Author: Erica Caple James
Publisher: Univ of California Press
Release Date: 2010
Genre: Political Science
"Haiti's catastrophic earthquake follows a decade of crisis in governance and in everyday social life. Erica James's powerful ethnographic study shows how insecurity has been created, victimhood shaped, and trauma mediated under long-term conditions of grinding poverty punctuated by periodic disaster and interventions both external and domestic. The international and unintended consequences have commodified suffering, institutionalized insecurity, and fashioned a troubling and troubled 'democracy.' This book is a major achievement!"--Arthur Kleinman, author of What Really Matters: Living a Moral Life amidst Uncertainty and Danger "This is a remarkable piece of scholarship. Erica James has raised the bar as far as solid ethnographic inquiry in Haiti goes and draws on a diverse set of theoretical traditions in anthropology and in social theory. Her research will, I predict, open new doors."--Paul Farmer, Harvard University, founding director of Partners in Health "Erica James' book is a vivid descent into the ordinary of violence and insecurity, of suffering and trauma, in a country that seems to have never completely recovered from past French exploitation and American imperialism. Based on an ethnography of neighborhoods as well as of aid agencies, the inquiry courageously questions our categories of thought and models of action to confront Haitian endless tragedies, from victimization to humanitarianism, bringing together, in an unprecedented analysis, what she calls the economies of terror and the economies of compassion."--Didier Fassin, author of When Bodies Remember "Democratic Insecurities is a work of extraordinary depth that sets new standards on the themes of violence and social suffering. The power of the book lies in the great attention to historical and ethnographic detail of Haitian society and politics through which the doing and undoing of violence is rendered knowable as well as its command over social theory."--Veena Das, Johns Hopkins University "James draws us in via an astonishingly vivid and unsettling account of her first weeks in Haiti. This book is a highly sophisticated, compelling, and instructive read and an outstanding example of ethnography by one of the leading anthropologists in the field of trauma."--Mary-Jo DelVecchio Good, Harvard University
Security concerns have mushroomed. Increasingly numerous areas of life are governed by security policies and technologies. Security Unbound argues that when insecurities pervade how we relate to our neighbours, how we perceive international politics, how governments formulate policies, at stake is not our security but our democracy. Security is not in the first instance a right or value but a practice that challenges democratic institutions and actions. We are familiar with emergency policies in the name of national security challenging parliamentary processes, the space for political dissent, and fundamental rights. Yet, security practice and technology pervade society heavily in very mundane ways without raising national security crises, in particular through surveillance technology and the management of risks and uncertainties in many areas of life. These more diffuse security practices create societies in which suspicion becomes a default way of relating and governing relations, ranging from neighbourhood relations over financial transactions to cross border mobility. Security Unbound demonstrates that governing through suspicion poses serious challenges to democratic practice. Some of these challenges are familiar, such as the erosion of the right to privacy; others are less so, such as the post-human challenge to citizenship. Security unbound provokes us to see that the democratic political stake today is not our security but preventing insecurity from becoming the organising principle of political and social life.
Democratic institutions in the post-Cold War era have come to be regarded as the only legitimate forms of governance. Elections have seemingly replaced coups as the main mechanism for changing rulers, and there remain very few overtly military governments. But the longstanding legacies of military rule over the past half century continue to cast a shadow over many newly instituted democratic regimes. And the fact that more and more societies have experienced order and government disintegrating under the pressures of violent conflict and internal war pose even more intractable obstacles to the institutionalisation of democracy and human security. The authors of this volume explore the challenges of establishing democratic (and not just civilian) accountability and control of the military and other security establishments (including non-state armed formations) in countries, which have either been the victims of authoritarian military rule or racked by violent internal conflict. The book examines both successful democratic transitions and failed ones. A wide range of cases is covered, including Algeria, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Chile, the Congo, Ghana, Nigeria, Sierra Leone, South Africa and Sri Lanka. The problems of ensuring democratic control and reforming the security sector in conditions of regional conflict and insecurity, notably in the Balkans, Latin America and West Africa, are also examined. This volume fills a significant gap in the literature on governance and development, which has hitherto largely neglected military and security questions.
