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Transnational Public Spheres from 'Above' and from 'Below'

Feminist Networks across the Middle East and Europe

Ruba Salih

This article examines the emergence of transnational public spheres brought about by women activists in diasporas and countries of origin across Europe and the Middle East. Such activism can take various forms - networks, partnerships, transnational mobilisations against war or for advocacy - which, in turn, have an impact on the ability to provide women with new paths to emancipation. Although globalising states and societies are becoming more interconnected, demarcating inequalities and forms of governance still exist. Parameters based on territoriality and national citizenship reinforce the unequal access to resources that women experience around the globe and thus have a hand in shaping women's agendas. The article concludes that although women may be able to acquire empowering tools through feminist transnational networks, these tools are not always capable of dismantling boundaries or weakening old hierarchies.

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Nicole Abravanel

English abstract (full article is in French):

This article focuses on the role of spatiality in the world of eastern Mediterranean Jews, which is viewed as a configuration of networked space. In looking at the wide range of views elicited by Joseph Pérez, a novel by Abraham Navon published in 1925, it is appropriate that spatiality be studied conjointly and comparatively as much from the point of view of the observer as the observed, in order to divest oneself of preconstructed and opposed East/West stereotypes. The publication of Joseph Pérez occurred in the midst of a significant upsurge in exotic and orientalist literary trends, which presented the “oriental” Jew as a reflection of this opposition. The study of the positioning of characters in the work of Abraham Navon, as well as in the work of the celebrated author Albert Cohen, reveals the underlying stratum of articulated spaces that differ as much in terms of the world of the authors’ imaginations as that of the transterritorial migration of these Sephardic individuals.

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Migrantes y vida pública en Cuba

Estrategias transnacionales de ciudadanos cubanos residentes en Ecuador

Liudmila Morales Alfonso and Liosday Landaburo Sánchez

*Full article is in Spanish

English abstract: The article analyzes how the participation of migrants in Cuban public life has been reconfigured, starting with the process of updating the economic, political and social model that began in 2008. This group, which had been excluded from national public life through an intersection of official policies and discourses—which supported the viewpoint of migration without return, due to political causes, and an “us vs. them” opposition—now benefits from a Cuba that is more open to the world and consistent with transnational migration. Although the road to full citizenship continues to be full of obstacles, there are new opportunities for participation in public life, which the article measures from the integration of Cubans residing in Ecuador in the formal and informal economies to their maintenance of a migratory status in Cuba and the flow of information and communication with their native country.

Spanish abstract: El artículo analiza cómo se reconfigura la participación de los migrantes en la vida pública cubana, a partir del proceso de actualización del modelo económico, político y social que inició en 2008. Este grupo, que había sido excluido de la vida pública nacional por una conjunción entre políticas y discursos oficiales —que sustentó el imaginario de una migración sin retorno, por causas políticas, y de una oposición nosotros/ellos— se beneficia de una Cuba más abierta al mundo y consecuente con la migración transnacional. Aunque el camino hacia una ciudadanía plena continúe lleno de obstáculos, existen nuevas oportunidades de participación en la vida pública, que el artículo mide desde la inserción de cubanos residentes en Ecuador en la economía, formal e informal; el mantenimiento de un status migratorio en Cuba y el flujo de información y comunicación con su país natal.

French abstract: L’article analyse la façon dont la participation des migrants à la vie publique cubaine est reconfigurée, en commençant par la mise à jour du modèle économique, politique et social qui a débuté en 2008. Ce groupe, exclu de la vie publique nationale conjointement par les politiques et discours officiels - qui ont soutenu l’imaginaire d’une migration sans retour, en raison de causes politiques et d’une opposition nous / eux - bénéficie d’un Cuba plus ouvert au monde et compatible avec les migrations transnationales. Et bien que le chemin vers la pleine citoyenneté continue d’être semé d’obstacles, il existe de nouvelles possibilités de participation à la vie publique que l’article met en évidence, depuis l’insertion des Cubains résidant en Équateur dans l’économie, formelle et informelle ; le maintien d’un statut migratoire à Cuba et le flux d’informations et de communication avec leur pays natal.

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Imagining nation

Women's rights and the transnational movement of Shan women in Thailand and Burma

Pinkaew Laungaramsri

This article explores the relationship between women, nation, nationalism, and transnational women’s practice through the Shan women’s movement in Thailand, particularly the international campaign to stop the systematic rape of Shan women by Burmese soldiers. Employing a feminist critique of nationalism, the article argues that transnational networks allow for the negotiation between national, local, and women’s identities. Whereas the authoritative power of nationalism continues to suppress and silence the transnational subjectivity of women, the Shan women’s movement represents a transnational attempt to contest the confinement of women’s subjectivities within the territorialized nation-state.

