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Masters of disorder

Rituals of communication and monitoring at the International Committee of the Red Cross

Julie Billaud

The mandate of the ICRC as granted by the Geneva Conventions is to act as a ‘guardian of International Humanitarian Law’ on the frontlines of conflicts. While its humanitarian relief operations have contributed to its international reputation, this monitoring function is rather unknown to the public. In this paper, I pay specific attention to activities carried out by ICRC delegates to protect various categories of victims in times of war. By focusing on the ways in which delegates interpret the principles (‘neutrality’, ‘impartiality’, ‘confidentiality’) that guide their actions, I seek to decipher the organisation’s ethos and worldview. I highlight the hopes as well as the frustrations and disappointments generated by myriad administrative techniques devised to engage parties to a conflict in a ‘confidential dialogue’ on the conduct of hostilities. Finally, I examine how these techniques, built on the hope in the possibility of communication, are changing as a result of external sources of pressure for ‘evidence‐based programming’, turning personalised case‐based monitoring into a new form of ‘audit culture’ based on statistical evidence. Paradoxically, relying on numbers to realise the utopia of ‘humanising war’ makes the very ‘humans’ who are supposed to benefit from it disappear from view.

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Kira Mahamud Angulo and Yovana Hernández Laina


In this article we analyze knowledge about economics conveyed via primary school textbooks published during the late Franco dictatorship and the years of transition to democracy in Spain. Starting from the premise that the process of political socialization and identity construction is based partly on economic factors, we examine the evolution of the content of economics in textbooks during and after the technocratic phase of planning and development. We elucidate ways in which economic culture is transmitted in schools, identifying certain values, principles and patterns of sociopolitical thought that this culture upholds and projects.

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Benjamin Moffitt

While the rise of populism in Western Europe over the past three decades has received a great deal of attention in the academic and popular literature, less attention has been paid to the rise of its opposite— anti-populism. This short article examines the discursive and stylistic dimensions of the construction and maintenance of the populism/anti-populism divide in Western Europe, paying particular attention to how anti-populists seek to discredit populist leaders, parties and followers. It argues that this divide is increasingly antagonistic, with both sides of the divide putting forward extremely different conceptions of how democracy should operate in the Western European political landscape: one radical and popular, the other liberal. It closes by suggesting that what is subsumed and feared under the label of the “populist threat” to democracy in Western Europe today is less about populism than nationalism and nativism.

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The Impact of the COVID-19 Pandemic in Central and Eastern Europe

The Rise of Autocracy and Democratic Resilience

Petra Guasti

)—has become disfigured ( Urbinati 2014 ). Three democratic disfigurations are key theoretically and empirically—technocracy, populism, and plebiscitarianism ( Urbinati 2014 ). Technocracy promises to rescue democracy from its cacophonic partisanship

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Sabine von Mering, Luke B. Wood, J. Nicholas Ziegler, John Bendix, Marcus Colla, and Alexander Dilger

Dolores L. Augustine, Taking on Technocracy: Nuclear Power in Germany, 1945 to the Present (New York: Berghahn Books, 2018)

Michael Meng and Adam R. Seipp, Modern Germany in Transatlantic Perspective (New York: Berghahn Books, 2017)

Cynthia Miller-Idriss, The Extreme Gone Mainstream: Commercialization and Far Right Youth Culture in Germany (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2017)

Constantin Goschler, ed. Compensation in Practice: The Foundation ‘Remembrance, Responsibility and Future’ and the Legacy of Forced Labour during the Third Reich (New York: Berghahn Books, 2017)

Albert Earle Gurganus, Kurt Eisner: A Modern Life (Rochester: Camden House, 2018)

Claudia Sternberg, Kira Gartzou-Katsouyanni, and Kalypso Nicolaïdis, The Greco-German Affair in the Euro Crisis: Mutual Recognition Lost? (London: Palgrave MacMillan, 2018)

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The “Mangle” of Human Practice

Museu do Amanhã’s Artistic Staging as a Socioscientific Narrative on Climate Change

Rodanthi Tzanelli

initiated by social behaviors and beliefs about climate change and their planning “from above” (technocracy and systems of consumption and automobility) by offering an opportunity to museum visitors to perform them, restage them “from below,” thus

Open access

Xandra Miguel-Lorenzo

) argues there are three types of Bolivian women's movements ‘ideologically polarized’ in the 1990s: liberal, NGO-based ‘gender technocracy’ and anarcho-feminism. In her view, CIDEM falls within the category of gender technocracy because focusing on one

Open access

Francesc Bellaubi

to the relation between humans and the geosphere through the technocratic artifacts and technocracies, meaning the governance and institutional models, the epistemological knowledge frames, and the environmental milieu ( Rutherford 2017 ) reflected in

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Guiding Girls

Neoliberal Governance and Government Educational Resource Manuals in Canada

Lisa Smith and Stephanie Paterson

. Paterson , Stephanie , Patrik Marier , and Felix Chu . 2016 . “ Technocracy or Transformation? Mapping Women’s Policy Agencies and Orienting Gender (In)Equality in the Canadian Provinces .” Canadian Public Administration 59 ( 3 ): 405 – 424

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Waves of Dispossession

The Conversion of Land and Labor in Bali’s Recent History

Anette Fagertun

forming five-year plans ( repelita ) for developing Indonesia’s economy ( Hadiz and Robison 2005: 221 ). State and crony capitalism developed rapidly, and although there was a market-oriented technocracy advising on policy, it was basically a centralized