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Christopher J. Paskewich

Which of the regimes of the modern world is the best? The political philosopher Leo Strauss provides a useful context for this issue by weighing the three primary regimes he finds available to modernity: traditional regimes, liberal regimes, and the universal state (in the manner of the French philosopher, Alexandre Kojève). He posits a new cycle of regimes for the modern world, just as Plato and Polybius did for the ancient world. Strauss suggests that the post-Enlightenment tendency is toward a universal state, but he asserts that a highly traditional, but liberal, regime is the most desirable for us.

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Regime Collapse and Revolution

A Response to John Dunn

Hugo Slim

John Dunn’s provocative interview in Contention volume 5, issue 2 inspired an array of responses from the scholarly and practitioner communities. In the original interview, Dunn suggested that the era of modern revolutions has come to a close and that we are now witnessing a phenomenon better described as “regime collapse.” In this response to Dunn’s conception of revolution, Hugo Slim, an expert on non-international armed conflicts, challenges Dunn’s claims with examples of revolutionary liberation movements in Nepal, Uganda, Ethiopia, Rwanda, and Venezuela, as well as Islamist revolutionary movements in the Middle East.

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Pınar Melis Yelsalı Parmaksız

Modernization in Turkey started in the late Ottoman period as a social critique and took shape when the Turkish Republic was established as a modern nation-state in 1923. Women’s emancipation, which was inherent in the ideas of modernization, was one of the most important components of the Republican reforms. Subsequently, the reforms were implemented to attain women’s emancipation in a nationalist context. This article discusses the specific characteristics of the nationalist solution to gender issues in Turkey’s modernization. My argument is that the organization of political power as well as family life in Turkey rested on paternalism, meaning the father’s symbolic and actual power over others. Paternalism in Turkish modernization on the one hand provided a basis for justification of the authoritarian rule of the state and on the other hand enabled women to become modern, though the limits of their modernity were determined by the paternal authority. I focus on paternalism in the single-party years of the Republic and also discuss the current policies of the Adalet ve Kalkınma Partisi (Justice and Development Party, AKP) rule regarding gender and modernization, to show that the concept of paternalism remains relevant to understanding the gender regime in Turkey.

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Research on Gender and the Military in Israel

From a Gendered Organization to Inequality Regimes

Orna Sasson-Levy

This article offers an analytical review of the research on gender and the military in Israel since the 1970s. I argue that the research in this field has undergone a paradigmatic shift that is based on five analytical transformations: (1) a move from a binary gendered conception to intersectionality analysis; (2) a shift from a dichotomous perception of the military organization to an analysis based on 'inequality regime' theory; (3) an emphasis on women as agents of change and resistance; (4) a focus on men and militarized masculinities; and (5) macro-analysis of the significance of women's service in a militaristic society. The article concludes with a discussion of the current political dynamics and conflicts that shape both the construction of the military gender regime and the production of the research in this field.

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Susan Zimmermann

This study argues that the changing relationship between paid work, unpaid work and paid care work and social services, and the struggle over this relationship and its implications, constituted key factors in shaping the ‘state socialist’ gender regime in Hungary from 1949 to the 1980s. The study is based on a wealth of recent scholarship, original sources and Hungarian research conducted during the state socialist period. It tries to give a balanced and inclusive analysis of key elements of women’s and gender history in the state socialist project of ‘catching-up development’ in a semi-peripheral patriarchal society, pointing to constraints, challenges and results of this project. Due to the complex interaction of a variety of actors and factors impacting on and shaping the state socialist gender regime not all women were affected in the same way by state socialist politics and gender struggles. Women’s status and opportunities, as well as gender relations, differed according to class, ethnicity and economic sector. As a rule, the gender struggle over state socialist family and gender arrangements in Hungary sought to reduce or temper tensions and conflicts by avoiding substantial or direct attack against the privileges of men both within the home and elsewhere.

