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International Cooperation, Transnational Circulation

Escape, Evasion, and Resistance in France, 1940–1945

Valerie Deacon

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.

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Muslim transnationalism in Indo-Guyana

Localized globalization and battles over a cultural Islam

Johannes Gerrit de Kruijf

Contemporary cultural processes, comprising tendencies toward transformation and reproduction, are inevitably affected by the (re)formative force of globalization. Increased mobility and intensified interconnectedness have expanded our ability to recreate culture, enforce a redefinition of social realities, and transform power structures. Globalization has thus also had an effect on religious realms. Religious concepts, practices, and organizations everywhere are increasingly subject to transnational forces. This article looks at the intersection of these forces and the local powers that determine religious developments by analyzing contemporary Indo-Guyanese Islam as a manifestation of this connection. Rather than stressing globalization's universalizing propensities, it investigates how local conditions determine the relationship between growing interconnectedness and the development of Muslim faith, practice, and collectivity. It is argued that globalization stirs opposing processes of deculturalization and reculturalization in Guyana because of the economic, social, religious, political, and historical context in which local Muslims consume the fruits of transnationalization.

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Concrete transnationalism?

Bridge building in the new economy

Orvar Löfgren

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.

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Narrow margins, stern sovereignty

Juxtaposing transnational and local features of Bolivia's crisis

Ton Salman

This article argues that the current Bolivian political crisis is ‘made’ both internally and abroad. Yet it is much more than a simple adding up of the two constituent factors: external influences are always mediated by local actors. Local actors turn these influences into meaningful issues and demands in the Bolivian political context. These actors, in turn, are co-constituted by external forces, as is the case with the prominent indigenous movements in the country: their self- awareness and identity politics in part depend upon support and discourses of a transnational nature. The fact that these indigenous movements insist on sovereignty and self-determination with regard to the use of Bolivia’s natural resources is a case in point. This demand, at the same time, is articulated in a setting in which this sovereignty suffers from tightening margins due to the external obligation to restructure both the state and the economy.

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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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Politicizing the Transnational

On Implications for Migrants, Refugees, and Scholarship

Riina Isotalo

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'.

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Valerie Deacon

Arguing that the resistance in France during the Second World War was always transnational in important ways, this piece identifies some of the recent scholarship that has expanded both the temporal and geographic parameters of the French Resistance. It introduces some of the key themes of this collection of articles and underscores the important contributions made by the participating authors. As these articles reveal, we can find sites of transnational resistance by looking at the relationship between the Allies and the resistance, the role that non-French denizens played in the resistance, the politics of cultural resistance, and the circulation of downed Anglo-American aircrews in Europe.

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Mats Lindqvist

This article will explore the prospects of and obstacles to the development of a transnational workers' solidarity movement in the Baltic Sea region in order to meet the challenges posed by transnational capital. The question is examined through a situational analysis of events taking place during a few hours at the Hotel Hafen in Hamburg on 10 November 2010. The subject of the analysis, which is based on personal observation and sound recordings, is the tripartite Steering Committee meeting of the Baltic Sea Labour Network (BSLN). The meeting's primary task was to formulate a statement about transnational strategies and tactics on which the parties—politicians, representatives of the employers and workers' delegations—could agree. The analysis explores the different parties' power resources in the negotiation process, and especially the workers' delegates' ability to pursue a course based on class solidarity. At each stage, we can observe how statements are formulated in an area of tension characterized by unequal power relationships and conflicting discourses in the form of neocolonial, national, transnational (class/region), and the EU's neoliberal and consensus-governed partnership discourses.

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Changing rights and wrongs

The transnational construction of indigenous and human rights among Vietnam's Central Highlanders

Oscar Salemink

In the context of the conflict-ridden relationship with the Vietnamese state and the growing transnational interference by their vociferous diaspora, this paper analyzes particular shifts in the framing of their rights. A notion of collective group rights that are by definition particularistic and exclusive has given way to individual rights (especially religious freedom) that are universal and inclusive. Simultaneously, a localized and communal emphasis has changed to a transnational one oriented toward international fora. Local interests and aspirations thus come to be framed as universal human rights that pertain to individuals, rather than local rights that pertain to collectives. In this light, recent attempts to theorize minority or indigenous rights appear to be ineffective and will probably be counter-productive.

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Balancing the Here and There

Transnational Mobilities of Moroccan Middle-class Professionals in Istanbul

Christian Ritter

This article explores the ways Moroccan middle-class professionals residing in Istanbul have forged transnational connections since the 2006 free trade agreement between Turkey and Morocco. Based on ethnographic fieldwork, the article finds that research participants embrace three interdependent mobilities – imaginative, corporeal and virtual. First, Moroccan television viewers imaginatively internalise images of Turkish society through Turkish programmes broadcast in Morocco. Then, Moroccan nationals engage in physical travel to Turkey, initially as tourists, but later also as job seekers. Finally, Moroccan residents of Istanbul travel virtually to keep in touch with friends and family through media such as online platforms and instant messaging applications. In this article I argue that users of virtual environments have developed into new transnational brokers, facilitating the spatial extension of border-crossing networks.