by Subject: Peace and Conflict Studies
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Communicating Conflict in the Daily News
News stories provide an essential confirmation of our ideas about who we are, what we have to fear, and what to do about it: a marketplace of ideas, shopped by rational citizen decision makers but also a shared resource for grounding our contested narratives of identity in objective reality. News as a fundamental social process comes into being not when an event takes place or when a report of the event is created but when that report becomes news to someone. As it moves off the page into the community, news discovers - through its interpretations - its reality in the lives of the consumers. This book explores the path of news as it moves through the tangled labyrinth of social identities and asserted interests that lie beyond the page or screen. The language and communication-oriented study of news promises a salient area of investigation, pointing the way to an expansion, if not a redefinition of basic anthropological ideas and practices of ethnography, participant observation, and “the field” in the future of anthropological research.
The Annoying Difference
The Emergence of Danish Neonationalism, Neoracism, and Populism in the Post-1989 World
The Muhammad cartoon crisis of 2005−2006 in Denmark caught the world by surprise as the growing hostilities toward Muslims had not been widely noticed. Through the methodologies of media anthropology, cultural studies, and communication studies, this book brings together more than thirteen years of research on three significant historical media events in order to show the drastic changes and emerging fissures in Danish society and to expose the politicization of Danish news journalism, which has consequences for the political representation and everyday lives of ethnic minorities in Denmark.
An Anthropology of War
Views from the Frontline
Waterston, A. (ed)
As we move deeper into the twenty-first century, power, lethal force, and injustice continue to explode violently into war, and the prospects for lasting peace look even bleaker. The horrors of modern warfare - the death, dehumanization, and destruction of social and material infrastructures - have done little to bring an end to armed conflict.
In this volume, leading chroniclers of war provide thoughtful and powerful essays that reflect on their ethnographic work at the frontlines. The contributors recount not only what they have seen and heard in war zones but also what is being read, studied, analyzed and remembered in such diverse locations as Colombia and Guatemala, Israel and Palestine, Iraq, Afghanistan, and Haiti. In detailed reports from the field, they reflect on the important issue of “accountability” and offer explanations to discern causes, patterns, and practices of war. Through this unique lens, the contributors provide the insight and analysis needed for a deeper understanding of one of the greatest issues of our times.
Avram Bornstein, Paul E. Farmer, R. Brian Ferguson, Lesley Gill, Beatriz Manz, Carolyn Nordstrom, Stephen Reyna, Jose N. Vasquez
Biopolitics, Militarism, and Development
Eritrea in the Twenty-First Century
O'Kane, D. & Hepner, T. R. (eds)
Bringing together original, contemporary ethnographic research on the Northeast African state of Eritrea, this book shows how biopolitics - the state-led deployment of disciplinary technologies on individuals and population groups - is assuming particular forms in the twenty-first century. Once hailed as the “African country that works,” Eritrea’s apparently successful post-independence development has since lapsed into economic crisis and severe human rights violations. This is due not only to the border war with Ethiopia that began in 1998, but is also the result of discernible tendencies in the “high modernist” style of social mobilization for development first adopted by the Eritrean government during the liberation struggle (1961–1991) and later carried into the post-independence era. The contributions to this volume reveal and interpret the links between development and developmentalist ideologies, intensifying militarism, and the controlling and disciplining of human lives and bodies by state institutions, policies, and discourses. Also assessed are the multiple consequences of these policies for the Eritrean people and the ways in which such policies are resisted or subverted. This insightful, comparative volume places the Eritrean case in a broader global and transnational context.
The Brazilian Truth Commission
Local, National and Global Perspectives
SChneider, N. (ed)
Bringing together some of the world’s leading scholars, practitioners, and human-rights activists, this groundbreaking volume provides the first systematic analysis of the 2012–2014 Brazilian National Truth Commission. While attentive to the inquiry’s local and national dimensions, it offers an illuminating transnational perspective that considers the Commission’s Latin American regional context and relates it to global efforts for human rights accountability, contributing to a more general and critical reassessment of truth commissions from a variety of viewpoints.
