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Matthew Hibberd

This chapter reviews key Italian media events of 2003, focusing on the

political controversies surrounding the Italian public service broadcaster,

Radiotelevisione italiana (RAI), and the new broadcasting legislation,

the Gasparri law. This new law paves the way for the partial

privatization of RAI, which, the government hopes, will mirror the

financial success of other privatizations. Media issues relating to new

legislation and to the nomination of RAI’s Administrative Council created

bitter political arguments in 2003. The Berlusconi government

defended its handling of RAI matters and the new legislation, arguing

that it is promoting a modern and dynamic media industry. Opposition

parties claimed, however, that new legislation and the political control

of RAI suit Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi’s political and commercial

interests and undermine RAI’s public service obligations. This essay

will examine both sides of the political debate.

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Transformative cities

The three urban commons

Ida Susser and Stéphane Tonnelat

Drawing on Lefebvre and others, this article considers contemporary urban social movements with a selective review of urban research and suggestions for future ethnographic, cultural, and sociological questions. Under a generalized post-Fordist regime of capital accumulation, cultural workers and laborers, service workers, and community activists have all participated in urban movements. We consider such collective action, generated in the crucible of urban life, as a reflection of three urban commons: labor, consumption, and public services; public space (including mass communications and the virtual); and art, including all forms of creative expression. We suggest that the three urban commons outlined here are not necessarily perceived everywhere, but as they momentarily come together in cities around the world, they give us a glimpse of a city built on the social needs of a population. That is the point when cities become transformative.

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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.

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Massimo Bordignon and Gilberto Turati

In respect of fiscal decentralization, the year 2007, and more generally

the Parliament, saw some progress, above all in relation to the regulation

of intergovernmental pacts, legislative proposals, and the institutional

relationship between different levels of government. There

were also some failures, particularly with regard to the continual intervention

by the central government in the matter of local taxes. The

year also saw the emergence of substantial problems in relation to

local debt. These had been on the increase in recent years, partly as

a consequence of the introduction of new financial instruments and

partly because of explosive growth in some areas of local expenditure,

notably in the health sector. The central government tackled some

of these problems effectively—for example, those in areas affected

by the new norms on infrastructure and the Health Pact—while its

approach toward others was ineffectual. In general, the difficulties and

internal contradictions of the parliamentary majority constrained its

legislative capacity, opening up the possibility that its more innovative

proposals—in particular, those relating to the constitutional reform of

2001—would not be implemented.

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Incipient “commoning” in defense of the public?

Competing varieties of fiscal citizenship in tax- and spending-related direct democracy

Sandra Morgen and Jennifer Erickson

… between citizens and their state … [and] formalizes our obligations to each other as members of an ‘imagined community’” ( Mehrotra 2015: 949 ). Taxes fund governments, public services, and infrastructure, and are integral to the redistributive processes

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Refugee Hospitality Encounters in Northern Portugal

“Cultural Orientations” and “Contextual Protection”

Elizabeth Challinor

.” Refuge 28 ( 2 ): 31 – 47 . Lipsky , Michael . 1980 . Street-Level Bureaucracy: Dilemmas of the Individual in Public Service . New York : Russell Sage . Lubkemann , Stephen . 2002 . “ The Moral Economy of Portuguese Postcolonial Return

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Austerity in Africa

Audit cultures and the weakening of public sector health systems

James Pfeiffer

, and its public services were frayed. By the late 1980s, in the midst of the ongoing war, the government was heavily indebted leading it to sign onto an SAP in 1987 that imposed austerity measures on the ravaged public sector. Health workforce was cut

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Michael Alexander Ulfstjerne

Danish citizens are watching each other sing from inside their respective living rooms on prime-time flow television on DR1, a Danish public service channel. It is uncanny. Are living rooms not meant to be private? It is disorienting, and I am flat out

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Jablonka’s History

Literature and the Search for Truth

Sarah Fishman

. Jablonka warns of the potentially catastrophic results of relinquishing the quest for historical truth. Invoking the historian’s “esprit de résistance,” Jablonka defines history, and all social sciences, as a public service. We learn and inform our readers

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Waste and Powers

Political and Symbolic Effects Due to Privatisation of Urban Sanitation Services

Agnés Jeanjean

I would like to submit to you the idea that an anthropological approach to urban wastes and their corresponding techniques provides an understanding of the social mechanisms of articulation between the different spaces which exist in a city, as well as the construction mechanism or legitimisation of social positions. The continuing privatisation of public services, including urban sanitation services, for the pro t of big Western companies, highlights the consequences of globalisation through the imposition of technical systems.