Nation as Network

Author: Victoria Bernal
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
ISBN: 9780226144818
Release Date: 2014-08-19
Genre: COMPUTERS

How is the internet transforming the relationships between citizens and states? What happens to politics when international migration is coupled with digital media, making it easy for people to be politically active in a nation from outside its borders? In Nation as Network, Victoria Bernal creatively combines media studies, ethnography, and African studies to explore this new political paradigm through a striking analysis of how Eritreans in diaspora have used the internet to shape the course of Eritrean history. Bernal argues that Benedict Anderson’s famous concept of nations as “imagined communities” must now be rethought because diasporas and information technologies have transformed the ways nations are sustained and challenged. She traces the development of Eritrean diaspora websites over two turbulent decades that saw the Eritrean state grow ever more tyrannical. Through Eritreans’ own words in posts and debates, she reveals how new subjectivities are formed and political action is galvanized online. She suggests that “infopolitics”—struggles over the management of information—make politics in the 21st century distinct, and she analyzes the innovative ways Eritreans deploy the internet to support and subvert state power. Nation as Network is a unique and compelling work that advances our understanding of the political significance of digital media.

Nation as Network

Author: Victoria Bernal
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
ISBN: 9780226144955
Release Date: 2014-08-19
Genre: Social Science

How is the internet transforming the relationships between citizens and states? What happens to politics when international migration is coupled with digital media, making it easy for people to be politically active in a nation from outside its borders? In Nation as Network, Victoria Bernal creatively combines media studies, ethnography, and African studies to explore this new political paradigm through a striking analysis of how Eritreans in diaspora have used the internet to shape the course of Eritrean history. Bernal argues that Benedict Anderson’s famous concept of nations as “imagined communities” must now be rethought because diasporas and information technologies have transformed the ways nations are sustained and challenged. She traces the development of Eritrean diaspora websites over two turbulent decades that saw the Eritrean state grow ever more tyrannical. Through Eritreans’ own words in posts and debates, she reveals how new subjectivities are formed and political action is galvanized online. She suggests that “infopolitics”—struggles over the management of information—make politics in the 21st century distinct, and she analyzes the innovative ways Eritreans deploy the internet to support and subvert state power. Nation as Network is a unique and compelling work that advances our understanding of the political significance of digital media.

Theorizing NGOs

Author: Inderpal Grewal
Publisher: Duke University Press Books
ISBN: 0822355515
Release Date: 2014-03-14
Genre: Social Science

Theorizing NGOs examines how the rise of nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) has transformed the conditions of women's lives and of feminist organizing. Victoria Bernal and Inderpal Grewal suggest that we can understand the proliferation of NGOs through a focus on the NGO as a unified form despite the enormous variation and diversity contained within that form. Theorizing NGOs brings together cutting-edge feminist research on NGOs from various perspectives and disciplines. Contributors locate NGOs within local and transnational configurations of power, interrogate the relationships of nongovernmental organizations to states and to privatization, and map the complex, ambiguous, and ultimately unstable synergies between feminisms and NGOs. While some of the contributors draw on personal experience with NGOs, others employ regional or national perspectives. Spanning a broad range of issues with which NGOs are engaged, from microcredit and domestic violence to democratization, this groundbreaking collection shows that NGOs are, themselves, fields of gendered struggles over power, resources, and status. Contributors. Sonia E. Alvarez, Victoria Bernal, LeeRay M. Costa, Inderpal Grewal, Laura Grünberg, Elissa Helms, Julie Hemment, Saida Hodžic, Lamia Karim, Sabine Lang, Lauren Leve, Kathleen O'Reilly, Aradhana Sharma

Contemporary Cultures Global Connections

Author: Victoria Bernal
Publisher: Cognella Academic Pub
ISBN: 162131653X
Release Date: 2012-04-30
Genre: Social Science

This book is an anthology designed to reflect the changing face of cultural anthropology and to reveal the dynamics of present-day life around the world. The selections offer excellent examples of current research by leading anthropologists and others that represent the state of the art in anthropology today.