Subject: Peace and Conflict Studies
Changing Identifications and Alliances in North-east Africa
Volume I: Ethiopia and Kenya
Schlee, G. & Watson, E. E. (eds)
Forms of group identity play a prominent role in everyday lives and politics in northeast Africa. Case studies from Sudan, Ethiopia, Uganda, and Kenya illustrate the way that identities are formed and change over time, and how local, national, and international politics are interwoven. Specific attention is paid to the impact of modern weaponry, new technologies, religious conversion, food and land shortages, international borders, civil war, and displacement on group identities. Drawing on the expertise of anthropologists, historians and geographers, these volumes provide a significant account of a society profoundly shaped by identity politics and contribute to a better understanding of the nature of conflict and war, and forms of alliance and peacemaking, thus providing a comprehensive portrait of this troubled region.
Changing Identifications and Alliances in North-east Africa
Volume II: Sudan, Uganda, and the Ethiopia-Sudan Borderlands
Schlee, G. & Watson, E. E. (eds)
Forms of group identity play a prominent role in everyday lives and politics in north-east Africa. These volumes provide an interdisciplinary account of the nature and significance of ethnic, religious, and national identity in north-east Africa. Case studies from Sudan, Ethiopia, Uganda, and Kenya illustrate the way that identities are formed and change over time, and how local, national, and international politics are interwoven. Specific attention is paid to the impact of modern weaponry, new technologies, religious conversion, food and land shortages, international borders, civil war, and displacement on group identities. Drawing on the expertise of anthropologists, historians and geographers, these volumes provide a significant account of a society profoundly shaped by identity politics and contribute to a better understanding of the nature of conflict and war, and forms of alliance and peacemaking, thus providing a comprehensive portrait of this troubled region.
Children of the Camp
The Lives of Somali Youth Raised in Kakuma Refugee Camp, Kenya
Chronic violence has characterized Somalia for over two decades, forcing nearly two million people to flee. A significant number have settled in camps in neighboring countries, where children were born and raised. Based on in-depth fieldwork, this book explores the experience of Somalis who grew up in Kakuma refugee camp, in Kenya, and are now young adults. This original study carefully considers how young people perceive their living environment and how growing up in exile structures their view of the past and their country of origin, and the future and its possibilities.
Sørensen†, B. R. & Ben-Ari, E. (eds)
Military-civilian encounters are multiple and diverse in our times. Contributors to this volume demonstrate how military and civilian domains are constituted through entanglements undermining the classic civil-military binary and manifest themselves in unexpected places and manners. Moreover, the essays trace out the ripples, reverberations and resonations of civil-military entanglements in areas not usually associated with such ties, but which are nevertheless real and significant for an understanding of the roles war, violence and the military play in shaping contemporary societies and the everyday life of its citizens.
Conflict, Domination, and Violence
Episodes in Mexican Social History
Conflict, domination, violence—in this wide-ranging, briskly narrated volume from acclaimed Mexican historian Carlos Illades, these three phenomena register the pulse of a diverse, but inequitable and discriminatory, social order. Drawing on rich and varied historical sources, Illades guides the reader through seven signal episodes in Mexican social history, from rebellions under Porfirio Díaz’s dictatorship to the cycles of violence that have plagued the country’s deep south to the recent emergence of neo-anarchist movements. Taken together, they comprise a mosaic history of power and resistance, with artisans, rural communities, revolutionaries, students, and ordinary people confronting the forces of domination and transforming Mexican society.
An Anthropology of Oil
Behrends, A., Reyna, S. P. & Schlee, G. (eds)
Crude Domination is an innovative and important book about a critical topic – oil. While there have been numerous works about petroleum from ‘experience-far’ perspectives, there have been relatively few that have turned the ‘experience-near’ ethnographic gaze of anthropology on the topic. Crude Domination does just this among more peoples and more places than any other volume. Its chapters investigate nuances of culture, politics and economics in Africa, Latin America, and Eurasia as they pertain to petroleum. They wrestle with the key questions vexing scholars and practitioners alike: problems of the economic blight of the resource curse, underdevelopment, democracy, violence and war. Additionally they address topics that may initially appear insignificant – such as child witches and lionmen, fighting for oil when there is no oil, reindeer nomadism, community TV – but which turn out on closer scrutiny to be vital for explaining conflict and transformation in petro-states. Based upon these rich, new worlds of information, the text formulates a novel, domination approach to the social analysis of oil.