Author: Kimberley Coles
Publisher: University of Michigan Press
Release Date: 2007
Examines the world of humanitarian aid workers and the processes of democratization that they put into effect in Bosnia-Herzegovina. This work is an ethnography of the practices of international intervention and democracy building.
This book explores changes in security governance in Europe from the 1990s, focusing on some of the most important consequences: the proliferation of ignored insecurities, including the increase of oncological diseases, environmental disasters, shadow economies reproducing neo-slavery and fiscal fraud, and the general damage to the res publica. What is the articulation of removal, reclamation and consequently the implementation of devices and the establishing of prevention practices? Why are the majority of victims and also the control agency professionals seemingly resigned to these ignored insecurities? Following more than 20 years of research in the area, the authors examine these questions and how the securitisation of society has been exacerbated. They argue that the primary cause of the increase in ignored insecurities is the consequence of the neoliberal turn in security governance. This book proposes an innovative approach to security governance, not only through a serious analysis of the balance of the costs and benefits, but also highlighting what is here termed `ignored insecurities'. The authors propose a review of the problems, showing that the governance of security is a crucial element of the contemporary political organisation of society. The book ends with an innovative reflection on the Anthropocene debate and the COP21 summit which took place in Paris in December 2015.
Author: Frances E. Lee
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
Release Date: 2016-08-23
Genre: Political Science
As Democrats and Republicans continue to vie for political advantage, Congress remains paralyzed by partisan conflict. That the last two decades have seen some of the least productive Congresses in recent history is usually explained by the growing ideological gulf between the parties, but this explanation misses another fundamental factor influencing the dynamic. In contrast to politics through most of the twentieth century, the contemporary Democratic and Republican parties compete for control of Congress at relative parity, and this has dramatically changed the parties’ incentives and strategies in ways that have driven the contentious partisanship characteristic of contemporary American politics. With Insecure Majorities, Frances E. Lee offers a controversial new perspective on the rise of congressional party conflict, showing how the shift in competitive circumstances has had a profound impact on how Democrats and Republicans interact. For nearly half a century, Democrats were the majority party, usually maintaining control of the presidency, the House, and the Senate. Republicans did not stand much chance of winning majority status, and Democrats could not conceive of losing it. Under such uncompetitive conditions, scant collective action was exerted by either party toward building or preserving a majority. Beginning in the 1980s, that changed, and most elections since have offered the prospect of a change of party control. Lee shows, through an impressive range of interviews and analysis, how competition for control of the government drives members of both parties to participate in actions that promote their own party’s image and undercut that of the opposition, including the perpetual hunt for issues that can score political points by putting the opposing party on the wrong side of public opinion. More often than not, this strategy stands in the way of productive bipartisan cooperation—and it is also unlikely to change as long as control of the government remains within reach for both parties.
Author: Professor Michalis Lianos
Publisher: Ashgate Publishing, Ltd.
Release Date: 2013-04-28
Genre: Social Science
Dangerous Others, Insecure Societies examines the turn in post-industrial societies towards a fear of cultural, racial or religious externality, adopting a ground-breaking analysis which considers 'insecurity' a constituent part of 'otherness', rather than something separate or following from it. By addressing the link between insecurity and otherness, this book sheds light on the contemporary cultures of fear and risk that have made possible the aggressive measures that followed the 2001 terrorist attacks in the US and which continue to dominate contemporary geopolitics. The result of particular socio-economic and political circumstances, a sense of fear in relation to the Other has emerged as a replacement for the social bond, as otherness and danger are increasingly associated with one another - a development that appears paradoxical in the modern, globalized world. Bringing together the latest research from scholars in the UK, Europe and Australia, Dangerous Others, Insecure Societies engages with diverse issues surrounding migration, authoritarianism and social exclusion to consider the implications of a culture of fear and exclusion for multicultural, globalized, networked societies. As such, it will appeal to sociologists, geographers, social anthropologists and political scientists concerned with questions of identity, citizenship, exclusion and belonging.
