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Singular Pluralities

A Critical Review of Religious Pluralism

Anne-Sophie Lamine

From the 1980s onwards, much research has been carried out in order to analyze and compare the situation and the management of religious plurality in Western countries. While scholars in the social sciences of religion have seized on the question of plurality, those in migration studies have started to pay more and more attention to the religious dimension of migrants and their descent. Although macro-level plurality is more commonly investigated, internal religious plurality is of equal importance. This article provides a critical review of the various approaches of religious pluralism and emphasizes some under-investigated areas such as conflicts and internal plurality.

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Louise K. Davidson-Schmich

Since the adoption of candidate gender quotas, women have always fared better in the “second” or PR tier of Bundestag elections than in the “first” or plurality tier, where quotas do not apply. This gap, however, has been closing. In the 2009 Bundestag election, 27 percent of the major parties' direct mandate candidates were women compared to almost 30 percent in 2013. All parties experienced an increase in the percentage of women among their nominees for direct mandates between 2009 and 2013. Why have the numbers of female candidates for the 299 directly elected Bundestag constituencies been increasing? This increase is puzzling because gender quotas have not been extended to this tier of the electoral system and candidate selection rules have not changed. This article explores five potential mechanisms that may be driving the observed rise in women nominated as constituency candidates. I argue that the main reasons for these increases lie in the advantages female incumbents incur, the openings presented when male incumbents retire, and the diffusion of female candidates across parties and neighboring Wahlkreise after one woman manages to win a direct mandate. I develop these conclusions by comparing candidate nominations and direct mandate winners in the 2009 and 2013 Bundestag elections.

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Abin Chakraborty

Accounts of early European travelers show ample textual evidences of travelers oscillating between the cultural and religious biases and prejudices that obviously conditioned them and a candid sense of wonder and admiration that directly contradicted inherited stereotypes of one kind or another. In the process such travelogues, letters, and observations not only become sites of ambivalence and hybridity but also testify to processes of “cultural mobility” (Greenblatt et al. 2010) and attendant self-fashioning that did not conform to the racial and imperial con- structs generated by the “White Man’s Burden” at a later date. This article examines such issues through an analysis of the descriptions and letters of Thomas Coryat, who wandered across Mughal India between 1612 to 1617. What emerges through his accounts is an interstitial perspective that fosters a vision of cultural mobility without the teleological triumphalism often associated with empire and theology.

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Legal dynamics in a border area

Between customary law and state law

Nebi Bardhoshi

This article considers factors that have effected and influenced the continuity of the customary law named the Kanun of Lek Dukagjini in some areas of Albanian and Kosovo. It draws on ethnographic data on the border area villages between Albania and Kosovo to discuss the dynamics and tensions that are created between state and non-state law vis-à-vis justice in highly complex and problematic social, economic, and political contexts. Customary law and state law seem to be two conflicting legal ideologies. However, the article considers everyday settings where people make use of both legal systems in order to regulate matters especially related to property issues. The new legal realities create around property ownership imply new type of relations vis-à-vis family and kinship structures which oscillate between the two systems.

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Benjamin Abrams and Giovanni A. Travaglino

Just as there are many repertoires of contention, there are also many repertoires of scholarship. Much of our writing on contentious politics utilizes one specific repertoire: the empirical research article. And yet, there is a plurality of forms through which we can advance scholarly knowledge on the subject of protest. This issue was devised, in a broad sense, as a celebration of that plurality. The articles in this issue offer a smorgasbord of scholarly work, highlighting the breadth of scholarly tactics that are available to academics and practitioners in the field of contentious politics.

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Marie-Eve Morin

This paper compares Sartre's and Nancy's experience of the plurality of beings. After briefly discussing why Heidegger cannot provide such an experience, it analyzes the relation between the in-itself and for-itself in Sartre and between bodies and sense in Nancy in order to ask how this experience can be nauseating for Sartre, but meaningful for Nancy. First, it shows that the articulation of Being into beings is only a coat of veneer for Sartre while for Nancy Being is necessarily plural. Then, it contrasts Nausea as an experience without language with Nancy's thinking of the excription of sense in the thing.

