This essay in comparative history considers how governing elites and rural publics have interpreted rules of law and criminal behavior in times of radical tenure transformation. During the twentieth century, Russians experienced three state-sponsored attempts at property rights revolution: firstly, the pre-1917 Stolypin Reforms to privatize the ubiquitous peasant communes, secondly, Stalin’s 1930s campaign to forcibly collectivized peasant communes, and thirdly, the 1990s ‘shock therapy’ reforms to replace Soviet collectivism with wholesale privatization. In each case, adherents of the pre-existing property systems were excluded from the decision-making process that established the new one. Russia’s historical experience is viewed in light of the contested emergence of private property regimes during England’s enclosure movement, and during the nineteenth-century Euro- pean settler appropriation of American Indian land as private property—with African-born plantation workers also later claimed as private property. In some cases, resistance was viewed as criminal; in others, it was punishable as treason.
Property rights, crime, and the rules of law
Inclusive vs. Exclusive Senses of Property among the Tozhu and Tofa of Southern Siberia
The Tofa and Tozhu peoples of southern Siberia are closely related ethnically, linguistically, geographically, and in their traditional economic activities of reindeer herding, hunting, and gathering. However, they have long been divided by administrative boundaries, leading to different historical trajectories and drastic differences in their sense of property rights. The Tofa have a much longer history of interaction with Russians and other incomers than the Tozhu. Many Tofa now find themselves without official hunting grounds, while those who have rights to hunting grounds guard them jealously. This situation is striking in contrast to the sense of property just across the border in the Tozhu district of the Republic of Tyva, where non-exclusivity is still the salient feature of Tozhus' sense of property today. This article discusses changes in the distribution of hunting grounds among the Tofa, and compares the Tofa's sense of exclusive rights of access to the remarkably inclusive approach among the Tozhu.
Politics of memory, variety, and empire in Latvian struggles over seeds
Guntra A. Aistara
In March 2012, a small farm in Latvia with a collection of over 200 tomato varieties was charged with the illegal sale of seeds not included in the European Union's Common Catalogue. The farm's collection includes traditional Latvian varieties that have never been officially registered, Western varieties imported illegally during the Soviet years, and Russian varieties that came into use during the Soviet years and are now defended by Latvian gardeners as "traditionally grown" and representing the taste of their childhoods. The debate highlighted the continuing struggle over Latvia's geopolitical positioning between Russia and the European Union and control over seeds as a tactic of empire. I explore the cultural memories embedded in the contested tomato seeds and how they contribute to an intertwined imaginary of the Latvian landscape idyll with a Soviet sociality. I argue that the innovative resolution to this conflict represents a process of transculturation in a contact zone between empires (Pratt 1992).
German social scientists have often stressed that the East German transformation was a process sui generis that differed strongly from the transformation paths of eastern European countries. This difference was of course mainly due to the integration of the former GDR into the Federal Republic of (West) Germany. Indeed, it is commonly assumed that the wholesale transfer of West German institutions left little room for the endogenous paths of transformation observed in eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union. The unintended outcome of this strategy of “exogenous” institutional change was a transformation crisis with the effect of a profound external shock. To be sure, this shock was mitigated by the simultaneous introduction of the West German “social net,” accompanied by massive transfer payments. But many of the dire predictions made by skeptical observers in 1990 have indeed come true.
are set. But the judges’ comments here capture a more specific legal and philosophical problem about the rule of law that is posed by the entrance of ‘need’ into questions of property rights: is not the concept of ‘need’ impossible to integrate
Christine Cohen Park
Communications Director Gilad Grossman. Their team of volunteers, field workers and expert lawyers investigate infringements of personal or property rights (such as land theft, burning of trees and property, ‘roughing up’, intimidation) experienced by
Reply to Darrel Moellendorf
Anton D. Lowenberg
In a recent issue of this journal, Darrel Moellendorf evaluates three socialist models of economic organisation in terms of their efficiency and equity attributes (Moellendorf 1997). From the perspective of the cogency of the arguments made within the worldview accepted by Moellendorf, his contribution must certainly be judged a scholarly and thoughtfully written piece. However, as a free’market economist I find the central claim of his article – that any of the three socialist models discussed can successfully reproduce or even approximate the individual freedom and economic efficiency of a private-property rights system – implausible to say the least.
Biosocial networks of confiscation and destruction in Canada
While farmers set up conditions for the development of plants, the seeds they help grow into plants determine conditions for the farmers. Modern plants not only have agronomic characteristics but also intellectual property rights, phytosanitary regulations, and classifications attached to them. Interacting with their seeds creates fields of property and power, situations of possibility and impossibility, in which farmers and breeders operate. The biosocial networks from which seeds emerge are animated by bureaucratic measures, property relations, and research and cultivation practices that I will explore in action. Seeds not only become what they are in multifarious networks of natural, cultural, and political agencies, but their emergence and coevolution with humans is ruptured through deregistration, persecution, confiscation, and destruction of proprietary seeds. This article will take the reader from the fields of farmers in Saskatchewan to seed breeders in Saskatoon and ultimately to public meetings organized by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency in Ottawa.
Publications, Films and Conferences
Jean-Pierre Digard, Sigal Nagar-Ron, Soraya Tremayne, Soheila Shahshahani, and Veronica Buffon
Anatoly M. Khazanov and Günther Schlee (eds.) (2011), Who Owns the Stock? Collective and Multiple Property Rights in Animals (New York/Oxford: Berghahn Books), "Integration and Conflict Studies", Max Planck Institute for Social Anthropology, Halle/Saale, vol. 5, 332 pp., 8 maps, 19 tables, 66 fig., biblio., index.
Motzafi-Haller, Pnina (2012), In the Cement Boxes: Mizrahi Women in the Israeli Periphery (The Hebrew University Magnes Press), pp. 276, ISBN: 978- 965-493-650-7.
Helie, Anissa and Hoodfar, Homa (eds.) (2012), Sexuality in Muslim Contexts: Restrictions and Resistance (London: Zed Books), Pb., glossary, xiv + 346 pp., index, ISBN: 978-1-78032-286-8.
What is Farhâdi Trying to Portray of Iranian Everyday Life and Iranian Characters in His Films?
Encounters and Engagements: Creating New Agendas for Medical Anthropology, 12–14 June 2013, EASA/SMA/URV Joint International Conference, Tarragona, Spain.
Globalization, Representation, and Resistance
Graeme Hayes and Martin O'Shaughnessy
It is now twelve years since French brinkmanship pushed American negotiators and the prospects of a world trade deal to the wire, securing the exclusion of cultural products and services from the 1993 GATT agreement and the maintenance of European systems of national quotas, public subsidies, and intellectual property rights in the audiovisual sector. The intervening period has not been quiet. Although the Multilateral Agreement on Investment was sunk when Lionel Jospin pulled the plug on negotiations in October 1998, the applications of new central European entrants to join the European Union and Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development have been accompanied by a continuing guerrilla battle fought by successive American administrations against the terms and scope of the exclusion.