The CSCE and the End of the Cold War
Diplomacy, Societies and Human Rights, 1972-1990
Badalassi, N. & Snyder, S. B. (eds)
From its inception, the Conference on Security and Cooperation in Europe (CSCE) provoked controversy. Today it is widely regarded as having contributed to the end of the Cold War. Bringing together new and innovative research on the CSCE, this volume explores questions key to understanding the Cold War: What role did diplomats play in shaping the 1975 Helsinki Final Act? How did that agreement and the CSCE more broadly shape societies in Europe and North America? And how did the CSCE and activists inspired by the Helsinki Final Act influence the end of the Cold War?
Cyprus and its Conflicts
Representations, Materialities, and Cultures
Doudaki, V. & Carpentier, N. (eds)
The Mediterranean island of Cyprus is the site of enduring political, military, and economic conflict. This interdisciplinary collection takes Cyprus as a geographical, cultural and political point of reference for understanding how conflict is mediated, represented, reconstructed, experienced, and transformed. Through methodologically diverse case studies of a wide range of topics—including public art, urban spaces, and print, broadcast and digital media—it assembles an impressively multifaceted perspective, one that provides broad insights into the complex interplay of culture, conflict, and identity.
Subjects: Media Studies Peace and Conflict Studies
Hunting and the Enemy Body in Modern War
Many anthropological accounts of warfare in indigenous societies have described the taking of heads or other body parts as trophies. But almost nothing is known of the prevalence of trophy-taking of this sort in the armed forces of contemporary nation-states. This book is a history of this type of misconduct among military personnel over the past two centuries, exploring its close connections with colonialism, scientific collecting and concepts of race, and how it is a model for violent power relationships between groups.
The New American Empire and Global Warring
Reyna, S. P.
As US imperialism continues to dictate foreign policy, Deadly Contradictions is a compelling account of the American empire. Stephen P. Reyna argues that contemporary forms of violence exercised by American elites in the colonies, client state, and regions of interest have deferred imperial problems, but not without raising their own set of deadly contradictions. This book can be read many ways: as a polemic against geopolitics, as a classic social anthropological text, or as a seminal analysis of twenty-four US global wars during the Cold War and post-Cold War eras.
Sahrawi and Afghan Refugees at the Margins of the Middle East
Chatty, D. (ed)
The Sahrawi and Afghan refugee youth in the Middle East have been stereotyped regionally and internationally: some have been objectified as passive victims; others have become the beneficiaries of numerous humanitarian aid packages which presume the primacy of the Western model of child development. This book compares and contrasts both the stereotypes and Western-based models of humanitarian assistance among Sahrawi youth with the lack of programming and near total self-sufficiency of Afghan refugee youth in Iran. Both extremes offer an important opportunity to further explore the impact which forced migration and prolonged conflict have had, and continue to have, on the lives of these refugee youth and their families. This study examines refugee communities closely linked with the United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) and a host of other UN agencies in the case of the Sahrawi and near total lack of humanitarian aid in the case of Afghan refugees in Iran.
Difference and Sameness as Modes of Integration
Anthropological Perspectives on Ethnicity and Religion
Schlee, G. & Horstmann, A. (eds)
What does it mean to “fit in?” In this volume of essays, editors Günther Schlee and Alexander Horstmann demystify the discourse on identity, challenging common assumptions about the role of sameness and difference as the basis for inclusion and exclusion. Armed with intimate knowledge of local systems, social relationships, and the negotiation of people’s positions in the everyday politics, these essays tease out the ways in which ethnicity, religion and nationalism are used for social integration.
The Transnational Dynamics of Ethnic Conflict Settlement
Ethnic conflicts have shaped the 20th century in significant ways. While the legacy of the last century is primarily one of many unresolved conflicts, the author contends that Western Europe has a track record in containing and settling ethnic conflicts which provides valuable lessons for conflict management elsewhere. Focusing on ethno-territorial crossborder conflicts in Alsace, the Saarland, South Tyrol, and Northern Ireland, Andorra and the New Hebrides, the author develops a four-dimensional analytical framework that synthesizes the distinct factors that influence the complex relationship between host-state, kin-state, actors in the disputed territory, and in the international context.
