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Active Waiting and Changing Hopes

Toward a Time Perspective on Protracted Displacement

Cathrine Brun

This article introduces a time perspective on 'protracted displacement' and seeks to theorize 'agency-in-waiting' through a focus on the ways in which people simultaneously carry on during displacement, feel trapped in the present, and actively relate to alternative notions of the future. The article analyzes the protracted case of internally displaced Georgians from Abkhazia and the dominant discourse of return that characterizes their lives in displacement. Changing notions of hope are analyzed in order to understand the role that an uncertain future plays and the potential for agency that people develop during displacement. Agency-in-waiting and future perspectives, it is suggested, contribute valuable conceptual and political dimensions to the ways in which protracted displacement can be understood and addressed.

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Waiting

Anticipation and Episodic Time

Cheryl Mattingly

Waiting is one obvious form of anticipation. This article considers waiting for death. Drea, a mother whose five-year-old daughter was diagnosed with a virulent form of brain cancer, experiences a shifting anticipatory terrain as death looms large. Calling upon phenomenology, I ask two primary kinds of questions that connect time, narrative and relationality in considering Drea’s experience of waiting. First, I ask what Drea is waiting for and what kind of time horizon this waiting opens up. My second question is less obvious for an article on anticipatory time: who does she wait with? To put this phenomenologically: how might we consider ‘waiting with’ as a form of experience? I bring to bear phenomenological considerations of narrative time, drawing especially on Carr, as well as Nancy’s phenomenology of relationality.

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Paul Stephenson

The Canada/U.S. border has not shifted physically in many years but psychologically the border is in a very different place today than before 9/11. While the various agreements of the late 1900s seemed to indicate that the border was becoming an informal formality, the events of 9/11 resulted in a significant increase in wait times as security protocols were tightened. This review article considers recent scholarship on border mobility, waiting, and their implications moving forward.

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Andrey Vozyanov

Mobility requires waiting, especially in intermodal transportation systems. People must wait in airports, stations, and vehicles; at bus stops; in queues at registration desks and luggage checks; at boarding; and elsewhere. Waiting is part of the public transportation routine. As Ohmori and Harata report, an average commute time for train commuters in Tokyo is sixty-nine minutes.

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Giving Aid Inside the Home

Humanitarian House Visits, Performative Refugeehood, and Social Control of Syrians in Jordan

Ann-Christin Wagner

volunteers, local fishermen, academics, journalists, and undefinable others were waiting on the island’s pebbled shores, rushing towards each newly arriving boat. Papataxiarchis’s description recalls my volunteering experience in Mafraq: the co-presence of

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Governing through Uncertainty

Experiences of Being a Refugee in Turkey as a Country for Temporary Asylum

Kristen Sarah Biehl

This article addresses the question of how to theorize the relation between uncertainty and governmentality with regard to displacement and its consequences. It explores the experiences of asylum seekers in Turkey and the bureaucratic processes of refugee status determination, local dispersal, and third country resettlement, illustrating two main points throughout. First, 'protracted uncertainty', characterized by indefinite waiting, limited knowledge, and unpredictable legal status, is a central element of the experience of being an asylum seeker in Turkey. Second, this uncertainty serves to demobilize, contain, and criminalize asylum seekers through the production of protracted uncertainty, which in turn is normalized as a necessity of bureaucracy and/or security. The article invites readers to question the governmentalities of asylum and border regimes that not only discipline refugees' everyday movements but also determine the uncertainty of 'refugeeness'.

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Did Policy Change Work?

Oregon Women Continue to Encounter Delays in Medicaid Coverage for Abortion

Bayla Ostrach

Women in poverty experience greater delays in the process of seeking abortion. Timely access to both safe abortion care and early prenatal care reduces morbidity and mortality among pregnant women. This article examines the impacts of a policy change intended to facilitate poor women's applications for pregnancy-related Medicaid (a federally funded, state-administered health coverage programme for the poorest Americans), in Oregon (Western U.S.). The mixed-methods data from this applied anthropology study demonstrate that though health coverage waiting times grew shorter on average, poor women and the clinic staff who cared for them continued to perceive delays in obtaining Medicaid coverage for abortion. Implementation of the Affordable Care Act in the U.S.A. (aka Obama-care) is now thought to be contributing to a return to greater delays in accessing prenatal care and abortion. More research and advocacy are needed to improve access to reproductive health care through state Medicaid programmes.

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Poverty in Freedom versus Opulence in Chains

Satirical Exposé of the Postcolonial Dictatorships in Kourouma's Waiting for the Wild Beasts to Vote

Isaac Ndlovu

In my examination of Ahmadou Kourouma's satirical 'historiographic metafiction' (Hutcheon 1988: 93) Waiting for the Wild Beasts to Vote [1998] (2004), I argue that this narrative shows that in postcolonial Africa freedom from colonial rule has resulted neither in privilege nor power for the majority of African citizens. In the novel, Kourouma employs but also subverts the style of donsomana or praise poetry in his satirisation of postcolonial African ways of wielding political power. Largely narrated by Bingo, a satirical griot, the novel adopts a mock-epic mode as a way of acknowledging but also subverting both traditional African and European modernistic conceptualisations of the historical and literary. Among other things, the title of the novel satirises the inadequacy of electoral processes imposed by the Western nations to bring about smooth power transitions and genuine freedoms to the African populace. The novel's title also mocks African rulers for undermining democracy and those who are ruled for their inability to seize the voting opportunities, which in the novel are sometimes presented as moments of genuine civil power, to rid themselves of the emasculating dictators.

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Carlo Fusaro and Amie Kreppel

The year 2011 is remembered as the year when Silvio Berlusconi’s government

fell and the Italian Second Republic entered its final stage,1

and the following year, 2012, has been remembered as the year dominated

by technocrats in power.2 In contrast, 2013 has proven to be a

year of incomplete transitions. The year has marked a period during

which the Italian political and institutional system reached a nearly

complete decisional stalemate, unable to move forward with political,

institutional, or economic initiatives despite several erstwhile attempts.

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Social Circus and Applied Anthropology

A Synthesis Waiting to Happen

Nick McCaffery

This article explores the potential for developing anthropological investigation in the field of social circus – in particular with those projects that work with individuals living with disabilities. The author uses examples of research in Belfast to argue that the applied nature of anthropology is the ideal mechanism for analysing and comparing the emerging field of social circus projects around the world. In this case, anthropological tools were utilised that had a direct effect, not only on understanding the phenomenon of social circus projects but also on raising the levels of quality, leading to a direct improvement on services provided.