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The Far Eastern Railway in the 1930s

Relations and Reactions to the Repressions in the USSR

Elena Gnatovskaya and Alexander Kim

This article evaluates the relationship among the railroad staff of the Far East during the most dramatic events in the political life of the country at that time—repressions. As a rule, Russian academic literature indicates that few workers perceived the Soviet state’s mechanisms of pressure negatively. This article demonstrates that the railroad staff’s position was far more diverse than traditionally argued, which is a result of the broad variety of social groups working for the railroad in the Far East. The article demonstrates this diversity of opinions by focusing on those events that affected a significant number of railroad workers.

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Gold Teeth, Indian Dresses, Chinese Lycra and ‘Russian’ Hair

Embodied Diplomacy and the Assemblages of Dress in Tajikistan

Diana Ibañez-Tirado

sought to stimulate a growing recognition of the alternative sites of diplomacy that play an active and dynamic role in mediating political relations between diverse nation-states, the brand images of nations and the communities with which they intersect

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Wolfgang Beck and Laurent J.G. van der Maesen

In this article we will focus on the political role of citizens in the ongoing process of European unification. The standard interpretations of unification suggest that this process is the outcome of a force of intrinsic necessity. Paving the way for the internal market, monetary and fiscal harmonisation should, therefore, lead to the formation of a political community. We do not accept such a post-Hegelian interpretation, however. This process is a consequence of chosen political priorities. In our opinion these should prioritise the development of political relations, referring to democratically based values in order to determine the starting points for economic, welfare and cultural policies. But, according to Fritz Scharpf, this has not been the case. The politics of the Union have paved the way for the free market system - mainly as a response to the principle of profit maximising - resulting in a decline, in the long run, of the politics with which to develop conditions for a political community.

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Administrative guidelines as a source of immigration law?

Ethnographic perspectives on law at work and in the making

Larissa Vetters

This article makes a conceptual and methodological argument for ethnographically studying a certain type of paperwork in immigration bureaucracies, namely internal administrative guidelines. Much ethnographic research has focused on case files, application forms, identity documents and judicial decisions attempting to shed light on bureaucrats’ discretionary power and migrants’ strategies of navigating immigration laws. This article shifts attention from bureaucrats’ discretionary practices to their efforts to standardise and codify their own practices. The administrative guidelines of the Foreigners’ Registration Office of Berlin and the visa guidelines of the Federal Foreign Office of Germany are examined as legal documents that are produced in a web of textually grounded legal meanings, as well as in a meshwork of social and political relations and in turn reconfigure both social relations and legal meanings. Contextualised in such a way, these administrative guidelines shed light not only on ‘immigration law at work’ but also on ‘immigration law in the making’.

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Blackout

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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Morag Shiach

This article will explore the imaginative, philosophical and political relations between human labour and selfhood in a central fictional text of the 1930s: Lewis Grassic Gibbon’s trilogy A Scots Quair. James Leslie Mitchell, writing under the pseudonym of Lewis Grassic Gibbon, published the three volumes that make up this trilogy between 1932 and 1934. The first, Sunset Song (1932) develops narrative and symbolic resources for the representation of the economic and cultural history of farming communities in North-East Scotland from 1911 to the end of the First World War (with a formally inventive prelude that reaches back to the Norman Conquest). This novel is centrally concerned with the developing consciousness of Chris Guthrie, a farmer’s daughter, and much of its free-indirect narrative style offers glimpses into her perceptions, fears, and desires as she moves from childhood to early adulthood. The second novel, Cloud Howe (1933), shows the pressure on community and on continuity as Chris moves with her second husband and her son to a small industrial town in the 1920s. It explores the efforts towards collectivity as well as the social and psychic costs of faith, as Chris and her family try to sustain relationships and histories in the conflictual and rapidly changing social relationships of Scotland in the 1920s. The final novel, Grey Granite (1933) follows the logic of the first two novels in moving to the city. Chris’s son Ewan acts out the logic of intense identification with the impersonal demands of the collective, a psychological and social adjustment that is signalled through the symbolic centrality of rocks and minerals to the novel, while Chris struggles to survive her financially precarious identity as an impoverished widow.

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Fredy B.L. Tobing and Asra Virgianita

English abstract: This article analyzes the causes of low trade relations between Indonesia and Latin American states, arguing that dynamics of international political economy have opened opportunities to increase trade relations between those countries. Having good diplomatic and political relations with similar emerging economies, like Peru and Chile, should drive closer economic relations among them. A qualitative study was conducted using literature reviews, archival analysis, and in-depth interviews. Political will and lack of knowledge pertaining to the business character of each country hamper external relations. Thus, a functional multi-track diplomacy that incorporates state and non-state actors from various fields is crucial for enhancing economic relations among these countries. Trade relations can be particularly strengthened by maximizing cooperation among actors at various levels.

Spanish abstract: Este artículo analiza las débiles relaciones comerciales entre Indonesia y América Latina, argumentando que la dinámica de la economía política abre oportunidades para mejorar estas relaciones. Las buenas relaciones diplomáticas y políticas entre Perú y Chile, debería estrechar sus relaciones económicas. Pero la escasa voluntad política y falta de conocimiento del carácter empresarial de cada país, obstaculizan sus relaciones externas. La investigación incluyó revisión de literatura, análisis de archivos y entrevistas en profundidad. Los resultados subrayan la necesidad de una diplomacia funcional de múltiples rutas que incorpore instituciones estatales y no estatales de diversos campos para mejorar las relaciones económicas. Las relaciones comerciales particularmente pueden fortalecerse entre países maximizando su recíproca cooperación en cada nivel (diplomacia multinivel).

French abstract: Cet article analyse les causes de la faiblesse des relations commerciales entre l’Indonésie et les pays d’Amérique latine en faisant valoir que la dynamique de l’économie politique internationale a ouvert des opportunités pour stimuler les relations commerciales entre ces pays. Cette étude qualitative a été menée sur la base d’une étude de la littérature existante, d’analyses archivistiques et d’entretiens approfondis. Le manque de volonté politique et surtout de connaissances réciproques des atouts commerciaux de ces pays entravent leurs relations extérieures. Ainsi, une diplomatie fonctionnelle à plusieurs voies qui intègre des diplomaties étatiques et non-étatiques dans divers domaines est-elle cruciale pour améliorer leurs relations économiques. Les relations commerciales peuvent notamment être renforcées en maximisant la coopération entre ces pays à chaque niveau (diplomatie multi-niveaux).

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Antonius C. G. M. Robben

to a focus on historical and social practices. The concern for violence exercised through political relations was replaced by attention to the everyday experience of violence, while central concepts such as state, power, ritual, mobilization, and

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A.D. Harvey

even road-holding quality, were not regarded as important till the 1970s, when two generations of accelerated pollution, a shift in political relations between the technologically advanced nations and the countries that provided the raw materials, and

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“Forging New Malay networks”

Imagining global halal markets

Johan Fischer

capitalism capture well the way in which the halal network is imagined. I explore “embeddedness,” that is, the notion that all economic activity is situated within the context of broader social, cultural, and political relations, with a specific empirical