Subjects: Peace and Conflict Studies Sociology
The Early Morning Phonecall
Somali Refugees' Remittances
As migration from poverty-stricken and conflict-affected countries continues to hit the headlines, this book focuses on an important counter-flow: the money that people send home. Despite considerable research on the impact of migration and remittances in countries of origin - increasingly viewed as a source of development capital - still little is known about refugees’ remittances to conflict-affected countries because such funds are most often seen as a source of conflict finance. This book explores the dynamics, infrastructure, and far-reaching effects of remittances from the perspectives of people in the Somali regions and the diaspora. With conflict driving mass displacement, Somali society has become progressively transnational, its vigorous remittance economy reaching from the heart of the global North into wrecked cities, refugee camps, and remote rural areas. By ‘following the money’ the author opens a window on the everyday lives of people caught up in processes of conflict, migration, and development. The book demonstrates how, in the interstices of state disruption and globalisation, and in the shadow of violence and political uncertainty, life in the Somali regions goes on, subject to complex transnational forms of social, economic, and political innovation and change.
The Engaged Historian
Perspectives on the Intersections of Politics, Activism and the Historical Profession
Berger, S. (ed)
On the surface, historical scholarship might seem thoroughly incompatible with political engagement: the ideal historian, many imagine, is a disinterested observer focused exclusively on the past. In truth, however, political action and historical research have been deeply intertwined for as long as the historical profession has existed. In this insightful collection, practicing historians analyze, reflect on, and share their experiences of this complex relationship. From the influence of historical scholarship on world political leaders to the present-day participation of researchers in post-conflict societies and the Occupy movement, these studies afford distinctive, humane, and stimulating views on historical practice and practitioners
Engaging with Strangers
Love and Violence in the Rural Solomon Islands
The civil conflict in Solomon Islands (1998-2003) is often blamed on the failure of the nation-state to encompass culturally diverse and politically fragmented communities. Writing of Ranongga Island, the author tracks engagements with strangers across many realms of life—pre-colonial warfare, Christian conversion, logging and conservation, even post-conflict state building. She describes startling reversals in which strangers become attached to local places, even as kinspeople are estranged from one another and from their homes. Against stereotypes of rural insularity, she argues that a distinctive cosmopolitan openness to others is evident in the rural Solomons in times of war and peace.
Food in Zones of Conflict
Collinson, P. and Macbeth, H. (eds)
The availability of food is an especially significant issue in zones of conflict because conflict nearly always impinges on the production and the distribution of food, and causes increased competition for food, land and resources Controlling the production of and access to food can also be used as a weapon by protagonists in conflict. The logistics of supply of food to military personnel operating in conflict zones is another important issue. These themes unite this collection, the chapters of which span different geographic areas. This volume will appeal to scholars in a number of different disciplines, including anthropology, nutrition, political science, development studies and international relations, as well as practitioners working in the private and public sectors, who are currently concerned with food-related issues in the field.
From Bullies to Officers and Gentlemen
How Notions of Professionalism and Civility Transformed the Ghana Armed Forces
Agyekum, H. A.
Based on unprecedented access to the Ghanaian military barracks and inspired by the recent resurgence of coups in West Africa, Agyekum assesses why and how the Ghana Armed Forces were transformed from an organization that actively orchestrated coups into an institution that accepts the authority of the democratically elected civilian government. Focusing on the process of professionalization of the Ghanaian military, this ethnography based monograph examines both historical and contemporary themes, and assesses the shift in military personnel from ‘Buga Buga’ soldiers – uneducated, lower-class soldiers, human rights abusers – to a more ‘modern’ fighting force.
Gender, Violence, Refugees
Buckley-Zistel, S. & Krause, U. (eds)
Providing nuanced accounts of how the social identities of men and women, the context of displacement and the experience or manifestation of violence interact, this collection offers conceptual analyses and in-depth case studies to illustrate how gender relations are affected by displacement, encampment and return. The essays show how these factors lead to various forms of direct, indirect and structural violence. This ranges from discussions of norms reflected in policy documents and practise, the relationship between relief structures and living conditions in camps, to forced military recruitment and forced return, and covers countries in Africa, Asia and Europe.
How Enemies Are Made
Towards a Theory of Ethnic and Religious Conflict
In popular perception cultural differences or ethnic affiliation are factors that cause conflict or political fragmentation although this is not borne out by historical evidence. This book puts forward an alternative conflict theory. The author develops a decision theory which explains the conditions under which differing types of identification are preferred. Group identification is linked to competition for resources like water, territory, oil, political charges, or other advantages. Rivalry for resources can cause conflicts but it does not explain who takes whose side in a conflict situation. This book explores possibilities of reducing violent conflicts and ends with a case study, based on personal experience of the author, of conflict resolution.
