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'Tensile Nationality'

National Identity as an Everyday Way of Being in a Scottish Hospital

Nigel Rapport

This article reports on research undertaken in a Scottish hospital on the theme of national identity, specifically Scottishness. It examines the ways and extents to which Scottishness was expressed in the workplace: as a quotidian aspect of individual and institutional identity, in a situation of high-pro file political change. The research was to situate nationality as a naturally occurring 'language-game': to explore everyday speech-acts which deployed reference to nationality/Scottishness and compare these to other kinds of overt affirmation of identity and other speech-acts when no such identity-affirmations were ostensibly made. In a contemporary Scottish setting where the inauguration of a new Parliament has made national identity a prominent aspect of public debate, the research illuminates the place of nationality amid a complex of workaday language-games and examines the status of national identity as a 'public event'.

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Na'ama Carmi

In May 2006, the Supreme Court of Israel, by a narrow majority of 6 to 5, upheld the constitutionality of the Nationality and Entry into Israel Law (Temporary Provision), which severely restricts the rights of Palestinian residents of the Occupied Territories to live in Israel. The main implications of the Act are that West Bank and Gaza spouses of Israeli citizens are prevented from living with their husbands or wives in Israel. This article reviews the court's judgment in light of the general immigration policy of Israel, which is reflected in three major laws. After presenting and analyzing the ruling, the article comments on some of the dilemmas and difficulties that the judgment raises.

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From “Clan” to Speech Community

Administrative Reforms, Territory, and Language as Factors of Identity Development among the Ilimpii Evenki in the Twentieth Century

Nadezhda Mamontova

This article deals with the relationships between identity, language, and “clan organization” among Ilimpii Evenki, and how these relationships formed and changed over the course of the twentieth century under the influence of Soviet nationalities policy, administrative reform, and local discursive practices. It is based on the author’s field materials collected in the period 2007 to 2012 in the Evenki Municipal District (Evenkia) of Krasnoiarskii Krai, as well as on unpublished sources stored in the archives of Tura (Evenkia), Krasnoiarsk, Moscow, and St. Petersburg. The central question under investigation deals with why the names of the former administrative clans of contemporary Ilimpii Evenki were used to label language communities; the results suggest that the main reasons were the specifics of the Soviet nationalities policy of the 1920s—which shaped the establishment of national regions on the basis of Evenki “clan” organization—as well the emergence of a new literary Evenki language and resettlement campaigns in the mid-twentieth century.

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Marc Morjé Howard

This article puts the 1999 German Nationality Act into a comparative European perspective. By applying a common measure of the relative restrictiveness or inclusiveness of a country's citizenship policy to the countries of the EU-15 at two different time periods, it provides an analysis of change both within and across countries. From this perspective, Germany has clearly moved "up" from having the single most restrictive law before the 1999 reform to a more moderate policy today. Yet Germany's major "liberalizing change" was also tempered by a significant "restrictive backlash." The German case therefore provides support for a broader theoretical argument about the potential for mobilized anti-immigrant public opinion to nullify the liberalization that often occurs within the realm of elite politics.

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Elite de Façade et Mirages de l’Independance

Les Petits Entrepreneurs Etrangers en France dans l’Entre-Deux-Guerres

Claire Zalc

In the literature, immigrant entrepreneurs are described as the élite of the best “integrated” immigrants. Histories of migrant communities all insist on the role of the entrepreneurs as the center of the community and the symbol of social success. In this paper, I will discuss the diverse social meaning attached to being an entrepreneur for an immigrant in Paris during the interwar period. In order to describe the social position of immigrant entrepreneurs, I worked on professional careers, based on the study of more than two hundred applications for French nationality from foreign entrepreneurs during the first half of the twentieth century. It's hard to conclude that there is a one-way social mobility of entrepreneurs, either ascendant or descendent. While some went from the working class to owning a shop, eventually able to spend and save money, others became entrepreneurs as a necessity rather than choice.

