For immigration authorities, the goal of asylum hearings is to differentiate between economic migrants and legitimate political asylum seekers. However, in the stories asylum seekers tell, these categories often blur. Nevertheless, the asylum process uses this differentiation to conceal inequities in the system, and to justify denials. This article examines political asylum as a transnational and culturally local process and argues that contradictions between protection and control underlie some of the seemingly absurd denials of asylum applications.
Carol Bohmer and Amy Shuman
Marjo de Theije
Based on research in Brazil, the author discusses three local situations of conflict and social protest, using a transnational perspective. She concentrates on the use of universal claims of Catholicism in local negotiations of religious change under the influence of different cultural campaigns. The clashes in question are divided into those involving local political problems and those concerning the religious domain itself. The analysis shows that in each of the cases—albeit with different intensity and outcome—the interconnection between translocal processes and the meaning and experience of locality has a significant role in the power plays and the formulations of religious or social protest in the local context.
Algérie tours, détours (2006), La Chine est encore loin (2009), Fidaï (2012)
Nicole Beth Wallenbrock
This article investigates three recent transnational documentaries. The films invoke the theoretical concept of the rhizome, as understood by Gilles Deleuze and Félix Guattari, for the works trouble the line between past and present, as well as empirical geography that separates North Africa from France with the Meditteranean. In this way, the three works that study Algeria’s founding and its historical memory can be regarded as experimental explorations of spatial and temporal concepts.
How Public Anthropology Provides Guidelines for Advocacy Networks
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.
Bridge building in the new economy
In 2000 the bridge across Öresund linking Denmark and Sweden was finally opened. The bridge may appear as a classic, modernist piece of planning and technology, but the actual construction of the bridge coincided with the boom years of 'the new economy'. The ways in which the construction was organized and staged very much came to mirror some important trends of that new economy, including many of its buzz words. Over the years it became more and more unclear what actually was going on: a bridge construction or EU-invocations of a future transnational metropolis. This bridge project was densely inhabited by visions, dreams and expectations: there was so much this bridge could do. The article follows the various stages of the bridge project, from early dreams and plans, over the actual construction phase, to the grand opening ceremonies and finally the difficult transition into an everyday transport machine. I discuss the ways in which engineering and imagineering became intertwined and also how a transnational project like this made the nation state more visible and tangible.
In this article, I analyze critically Miss You Can Do It, an HBO documentary that follows the contestants and their families in a pageant for disabled girls. I explore disabled girls’ affective labor as happy objects and trace how certain exceptional, disabled girls are, in Puar’s sense, recapacitated and enfolded into the national imaginary. Through an analysis of the storyline of Alina Hollis’s adoption as a disabled foreign child, I illustrate how her transnational adoptee status functions in the service of a new, flexible family structure—one that is benevolent, recapacitated by its valuation of disability, and unwaveringly American.
Escape, Evasion, and Resistance in France, 1940–1945
The rescue of downed Anglo-American aircrews in France during the Second World War highlights the transnational nature of this kind of resistance. From their training to their evasion, flight crews themselves experienced the Second World War without traditional national borders. Moreover, their successful rescue in Occupied France depended on the ability of civilian helpers to think transnationally and to operate with little regard for the nation-state. This article focuses on evasion training, rescue, and postwar attempts to honor civilians for their assistance to highlight these themes of transnational resistance.
On Implications for Migrants, Refugees, and Scholarship
This article discusses the politicization of the transnational paradigm in terms of development and security, refugee and migrant regimes, and transnational practices. The analysis makes two principal arguments. The first is that diasporas and mobility in general have been both securitized and developmentalized. These two processes are intertwined but also contradictory. While migration is seen as a development resource, 'uncontrolled' population flows—particularly of refugees—are looked upon as security threats by states and policy makers. This duo-faceted approach is at the root of the politicization of the transnational paradigm. The second argument of this text is that this politicization and the neo-liberal mega-trend are also entwined, despite the fact that the scholars who introduced transnationalism to migration research saw it as reflecting a process of globalization 'from below'.
Patrick Stewart, Britishness and the Promotion of X-Men
The terrain and identity of the blockbuster, particularly the subset represented by X-Men, are among the least mapped and consequently misunderstood of Hollywood phenomena. Though the entertainment media deploy the term blockbuster without difficulty across almost every genre of film, academically the term has been more elusive. Previous to Julian Stringer's edited collection Movie Blockbusters, the blockbuster had usually been conceived as an unproblematically American phenomenon. Stringer's attempt to map the blockbuster's terrain usefully brings in the notion of nationality, which will form the focus of this analysis. However, it also begs an explanation of the blockbuster as it will be understood here. This discussion will use John Tomlinson's formulation of globalisation as complex connectivity as the basis for a more flexible framework within which to view the blockbuster film. Thus this article will seek to make sense of the flows of culture represented in X-Men, not as emanating from a central 'American' locus, but rather as shifting around what David Morley and Kevin Robins would term a global-local nexus. In this way the transnational and the national will both be shown to play a role in dispersing elements of films (and indeed this might be extended to other 'global' products) to the maximum number of potential audiences worldwide.
The Case of Yugoslavia in a Comparative Perspective
This article uses a comparative transnational model for a study of women’s resistance in Yugoslavia, with particular reference to the Independent State of Croatia. It challenges the dominant paradigm of active resistance in Hitler’s Europe as a largely masculine and military activity. Historians have long recognised the contribution of women to resistance in Yugoslavia; however, an ideologised and politically driven interpretation of wartime behaviour, combined with an overemphasis on active resistance, has militated against a nuanced approach towards the study of dissent in its diverse manifestations. This article proposes that a woman-centred focus on the social, everyday aspects of resistance is illuminating on definitions of and the preconditions necessary for successful resistance as well as on the subject of collaboration and conformism in the Second World War.