Ethnic and Sectarian Conflict
Peacock, J. M., Thornton, P. M., and Inman, P. B. (eds)
In response to the attacks of September 11, 2001 and war in Afghanistan, the Fulbright New Century Scholars program brought together social scientists from around the world to study sectarian, ethnic, and cultural conflict within and across national borders. As one result of their year of intense discussion, this book examines the roots of collective violence — and the measures taken to avoid it — in Burma (Myanmar), China, Germany, Pakistan, Senegal, Singapore, Thailand, Tibet, Ukraine, Southeast Asia, and Western Europe.
Case studies and theoretical essays introduce the basic principles necessary to identify and explain the symbols and practices each unique human group holds sacred or inalienable. The authors apply the methods of political science, social psychology, anthropology, journalism, and educational research. They build on the insights of Gordon Allport, Charles Taylor, and Max Weber to describe and analyze the patterns of behavior that social groups worldwide use to maintain their identities.
Written to inform the general reader and communicate across disciplinary boundaries, this important and timely volume demonstrates ways of understanding, predicting and coping with ethnic and sectarian violence.
Contributors: Badeng Nima, David Brown, Kwanchewan Buadaeng, Patrick B. Inman, Karina V. Korostelina, James L. Peacock, Thomas F. Pettigrew, Wee Teng Soh, Hamadou Tidiane Sy, Patricia M. Thornton, Mohammad Waseem.
Irish/ness Is All Around Us
Language Revivalism and the Culture of Ethnic Identity in Northern Ireland
Focusing on Irish speakers in Catholic West Belfast, this ethnography on Irish language and identity explores the complexities of changing, and contradictory, senses of Irishness and shifting practices of 'Irish culture' in the domains of language, music, dance and sports. The author’s theoretical approach to ethnicity and ethnic revivals presents an expanded explanatory framework for the social (re)production of ethnicity, theorizing the mutual interrelations between representations and cultural practices regarding their combined capacity to engender ethnic revivals. Relevant not only to readers with an interest in the intricacies of the Northern Irish situation, this book also appeals to a broader readership in anthropology, sociology, cultural studies, history and political science concerned with the mechanisms behind ethnonational conflict and the politics of culture and identity in general.
Law, History, and Justice
Debating German State Crimes in the Long Twentieth Century
Since the nineteenth century, the development of international humanitarian law has been marked by complex entanglements of legal theory, historical trauma, criminal prosecution, historiography, and politics. All of these factors have played a role in changing views on the applicability of international law and human-rights ideas to state-organized violence, which in turn have been largely driven by transnational responses to German state crimes. Here, Annette Weinke gives a groundbreaking long-term history of the political, legal and academic debates concerning German state and mass violence in the First World War, during the National Socialist era and the Holocaust, and under the GDR.
Legends of People, Myths of State
Violence, Intolerance, and Political Culture in Sri Lanka and Australia
The civil war in Sri Lanka and the part that nationalism seemed to play in it inspired the writing of this book some twenty-three years ago. The argument was developed through a comparative analysis of nationalism in Sri Lanka with the author’s native Australia. At the time this constituted an innovative approach to comparison in anthropology, as well as to nationalism and its possibilities. It was not based on differences but on the way in which perspectives from within the two nationalisms, when seen side-by-side, could present an understanding of their implication in producing the violence of war, racism, and social exclusion. The book has lost none of its importance and urgency as proven by the chapters in the Appendix, written by top scholars working in Sri Lanka and in Australia. These contributions bring together new material and critically explore the book’s themes and their continued relevance to the various trajectories in nationalist processes since the first publication of the book.
How Clientelism, Citizenship, and Power Shape Personhood in Bosnia and Herzegovina
Why do people turn to personal connections to get things done? Exploring the role of favors in social welfare systems in postwar, postsocialist Bosnia and Herzegovina, this volume provides a new theoretical angle on links between ambiguity and power. It demonstrates that favors were not an instrumental tactic of survival, nor a way to reproduce oneself as a moral person. Instead, favors enabled the insertion of personal compassion into the heart of the organization of welfare.
Managing Ambiguity follows how neoliberal insistence on local community, flexibility, and self-responsibility was translated into clientelist modes of relating and back, and how this fostered a specific mode of power.
