capacités municipales dans la planification à long terme, dans la continuité inter-administrative, l’évaluation de l’efficacité et l’intégration de tous les secteurs dans un agenda municipal plus cohérent.

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Vodou, Illness and Models in Haiti

From Local Meanings to Broader Relations of Domination

Nicolas Vonarx

Anthropological research concerning the relationship between Haitian vodou and illness shows that vodou practitioners' explanatory models of illness contain two levels of causality. One presents the sick as victims of magical-religious procedures and illness as being the result of agents directed at the victims. The meanings for the origins of such illnesses are rooted in Haitian social reality, which Haitians perceive as dangerous and threatening. A certain representation of self and social reality underlies these illness models in vodou and in vodou-inspired Haitian folk knowledge. An anthropological analysis of illness must identify local meanings that may shed light on certain cultural constructions of illness, as can be achieved by examining explanatory models structured around origins, causes, disease agents and other sources of illness found in Haiti. But the analysis must go beyond local meanings and question the representation of self and of social reality that goes along with these models and makes them intelligible for Haitians. In doing so, we note that this representation is the result of a process of subjectivation that is bound up in power relations between Haiti and the West. A cultural approach to explanatory models of illness in vodou is incomplete without a critical anthropological approach that addresses the relations of domination to which Haiti has been subjected. This article draws on these two anthropological perspectives in analysing illness in Haiti. It demonstrates how a meaning-oriented micro-social analysis of illness can be combined with a critical, macro-social approach in medical anthropology.

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The Firedrake

Local Society and Train Transport in Zhejiang Province in the 1930s

Ding Xianyong

The Hangzhou-Jiangshan railway across Zhejiang province was built in the early 1930s, connecting the mountainous interior to the coastal area. The construction in the context of military strategy enjoyed high government attention and was implemented with personnel and a workforce brought into the area. Drawing on literary writings, archival documents, and oral histories, this article traces the range of attitudes, reactions, and activities among the inhabitants of rural towns and villages in the area of Quzhou and Jinhua as well as migrants who had left for cities such as Shanghai and Hangzhou. The name “redrake” created by locals captures attitudes of mingled apprehension in the fact that a dragon, which is always associated with water, becomes a re-creature; curiosity and excitement in the association with dragon lantern processions; and practical usefulness in the closeness to the train that is literally a “re-vehicle” in Chinese.