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Simulating Events as They Happen

Spectacle, Ideology, and Readymade Boogeymen—The 2011 August Riots and the Media

Christian Garland

The 2011 August riots that combusted with the police shooting of Mark Duggan in Tottenham, North London, (Laville, 2011; Vasagar, 2011) spread literally like wildfire to cities and towns across England in the space of a matter of hours. At the time, much was written about the supposedly ‘nihilistic’ and ‘opportunistic’ nature of the events, and how, unlike previous urban rebellions, they could not be considered to have any ‘political’ dimension, although there were some notable exceptions to such blanket dismissals, which were offered en bloc from even ‘radical’ quarters, not say media and academic ones. The article seeks to offer an analysis and critique of the media narrative of the events in English cities that August, with the aim of contributing to their demystification and better understanding, more than three years on. The article is written from a Marxist perspective, heavily drawing on Critical Theory and using content analysis and an ideological critique of the media to develop its argument. In the three years since the riots of 2011, the production of literature on those events has been fairly continuous, but largely oblivious to their significance, or just why they received such blanket and unequivocal condemnation. This article, in keeping with its origins as one of ‘the notable exceptions’ at the time makes an interrogative critique of the media’s part in ‘simulating events as they happen’.

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Democracy Needs Rebellion

A Democratic Theory Inspired by Albert Camus

Markus Pausch

Democracy has come under pressure in many countries in recent years. Authoritarian tendencies, populism and the cult of leadership threaten pluralistic societies in Europe and other parts of the world. But democracy is more than just a method of finding a majority; it is inextricably linked to the fight against oppression and injustice in all contexts of life. Especially in times of democratic crisis, it is necessary to focus on its core aspects. The political thinking of French philosopher and writer Albert Camus, who died in 1960, offers the basis for a redefinition of democracy that is linked to and dependent on rebellion. From his reflections, a radical theory of democracy can be derived that is based on the absurdity of the world, its incompleteness, revolt and resistance to authoritarianism, on doubt, dialogue and foreignness.

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Claudia Mitchell

There is something rebellious about the work of Girlhood Studies so it is perhaps fitting that “Visual Disruptions” is the theme of this seventeenth issue of Girlhood Studies. The significance of 17 as an age in the life of girls and young women may vary, of course, across cultures, and, indeed, within contemporary popular culture in the West it is not necessarily seen as disruptive, as research on Seventeen magazine highlights. Nonetheless, we can think of the Janis Ian song from the 1970s, “At Seventeen,” and the many songs from The Beatles to the Sex Pistols that refer to girls being 17, and contemplate a state that is far from compliant in relation to conventional femininity. The articles in this themed issue of Girlhood Studies, guest-edited by Danai S. Mupotsa and Elina Oinas, offer a fascinating investigation into the politics of girlhood and visual culture, and the politics of disruption itself. The contributions are also a testament to the close alliance between feminism and visual studies.

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Joanna Pfaff-Czarnecka

Since 1996, Nepal has increasingly been drawn into a violent conflict between Maoist rebels and the state, leading to a severe crisis. Thousands of civilians have been killed, and most people in the countryside live in constant fear. Economic hardship has seriously increased. Despite repeated efforts to bring the parties together for peace talks, there is little hope that the violent situation will be resolved in the near future. This article analyzes the complex causes of the emergence of the Maoist insurrection and its success, and sketches the problems impeding a democratic solution to the current situation.

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John Dunn

humans to live in. But thus far, it has proved too hard to see quite what form that role could take, let alone what could give it the sheer force to transform political possibilities on a global scale. Distinguishing between Revolution and Rebellion The

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The Three Burials of Aslak Hætta and Mons Somby

Repatriation Narratives and Ritual Performances

Stein R. Mathisen

Introduction: History, Ethnic Conflicts, the Dead, and Their Remains The historical backdrop for the events, narratives, and ritual ceremonies discussed in this article is the Kautokeino rebellion of 1852, leading to the death sentence and

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Debate

Religion and Revolution

Mark Juergensmeyer, Sidharthan Maunaguru, Jonathan Spencer and Charles Lindholm

For some decades, the religious rebellion of the late-twentieth and early-twenty-first centuries was characterized by political violence, terrorism, and strident rhetoric. Then in 2011, the events collectively known as Arab Spring seemed to offer a new model: mass movements leading to democratic reform and electoral change. The elections of 2012 swept religious parties and leadership into office in Egypt, Tunisia, and Libya. Is this the face of the future of religious rebellion around the world?

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Marisol Ruiz and Evelyn N. Castro Méndez

*Second review is in Spanish

L. Mesa Delmonte, Ed. (2012). El pueblo quiere que caiga el régimen: Protestas sociales y confl ictos en África del norte y en Medio Oriente (The people want the fall of the regime: Social protests and confl icts in Northern Africa and the Middle East). México: El Colegio de México.

Wright, Robin. (2011). Rock the Casbah: Rage and rebellion across the Islamic World. Nueva York: Simon & Schuster.

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Eric Brothers

The rise of neo-Nazism in the capital of the former German Democratic Republic (GDR) was not inspired by a desire to recreate Hitler's Reich, but by youthful rebellion against the political and social culture of the GDR's Communist regime. This is detailed in Fuehrer-Ex: Memoirs of a Former Neo-Naxi by Ingo Hasselbach with Tom Reiss (Random House, New York, 1996). This movement, however, eventually worked towards returning Germany to its former 'glory' under the Third Reich under the guidance of 'professional' Nazis.

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Dan Slater

Indonesia seems perpetually condemned to “live in interesting times,” as the famous Chinese curse goes. The past decade has seen the country attract global notoriety as a land of recurrent economic shocks, ethnic conflicts, terrorist bombings, separatist rebellions, and natural catastrophes. Political authorities have appeared too corrupt and inept to respond effectively. Thus, when Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono (SBY), a retired general, scored a landslide victory in Indonesia’s first-ever direct presidential election in September 2004, the political rise of a military man was widely portrayed as a small blow for stability in a highly unstable nation.