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The gender history of the Lebanese Civil War (1975–90) has so far focused on the study of female figures. In an attempt to widen the scope of analysis, this article reconsiders the role of the Lebanese army in war-torn Lebanon through the lens of gender. Based on interviews with retired officers and noncommissioned officers, I argue that the military—the combat personnel in particular—never relinquished its claim to an exclusive militarized masculinity, despite the rise of contending actors. By maintaining this claim, these men strove to confront both the new standards of masculinity imposed by the militias and the anxiety caused by the disruption of gender roles throughout the conflict. To make sense of this confrontation, the article investigates how the veterans have engaged in a social performance, during both past and present, to (re)enact their manliness in front of an audience. This diachronic approach allows me to further untangle the combat officers’ trajectories during the war, using gender to bring them into conversation with their milieu.
The lower Mississippi valley, as a distinct geopolitical region, is representative of the antebellum South. Arkansas and Tennessee represents the upper South and Louisiana and Mississippi the lower South. The region demonstrates much geographical diversity, but the main division is between the alluvial areas, where plantation agriculture and large slaveholdings predominate, and the uplands, which feature farming and small-scale slaveholding. The 1.16 million slaves of the region constitute more than a third of the Confederacy’s slave population. The slaveholders of the antebellum South are a distinct elite, especially in the lower Mississippi valley. The slave populations of the region also engender complex communities and a vibrant cultural life. Other than the South Carolina lowcountry and the Chesapeake, the lower Mississippi valley achieves the highest stage of historical development as a slave society within the antebellum South.
The Civil War marked the high point of state interposition resistance to the Union or Confederate governments. Sounding the alarm interposition occurred wherever governors and legislators believed their national government had exceeded its powers, particularly with the use of martial law, suspension of the writ of habeas corpus, and wartime conscription. Moreover, Lincoln’s use of emancipation as a war measure was criticized in North and South as going beyond the effort to preserve the Union and instead converting the war into an abolitionist-inspired moral crusade to end slavery and expand Black rights. After the Civil War, opposition mounted in state legislatures in the North and South to the Thirteenth, Fourteenth, and Fifteenth Amendments, Reconstruction policies, racial equality, and enhanced national power. The slogan of states’ rights was adopted by those who denied the outcome of the Civil War and by advocates of white supremacy. By the end of Reconstruction, interposition essentially died out, tainted with the discredited notion of nullification, secession and the Civil War, and lay dormant before its reemergence in the twentieth century.
The first part of the chapter discusses Serbia during the Great War. Following initial military successes, Serbias army was forced to retreat, together with the government and the royal family, to the Greek island of Corfu in late 1915. By late 1918, a recuperated Serbian army, together with its allies, liberated Serbia and occupied much of what would soon become Yugoslavia. Serbia suffered enormously in the war, but its domination of interwar Yugoslavia alienated non-Serbs and many formerly Habsburg Serbs. In response to the political crisis, King Aleksandar Karadjordjević introduced dictatorship in 1929. His project to create a unified Yugoslav nation had largely failed even before his assassination in 1934. The late 1930s saw a partial return to democracy, in contrast to developments elsewhere in East-Central Europe, a Serb-Croat compromise, and a move closer to Berlin and Rome. Serb officers and most political leaders rejected a pact with the Axis in 1941, leading to the invasion and partition of Yugoslavia by the Axis. The final part discusses resistance, civil war and collaboration and the German policy of reprisals against Serbs, Jews and Roma in occupied Serbia.
The secession crisis of 1860-61 in the lower Mississippi valley represents the crisis in the South as a whole. Secession is more contentious, and southern Unionism more prevalent, in Arkansas and Tennessee than in Louisiana and Mississippi. Support for secession initially corresponds to areas of plantation agriculture and large slaveholdings, but the Confederacy receives overwhelming white support after secession. Events outside the region shape the Union’s initial approach to the rebellion and to the problem of fugitive slaves, though the region also experiences internal disruptions in mobilizing for war. The lower Mississippi valley initially experiences little direct effect from the war, but control of the Mississippi River soon becomes central to Union strategy. By early 1862, preparations were underway for Federal incursions into the region. Although the issue of slavery becomes unavoidable, notions of “Reconstruction” remain limited, and few Northerners envision a reunion predicated on the abolition of slavery.