Author: Jodi Dean
Publisher: Duke University Press
Release Date: 2009-08-12
Genre: Political Science
Democracy and Other Neoliberal Fantasies is an impassioned call for the realization of a progressive left politics in the United States. Through an assessment of the ideologies underlying contemporary political culture, Jodi Dean takes the left to task for its capitulations to conservatives and its failure to take responsibility for the extensive neoliberalization implemented during the Clinton presidency. She argues that the left’s ability to develop and defend a collective vision of equality and solidarity has been undermined by the ascendance of “communicative capitalism,” a constellation of consumerism, the privileging of the self over group interests, and the embrace of the language of victimization. As Dean explains, communicative capitalism is enabled and exacerbated by the Web and other networked communications media, which reduce political energies to the registration of opinion and the transmission of feelings. The result is a psychotic politics where certainty displaces credibility and the circulation of intense feeling trumps the exchange of reason. Dean’s critique ranges from her argument that the term democracy has become a meaningless cipher invoked by the left and right alike to an analysis of the fantasy of free trade underlying neoliberalism, and from an examination of new theories of sovereignty advanced by politicians and left academics to a look at the changing meanings of “evil” in the speeches of U.S. presidents since the mid-twentieth century. She emphasizes the futility of a politics enacted by individuals determined not to offend anyone, and she examines questions of truth, knowledge, and power in relation to 9/11 conspiracy theories. Dean insists that any reestablishment of a vital and purposeful left politics will require shedding the mantle of victimization, confronting the marriage of neoliberalism and democracy, and mobilizing different terms to represent political strategies and goals.
Author: Hugh Gusterson
Publisher: Univ of California Press
Release Date: 2009-11-24
Genre: Social Science
Americans are feeling insecure. They are retreating to gated communities in record numbers, fearing for their jobs and their 401(k)s, nervous about their health insurance and their debt levels, worrying about terrorist attacks and immigrants. In this innovative volume, editors Hugh Gusterson and Catherine Besteman gather essays from nineteen leading ethnographers to create a unique portrait of an anxious country and to furnish valuable insights into the nation's possible future. With an incisive foreword by Barbara Ehrenreich, the contributors draw on their deep knowledge of different facets of American life to map the impact of the new economy, the "war on terror," the "war on drugs," racial resentments, a fraying safety net, undocumented immigration, a health care system in crisis, and much more. In laying out a range of views on the forces that unsettle us, The Insecure American demonstrates the singular power of an anthropological perspective for grasping the impact of corporate profit on democratic life, charting the links between policy and vulnerability, and envisioning alternatives to life as an insecure American.
Author: Pippa Norris
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Release Date: 2012-08-27
Genre: Political Science
Is democratic governance good for economic prosperity? Does it accelerate progress towards social welfare and human development? Does it generate a peace-dividend and reduce conflict at home? Within the international community, democracy and governance are widely advocated as intrinsically desirable goals. Nevertheless, alternative schools of thought dispute their consequences and the most effective strategy for achieving critical developmental objectives. This book argues that both liberal democracy and state capacity need to be strengthened to ensure effective development, within the constraints posed by structural conditions. Liberal democracy allows citizens to express their demands, hold public officials to account and rid themselves of ineffective leaders. Yet rising public demands that cannot be met by the state generate disillusionment with incumbent officeholders, the regime, or ultimately the promise of liberal democracy ideals. Thus governance capacity also plays a vital role in advancing human security, enabling states to respond effectively to citizen's demands.