Crude Chronicles

Author: Suzana Sawyer
Publisher: Duke University Press
ISBN: 9780822385752
Release Date: 2004-05-17
Genre: History

Ecuador is the third-largest foreign supplier of crude oil to the western United States. As the source of this oil, the Ecuadorian Amazon has borne the far-reaching social and environmental consequences of a growing U.S. demand for petroleum and the dynamics of economic globalization it necessitates. Crude Chronicles traces the emergence during the 1990s of a highly organized indigenous movement and its struggles against a U.S. oil company and Ecuadorian neoliberal policies. Against the backdrop of mounting government attempts to privatize and liberalize the national economy, Suzana Sawyer shows how neoliberal reforms in Ecuador led to a crisis of governance, accountability, and representation that spurred one of twentieth-century Latin America’s strongest indigenous movements. Through her rich ethnography of indigenous marches, demonstrations, occupations, and negotiations, Sawyer tracks the growing sophistication of indigenous politics as Indians subverted, re-deployed, and, at times, capitulated to the dictates and desires of a transnational neoliberal logic. At the same time, she follows the multiple maneuvers and discourses that the multinational corporation and the Ecuadorian state used to circumscribe and contain indigenous opposition. Ultimately, Sawyer reveals that indigenous struggles over land and oil operations in Ecuador were as much about reconfiguring national and transnational inequality—that is, rupturing the silence around racial injustice, exacting spaces of accountability, and rewriting narratives of national belonging—as they were about the material use and extraction of rain-forest resources.

Law and Disorder in the Postcolony

Author: Jean Comaroff
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
ISBN: 9780226114101
Release Date: 2008-09-15
Genre: Social Science

Are postcolonies haunted more by criminal violence than other nation-states? The usual answer is yes. In Law and Disorder in the Postcolony, Jean and John Comaroff and a group of respected theorists show that the question is misplaced: that the predicament of postcolonies arises from their place in a world order dominated by new modes of governance, new sorts of empires, new species of wealth—an order that criminalizes poverty and race, entraps the “south” in relations of corruption, and displaces politics into the realms of the market, criminal economies, and the courts. As these essays make plain, however, there is another side to postcoloniality: while postcolonies live in states of endemic disorder, many of them fetishize the law, its ways and itsmeans. How is the coincidence of disorder with a fixation on legalities to be explained? Law and Disorder in the Postcolony addresses this question, entering into critical dialogue with such theorists as Benjamin, Agamben, and Bayart. In the process, it also demonstrates how postcolonies have become crucial sites for the production of contemporary theory, not least because they are harbingers of a global future under construction.

Governing Gaza

Author: Ilana Feldman
Publisher: Duke University Press
ISBN: 9780822389132
Release Date: 2008-06-10
Genre: Social Science

Marred by political tumult and violent conflict since the early twentieth century, Gaza has been subject to a multiplicity of rulers. Still not part of a sovereign state, it would seem too exceptional to be a revealing site for a study of government. Ilana Feldman proves otherwise. She demonstrates that a focus on the Gaza Strip uncovers a great deal about how government actually works, not only in that small geographical space but more generally. Gaza’s experience shows how important bureaucracy is for the survival of government. Feldman analyzes civil service in Gaza under the British Mandate (1917–48) and the Egyptian Administration (1948–67). In the process, she sheds light on how governing authority is produced and reproduced; how government persists, even under conditions that seem untenable; and how government affects and is affected by the people and places it governs. Drawing on archival research in Gaza, Cairo, Jerusalem, and London, as well as two years of ethnographic research with retired civil servants in Gaza, Feldman identifies two distinct, and in some ways contradictory, governing practices. She illuminates mechanisms of “reiterative authority” derived from the minutiae of daily bureaucratic practice, such as the repetitions of filing procedures, the accumulation of documents, and the habits of civil servants. Looking at the provision of services, she highlights the practice of “tactical government,” a deliberately restricted mode of rule that makes limited claims about governmental capacity, shifting in response to crisis and operating without long-term planning. This practice made it possible for government to proceed without claiming legitimacy: by holding the question of legitimacy in abeyance. Feldman shows that Gaza’s governments were able to manage under, though not to control, the difficult conditions in Gaza by deploying both the regularity of everyday bureaucracy and the exceptionality of tactical practice.

Invisible Users

Author: Jenna Burrell
Publisher: MIT Press
ISBN: 9780262300681
Release Date: 2012-05-04
Genre: Technology & Engineering

The urban youth frequenting the Internet cafés of Accra, Ghana, who are decidedly not members of their country's elite, use the Internet largely as a way to orchestrate encounters across distance and amass foreign ties--activities once limited to the wealthy, university-educated classes. The Internet, accessed on second-hand computers (castoffs from the United States and Europe), has become for these youths a means of enacting a more cosmopolitan self. In Invisible Users, Jenna Burrell offers a richly observed account of how these Internet enthusiasts have adopted, and adapted to their own priorities, a technological system that was not designed with them in mind. Burrell describes the material space of the urban Internet café and the virtual space of push and pull between young Ghanaians and the foreigners they encounter online; the region's famous 419 scam strategies and the rumors of "big gains" that fuel them; the influential role of churches and theories about how the supernatural operates through the network; and development rhetoric about digital technologies and the future viability of African Internet cafés in the region. Burrell, integrating concepts from science and technology studies and African studies with empirical findings from her own field work in Ghana, captures the interpretive flexibility of technology by users in the margins but also highlights how their invisibility puts limits on their full inclusion into a global network society.