The Lower Mississippi Valley is more than just a distinct geographical region of the United States; it was central to the outcome of the Civil War and the destruction of slavery in the American South. Beginning with Lincoln's 1860 presidential election and concluding with the final ratification of the Thirteenth Amendment in 1865, Freedom's Crescent explores the four states of this region that seceded and joined the Confederacy: Tennessee, Mississippi, Arkansas, and Louisiana. By weaving into a coherent narrative the major military campaigns that enveloped the region, the daily disintegration of slavery in the countryside, and political developments across the four states and in Washington DC, John C. Rodrigue identifies the Lower Mississippi Valley as the epicenter of emancipation in the South. A sweeping examination of one of the war's most important theaters, this book highlights the integral role this region played in transforming United States history.
The Russian invasion of Ukraine in 2022 has its roots in the events of 2013–2014. Russia cynically termed the seditionist conflict in Crimea and Eastern Donbas a 'civil war' in order to claim non-involvement. This flies in the face of evidence, but the authors argue that the social science literature on civil wars can be used help understand why no political solution was found between 2015 and 2022. The book explains how Russia, after seizing Crimea, was reacting to events it could not control and sent troops only to areas of Ukraine where it knew it would face little resistance (Eastern Donbas). Kremlin decisionmakers misunderstood the attachment of the Russian-speaking population to the Ukrainian state and also failed to anticipate that their intervention would transform Ukraine into a more cohesively 'Ukrainian' polity. Drawing on Ukrainian documentary sources, this concise book explains these important developments to a non-specialist readership.
The chapter explores a paradox – the apparent impossibility of decentralization in a country where orography, a long history of political fragmentation, and a vulnerable central state authority would appear naturally to favor decentralized authority. Through a historical exploration of governance in different parts of Yemen since 1960, it reveals longstanding demands for decentralized governance, as well as the existence of a strong society capable of formulating and pressuring the central authority to implement decentralization reforms. It then analyzes efforts from 2013 to 2015 to produce a new constitutional order built on federal principles – first through a broad-based National Dialogue and, then, through a far less inclusive constitutional drafting process. This quite revolutionary project of founding a federal Yemen with six regions was eventually buried under Gulf Cooperation Council coalition bombs from March 2015 onward. The chapter concludes by exploring the circumstances that led to the rejection of a federalist solution and the eruption of civil war in Yemen, but notes that federalism, far from being an imported concept, has generated rich intra-Yemeni intellectual debates. A six-region federal Yemen might not be the way forward, but a “federalism of the provinces” could be a path for future reconstruction of Yemen.
Chapter 1 introduces the book’s argument. Naming Ukraine’s war is controversial. Russia quickly appropriated the term “civil war,” cynically in order to claim noninvolvement. This flies in the face of evidence. The social science literature on civil war violence and barriers to settlements may be analytically useful, however, for understanding why the conflict in Ukraine was so difficult to bring to resolution in the 2015–2022 period. This book explains that Russia, after seizing Crimea, was reacting to events it could not control and sent troops only to areas of Ukraine where it knew it would face little resistance (the Eastern Donbas). Kremlin decision-makers misunderstood the attachment of the Russian-speaking population to the Ukrainian state and also failed to anticipate how that their intervention would transform Ukraine into a more cohesively “Ukrainian” polity.
