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‘If you look at the sky you step in sh*t’

Horizons of possibility and migration from Serbia

Dana N. Johnson

Following nearly two decades of wartime ‘entrapment’, in 2009 the conditions of possibility for mobility fundamentally changed for Serbian citizens. Of both symbolic and material consequence, Serbia’s return to respectable geopolitical standing also marked a shift toward more nuanced stance‐taking in relation to mobility – at least for members of an urban, educated generation who have taken advantage of renewed opportunities to travel. In this article, I explore the real and symbolic geographies invoked by young potential migrants in talk of leaving and staying in Serbia. I read mobility narratives as proxies for commentary on a host of other political and socio‐economic issues, drawing attention to the role of international travel in the construction of imaginary yet authoritative ‘contrapuntal’ lives lived elsewhere. I show how such imaginaries both colour how potential and return migrants narrate their everyday navigations in the ‘here and now’ and give moral weight to migratory aspirations for, and experiences of, lives lived in the ‘then and there’. In unpacking the emic terms ‘negative selection’ and , I argue that the foundational motif of these varied imaginaries is a deep investment in the ideology of meritocracy, a morally inflected register for the articulation of aspiration as well as critique.

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A French Educational Meritocracy in Independent Morocco?

Frédéric Viguier

the underfunded Moroccan educational system is highly selective and reserves the best education for private schools. It is because it looks like a meritocracy and produces the illusion thereof, when it only offers the means of educational success to

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Chinese Contemplations on Utopian and Dystopian Democratic Governance

Nele Noesselt

's democracies,” hence not subscribing to the international (“western”) categorization of political regimes on the autocracy-democracy matrix. In the twenty-first century, meritocracy has emerged as an additional label used by the Chinese authorities to

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Freedom, without Power

Christopher Allsobrook

This article attributes the conception of 'freedom-without-power' which dominates contemporary Western political philosophy to a reification of social agency that mystifies contexts of human capacities and achievements. It suggests that Plato's analogy between the structure of the soul and the polis shows how freedom is a consequence, rather than a condition, of political relations, mediated by inter-subjective contestation. From this basis, the article draws on the work of Raymond Geuss to argue against pre-political ethical frameworks in political philosophy, in favour of a more contextually sensitive, self-critical approach to ethics. Such reciprocal ethical-political integration addresses problems of ideological complicity that may arise if freedom is discretely abstracted from history and power in political philosophy. Finally, the article roughly reconstructs a critical account of African identity from writings of Steven Biko to illuminate symptoms of 'meritocratic apartheid' in South Africa today which Thad Metz's influential pre-political conception of ubuntu obscures, by abstracting the figure of African personhood from politically significant historical conditions.

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The Specificities of French Elites at the End of the Nineteenth Century

France Compared to Britain and Germany

Christophe Charle

Thanks to a comparison of social and educational characteristics of elites in France, Germany and UK at the end of the nineteenth century, this contribution shows the specificities of the French case: a mixture of persistent traditional elites, akin to British and German ones, and the growing domination of a more recent economic and meritocratic bourgeoisie pushing for liberalism and democracy. Nevertheless, evolutions in the same direction as France are also perceptible in the two monarchies and give birth to a new divergence when after WWI the democratization of elites go faster in UK and Germany than in France where the law bourgeoisie remain dominant and blocks the reforms asked by more popular or petit bourgeois groups present in the political parties on the left.

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Anthropological Reflections on Lebanese Art

How Empathy, the Human Rights Topos and Ideological Attitudes Interact with Aesthetic Perceptions

Gerald A. P.-Fromm and Bariaa Mourad

This article analyses attitudes of the art public related to subjects of the 2011 art exhibition 'Beirut', shown at the Kunsthalle Wien in Vienna. Some Lebanese artworks, especially those of the (pre-)war generation, were oriented towards utopias of their time and socio-political criticism, and still today revolve around the topoi of human rights. Socio-cultural milieux and institutions seem habited by adherents with congruent values. Art, science and education are thus particularly disputed fields since their common creative quests produce knowledge and, depending on the theme, ideology. We contextualise these topics and highlight a few empirically corroborated explanatory models developed by anthropology in order to elucidate the complex interplay between the individual and society. We appeal to those in academia, education and critical art to play a role in the debate on essential humanistic and ethical principles.

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Justice, Loyalty and Cosmopolitan Politesse in Mauritius

Thomas Hylland Eriksen

and the lofty ideals of treating the other as Anyone, meritocracy and the individual person’s right to self-identification. At a general, abstract level, or in everyday situations where little is at stake, encountering the other as Anyone can be fairly

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Cherry Picking: Response to Andrea Feldman's Review of Zilka Spahić Šiljak, ed., Bosanski labirint: Kultura, rod i liderstvo (Bosnian labyrinth: Culture, gender, and leadership), published in Aspasia 14 (2020): 196–197

Zilka Spahić Šiljak

Bosnia and Herzegovina. 4 This very fact brings into question the development of genuine democracy, meritocracy, human rights, and gender equality alike. 5 Furthermore, the reviewer's statement that “cantonal-level elections seem to testify” that the

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Apartheid of Thought

The Power Dynamics of Knowledge Production in Political Thought

Camilla Boisen and Matthew C. Murray

structures based on ideals may not only be necessary but desirable (see for example Hamilton 2015: 5 , 18, 146), that equally, in some form, a meritocracy in knowledge production functions in a similar way. However, our goal here is to cast a similar

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Bringing into View

Knowledge Fields and Sociolegal Phenomena

Narmala Halstead

tensions at ethnic and religious level can escalate in sharp contradiction to a larger emphasis on cosmopolitanism aided by religious and other forms of tolerance and meritocracy. Eric Hirsch brings out the entanglement of justice with localised practices