Not Even Past
How the United States Ends Wars
Fitzgerald, D., Ryan, D., & Thompson, J. M. (eds)
Vietnam, Iraq, Afghanistan: Taken together, these conflicts are the key to understanding more than a half century of American military history. In addition, they have shaped, in profound ways, the culture and politics of the United States—as well as the nations in which they have been fought. This volume brings together international experts on American history and foreign affairs to assess the cumulative impact of the United States’ often halting and conflicted attempts to end wars. It offers essential perspectives on the Cold War and post-9/11 eras and explores the troubling implications of the American tendency to fight wars without end.
Towards an Interdisciplinary Understanding of a Basic Human Condition
Turner, B. & Schlee, G. (eds)
Retaliation is associated with all forms of social and political organization, and retaliatory logics inform many different conflict resolution procedures from consensual settlement to compensation to violent escalations. This book derives a concept of retaliation from the overall notion of reciprocity, defining retaliation as the human disposition to strive for a reactive balancing of conflicts and injustices. On Retaliation presents a synthesized approach to both the violence-generating and violence-avoiding potentials of retaliation. Contributors to this volume touch upon the interaction between retaliation and violence, the state’s monopoly on legitimate punishment and the factors of socio-political frameworks, religious interpretations and economic processes.
Order and Disorder
Benda-Beckmann, K. von & Pirie, F. (eds)
Disorder and instability are matters of continuing public concern. Terrorism, as a threat to global order, has been added to preoccupations with political unrest, deviance and crime. Such considerations have prompted the return to the classic anthropological issues of order and disorder. Examining order within the political and legal spheres and in contrasting local settings, the papers in this volume highlight its complex and contested nature. Elaborate displays of order seem necessary to legitimate the institutionalization of violence by military and legal establishments, yet violent behaviour can be incorporated into the social order by the development of boundaries, rituals and established processes of conflict resolution. Order is said to depend upon justice, yet injustice legitimates disruptive protest. Case studies from Siberia, India, Indonesia, Tibet, West Africa, Morocco and the Ottoman Empire show that local responses are often inconsistent in their valorization, acceptance and condemnation of disorder.
The Partial Revolution
Labour, Social Movements and the Invisible Hand of Mao in Western Nepal
Located in the far-western Tarai region of Nepal, Kailali has been the site of dynamic social and political change in recent history. The Partial Revolution examines Kailali in the aftermath of Nepal’s Maoist insurgency, critically examining the ways in which revolutionary political mobilization changes social relations—often unexpectedly clashing with the movement’s ideological goals. Focusing primarily on the end of Kailali’s feudal system of bonded labor, Hoffmann explores the connection between politics, labor, and Mao’s legacy, documenting the impact of changing political contexts on labor relations among former debt-bonded laborers.
Party Responses to Social Movements
Challenges and Opportunities
Piccio, D. R.
Across the West, the explosion of social movement activity since the late 1960s has constituted a “participatory revolution” that has posed profound challenges for formal political parties. Through an analysis of new interviews, institutional documents, and a host of other largely unexploited sources, Daniela R. Piccio provides a rich and empirically grounded exploration of the wide-ranging responses to these movements. Focusing on Italy and the Netherlands since the 1970s, Party Responses to Social Movements demonstrates how political parties have incorporated the demands of movements to a surprising extent, even as both have grappled with fundamental and inevitable tensions between their respective roles and aims.
Peace at All Costs
Catholic Intellectuals, Journalists, and Media in Postwar Polish–German Reconciliation
Frieberg, A. E.
Although it was characterized by simmering international tensions, the early Cold War also witnessed dramatic instances of reconciliation between states, as former antagonists rebuilt political, economic, and cultural ties in the wake of the Second World War. And such efforts were not confined to official diplomacy, as this study of postwar rapprochement between Poland and West Germany demonstrates. Drawing on a wide range of sources, Peace at All Costs follows Polish and German non-state activists who attempted to establish dialogue in the 1950s and 1960s, showing how they achieved modest successes and media attention at the cost of more nuanced approaches to their national histories and identities.
Personhood, Nationhood, and the Post-Conflict Moment in Rwanda
This ethnography of personhood in post-genocide Rwanda investigates how residents of a small town grapple with what kinds of persons they ought to become in the wake of violence. Based on fieldwork carried out over the course of a decade, it uncovers how conflicting moral demands emerge from the 1994 genocide, from cultural contradictions around “good” personhood, and from both state and popular visions for the future. What emerges is a profound dissonance in town residents’ selfhood. While they strive to be agents of change who can catalyze a new era of modern Rwandan nationhood, they are also devastated by the genocide and struggle to recover a sense of selfhood and belonging in the absence of kin, friends, and neighbors. In drawing out the contradictions at the heart of self-making and social life in contemporary Rwanda, this book asserts a novel argument about the ordinary lives caught in global post-conflict imperatives to remember and to forget, to mourn and to prosper.