Unfree labor has not disappeared from advanced capitalist economies. In this sense the debates among and between Marxist and orthodox economic historians about the incompatibility of capitalism and unfree labor are moot: the International Labour Organisation has identified forced, coerced, and unfree labor as a contemporary issue of global concern. Previously hidden forms of unfree labor have emerged in parallel with several other well-documented trends affecting labor conditions, rights, and modes of regulation. These evolving types of unfree labor include the increasing normalization of contingent work (and, by extension, the undermining of the standard contract of employment), and an increase in labor intermediation. The normative, political, and numerical rise of temporary employment agencies in many countries in the last three decades is indicative of these trends. It is in the context of this rapidly changing landscape that this book consolidates and expands on research designed to understand new institutions for work in the global era. This edited collection provides a theoretical and empirical exploration of the links between unfree labor, intermediation, and modes of regulation, with particular focus on the evolving institutional forms and political-economic contexts that have been implicated in, and shaped by, the ascendency of temp agencies. What is distinctive about this collection is this bi-focal lens: it makes a substantial theoretical contribution by linking disparate literatures on, and debates about, the co-evolution of contingent work and unfree labor, new forms of labor intermediation, and different regulatory approaches; but it further lays the foundation for this theory in a series of empirically rich and geographically diverse case studies. This integrative approach is grounded in a cross-national comparative framework, using this approach as the basis for assessing how, and to what extent, temporary agency work can be considered unfree wage labor
Author: Beverly Bell
Publisher: Cornell University Press
Release Date: 2013-05-17
Beverly Bell, an activist and award-winning writer, has dedicated her life to working for democracy, women's rights, and economic justice in Haiti and elsewhere. Since the 7.0 magnitude earthquake of January 12, 2010, that struck the island nation, killing more than a quarter-million people and leaving another two million Haitians homeless, Bell has spent much of her time in Haiti. Her new book, Fault Lines, is a searing account of the first year after the earthquake. Bell explores how strong communities and an age-old gift culture have helped Haitians survive in the wake of an unimaginable disaster, one that only compounded the preexisting social and economic distress of their society. The book examines the history that caused such astronomical destruction. It also draws in theories of resistance and social movements to scrutinize grassroots organizing for a more just and equitable country. Fault Lines offers rich perspectives rarely seen outside Haiti. Readers accompany the author through displaced persons camps, shantytowns, and rural villages, where they get a view that defies the stereotype of Haiti as a lost nation of victims. Street journals impart the author's intimate knowledge of the country, which spans thirty-five years. Fault Lines also combines excerpts of more than one hundred interviews with Haitians, historical and political analysis, and investigative journalism. Fault Lines includes twelve photos from the year following the 2010 earthquake. Bell also investigates and critiques U.S. foreign policy, emergency aid, standard development approaches, the role of nongovernmental organizations, and disaster capitalism. Woven through the text are comparisons to the crisis and cultural resistance in Bell's home city of New Orleans, when the levees broke in the wake of Hurricane Katrina. Ultimately a tale of hope, Fault Lines will give readers a new understanding of daily life, structural challenges, and collective dreams in one of the world's most complex countries.
Author: Iain Wilkinson
Publisher: Univ of California Press
Release Date: 2016-01-26
Genre: Social Science
What does human suffering mean for society? And how has this meaning changed from the past to the present? In what ways does “the problem of suffering” serve to inspire us to care for others? How does our response to suffering reveal our moral and social conditions? In this trenchant work, Arthur Kleinman—a renowned figure in medical anthropology—and Iain Wilkinson, an award-winning sociologist, team up to offer some answers to these profound questions. A Passion for Society investigates the historical development and current state of social science with a focus on how this development has been shaped in response to problems of social suffering. Following a line of criticism offered by key social theorists and cultural commentators who themselves were unhappy with the professionalization of social science, Wilkinson and Kleinman provide a critical commentary on how studies of society have moved from an original concern with social suffering and its amelioration to dispassionate inquiries. The authors demonstrate how social action through caring for others is revitalizing and remaking the discipline of social science, and they examine the potential for achieving greater understanding though a moral commitment to the practice of care for others. In this deeply considered work, Wilkinson and Kleinman argue for an engaged social science that connects critical thought with social action, that seeks to learn through caregiving, and that operates with a commitment to establish and sustain humane forms of society.
EcoJustice Education offers a powerful model for cultural ecological analysis and a pedagogy of responsibility, providing teachers and teacher educators with the information and classroom practices they need to help develop citizens who are prepared to support and achieve diverse, democratic, and sustainable societies in an increasingly globalized world. Readers are asked to consider curricular strategies to bring these issues to life in their own classrooms across disciplines. Designed for introductory educational foundations and multicultural education courses, the text is written in a narrative, conversational style grounded in place and experience, but also pushes students to examine the larger ideological, social, historical, and political contexts of the crises humans and the planet we inhabit are facing. Pedagogical features in each chapter include a Conceptual Toolbox, activities accompanying the theoretical content, examples of lessons and teacher reflections, and suggested readings, films, and links. The Second Edition features a new chapter on Anthropocentrism; new material on Heterosexism; updated statistics and examples throughout; new and updated Companion Website content.