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A. Hadi Alshawi and Andrew Gardner

This article examines the resurgence of tribalism as a sociological component of contemporary Qatari society. Utilising an ethnographic, mixed-methods design, the article begins with a survey of the substantial scholarship concerning tribes in Arabia. That scholarship provides ideas and understandings that only partially explain the vitality of contemporary tribalism. The article then demonstrates tribalism's ongoing social importance by analysing data from a quantitative survey of 800 Qatari citizens. The article concludes with the ethnographically situated contention that tribalism functions as a mechanism for asserting social power in the contemporary Qatari state, and is therefore an emblematic component of Qatari citizenship.

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‘You Have Car Insurance, We Have Tribes’

Negotiating Everyday Life in Basra and the Re-emergence of Tribalism

Hayder Al-Mohammad

This article explores the ways in which Basrans make their way in the world and examines how they negotiate certain situations that they encounter. One important means by which problems are dealt with in Basra is through recourse to one's tribe to mediate and resolve issues and sometimes even to protect an individual or family. I turn to ethnographic instances to highlight both the importance and capriciousness of tribes with respect to extending help when it is required. I then aim to show why tribalism has re-emerged within Iraq as a potent social and political force by reference to the shifting historical situation of the last 50 years.

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Cutting the Face

Kinship, State and Social Media Conflict in Networked Jordan

Geoffrey Hughes

tribal prerogatives that they have historically been denied, instead reject tribalism as backwards, chaotic and mafia-like. This article begins by examining the methodological advantages and pitfalls of approaching a social field amidst the

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Silke Beck

This article explores how the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has dealt with growing public scrutiny of its workings. It reviews recent initiatives set up to respond to the Climategate controversy. An independent review of the IPCC undertaken by an international scientific umbrella body—InterAcademy Council—can be shown to have triggered one of the turning points in the debate, placing the focus of attention on the IPCC's transparency and accountability. However, the council's recommendations have been implemented by the IPCC in such a way that the issue of public trust is treated as one of effective communication. The article then explains how IPCC's responses to Climategate can be traced back to the linear model of expertise. The article concludes with a discussion why the challenge of producing policy-relevant knowledge under conditions of heightened public scrutiny also requires new forms of scientific appraisal aimed at wider publics.

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What's Love Got to Do with It?

The Race of Freedom and the Drag of Descent

Elizabeth A. Povinelli

As long as there was race, there was the savage. Tribes would come later as those who invented their descending lines and segmentable surfaces projected them into the classical past of gens and phatries. And as long as there were savages, there were infidels. Christianity, defeated in the old Jerusalem, established a New Jerusalem through conquest and settlement, conversion and genocide, enslavement and rectitude in the Americas and Pacific. Some savages would be bestowed with cultures and some religions with the power of enlightenment. And yet, in the shadow of the enlightenment project, all of these social figures and social histories seem to collapse into a unilinear process of historical descent—the Crusades begat voyages of discovery, which begat the problem of the twentieth century, namely, the color line and the international division of colonizer and colonizer, the North and the South, the East and the West, the politics of recognition and the refusals of secularism— and a univocal problem of race, racialization, and racism. Race seems to have begat race: what makes discourse of tribalism, racism, and the savage slot seem ‘the same’ and seem different than the national citizen/subject is that they are all the effect of the same razza (lineage). Their actual social divergences and specificities are bled out. “But he who listens to history finds that things have no pre-existing essence, or an essence fabricated piecemeal from alien forms” (Foucualt 1984: 78).

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“Okay, I am going to try this now”

An Interview with Caryl Phillips about The Atlantic Sounds and The European Tribe

Nicklas Hållén and Caryl Phillips

Born on the Caribbean island of St. Kitts, Caryl Phillips grew up in the United Kingdom. For many years he has been living in the United States and currently teaches at Yale University. In addition to being an award-winning novelist, he is the author of two travelogues. In The European Tribe (1987), Phillips travels from Morocco, through Continental Europe, to Soviet Moscow. More than a report from a certain place and time, his travelogue is an indictment of the provincialism of Eurocentric discourses of whiteness in European societies. It describes a journey where Shakespeare, Anne Frank, and James Baldwin offer guidance through a landscape of racial tribalism and exclusion. The Atlantic Sound (2000) is a travel narrative that comprises a series of journeys across the Atlantic sphere, connecting places and stories that are central in the history of the transatlantic slave trade. It begins with Phillips repeating his family’s journey from the Caribbean to the United Kingdom aboard a banana boat. After an interlude of historical fiction that recreates the experiences of John Ocansey, a late nineteenth-century West African traveler in Liverpool, Phillips visits this monumental hub in the transatlantic slave trade and then goes to Ghana to participate in Panafest, a Pan-African festival held at a former slave fort. The next part of the book sees Phillips at another apex of the Atlantic triangle—Charleston, South Carolina. The book ends in the Negev desert where he visits a community of African-American settlers claiming Israeli ancestry.

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Lauren Marx

time the ANC had adopted a radical national programme which galvanised support of the African people on the basis of nationalism itself, independent of tribalism, racism and elitism. The Defiance Campaign which followed in 1955 became a litmus test in

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Carl Plantinga

the emotions (and moods) that the film elicits to support them: (1) an extreme tribalism; (2) disdain for the “other” and the outsider; (3) militarism; (4) suppression of “soft” emotions traditionally thought to be feminine; and (5) a fascination with

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Tricking Time, Overthrowing a Regime

Reining in the Future in the Yemeni Youth Revolution

Ross Porter

statehood – even though the soon-to-be-formed revolutionary Alliance of Yemeni Tribes would vehemently deny this opposition or, indeed, that there was any relation between tribalism and feudalism. When the tribes came into Change Square without their

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A Clash of Civilizations?

Pegida and the Rise of Cultural Nationalism

David N. Coury

and the forces of globalization is certainly not a new phenomenon. In 1992, political scientist Benjamin Barber published a seminal essay (later expanded into a book) about the clash between tribalism and globalism in the wake of the end of the Cold