Kabul Carnival

Author: Julie Billaud
Publisher: University of Pennsylvania Press
ISBN: 9780812246964
Release Date: 2015-03-18
Genre: Social Science

After the attacks of September 11, 2001, the plight of Afghan women under Taliban rule was widely publicized in the United States as one of the humanitarian issues justifying intervention. Kabul Carnival explores the contradictions, ambiguities, and unintended effects of the emancipatory projects for Afghan women designed and imposed by external organizations. Building on embodiment and performance theory, this evocative ethnography describes Afghan women's responses to social anxieties about identity that have emerged as a result of the military occupation. Offering one of the first long-term on-the-ground studies since the arrival of allied forces in 2001, Julie Billaud introduces readers to daily life in Afghanistan through portraits of women targeted by international aid policies. Examining encounters between international experts in gender and transitional justice, Afghan civil servants and NGO staff, and women unaffiliated with these organizations, Billaud unpacks some of the paradoxes that arise from competing understandings of democracy and rights practices. Kabul Carnival reveals the ways in which the international community's concern with the visibility of women in public has ultimately created tensions and constrained women's capacity to find a culturally legitimate voice.

Globalization s Impact on Cultural Identity Formation

Author: Ahmet Atay
Publisher: Lexington Books
ISBN: 9780739185063
Release Date: 2015-10-30
Genre: Social Science

Globalization’s Impact on Cultural Identity Formation examines the range of factors that affect the cultural identity formation of diasporic, queer bodies in the context of globalization. Atay utilizes cyber-ethnography, a critical research method, to investigate these aspects of identity as presented in mediated realities, such as web pages, chat rooms, blogs, and webcams.

Looking for Strangers

Author: Dori Katz
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
ISBN: 9780226063331
Release Date: 2013-09-24
Genre: Biography & Autobiography

Dori Katz is a Jewish Holocaust survivor who thought that her lost memories of her childhood years in Belgium were irrecoverable. But after a chance viewing of a documentary about hidden children in German-occupied Belgium, she realized that she might, in fact, be able to unearth those years. Looking for Strangers is the deeply honest record of her attempt to do so, a detective story that unfolds through one of the most horrifying periods in history in an attempt to understand one’s place within it. In alternating chapters, Katz journeys into multiple pasts, setting details from her mother’s stories that have captivated her throughout her life alongside an account of her own return to Belgium forty years later—against her mother’s urgings—in search of greater clarity. She reconnects her sharp but fragmented memories: being sent by her mother in 1943, at the age of three, to live with a Catholic family under a Christian identity; then being given up, inexplicably, to an orphanage in the years immediately following the war. Only after that, amid postwar confusion, was she able to reconnect with her mother. Following this trail through Belgium to her past places of hiding, Katz eventually finds herself in San Francisco, speaking with a man who claimed to have known her father in Auschwitz—and thus known his end. Weighing many other stories from the people she meets along her way—all of whom seem to hold something back—she attempts to stitch thread after thread into a unified truth, to understand the countless motivations and circumstances that determined her remarkable life. A story at once about self-discovery, the transformation of memory, a fraught mother-daughter relationship, and the oppression of millions, Looking for Strangers is a book of both historical insight and imaginative grasp. It is a book in which the past, through its very mystery, becomes alive, immediate—of the most urgent importance.

I Say to You

Author: Gabrielle Lynch
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
ISBN: 9780226498096
Release Date: 2011-09-26
Genre: Social Science

In 2007 a disputed election in Kenya erupted into a two-month political crisis that led to the deaths of more than a thousand people and the displacement of almost seven hundred thousand. Much of the violence fell along ethnic lines, the principal perpetrators of which were the Kalenjin, who lashed out at other communities in the Rift Valley. What makes this episode remarkable compared to many other instances of ethnic violence is that the Kalenjin community is a recent construct: the group has only existed since the mid-twentieth century. Drawing on rich archival research and vivid oral testimony, I Say to You is a timely analysis of the creation, development, political relevance, and popular appeal of the Kalenjin identity as well as its violent potential. Uncovering the Kalenjin’s roots, Gabrielle Lynch examines the ways in which ethnic groups are socially constructed and renegotiated over time. She demonstrates how historical narratives of collective achievement, migration, injustice, and persecution constantly evolve. As a consequence, ethnic identities help politicians mobilize support and help ordinary people lay claim to space, power, and wealth. This kind of ethnic politics, Lynch reveals, encourages a sense of ethnic difference and competition, which can spiral into violent confrontation and retribution.