As literary scholars have become increasingly concerned with the cultural significance of warfare, the concept of revolution has lost much of the authority it has traditionally enjoyed in discussions of aesthetics and politics. This chapter argues that literary studies have much to learn from the accounts of language and violence found in both military and revolutionary discourses. The first part of the chapter focuses on the maverick status of the word “revolution” in post-Enlightenment thought and describes the emergence of a theory of revolutionary language in Marx and his inheritors. The second part concentrates on Clausewitz’s understanding of state violence, asking why his conception of war should prove so attractive to revolutionaries. The final section of the chapter considers whether the attention paid to war and revolution has led to the neglect of a potentially more fundamental form of conflict: civil war. In closing, it is suggested that as nation-states lose their monopoly on large-scale organized violence, literary and cultural studies will have to embrace new paradigms of transnational and subnational strife.
This chapter explores georgic writing that appeared during the second half of the seventeenth century, with special attention to engagements with civil war and its aftermaths. The discussion also attends closely to Virgilian strains in English georgic writing and to the significances of literary imitation and translation. Authors covered include Andrew Marvell, John Evelyn, Abraham Cowley, John Milton, Joseph Addison and John Dryden, as well as the ancient writers Hesiod and Virgil.
What explains why the United Nations Security Council meets and deliberates on some armed conflicts but not others? We advance a theoretical argument centred on the role of conflict externalities, state interests and interest heterogeneity. We investigate data on the Security Council's deliberation on armed conflicts in the 1989–2019 period and make three key findings: (1) conflicts that generate substantive military or civilian deaths are more likely to attract the Security Council's attention; (2) permanent members are varyingly likely to involve the Security Council when their interests are at stake; and (3) in contrast to the conventional wisdom, conflicts over which members have divergent interests are more likely to enter the agenda than other conflicts. The findings have important implications for debates about the Security Council's attention, responsiveness to problems and role in world politics.
We offer new evidence on the dynamics of wealth holding in the United States over the Civil War decade based on a hand-linked random sample of wealth holders drawn from the 1860 census. Despite the wealth shock caused by emancipation, we find that patterns of wealth mobility were broadly similar for northern and southern residents in 1860. Looking at the determinants of individual wealth holding in 1870, we find that the elasticity with respect to 1860 wealth was quite low in both regions – consistent with high levels of wealth mobility.
Despite their evident and sometimes pronounced differences in logic, rhetoric, strategy, and style, all the figures I discuss in this book rely on a few shared and underlying assumptions. While they can and do disagree about its shape, meaning, value, and future, they tend all to accept that modern social and political life is and has been defined by the question of how to manage a difficult negotiation between the ideas, preferences, and desires of individuals and the ideas, preferences, and desires of the group. Whether it be Jean-Jacques Rousseau or Jeremy Bentham, George Eliot or George Grote, William Morris or William Riker, Ralph Ellison or Kenneth Arrow, the writers and thinkers I’ve addressed take it as a fraught and incomplete given that the periodic crises and the essential complexity of modern life make it necessary not only to imagine new models of the group but also to identify practical methods and schemes that would allow one at least to act as if there were a significant and even organic way of recognizing what the people really think and want. Although some were enthusiasts, some were skeptics, and some were cynics, all of them recognize the importance of the problem established in Rousseau’s Social Contract: “How to find a form of association which will defend the person and goods of each member with the collective force of all, and under which each individual, while uniting himself with the others, obeys no one but himself, and remains as free as before.”1 Of course, for Rousseau, it was not enough simply to assert, announce, or even dream the existence of the general will; one needed also to imagine the mechanism, the process, the model of association or aggregation that would allow individuals to come together as something significantly more than the sum of their respective parts. Although the questions raised by Rousseau’s text are themselves legion, I have in this book focused on problems and paradoxes raised specifically by the nature and the machinery of aggregative political representation. Although Rousseau mostly hated the idea – perhaps because it was an idea from which he could not escape – others tend to accept that his imagined and fundamental “form of association” must amount to one or another model of representative as opposed to direct democracy; what gets you to something even remotely like the general will in large, pluralist societies will probably take the form an election whereby some individuals are somehow selected by other individuals somehow to represent the will of all.