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Mapping Solidarity

How Public Anthropology Provides Guidelines for Advocacy Networks

Raúl Acosta

Current transnational networks of non-governmental organizations and social movements have challenged nation-states' policy designs. Their increasing political legitimacy, however, is matched by cultural friction and misunderstandings among their members and stakeholders. This paper argues that anthropological insights may provide maps that can help shape advocacy networks' guidelines for action. Just as social analysts of past centuries provided the language and imagined forms of social organization from systematic examinations of events, anthropologists can help explain current relations and processes within fluid structures in order to improve their practices and results. This idea is illustrated by the examination of a single socio-environmental advocacy network in the Brazilian Amazon: 'Y Ikatu Xingu. This network was chosen because it brings together stakeholders from contrasting backgrounds, thus highlighting its intercultural challenges. Some members of the convening NGOs were anthropologists, whose work is focused on helping bridge understandings of environment and coexistence. The network was therefore strongly influenced by anthropological insights.

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Jonathan Laurence

Politicians and civil servants charged with the task of helping a “French Islam” emerge in late twentieth-century France faced a vast, transnational network of more than 1600 Muslim associations and mosques in dozens of French towns and cities. During the colonial era, Islam in French Algeria was exempted from the 1905 separation of church and state, and no one at the time imagined that one century later, 5 million Muslims would inhabit metropolitan France. The legacy of French and later, Algerian, state oversight of the Muslim religion is still felt within Islam in France today. In the post-colonial period up until the 1980s, French authorities relied on immigrants’ home governments for the accommodation of religious requirements, from the salaries of imams to the creation of prayer spaces.

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Continental Collaboration

The Transition from Ultranationalism to Pan-Europeanism by the Interwar French Fascist Right

Sarah Shurts

This article considers the emergence of pan-European discourse and the creation of transnational networks by the intellectual extreme Right during the interwar and occupation years. Through a close reading of the essays, speeches, and texts of French fascist intellectuals Abel Bonnard, Alphonse de Châteaubriant, and Pierre Drieu la Rochelle, the author contends that it was during the interwar and wartime decades that the French extreme Right transitioned from its traditional ultranationalism to a new concept of French national identity as European identity. More importantly, these three leading fascist intellectuals worked to distinguish their concept of European federation and transnational cultural exchange as anterior to and independent of submission to Nazi Germany. It was, therefore, in the discourse and the transnational socio-professional networks of the interwar period that we can find the foundation for the new language of Europeanism that became ubiquitous among the postwar Eurofascists and the Nouvelle Droite today.

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Thomas Fillitz

The present economic and financial crises do not seem to particularly influence the global art market of contemporary art. In an attempt to understand this apparent opposition, I adopt a macro perspective, combining my own research ventures in Dakar and Vienna with general art market studies. I argue that this market is a special representation of millennial capitalism (Comaroff and Comaroff 2001). The global art market puts in place an organization of diversity that allows a high flexibility in including specific centers and marginalizing others, as well as a special focus on a globally acting group of “ultra high net worth” individuals. Striking features are the concentration of capital flows to a few major centers, the constitution of complex, transnational networks, the dominant logics for each market field (gambling, glamour, moral economy), and the diversification of the commodity character of the work of art.

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The Fractal Process of European Integration

A Formal Theory of Recursivity in the Field of European Security

Grégoire Mallard and Martial Foucault

This article proposes a simple formal model that can explain why and how European states engaged in the negotiation of federalist treaties in the fields of European defense and security. Using the non-cooperative model of multilateral bargaining derived from the Stahl-Rubinstein game, we show that the specific sequencing of treaty negotiations adopted by federalists explains why, against all odds, states preferred federalist-inspired treaties to intergovernmental treaties. We argue that federalists succeeded in convincing states to sign their treaties, rather than alternative treaties, by spreading the risk of rejection attached to various components of European security treaties into successive periods of negotiations, a process that they repeated in each new round of negotiation. In doing so, we show that Jean Monnet and his transnational network of European federalists had an influence on the process of EU integration because they segmented treaties into components with different probabilities of acceptance, and structured the different rounds of negotiations of these components by starting with the less risky ones, rather than because they convinced states to change their preferences and adopt federalist treaties instead of intergovernmental treaties.