The Spirit of the Laws in Mozambique

Author: Juan Obarrio
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
ISBN: 9780226153865
Release Date: 2014-10-30
Genre: History

Mozambique has been hailed as a success story by political analysts as well as by the international community of donors, who have supported the juridical reform of the state which has been ongoing since the end of the civil war and transition from Socialism in the mid 1990s. The present book by anthropologist Juan Obarrio reveals a very different picture. The work is an ethnographic study of transformations of the state in Mozambique over a span of thirty-five years: from Portuguese colonialism, through Afro-Marxism, civil war, and the current neoliberal democratic transition. It examines the ongoing construction of a complex juridical and political field of forces in which several competing authorities claim sovereignty over the local. Obarrio s main argument is that despite the wave of democratization and liberalization that has occurred over the last two decades, the current Mozambican state enforces a type of restricted citizenship, linked to the re-appraisal of pre-colonial customary formations. Ultimately, Obarrio views the African postcolony as a maze of competing jurisdictions through which historical difference is reproduced, showing the limits of state sovereignty as well as democratic citizenship. The legacies of violence from the colonial regime, the Socialist experience and the devastating the civil war still inhabit the force of law today, underscoring the necessity of an anthropology of law and justice for enriching the approaches of Africanist postcolonial theory. In Obarrio s account, custom re-emerges, not as a figure of the past but, rather, as the ambiguous future of postcolonial political history."

Terrorism in Cyberspace

Author: Gabriel Weimann
Publisher: Columbia University Press
ISBN: 9780231801362
Release Date: 2015-02-10
Genre: Political Science

The war on terrorism has not been won, Gabriel Weimann argues in Terrorism in Cyberspace, the successor to his seminal Terror on the Internet. Even though al-Qaeda’s leadership has been largely destroyed and its organization disrupted, terrorist attacks take 12,000 lives annually worldwide, and jihadist terrorist ideology continues to spread. How? Largely by going online and adopting a new method of organization. Terrorist structures, traditionally consisting of loose-net cells, divisions, and subgroups, are ideally suited for flourishing on the Internet through websites, e-mail, chat rooms, e-groups, forums, virtual message boards, YouTube, Google Earth, and other outlets. Terrorist websites, including social media platforms, now number close to 10,000. This book addresses three major questions: why and how terrorism went online; what recent trends can be discerned—such as engaging children and women, promoting lone wolf attacks, and using social media; and what future threats can be expected, along with how they can be reduced or countered. To answer these questions, Terrorism in Cyberspace analyzes content from more than 9,800 terrorist websites, and Weimann, who has been studying terrorism online since 1998, selects the most important kinds of web activity, describes their background and history, and surveys their content in terms of kind and intensity, the groups and prominent individuals involved, and effects. He highlights cyberterrorism against financial, governmental, and engineering infrastructure; efforts to monitor, manipulate, and disrupt terrorists’ online efforts; and threats to civil liberties posed by ill-directed efforts to suppress terrorists’ online activities as future, worrisome trends.

The Prophet s Camel Bell

Author: Margaret Laurence
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
ISBN: 9780226923888
Release Date: 2012-10-12
Genre: Travel

In 1950, as a young bride, Margaret Laurence set out with her engineer husband to what was then Somaliland: a British protectorate in North Africa few Canadians had ever heard of. Her account of this voyage into the desert is full of wit and astonishment. Laurence honestly portrays the difficulty of colonial relationships and the frustration of trying to get along with Somalis who had no reason to trust outsiders. There are moments of surprise and discovery when Laurence exclaims at the beauty of a flock of birds only to discover that they are locusts, or offers medical help to impoverished neighbors only to be confronted with how little she can help them. During her stay, Laurence moves past misunderstanding the Somalis and comes to admire memorable individuals: a storyteller, a poet, a camel-herder. The Prophet’s Camel Bell is both a fascinating account of Somali culture and British colonial characters, and a lyrical description of life in the desert. “The Prophet’s Camel Bell has a timeless feeling about it that sets the work quite apart from the usual books of travel and adventure in distant and exotic parts.”—Canadian Literature