Shows how the Museum of the Bible produces a bible resistant to moral critique, particularly when it comes to racism, slavery, and civil rights in US history. Argues that the museum’s exhibits engage in selective history-telling and other techniques to protect the Bible from complicity in societal harms and to frame the Christian Bible as in indispensable ally for progress. The museum’s bible participates in the constructions of Christian cultural heritage narratives and Christian nationalism in the United States.
In Sudan, a deep economic crisis in the 1990s initially facilitated the consolidation of an Islamist-commercial elite that forged an alliance with a segment of the military and capture the state. Having gained control of the state, the Islamists marginalized rival groups in civil society, while continuing to recruit more jihadist elements among poorer segments of the population. In addition to their control over the economy, Sudanese Islamists also consolidated their rule by taking over the civil service in a systematic fashion. However, with the steep decline in labor remittances as a result of a regional recession, and the loss of access to revenues from oil resulting from the secession of South Sudan, the Islamist authoritarian regime lost the financial basis that underpinned its patronage networks. This chapter explains how the latter gradually resulted in popular protests and the demise of the Islamist authoritarian regime in Sudan.
Chapter 1 focuses on the evolution of Chinese Communist Party support for Chinese scientists’ involvement in international scientific organisations during the Chinese Civil War and the early years of CCP rule after 1949. It analyses the meanings, motivations, and manifestations of such CCP-supported activities before and after taking power through organisations such as the Chinese Association of Scientific Workers, which had significant domestic and international dimensions. In doing so, it charts the rise of on Chinese involvement in the World Federation of Scientific Workers (WFSW) across the first decade of the international organisation’s existence, from its founding in 1946 through to Beijing hosting the federation’s tenth anniversary celebrations in 1956. This first decade of Chinese involvement in the WFSW showed the CCP’s united front work paying dividends in building relations with scientists at home and abroad, providing a platform from which the People's Republic of China would pursue a range of other efforts at international outreach.
This chapter examines contemporary and emerging developments in the literatures of the Civil War and Reconstruction. It argues that two particular genres have recently taken root: stories about people previously overlooked by mainstream accounts of the era; and stories that approach the Civil War and Reconstruction as a source of philosophical meaning. The chapter explores the major iterations of these burgeoning genres and documents their ongoing evolution in texts such as George Saunders’s Lincoln in the Bardo, Kasi Lemmons’s Harriet, Gary Ross’s Free State of Jones, and James McBride’s The Good Lord Bird.
This chapter uses Elmira, New York, as a case study in the fraught and overlapping geographies that both inform and come to embody post-war monumentalizing. It takes Elmira as one example of a conversation surrounding Black histories and Black memory taking place across the United States after the Civil War. These conversations reached backward to illuminate Black histories and forward to anticipate Black futures. Spaces like Elmira demonstrate how Black citizens thought of the monument not only as an instrument of white supremacy or a genre of critique, but also as a medium for imagining Black futures. In tracing the genealogies of monumentalizing made visible in Elmira through the African American activist John W. Jones and the white writer Mark Twain, this chapter shows how certain dynamic monumental landscapes manifest post-war intersections of race and memory that continue to be arbitrated today.
Drawing on her border-state experiences, Rebecca Harding Davis explored the meaning of the Civil War and its complicated legacy throughout her career. Her insistence on realism in her writing about the conflict as it unfolded prefigured her later skepticism about the emerging memory of the war as a Lost Cause. Her early Atlantic Monthly stories, such as “John Lamar” and “David Gaunt,” frame political justifications for a war of competing rights and anticipate her use of the trial metaphor to suggest justice deferred at the end of Waiting for the Verdict. Her postbellum work, such as “The Rose of Carolina” and “How the Widow Crossed the Lines,” acknowledges the force of cultural memory, itself an adversarial contest of competing claims in late nineteenth-century America. Davis invites her readers to revisit the lessons of the war, its cultural legacy, and its impact on a verdict too long deferred.