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European Judaism Editorial

Vol. 1 No. 1 Summer 1966

European Judaism

Mercifully the destruction of the European Jewish communities was not total, and at the close of the conflict about 20 per cent of the original population remained to face the future. In some countries, such as France, a high proportion of the total population survived, while in Britain the community was totally spared. Russian Jewry, though continuing its prewar isolation and despite losses from the German occupation, still lives on as a numerically substantial part of the Jewish people. The troubles in North Africa and the Middle East have forced an immigration from those areas into the European continent.

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For Whom Is Europe?

A Friendly Reply

Henry R. Huttenbach

In a previous issue of the European Journal of Social Quality, Wolfgang Beck and Laurent van der Maesen raised the question: ‘Who is Europe for?’ Certainly not for the general populations, they conclude, judging from who designs the blueprints, formulates policy and executes and manages plans in and for the emerging European Union. Beck and van der Maesen raise the age-old plaint that the people, the citizens of and residents in multi-state Europe are being systematically bypassed by a bureaucratic elite more or less deaf to the voices and interests of the general public. Instead of decision-making taking place in the openness of the agora, in the public space, it is being made in camera by faceless and democratically unaccountable committees. The authors object to the new Europe increasingly run by experts, by arrogant professionals and by disinterested technocrats who harbour a basic contempt for grassroots democratic processes. In short, Beck and van der Maesen are critical of a Europe designed almost exclusively for transnational corporate interests and their allies – investment bankers, public officials, and so on.

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AJEC

Investigating European Cultures, Bridging Disciplines

Gabriela Kiliánová and Tatiana Podolinská

The Anthropological Journal of European Cultures, initiated by German scholar Ina-Maria Greverus together with Christian Giordano in 1990, played a central role in the fundamental changes that the hitherto more or less nationally confined European ethnologies have undergone since then. The journal mediated the intensifying exchange between eastern and western Europe, while its attempt to cross boundaries in particular between an anthropology of Europe and European ethnology remains key.

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Museum Europe

Negotiating Heritage

Sharon Macdonald

This article is concerned with some of the implications of the fact that Europe is so widely seen as a place replete with heritage, museums and memory, and also with the continuing expansion in numbers and types of heritage, museums and memory. It seeks to explore some of the ways in which heritage, in particular, is understood (including what it calls 'sticky heritage'), and especially the cultural and social work that it is often seen as able to do. To this end, the article reviews a number of trends in heritage developments, especially the diversification of what it calls 'Museum Europe' (e.g. in the establishment of museums or exhibitions about migration) and the kinds of citizenship that this mobilises. Some of the dilemmas as well as capacities of these developments are discussed. At the same time, the article reviews some of the directions in heritage research and the implications of this, and of 'Museum Europe' itself, for anthropology, ethnology and related disciplines.

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Peter R.A. Oeij, Steven Dhondt and Noortje M. Wiezer

The European situation of new forms of work organisation and stress risks in jobs are described against the 'decentralisation-human factor orientation model', which discerns types of work organisation. 'Flexible firms' based on lean production have the highest probability of high strain jobs, predicting negative health effects. Among European employees, those working in high strain work organisations report the highest number of complaints with musculoskeletal problems, allergies and asthma and stress-related problems. Although new forms of work organisation are limited in occurrence, most of them tend towards lean production, indicating growing stress risks for employees. The authors suggest to reduce stress risks in jobs by redesigning those organisational conditions labelled as sources for these risks into work situations with a better balance in job demands and job control.

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Wolfgang Beck and Laurent J.G. van der Maesen

In this article we will focus on the political role of citizens in the ongoing process of European unification. The standard interpretations of unification suggest that this process is the outcome of a force of intrinsic necessity. Paving the way for the internal market, monetary and fiscal harmonisation should, therefore, lead to the formation of a political community. We do not accept such a post-Hegelian interpretation, however. This process is a consequence of chosen political priorities. In our opinion these should prioritise the development of political relations, referring to democratically based values in order to determine the starting points for economic, welfare and cultural policies. But, according to Fritz Scharpf, this has not been the case. The politics of the Union have paved the way for the free market system - mainly as a response to the principle of profit maximising - resulting in a decline, in the long run, of the politics with which to develop conditions for a political community.

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Crisis, Power, and Policymaking in the New Europe

Why Should Anthropologists Care?

Bilge Firat

At a time when European integration faces many crises, the efficacy of public policies decided in Brussels, and in member state capitals, for managing the everyday lives of average Europeans demands scrutiny. Most attuned to how global uncertainties interact with local realities, anthropologists and ethnographers have paid scant attention to public policies that are created by the EU, by member state governments and by local authorities, and to the collective, organised, and individual responses they elicit in this part of the world. Our critical faculties and means to test out established relations between global–local, centre–periphery, macro–micro are crucial to see how far the EU's normative power and European integration as a governance model permeates peoples' and states' lives in Europe, broadly defined. Identifying the strengths and shortcomings in the literature, this review essay scrutinises anthropological scholarship on culture, power and policy in a post-Foucaultian Europe.

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Uniting Europeans by Values

A Feasible Enterprise?

Jan Berting

The draft-Constitution of the European Union mentions several values on which the Union is based. The status of these values is rather ambiguous, as the Constitution speaks about 'values', about 'developing common values' and about values which are common to all nation-states. Strangely enough, in the political debates that followed the presentation of the draft-Constitution, the specific role of values in the making of the EU was not elucidated. These debates show us a rather muddled state of affairs. Six different themes can be distinguished that are interrelated in complex ways.

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Intangible Cultural Heritages

The Challenge for Europe

Máiréad Nic Craith

Heritage has traditionally been associated with material objects, but recent conventions have emphasized the significance of intangible culture heritage. This article advocates a holistic approach towards the concept and considers key challenges for Europe's heritage at the beginning of the twenty-first century. Reflecting on the notion of 'European', it considers the question of how one defines European heritage and which European heritage is to be protected. It explores links between national and European conceptions of identity and heritage and queries issues of ownership, language and representation. A number of ethical issues are raised - such as the role of women in the transmission of heritage and the implications of information technology for copywriting traditional practices. The author also asks how one ensures that the process of globalisation facilitates rather than eliminates local cultural heritages? How does one enhance the local so that it becomes glocal and not obsolete?

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Europe and Culture

Anthropological Perspectives on the Process of European Integration

Hana Horáková

After the fall of the Iron Curtain a new concept of Europe as a socially relevant object of study emerged in the social sciences challenging the model of Europe as historical entity, or a philosophical or literary concept. This concept provoked an upsurge of interest in the study of European identity among anthropologists who began to study how Europeanness is constructed and articulated both by the architects of the EU themselves and at a grass-root level. Drawing on notions of European culture and identity, this text examines the image of Europe/the EU in post-communist Europe, particularly in the Czech Republic, from two different perspectives. First, how the institutionalisation of Europe as a cultural idea is viewed by some of the Czech political commentators, and second, from an ethnographically grounded anthropological perspective, focusing on how and at what levels a Czech local community identifies with Europe and the EU. Drawing on a broad range of data, the text attempts to provide new insights into the pitfalls of collective European identity in the making, with the emphasis on its cultural dimension in the post-communist Czech Republic.