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Dissenting poses

Marginal youth, viral aesthetics, and affective politics in neoliberal Morocco

Cristiana Strava

In the spring of 2014, an unprecedented wave of police raids swept over every lower-class (sha‘abi) neighborhood across Morocco. Dubbed “Operation Tcharmil,” the raids targeted young, lower-class men that matched viral online images in which track-suit-wearing teens boastfully displayed status objects and white weapons. Drawing on the theoretical apparatus of the “affective turn,” in this article I unpack the structural and historical factors that shaped both popular reactions and policing actions toward the sudden, online visibility of a politically and economically disenfranchised group. I situate this episode within current debates about the entanglement of neoliberal disciplinary regimes and the reproduction of particular social orders, and argue that attention to such outbursts can help us revitalize and rethink existing notions of class.

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Jakob Rigi

On 22 October 2003, Michael Khodorkovsky, the richest man in Russia and the director of Yukos, one of the largest Russian companies, was arrested at gunpoint in Novosibirsk airport and transferred to Moscow. A few months earlier, one of his deputies, Platon Lebedev, had been arrested on 3 July 2003. In the months that followed the arrest of Lebedev, the general prosecutor raided the offices of Yukos and Menatep, a major shareholder of Yukos. On 17 October 2003, Vasily Shakhnovsky, a Yukos shareholder, was detained for tax evasion. Another major shareholder, Leonid Nevzlin, was accused of conspiracy to commit murder and fled to Israel. One of Yukos’s security guards was also accused as a culprit in this conspiracy and was imprisoned. The general prosecutor subjected the company to a series of raids and restrictions that led to the decline of the value of its shares and brought it to the verge of bankruptcy by the middle of August 2004. Officially, all of these actions occurred because of Yukos’s illegal economic dealings and tax frauds, but the real reasons were that Khodorkovsky had dared to criticize publicly the president of the Russian Federation, Vladimir Putin; that he had funded rival political parties; and that he had also toyed with the idea of entering politics himself and becoming a presidential candidate. Since the conflict between Yukos and the state is a good illustration of the contradictory relation between state and capital in Russia, let me give a brief description of Yukos’s history.

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René, Ginette, Louise et les autres

nostalgie et authenticité dans la chanson néo-réaliste

Barbara Lebrun

France's retro rock music (chanson néo-réaliste) of the 1990s and 2000s favors acoustic music and "old-fashioned" instruments such as the accordion in order to reject today's fascination with novelty and consumerism. In doing so, this music genre looks back to pre-war France and rehabilitates an all-white national culture that is problematically nostalgic, in a similar fashion to the film Amélie. This article explores the ways in which chanson néo-réaliste still manages to forge a sense of protest identity in contemporary France, while engaging in apparently reactionary tactics. The specificities of this music genre are explored through an analysis of the lyrics, music, iconography and performance of, primarily, the group Têtes Raides, while contrasting their nostalgia of "protest" with that of the more commercially successful genre of variétés.

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The Corrupt State of Exception

Agamben in the Light of Putin

Jakob Rigi

This article revisits Agamben's concept of 'state of exception'. It argues that the postmodern state of exception is exercised not through the suspension of law, as Agamben suggests and as was the case with modern sovereignty, but through the counterfeiting of legality. The counterfeiting of law, which corrupts its meaning, is part of the broader 'corruption of sign' in the postmodern political-cultural economy. The article first details an extended case of counterfeiting of legality in the practices of business raiding, commonly termed reiderstvo, in Russia. It then describes and analyzes the main features of what I call the 'corrupt state of exception' in Russia. The article concludes with a few remarks on the paradigmatic nature of the state of exception in Russia and its consequences for legal and political anthropology.

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Erella Grassiani, Alexander Horstmann, Lotte Buch Segal, Ronald Stade, and Henrik Vigh

Violence, defined as the intentional inflicting of injury and damage, seems to always have been a fact of human life. Whether in the shape of raids, ambushes, wars, massacres, genocides, insurgences, terrorism, or gang assaults, socially organized violence, that is, human groups orchestrating and committing violent acts, has been a steady companion of human life through the ages. The human quest to make sense of violence is probably as old as violence itself. Academic conflict research both continues and advances this quest. As long as wars were waged between nations, the research on armed conflicts focused on international relations and great power politics. This paradigm was kept alive even when the asymmetrical warfare of decolonization spread across the world, because by then the frame of analysis was the binary system of the Cold War and regional conflicts were classifi ed as proxy wars. After the end of the Cold War, the academic interest in forms of organized violence other than international conflict became more general in the social sciences, not least in anthropology, a discipline whose long-standing research interest in violent conflict previously had been directed almost exclusively towards “tribal warfare.” But, following their research tradition, anthropologists also began to conduct field studies in contemporary war zones and other violent settings.

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The sanctioning state

Official permissiveness and prohibition in India

Ajay Gandhi

can go have a chat with the inspector, we will meet. We will also do raids with the officers that happen after 10 pm, and we go to the building. If I am there I can identify which person is new, which person is legitimate. Sometimes it gets difficult

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Among Cannibals and Headhunters

Jack London in Melanesia

Keith Newlin

raids and cannibalism. “He told me with crackling glee and horrible grimaces, of the numerous white men he had killed in his day. … But you cannot get any of them to admit they have ‘kai-kai’d’ human flesh. They know our abhorrence of this practice, and

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Brett Holman

early 1915, now increasingly tied to the perceived danger of air raids on British cities. The fourth delves into Le Queux's involvement with a hunt for German spies in Surrey, which led to his final loss of faith in the government's competence to

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Michael J. Richardson

The Men and the Boys hold credence in the face of today's contemporary challenges? Connell knew of the dangers of ignoring such context two decades ago, writing: “Trying to find cross-cultural proof of the deep masculine, Bly and his followers raid

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Diplomat, Landlord, Con-artist, Thief

Housing Brokers and the Mediation of Risk in Migrant Moscow

Madeleine Reeves

. There was always a risk that if someone left offended and moved away to another apartment, they might report on these extra-legal living arrangements to the Migration Service and make the apartment subject to a raid. But his greatest challenge in