Forster’s reports, Hawkesworth’s text is not a report based on autopsy, but rather consists of a reconstruction of ethnological travel-knowledge that, while it may be drawn from “firsthand” notes and sketches, openly makes use of fictional techniques. It
Imparting Ethno-aesthetic Knowledge in John Hawkesworth’s Report on Cook’s First Voyage to the South Pacific (1768–1771)
Continuity and Change of (Post)Socialist Infrastructure
the socialist BAM construction project and the postsocialist reconstruction program BAM-2, aims to explore continuity and change in the transition between these two projects by focusing on the railroad infrastructure, which consists of construction
Georges Franju's Eyes Without a Face
This essay proposes a reading of Georges Franju's Eyes Without a Face that focuses on the cultural and philosophical contexts of the face, its destruction, and imagined reconstruction in postwar France. The film foregrounds the protagonist's lack of a face and the effort to restore it into a cinematic argument heralding the ruin of natural beauty and genuine face-to-face relations, an approach that in turn theorizes the postwar world as premised on ethical and aesthetic opacity. By considering contemporary treatments of the face, as well as the representations of injury and violence, the essay argues that at stake in the political and aesthetic judgments proposed by the failed face transplants in the film was a concern with the technological reconstruction of a natural and pure state, a reconstruction that was now seen as impossible and could have devastating consequences at the ethical and aesthetic levels.
Reconstruction, Transnational Governance and Gender Politics in the New Islamic Republic
This article seeks to characterise the nature of the post-Taliban 'reconstruction' project in Afghanistan through an analysis of observations and interviews collected in the Ministry of Women's Affairs (MoWA) in 2007. Based on a case study of a 'gender empowerment' training programme administered by the MoWA and funded by an international aid agency, I underline some intricacies in the relationships that are built in development encounters. I argue that the current efforts to include gender issues in politics are part of a broader cultural project aimed at setting up the conditions of possibility for the creation of a modern Afghan state. I show how reconstruction does not simply consist in the formation of a bureaucratic apparatus based on Western models of liberal democracies but primarily involves cultural and symbolic production.
A Nkrumahist Perspective
Ezekiel S. Mkhwanazi
am laying out for you, the reader. The reconstruction and development project of Africa is far from being over. Poverty, inequality and wars continue to plague African people wherever they are. The fallist movements in South Africa since 2015, which
The Rhetoric of White Supremacy in Post-Civil War Louisiana
Marek D. Steedman
Did white supremacists successfully appeal to a right of resistance in Louisiana in the 1870s? I argue that they did. White supremacists self-consciously defended their own actions within the framework of an Anglo-American discourse of resistance against tyrannical government, and they broadly succeeded in convincing fellow (white) citizens. Can we deny them the cover of legitimacy this tradition affords? We might suggest that a right to resist is rendered void by the fact that white supremacists were resisting constitutional democracy itself. I argue against this strategy (or, more precisely, for a right to resist constitutional democratic government), and suggest that the problem is not what white supremacists were fighting against. The right to resist is bound up with a defense of the just demands of the people, and this claim, as articulated by white supremacists, rests on decidedly shaky ground. Deciding the issue, however, is a matter of political contestation.
Reconciliation, reconstruction, and everyday life in war-torn societies
This special section of Focaal explores processes of social recovery and peace-building in the aftermath of radical violence and political upheaval. The articles draw on detailed ethnographic case studies from Bosnia and Herzegovina, a country that was shattered by war and ethnic cleansing in the 1990s, and raise issues of relevance to other post-conflict situations. Challenging “reconciliation” as a moral discourse with universalist claims, the articles highlight the dynamics of its localization in different contexts of intervention in post-war society. The four contributions explore different facets of this dynamic as it is played out in the key areas of justice, the return of refugees and internally displaced persons, and NGO peace-building activities. They illuminate what happens when the global paradigm of reconciliation encounters and filters through meanings and motivations of actors in local contexts. They also note that everyday interactions between former adversaries take place not as a moral engagement with reconciliation but as part of rebuilding a sense of normality. The findings point to the need to critically investigate the conditions under which such encounters may empower or prohibit the rebuilding of social relations and trust in post-war societies.
Michael J. Piore
This is a big, ambitious book with an intricate, engaging, and important argument. I picked it up in Paris in January and read it on the flight home. It made me happy to be an intellectual and a scholar; happy to be able to read French; happy, for the first time I can remember, to have seven and a half hours of uninterrupted time on a transatlantic flight.
Mark E. Spicka
Perhaps the most remarkable development in the Federal Republic
of Germany since World War II has been the creation of its stable
democracy. Already by the second half of the 1950s, political commentators
proclaimed that “Bonn is not Weimar.” Whereas the
Weimar Republic faced the proliferation of splinter parties, the rise
of extremist parties, and the fragmentation of support for liberal and
conservative parties—conditions that led to its ultimate collapse—the
Federal Republic witnessed the blossoming of moderate, broadbased
parties.1 By the end of the 1950s the Christian Democratic
Union/Christian Social Union (CDU), Social Democratic Party
(SPD) and Free Democratic Party (FDP) had formed the basis of a
stable party system that would continue through the 1980s.
Daniel F. Ziblatt
The collapse of communism did not follow any single path in east
central Europe. In Hungary and Poland, the transition was marked
by early negotiations between opposition elites and the ruling Communist
party. In East Germany and Czechoslovakia, the regimes fell
victim to a sudden and quick implosion. In Romania and Bulgaria,
internal coups replaced the ruling communist elite with other members
of the nomenklatura. The transitions away from communist rule
diverged from each other in timing, manner, and degree.