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Politicizing the Transnational

On Implications for Migrants, Refugees, and Scholarship

Riina Isotalo

This article discusses the politicization of the transnational paradigm in terms of development and security, refugee and migrant regimes, and transnational practices. The analysis makes two principal arguments. The first is that diasporas and mobility in general have been both securitized and developmentalized. These two processes are intertwined but also contradictory. While migration is seen as a development resource, 'uncontrolled' population flows—particularly of refugees—are looked upon as security threats by states and policy makers. This duo-faceted approach is at the root of the politicization of the transnational paradigm. The second argument of this text is that this politicization and the neo-liberal mega-trend are also entwined, despite the fact that the scholars who introduced transnationalism to migration research saw it as reflecting a process of globalization 'from below'.

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Claudia Mitchell and Jacqueline Reid-Walsh

We take the title of our editorial introduction to this themed issue of Girlhood Studies from Sandrina de Finney’s lead article in which she explores “alternative conceptualizations of trauma, place, and girlhood that might enact a more critical, politicized girlhood studies.” Contributions to this issue offer what the guest editors refer to as a re-description of girls in crisis. In so doing not only do they offer challenges to definitions of crisis, they also deepen our understanding of what transformative practices might look like. From a consideration of Indigenous girlhood in Canada to a study of country girls in Australia, from work on YouTube to Holloback! and other social media platforms to girls’ digital representations of their own safety, and from changes in newspaper discourse about murdered girls to a consideration of work done with incarcerated girls, we are invited to re-think this notion of girls-in-crisis, and its significance.

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Le salafisme quiétiste en France

Un exemple d’apolitisme militant ?

Mohamed-Ali Adraoui

Abstract

How do purist Salafist communities frame the issue of politics? Known to display a reluctance towards political engagement and activism, unlike Islamists and Jihadists, purist Salafists, especially those who live within a non-Muslim-majority country such as France, highlight that Islam has nothing to do with classical political activism. Consequently, a major issue that needs to be examined is how purist Salafists reconcile their desires to preach and shape society through a process of public involvement and their efforts to refrain from engaging with political institutions. This article explores to what extent the notion of militant apoliticism is useful in describing this strategy of public engagement.

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Politicizing Elsewhere(s)

Negotiating Representations of Neo-Pentecostal Aesthetic Practice in Berlin

Dominik Mattes

Abstract

Drawing on ethnographic research in a Nigerian-based Pentecostal church in Berlin, this article explores the discussions that emerged when my scholarly representations of the congregants’ aesthetic engagements with the Elsewhere diverged from the church leadership's expectations. More specifically, it interrogates my representational practice in relation to the stakes of the diasporic congregation, which is operating at the political margin of Berlin's widely diverse religious landscape. In exploring the collision of my analytical focus on the affect-charged elements of the believers’ routines of connecting to the Elsewhere with the church's emphasis on affective discipline and moderation, the article demonstrates how aesthetic practices that engage with the Elsewhere not only have a religious but inevitably also a political bearing.

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Kimmo Elo

In mainstream analyses of the German political system, the emergence of the Left Party (Die Linke) is presented as an unexpected consequence of German unification and as an indication of the existence of an East-West divide. This view is for the most part based on the idea that German unification is a process of political integration of the East into the West. Such an understanding, however, downplays the long-term developments in the German party system. This article examines the emergence of the Left Party in light of both the long-term developmental tendencies of the German party system and findings from comparative studies among other West European countries. The article concludes that the main reason for the current political stalemate is the incapability of the postwar Volksparteien to respond to changes in political space and action. Based on evidence from comparative studies, the article also suggests a pragmatic rethinking especially in the SPD is necessary in dealings with the Left Party.

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Family Squabbles

Beyond the Conflict-Consensus Divide

Henrik P. Bang

This article examines the consensus-conflict divide within contemporary democratic theory as manifested in the works of Jürgen Habermas, Chantal Mouffe, Jacques Rancière, and John Rawls. It relates the democratic crisis diagnosis to the presence of this conceptual divide and suggests overcoming it by focusing on the work of Michel Foucault, especially his concept of the “rectangle of the good parrhesia.” Foucault's analysis goes beyond conflict-consensus through its positive and creative reconceptualization of political authority featuring a transformative capacity linked to the idea of telling the truth.

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Franca Maino

A year ago, assessing the health-care situation, Enza Caruso and Nerina

Dirindin wrote: “The year 2007 can only be described as a positive one

for health in terms of planning, given the great number of programs

launched, commissions and councils put in place, and protocols of

agreement signed by the Ministry of Health. Finance within the health

sector was also notable for complying with the health pact and the rigorous

control of public accounts backed up by deficit reduction plans,

which regions under financial warning had to observe scrupulously or

be put under compulsory administration.” The year 2008, however,

began and then continued with a shocking series of health-care mismanagement

cases, including the controversy over the appointment

procedure for general managers and chief medical officers of health-care

providers, the question of controlling health expenses, and the possible

compulsory administration of regions that are unable to meet deficit

reduction plans.

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Massimiano Bucchi and Federico Neresini

“We are not afraid of dismantling privilege and have scientists in the

streets, demonstrating and turning in their lab coats and test tubes. I

would like to ask these scientists what great discoveries they have

made. We will probably find out that they haven’t discovered very

much, while so many young researchers are excluded from pursuing

careers.” The words are those of Minister for Education, Universities,

and Research Letizia Moratti, commenting a few months after loud

protests by a large number of Italian scientists against the decision by

the government to restructure research agencies. The protest represented

an important stage of a phenomenon that was without precedent

(not only in Italy) until only a few years ago: the mobilization of

scientific researchers. It also was the most salient moment of an elaborate

public debate on the problems of scientific research in Italy that

carried on throughout 2003. The debate had a number of important

implications, touching on issues such as insufficient investment in

research; the so-called brain drain, that is, the inability to retain competent

researchers, who leave Italy to work in foreign institutes; the

growing dissatisfaction of younger generations with established scientific

research; and the need to remain internationally competitive in

areas of productivity and innovation.

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Roger Karapin

Most explanations that have been advanced regarding the recent

successes of far-right parties in Western Europe suggest that these

parties should have also done well in Germany. With a high percapita

income and a strong export-oriented economy, Germany has

experienced large-scale immigration, a shift toward postindustrial

occupations, economic restructuring, unemployment, and social

marginalization of the poorest strata. These socioeconomic developments

have been accompanied by political responses which

should also benefit the far right: political parties have lost credibility, non-voting has increased, and ecological parties have become

established and have spurred environmental, feminist, and proimmigrant

policies.

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“Your debts are our problem”

The politicization of debt in Azerbaijan

Tristam Barrett

feudal class order, then here we see in the politicization of debt a moment in the struggle for hegemony of an emergent class seeking to impose and stabilize a new common sense of the state against an authoritarian one. Azerbaijan's oil and banking boom