Politics of Innocence
Hutu Identity, Conflict and Camp Life
Based on thorough ethnographic fieldwork in a refugee camp in Tanzania this book provides a rich account of the benevolent “disciplining mechanisms” of humanitarian agencies, led by the UNHCR, and of the situated, dynamic, indeterminate, and fluid nature of identity (re)construction in the camp. While the refugees are expected to behave as innocent, helpless victims, the question of victimhood among Burundian Hutu is increasingly challenged, following the 1993 massacres in Burundi and the Rwandan genocide. The book explores how different groups within the camp apply different strategies to cope with these issues and how the question of innocence and victimhood is itself imbued with ambiguity, as young men struggle to recuperate their masculinity and their political subjectivity.
Sharing Space in the Shadow of Conflict
Bryant, R. (ed)
In Southeast Europe, the Balkans, and Middle East, scholars often refer to the “peaceful coexistence” of various religious and ethnic groups under the Ottoman Empire before ethnonationalist conflicts dissolved that shared space and created legacies of division. Post-Ottoman Coexistence interrogates ways of living together and asks what practices enabled centuries of cooperation and sharing, as well as how and when such sharing was disrupted. Contributors discuss both historical and contemporary practices of coexistence within the context of ethno-national conflict and its aftermath.
Subjects: Peace and Conflict Studies Sociology
The Practice of War
Production, Reproduction and Communication of Armed Violence
Rao† , A., Bollig, M. & Böck, M. (eds)
The fact is that war comes in many guises and its effects continue to be felt long after peace is proclaimed. This challenges the anthropologists who write of war as participant observers. Participant observation inevitably deals with the here and now, with the highly specific. It is only over the long view that one can begin to see the commonalities that emerge from the different forms of conflict and can begin to generalize. [From the Introduction]
More needs to be understood about the ways of war and its effects. What implications does war have for people, their lived-in communities and larger political systems; how do they cope and adjust in war situations and how do they deal with the changed world that they inhabit once peace is declared? Through a series of essays that move from looking at the nature of violence to the peace processes that follow it, this important book provides some answers to these questions. It also analyzes those new dimensions of social interaction, such as the internet, which now provide a bridge between local concerns and global networks and are fundamentally altering the practices of war.
Refugees and the Transformation of Societies
Agency, Policies, Ethics and Politics
Essed, P., Frerks, G. & Schrijvers, J. (eds)
The refusal or reception of refugees has had serious implications for the social policies and social realities of numerous countries in east and west. Exploring experiences, interpretations and practices of 'refugees,' 'the internally displaced' and 'returnees' in or emerging from societies in violent conflict, this volume challenges prevailing orthodoxies and encourages new developments in refugee studies. It also addresses the ethics and politics of interventions by professionals and policy makers, using case studies of refugees from or in South Asia, the Middle East, North Africa, Europe and the Americas. These illustrate the dynamic nature of situations where refugees, policy- makers and practitioners interact in trying to construct new livelihoods in transforming societies.
Without a proper understanding of this dynamic nature, so the volume argues overall, it is not possible to develop successful strategies for the accommodation and integration of refugees.
Anthropological Perspectives on Intergenerational Transmission
Argenti, N. & Schramm, K. (Eds.)
Psychologists have done a great deal of research on the effects of trauma on the individual, revealing the paradox that violent experiences are often secreted away beyond easy accessibility, becoming impossible to verbalize explicitly. However, comparatively little research has been done on the transgenerational effects of trauma and the means by which experiences are transmitted from person to person across time to become intrinsic parts of the social fabric. With eight contributions covering Africa, Central and South America, China, Europe, and the Middle East, this volume sheds new light on the role of memory in constructing popular histories – or historiographies – of violence in the absence of, or in contradistinction to, authoritative written histories. It brings new ethnographic data to light and presents a truly cross-cultural range of case studies that will greatly enhance the discussion of memory and violence across disciplines.
