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The Death Throes of Sacrificed Chicken

Triggering Critical Reflexive Stances on Ritual Action in Togo

Marie Daugey

reflexivity’ ( Hojbjerg 2007 ) or, more recently, as ‘critical reflexivity’ ( Gobin and Vanhoenacker 2016 ). 2 The rite’s formal organization gives rise to self-critical stances; in other words, it contains internal devices that trigger critical reflexivity

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Ramin Jahanbegloo

The article deals with Mohandas K. Gandhi's theory of democracy and its related civic practices. It indicates the relation between Gandhi's idea of civic duty and his idea of democracy, and argues that few would dispute that Gandhi was one of the most original and transformative thinkers of democracy. The article maintains that among his many notable contributions, Gandhi is rightly credited with emphasizing on the ideas of citizenship duty, truth in politics, genuine self-rule, and ethically enlightened democracy. In addition to advocating self-sustaining villages and communal cooperation, Gandhi developed an idea of non-liberal democracy reducing individualism, economic greed, and laissez-faire by insisting on a duty oriented and spiritually empowered participative democracy. Nearly seven decades after his death, Gandhi stands as one of the most significant and relevant non-Western theorist of democracy.

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Confined Live(r)s

Self-Infliction and Arbitrary Survival in the German Transplant System

Julia Rehsmann

This article traces the trope of self-infliction for the moral economy of liver transplantation. Drawing on ethnographic fieldwork in Germany, I discuss the trope of self-infliction to explore intimate uncertainties that people with an alcoholic liver disease face when looking for medical care. I claim that the moralising trope of self-infliction plays a significant role in considerations about who is deserving of a liver transplant and a ‘second chance’. As access to transplantation becomes a life-and-death matter when livers fail, I see the trope of self-infliction as a tool for triaging lives for liver transplantation. Moreover, I claim that the trope of self-infliction, with its emphasis on self-responsibility, has a gendered dimension that puts women with an alcoholic liver disease under particular moral scrutiny. Furthermore, I demonstrate how this moralising trope shapes regulatory practices, like the ‘six-month abstinence rule’, which consequently confine livers and thus, eventually, confine lives.

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Interiority and government of the child

Transparency, risk, and good governance in Indonesia

Jan Newberry

Early childhood education and care programs in Indonesia developed rapidly in the aftermath of the 2006 earthquake centered south of Yogyakarta. The newly empowered self-directed learner at the center of these programs seemed to follow from the emergence of another child in this devastated landscape: the traumatized child in need of healing. The appearance of these images of childhood along with Indonesia’s neoliberal democratization reiterates the long-standing relationship between childhood and rule. Grounded in long-term ethnographic work in the Yogyakarta area, this article traces a conceptual link between the shift to transparent and accountable good governance in post-Suharto Indonesia and the desire to produce a newly transparent childhood ready for intervention. The generative power of history, trauma, and the interior self is contrasted with risk management, nongovernmental governance, and the exteriorization of self and state to challenge the unquestioned good of empowerment and transparency.

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Cultivating and Contesting Order

'European Turks' and Negotiations of Neighbourliness at 'Home'

Susan Rottmann

This article examines how Turks returning from Germany to Turkey self-fashion as 'orderly neighbours'. By maintaining aesthetically pleasing homes and gardens, keeping public spaces clean, and obeying rules and laws in public, return migrants believe they act as modern 'European-Turks' and exemplify good neighbourliness. Many neighbours, however, feel these actions are unnecessary or even disruptive to Turkish communities. In conversation with the burgeoning anthropology of ethics, this research explores how local, national and transnational assemblages foster reflections and debates on neighbourly ethics. Further, this study highlights anxieties about individualism, reciprocity, 'modernity' and 'European-ness' in today's Turkey.

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“And so lived our ancestors…”

Peter Slovtsov’s Urals Childhood and Its Meanings

Mark A. Soderstrom

This article examines the Urals roots and self-perception of the Siberian historian and bureaucrat Peter Andreevich Slovtsov (1767–1843). Best known as the author of the two-volume Historical Survey of Siberia (1838–43), Slovtsov is often described as the first Siberian patriot and precursor to the Siberian regionalist movement. Drawing on a range of published and archival sources to analyze how Slovtsov made sense of his family roots in the Urals region, the author suggests that Slovtsov is best understood as a man of the empire who understood both his own life trajectory and Siberian history as fruits of enlightened imperial rule.

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Filimon Peonidis

After centuries of oblivion, the idea of using civic lotteries to select citizens to participate in major decision-making bodies has started gaining popularity among certain democratic theorists. Undoubtedly, this is an idea worth exploring, given the constantly rising dissatisfaction with the operation of major representative institutions. One should not, however, infer from this fact that any proposed sortition-based institutional arrangement is compatible with basic democratic principles. This article critically examines two such proposals: (a) that we should establish fully powered legislative bodies consisting entirely of allotted citizens and (b) López-Guerra’s enfranchisement lottery, the gist of which is that voting rights should be granted only to a very small random sample of current electors, who will be subjected to a “competence-building process.” The article argues that both proposals run counter to the idea of rule by the people conceived as equally valuable and fully participating members of a self-governing political entity.

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Does Democratic Theory Need Epistemic Standards?

Grounds for a Purely Procedural Defense of Majority Rule

Carlo Invernizzi-Accetti

This article proposes a critical discussion of an increasingly influential strand of contemporary democratic theory that attempts to justify majoritarian institutions on the grounds that they are the most adequate “epistemic” means for discovering and implementing an objective standard of normative truth. The analysis is divided in two parts. In the first I show that the appeal to such epistemic standards is unnecessary because it is possible to justify majority rule on the “purely procedural” grounds that it is the best way of instantiating the values of freedom (as consent) and equality (as impartiality). In the second part I suggest that the appeal to epistemic standards is also undesirable because it conflicts with three key democratic values: autonomy (as self-government), inclusion (as lack of discrimination in terms of political competence), and pluralism (as fair representation of conflicting interests within the political process).

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Remaking the Mosaic

Religious Leaders and Secular Borders in the Colonial Levant

Alexander D. M. Henley

The colonial view of Levantine society as a mosaic of religions established lasting precedents for communal self-governance and power sharing in modern states. Yet it ironically disguises the extent to which the region's religious geography was reimagined by colonial rule. Principles of religious freedom and minority rights combined with a perception of 'oriental religions' to create a unique and powerful place for religious leaders to govern. The borders that would define national societies in Palestine-Israel, Lebanon, and Syria also remade the boundaries by which the religious mosaic was structured. This article will highlight institutional change in the Maronite Christian and Sunni Muslim communities, showing how each reformulated its religious leadership in response to the creation and enforcement of Lebanon's borders with Palestine and Syria from 1920 to 1948. The 'traditional' religious leaderships of today are in no small part products of the same colonial 'lines in the sand' within which nations were formed.

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Fred Reno

Critics question the articulation between Césaire's immense literary works and his comparatively modest political legacy. They contend that the ferociousness of his case against slavery and colonialism clashes with the tepid way in which he tiptoed the Martinican people onto its political route, cautiously steering clear of the full-fledged self-rule option. The case I am making in this paper is that it would be terribly misleading, let alone unfair, to assume that Césaire was all lip-service, La Lettre à Maurice Thorez being a case in point. Rather, Césaire's political genius is to have managed to take his ideals down a few pegs to be in tune with the people, because he knew as a poet that emancipation is not a place to reach but a way to walk. In that respect, Césaire implemented what I have come to conceptualize as "dependence-resource."