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Introduction

Ethnographies of Private Security

Erella Grassiani and Tessa Diphoorn

Whether in the supermarket, university, airport, or shopping mall, we constantly encounter private security agents in our daily lives. This growing presence of private security across the globe has received ample scholarly attention over the past

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Moral Conflict

The Private, the Public and the Political

Marios Filis

Monism, Pluralism and Relativism In this article I want to re-examine the issue of moral conflict and argue that certain explanations of this issue are particularly problematic in relation to the distinction between the concepts of the private, the

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Shadow Soldiering

Shifting Constellations and Permeable Boundaries in “Private” Security Contracting

Maya Mynster Christensen

2010. Representatives from the private security company that had hired him insisted he died of a disease—a claim backed up by Sierra Leone contractors at the US Army base in Baghdad, who stated he died from “cold” as a result of being posted at the

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Privatization and Patriarchy

Prisons, Sanctions, and Education

Nili Cohen

Examining two Israeli cases, this article addresses the highly controversial question about the privatization of state authority. The first concerns the Supreme Court decision that prohibits private prisons, a ruling that reflects the deep-rooted assumption that criminal punishment is a matter of state authority. The second case refers to the Israeli religious organization Takana Forum, which seeks to handle sexual offenses committed by authoritative figures within its community. The relation between privatization, privacy, and multiculturalism is presented as potentially perpetuating patriarchal authority in family life, education, and punishment. Following this discussion, different models of privatization based on the nature of the respective privatized authority are presented. The article concludes with an analysis of the conflict between communal and state law and its potential effect on Israel's collective co-existence.

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Courtney Carothers and Catherine Chambers

This article draws on directed ethnographic research and a review of literature to explore how the commodification of fishing rights discursively and materially remakes human-marine relationships across diverse regions. It traces the history of dominant economic theories that promote the privatization of fishing access for maximizing potential pro ts. It describes more recent discursive trends that link the ecological health of the world's oceans and their fisheries to widespread privatization. Together, these economic and environmental discourses have enrolled a broad set of increasingly vocal and powerful privatization proponents. The article provides specific examples of how nature-society relationships among people, oceans, and sh are remade as privatization policies take root in fishery systems. We conclude with an overview of several strategies of resistance. Across the world there is evidence of alternative discourses, economic logics, and cultures of fishing resistant to privatization processes, the assumptions that underlie them, and the social transitions they often generate.

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Anat Maor

Very little research has been conducted on the functioning of the Israeli Parliament (the Knesset) in general and on private members' legislation in particular. This article contributes to the perception of the role of the legislator as political initiator in modern parliamentarism.

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Social security and care after socialism

Reconfigurations of public and private

Rosie Read and Tatjana Thelen

State frameworks for welfare and social security have been subject to processes of privatization, decentralization, and neoliberal reform in many parts of the world. This article explores how these developments might be theorized using anthropological understandings of social security in combination with feminist perspectives on care. In its application to post-1989 socioeconomic transformation in the former socialist region, this perspective overcomes the conceptual inadequacies of the "state withdrawal" model. It also illuminates the nuanced ways in which public and private (as spaces, subjectivities, institutions, moralities, and practices) re-emerge and change in the socialist era as well as today, continually shaping the trajectories and outcomes of reforms to care and social security.

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When wolves harm private property

Decision making on state compensation

Annelie Sjölander-Lindqvist and Serena Cinque

According to Swedish environmental policy, harm to private property (mainly livestock, farm, and companion animals) caused by attacks from protected large carnivores is compensated by the state. In a case of suspected harm, a formal investigation process to assess the damage and its cause is initiated by the government. Inspections of damage on living private property are carried out by officials authorized by the regional County Administrative Board (CAB). By focusing on judgment in the making of property compensation decisions, this article demonstrates what occurs in frontline policy enactments, when the inspectors (as deliverers of political decisions) collapse organizational requirements and ideas with personal, yet socially and culturally framed commitments. It concludes that organizational decision making is neither fixed nor stable: organizations operate interactively, generating practices that enhance the agency and authority of particular actors in order to facilitate state policy implementation.

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Katja's canteen

Complex intersections of the public and the private in the South Bohemian countryside

Haldis Haukanes

This article discusses notions of "public" and "private" in the postsocialist Czech Republic through a comparative examination of food practices in families and in the canteen of an agricultural cooperative in South Bohemia. Different meanings of public and private will be outlined, making up a complex set of referential contexts for the interaction between canteen personnel and customers. Analysis of daily life in the canteen revealed that the personnel tended to personalize customer relations. It is argued that this inclination cannot be explained first and foremost as the influence of market-oriented postsocialist public debates on public-private relations. The canteen is a key provider of services to the community but is not run according to market principles or driven by the logic of profit. Its friendly atmosphere is predicated on the moral practice and personal skills of its employees and is embedded in local cultures of food sharing. By exploring daily practice and interaction in the canteen, the article critically examines implications for the feminist concept of emotional labor that have emerged in studies on capitalist, profit-driven enterprises.

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The Temperate Passion of Democratic Reason

The New Zealand Firefighters' Struggle against Restructuring, Downsizing, and Privatizing

Eleanor Rimoldi

Loader concludes his analysis of the trend in Britain and elsewhere toward private security systems by suggesting that “the value of other more deliberative ways of addressing the crime question and structuring the relationship between the police and the ‘publics’ they serve; ways that seek to subject ‘consumer’ demands for particular kinds of policing and security to the test of public discourse oriented to the common good, and so temper with democratic reason the passions that consumer culture threatens to unleash” (1999: 389). The privatization of public services and the undermining of professionalism have taken hold in many countries on the advice of international monetary agencies. In New Zealand, a provincial reading of new right philosophy within the close-knit circle of the New Zealand Business Roundtable generated a power lobby group that served as a conduit for free market libertarian ideas. This article traces the response to these trends as a measure of the strength of civil society and public life in Auckland City, with a specific focus on the resistance by the New Zealand firefighters to restructuring and downsizing the fire service.