Shakespeare and the Ethics of War
Gray, P. (ed)
How does Shakespeare represent war? This volume reviews scholarship to date on the question and introduces new perspectives, looking at contemporary conflict through the lens of the past. Through his haunting depiction of historical bloodshed, including the Trojan War, the fall of the Roman Republic, and the Wars of the Roses, Shakespeare illuminates more recent political violence, ranging from the British occupation of Ireland to the Spanish Civil War, the Balkans War, and the past several decades of U. S. military engagement in Iraq and Afghanistan. Can a war be just? What is the relation between the ruler and the ruled? What motivates ethnic violence? Shakespeare’s plays serve as the frame for careful explorations of perennial problems of human co-existence: the politics of honor, the ethics of diplomacy, the responsibility of non-combatants, and the tension between idealism and Realpolitik.
Legacies of Militarization and Militarism in a Rural Guatemalan Town
Although the Guatemalan Civil War ended more than two decades ago, its bloody legacy continues to resonate even today. In Silenced Communities, author Marcia Esparza offers an ethnographic account of the failed demilitarization of the rural militia in the town of Santo Tomás Chichicastenango following the conflict. Combining insights from postcolonialism, subaltern studies, and theories of internal colonialism, Esparza explores the remarkable resilience of ideologies and practices engendered in the context of the Cold War, demonstrating how the lingering effects of grassroots militarization affect indigenous communities that continue to struggle with inequality and marginalization.
Soldiering Under Occupation
Processes of Numbing among Israeli Soldiers in the Al-Aqsa Intifada
Often, violent behavior or harassment from a soldier is dismissed by the military as unacceptable acts by individuals termed, “rotten apples.” In this study, the author argues that this dismissal is unsatisfactory and that there is an urgent need to look at the (mis)behavior of soldiers from a structural point of view. When soldiers serve as an occupational force, they find themselves in a particular situation influenced by structural circumstances that heavily influence their behavior and moral decision-making. This study focuses on young Israeli men and their experiences as combat soldiers in the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF), particularly those who served in the “Occupied Palestinian Territories” (OPT) during the “Al Aqsa Intifada,” which broke out in 2000. In describing the soldiers’ circumstances, especially focusing on space, the study shows how processes of numbing on different levels influence the (moral) behavior of these soldiers.
Space, Place and Identity
Wodaabe of Niger in the 21st Century
Known as highly mobile cattle nomads, the Wodaabe in Niger are today increasingly engaged in a transformation process towards a more diversified livelihood based primarily on agro-pastoralism and urban work migration. This book examines recent transformations in spatial patterns, notably in the context of urban migration and in processes of sedentarization in rural proto-villages. The book analyses the consequences that the recent change entails for social group formation and collective identification, and how this impacts integration into wider society amid the structures of the modern nation state.
War, Technology, Anthropology
Stroeken, K. (ed)
Technologies of the allied warfare in Iraq and Afghanistan, such as remote-controlled drones and night vision goggles, allow the user to “virtualize” human targets. This coincides with increased civilian casualties and a perpetuation of the very insecurity these technologies are meant to combat. This concise volume of research and reflections from different regions across Asia, the Middle East, Latin America, and Africa, observes how anthropology operates as a technology of war. It tackles recent theories of humans in society colluding with imperialist claims, including anthropologists who have become involved professionally in warfare through their knowledge of “cultures,” renamed as “human terrain systems.” The chapters link varied yet crucial domains of inquiry: from battlefields technologies, military-driven scientific policy, and economic warfare, to martyrdom cosmology shifts, media coverage of “distant” wars, and the virtualizing techniques and “war porn” soundtracks of the gaming industry.
Women and the Politics of Military Confrontation
Palestinian and Israeli Gendered Narratives of Dislocation
Abdo, N. & Lentin, R. (eds)
As the crisis in Israel does not show any signs of abating, this remarkable collection, edited by an Israeli and a Palestinian scholar and with contributions by Palestinian and Israeli women, offers a vivid and harrowing picture of the conflict and of its impact on daily life, especially as it affects women's experiences that differ significantly from those of men.
The (auto)biographical narratives in this volume focus on some of the most disturbing effects of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict: a sense of dislocation that goes well beyond the geographical meaning of the word; it involves social, cultural, national and gender dislocation, including alienation from one's own home, family, community, and society. The accounts become even more poignant if seen against the backdrop of the roots of the conflict, the real or imaginary construct of a state to save and shelter particularly European Jews from the horrors of Nazism in parallel to the other side of the coin: Israel as a settler-colonial state responsible for the displacement of the Palestinian nation.