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Nature, Nurture, and the Social Order

Imagining Lessons and Lives for Women in Ancien Régime France

Adrian O'Connor

Focusing on the work of Choderlos de Laclos, Riballier, Mme d'Épinay, and Mme de Genlis, this article examines the ways in which, during the 1770s and 1780s, women's education and women's social identity were imagined as two related questions. Both questions were shaped by the perceived dictates of nature, tradition, and necessity, yet each was open to debate and re-imagination. In the works of these four writers, we will see not only considerable ambivalence regarding women's social and familial identities, but also a rift between understandings of those identities based on nature and understandings based on social utility or tradition. Moreover, we will see that along with that ambivalence and that discursive rift came a tension between women's importance as wives and mothers, on the one hand, and their autonomy as selves, on the other.

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Intimate Uncertainties

Ethnographic Explorations of Moral Economies across Europe

Sabine Strasser and Luisa Piart

For this special issue we are bringing together six ethnographic cases of intimate uncertainties that are situated within different regimes of reproduction, healthcare and borders in and beyond Europe. These ethnographic inquiries exemplify unprecedented settings of moral ir/responsibility shaping the intimate on different scales and in various sites of power (agencies, clinics, borderlands). These uncertainties in times of major transitions from old to new moral orders, from industrial to postindustrial, from welfare to austerity spark off a renewed debate on moral economy. The authors of these contributions all focus the theoretical lens of moral economy squarely onto the intimate.

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Eric Langenbacher

Are collective memories currently changing in the land where the

“past won’t go away?” Long dominated by memory of the Holocaust

and other Nazi-era crimes, Germany recently witnessed the emergence

of another memory based on the same period of history, but

emphasizing German suffering. Most commentators stress the novelty

and catharsis of these discussions of supposedly long-repressed

and unworked-through collective traumas and offer predominantly

psychoanalytic explanations regarding why these memories only

now have surfaced. However, thanks to “presentist” myopia, ideological

blinders, and the theoretical/political effects of Holocaust

memory, much of this discourse is misplaced because these Germancentered

memories are emphatically not new. A reexamination of

the evolution of dominant memories over the postwar period in the

Federal Republic of Germany is necessary in order to understand

and contextualize more fully these current debates and the changes

in dominant memories that may be occurring—tasks this article takes

up by utilizing the memory regime framework.

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Speaking of citizenship

Language ideologies in Dutch citizenship regimes

Marnie Bjornson

The Dutch language has become the key technology of the Netherlands' new integration and immigration policy regime. Given the impassioned debates that accompanied language-planning policies in the 1980s, what is most remarkable about the stringent new language policy initiatives is the consensus regarding their necessity. This article analyzes the most ambitious program of the integration regime, inburgering, in the context of the transition to a post-industrial economy and the concomitant restructuring of the labor market. Introduced under the Third Way social democrats in the mid-1990s, the inburgering program was designed to produce the literate laborer of late modernity. This article traces the shift from the 'one nation, one language' ideology associated with welfare state forms of governance to the 'language as commodity' ideology promoted by the Third Way regime. I argue that the inburgering program acted as the Trojan horse of integration politics, introducing the necessity for Dutch language skills into an integration regime that has become the basis for a new politics of exclusion under the current neo-conservative administration.

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The Feeling for Gray

Aesthetics, Politics, and Shifting German Regimes

Inger-Elin Øye

Building on 25 months of fieldwork in eastern Germany from 1991 to 2003, this article explores the interpenetration of aesthetics and politics, and questions them as theoretical categories. A multilayered description depicts aesthetic perception and action, guided by an imagery of façade, as constituted and reproduced by state policies, positioned experiences, and subversive responses. Moving beyond the Cold War legacy, aesthetics' potency and politicization is dated back to early nation building and Protestant and Romantic influences. Being essential to and controlled by shifting, largely authoritarian regimes, aesthetics simultaneously provided a 'shadow life' and a 'lingua franca', cross-cutting verbal and non-verbal mediums and everyday and high culture, as people juggled with, distrusted, and decoded surfaces, expressing and in search of deeper, hidden truths. I argue that historically generated aesthetic perceptions and praxis not only mark east German political culture but also emerge in Habermas's public sphere theory and, moreover, offer arguments to revise it.