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Aurélien Allouche and Laurence Nicolas

For a long time the area known as the Camargue (France) had conciliated the different rights related to water uses solely by adjusting its hydraulic system. The limits of this system were shown by the floods that occurred in 1993 that forced the governance paradigm to coordinate actors' rights related to water uses in the public space, and, at the same time, to elaborate new ways of acting upon the hydraulic system. This evolution presents nevertheless the risk to prioritize the plurality of rights, to manage the plurality of technical and natural constraints, and to render essential the movement out of public space of the treatment of data and technical constraints entering the adjustment of the system. Recent initiatives within governance attempt, conversely, to dissociate the space for the expression of rights linked to water from that for actions. By doing so, this inflection allows for profit-sharing and mobilization in the part of the system which other forms of participation had difficulty implicating. However, other problems arise, such as the intersection between the public and the private spheres or plurality between levels of management.

Spanish Durante mucho tiempo, la Camarga (Francia) ha conciliado los derechos relativos a los usos de agua a través de ajustes de su sistema hidráulico. Los límites de este sistema, puestos en evidencia por las inundaciones de 1993, han conducido al paradigma de gestión a manejar simultáneamente en el mismo espacio público la coordinación de derechos relativos a los usos de agua y las acciones sobre el sistema técnico. Sin embargo, esta evolución corre el riesgo de producir una jerarquía entre los derechos de los usos de agua para gestionar la diversidad de las limitaciones naturales y técnicas, y de desplazar fuera del espacio público una parte del procesamiento de datos y las limitaciones técnicas utilizadas en el ajuste del sistema. Por el contrario, recientes iniciativas en la gobernanza de este recurso están intentando separar el espacio de expresión de los derechos relacionados con el agua de las acciones. De este modo, este cambio permite generar interés y movilizar a una parte del sistema que las otras modalidades de acción no habían conseguido involucrar hasta ahora. Esta nueva reconfiguración no esta libre de desafíos, tales como aquellos generados por la intersección de la esfera pública y privada, por la pluralidad de niveles de gestión.

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Paul Edmondson and Paul Franssen

This issue of Critical Survey is dedicated to the life of Shakespeare, from a variety of angles ranging from biofiction to what we would recognise as more traditional biography. To begin with the latter: from one perspective, Shakespearean biography may be said to be booming, with a major new account of the life, or even two, coming out just about every year. Paradoxically, from another perspective, Shakespearean biography might be said to be in crisis: not a crisis of dearth, but one of plenty. How can standards of quality be maintained as the quantity burgeons? Such questions are raised by the inconsistent, often even contradictory views on Shakespeare’s life aired by biographers. One reason for this plurality is undoubtedly gaps in the record of Shakespeare’s life. This is not to say that we know hardly anything about him, but rather that each new biographer will have a different way of joining the dots together.

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Autobiography, Journalism, and Controversy

Freya Stark's Baghdad Sketches

Mary Henes

This article examines Freya Stark's life-writing over a forty-year period in order to shed light on her experience of Baghdad from 1929 to 1933. The article focuses on Stark's resistance to expected feminine norms of the British community, and contextualizes her experience alongside that of Gertrude Bell and Stefana Drower. Stark's experiences, and those of Drower, reveal the ways in which British women resisted the mundane expatriate lifestyle, and gained a great deal of cultural understanding though their interaction with Iraqis. Furthermore, the article discusses Stark's work at the Baghdad Times, a literary apprenticeship that also led to the publication of Baghdad Sketches. The article not only highlights the plurality of autobiographical presentation characteristic of Stark's oeuvre, but also reveals how Stark refashioned her experiences throughout her life, taking into account her changing status and the different political and cultural climates in which the works were published.

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Chiara Goretti and Luca Rizzuto

The short, albeit intense, history of spending review in Italy ranks it as a primary tool of fiscal consolidation on the expenditure side. This chapter highlights the plurality of meanings given to the term “spending review” (SR), which include, on the one hand, analyses and procedures linked to the search for efficiency in the production of public services and, on the other hand, the reprioritization of public action and expenditure programs in light of the new, stricter budget constraints. In the Italian public debate, the introduction of SR procedures is closely related to the wider frame of budgetary and public management reforms that have been under way for a long time, yet are not fully implemented. The chapter analyzes the link between SR (whatever meaning it may have in Italy) and the comprehensive fiscal discipline that is required in the new European framework.