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Building a State in a State

Drawing of the Borders of the Komi (Zyrian) Autonomous Oblast in the 1920s

Indrek Jääts

This article analyses the conceptual path to the creation of national territorial autonomies of the Komi (Zyrians) and Komi-Permiaks in the 1920s. It focuses on the history of the idea of Komi autonomy and on the formation of the borders of the Komi Autonomous Oblast. The creation of the Komi autonomy was, first of all, the project of the small group of nationalist Komi communists. They tried to unite all the Komi politically, and were successful as far as their aims were in accordance with contemporary Soviet nationalities policy. However, they were not able to include Permiak areas, mainly because of the opposition of neighbouring Russian provincial elites.

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Babak Rezvani

The violence between the Kyrgyz and Uzbeks in Kyrgyzstan in 2010 has shocked many who thought of Kyrgyzstan as the most liberal country and the strongest democracy in Central Asia. That conflict, still, has not been explained and understood very well. Opposing and rival explanations often accuse one or other party, or certain obscure and even foreign forces. Many analysts, on the other hand, rely only on the internal Kyrgyzstani affairs in order to explain that conflict. This article tries to find explanations and offer an understanding of the Uzbek–Kyrgyz interethnic conflict. Its aim is beyond a mere description and understanding of a single case. It will use different kinds of data in order to offer analytic explanations of the events. The legacy of the Soviet nationalities policy, in combination with regional peculiarities – particularly its ethno-demographic features – were the ultimate causes of the eruption of the Uzbek–Kyrgyz conflicts in southern Kyrgyzstan in 1990 and 2010.

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“Comrades in Battle”

Women Workers and the 1906 Finnish Suffrage Victory

Eric Blanc

This article examines how working-class women helped transform Finland in 1906 into the world’s first nation to grant full women’s suffrage. Activists organized into the League of Working Women fought for full suff rage in the context of an anti-imperial upsurge in Finland and a revolution across the tsarist empire. These women workers simultaneously allied with their male peers and took autonomous action to prevent their exclusion from the vote during the political upheaval of late 1905 and early 1906. In the process they challenged traditional gender norms and articulated a political perspective that tied together the fight against class, gender, and national domination.

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Elisa Camiscioli

In her 1938 essay Three Guineas, Virginia Woolf questioned the meaning of patriotism and national belonging for British women who, because of their gender, were denied equal access to education, property, the professions, and the political world. As the growing possibility of war amplified the calls for national unity, Woolf suggested that such patriotic sentiment was illogical for women, as they played no role in the public life of the nation.

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Volunteering as Protest

Against State Failure or the State Itself?

Jan Křeček

Although the Czech Republic (CR) is not a favorite destination nor even a transit country for migrants through Europe, the refugee crisis has materialized into a strict state policy of rejection. The CR rejects proposals for European solutions and detains and imprisons immigrants, most of whom are inadvertently arrived there. This preliminary refusal strategy is peculiar to both the political and media spheres (and public opinion) and is described in the opening sections of this work. However, the CR, is also a country in which the tally of immigrants is less than the number of Czechs citizens traveling beyond their national borders to help refugees congregating along the “Balkan Route”, where they frequently outnumber volunteers from other countries. This paper goes on to describe the development of these grassroots Czech volunteer organizations and activities in 2015. From the beginning it was characterized by spontaneity and a lack of hierarchy, with the Internet and social media playing a vital role during mobilization and organization. The methodological section defines how this sample was analyzed and the manner in which it was dealt. Section five summarizes the most important findings of the case study: (1) the results of a questionnaire survey among volunteers, (2) the results of a qualitative content analysis of their communication in social networks. Besides basic mapping steps (features of volunteer’s participation), the analysis attempts to capture motivations for volunteer’s participation. Comparison with selected motivation typologies emphasizes the protective (later the normative) motivation, on which the hypotheses are based regarding the dispute about the national identity of volunteering as an ideological, and therefore foreseeable, dispute.