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This chapter explores the tensions between resilience models of recovery, adaptive peacebuilding and transitional justice by examining the 1994 genocide of Tutsi in Rwanda, its aftermath and the country’s recovery processes. Rwanda has been lauded as a success story for post-genocide recovery, peacebuilding and transitional justice. Yet, a closer look demonstrates that its recovery and peacebuilding reinforced a centralised state and the ruling party’s dominance. These processes produced the appearance of stability and resilience while hiding new hierarchies and social divides that risk generating conflict in the future. Adaptive peacebuilding efforts led by local non-governmental organisations, on the other hand, responded directly to ordinary people’s immediate needs without promoting political agendas. Government-led transitional justice efforts often disrupted these local successes and ultimately benefitted the nation-state at the expense of community healing. The lessons learned from the Rwanda case point to the importance of tending to local-level concerns in recovery processes and of employing peacebuilding approaches that focus on broad notions of positive peace instead of only state-building. In addition, resilience models of recovery must consider micro- and macro-level concerns and pay attention to the impact of political power on outcomes.
This chapter provides a theoretical framework for the book. It briefly notes the evolution of debates about security in international relations thought before making a case that security can be understood as a social construction, given meaning by particular political communities in different ways at different times. These different meanings can be classified in terms of discourses – specific accounts of threat, referent object, agents of security and means of achieving it. After differentiating this account from the prominent Copenhagen School conceptual framework of securitization, the chapter notes the importance of conceiving security as a site of contestation and negotiation. It points to the political significance of the promise of providing security – the politics of security – and the ethical assumptions and implications of alternative accounts of security – the ethics of security.
Sara Paretsky’s contemporary hard-boiled detective novels featuring female private investigator V. I. Warshawski have placed Chicago firmly on the crime fiction map. In a series of twenty detective novels, Paretsky has depicted the uncompromising and passionate Warshawski as she navigates multicultural, industrial Chicago, taking on capitalism, patriarchy, and blue- and white-collar crime. This chapter examines Paretsky’s use of the crime genre’s conventions to investigate and represent crime in Chicago, arguing that gender, race, and class are central to this creative and imaginative process. The crime genre focuses on the quest for truth and justice for victims, themes which are central to Paretsky’s feminist sensibility and social criticism. The analysis centres on Paretsky’s triangulation of feminism, blue- and white-collar crime, and politics in her representation of Chicago. Stylistically hard-boiled but with explicit demonstrations of anger, empathy, and emotional intelligence, Paretsky’s Warshawski embodies a feminist challenge to the traditional masculinist tough guy detective character in her ongoing creative exploration of the history and geography of Chicago crime.
This chapter considers the place of the desert in relation, following Nietzsche and Heidegger, to the character of human development in the modern era – “the wasteland grows; woe to him who hides wastelands within”. It looks at Heidegger’s concern with technology and language, or the way technological progress has reduced language to “idle talk”, against which the only adequate resistance, as Heidegger saw in Hölderlin, is a rebirth of the poetic. It then looks at how language interconnects with politics and science through the work of Hannah Arendt, and her distinctions between labour, work, and action in The Human Condition. Here recovering language from the colonization of science, technology and mass data begins by restoring the forms of political discourse qua speech, which in turns requires dispensing with what Uwe Poerksen calls “plastic words” that professionalize, institutionalize and modularize language. The chapter concludes these thoughts by returning to Heidegger’s question of poetry, and specifically to words by Matthew Arnold, where the desert that is in our words might become our saving power.
Chapter 4 introduces the rules and importance of theory, then derives a Unified War Theory (UWT) that leverages insights from earlier chapters to define key aspects and relationships pertaining to politics, strategy, and combat. The chapter also establishes theory’s relevance to strategy, historical analysis, warfighting, and doctrine, then relates politics, power, influence, and ideology to war, including how autocratic and democratic governance reduces but cannot eliminate the potential for conflict. The chapter defines the nature and character of war, outlines the levels of war and strategy, and explains that cause, capacity, and will to fight comprise the “engine of war.” Additional analysis includes war’s fractal nature, warfighting domains, chance, chaos, and momentum. Next, the chapter presents a “fluidic” metaphor and defines force “viscosity,” a property based on directness, acceleration, restriction, cohesion, and concentration that reconciles war’s regular and irregular forms. The chapter offers a “war-viscosity algorithm” that illustrates the dynamics of viscosity, including how and why war’s forms change, and it concludes by examining the UWT’s value and implications vis-à-vis historical analysis, domain theory, terrorism, nuclear weapons, and ethics.
Focusing on political trials in Zimbabwe's Magistrates' Courts between 2000 and 2012, Susanne Verheul explores why the judiciary have remained a central site of contestation in post-independence Zimbabwe. Drawing on rich court observations and in-depth interviews, this book foregrounds law's potential to reproduce or transform social and political power through the narrative, material, and sensory dimensions of courtroom performances. Instead of viewing appeals to law as acts of resistance by marginalised orders for inclusion in dominant modes of rule, Susanne Verheul argues that it was not recognition by but of this formal, rule-bound ordering, and the form of citizenship it stood for, that was at stake in performative legal engagements. In this manner, law was much more than a mere instrument. Law was a site in which competing conceptions of political authority were given expression, and in which people's understandings of themselves as citizens were formed and performed.
The marginal case of the decolonisation of Comoros has gained little attention from historians of Africa. By tracing the evolution of the Mouvement de libération nationale des Comores (MOLINACO) around East Africa's Indian Ocean basin, this article explores the possibilities and constraints of anticolonial organisation among a diaspora population whose own existence was threatened by the more exclusive political order that emerged from the process of decolonisation. In Tanganyika, Zanzibar, Kenya, and Madagascar, MOLINACO's activities were shaped and limited by contested issues of racial identity, island genealogy, partisan alignment, and international priorities among both the Comorian diaspora and their ‘host’ governments. Through a transterritorial approach, this article examines the difficulties for minority communities in navigating the transition from empire to nation-state, while also illustrating the challenges MOLINACO faced in its ultimately unsuccessful attempt to impose that same normative model onto the archipelago.
Bishop recurrently returned to the topic of Cold War politics under the pressure of public events, her life experiences, and her reading in political theory. “View of the Capitol from the Library of Congress” initiated what might be termed her Cold War poetics, in which her poems both reflected and resisted the political discourse of containment culture. Bishop deployed her complexly entangled poetics in such later poems as “Brazil, January 1, 1502,” “The Armadillo,” “12 O’Clock News,” “A Baby Found in the Garbage,” “Pink Dog” and “Exchanging Hats.” Employing a rhetoric of irony, and at times of confession, she obliquely critiqued US foreign policy, patriarchy, militarism, racial and class hierarchy, gender containment, and sexual heteronormativity
Though many see the 1950s–1970s as the height of Mailer’s career, he remained a fixture in the literary world – and on best-seller lists – for decades afterward. During the last decade of his life, Mailer offers some of his sharpest and most poignant cultural commentaries, offering a critical appraisal of the American political system and the country’s political leaders, examining the way recent presidential administrations continue to feed the imperialist myth of an American empire, and weighing in on the subject of patriotism and American exceptionalism after 9/11. At this writing, it has been 13 years since his passing, and in some ways his early writings seem to be gaining in relevance, his nonfictional pieces serving as eerie predictions of contemporary issues, and have been referenced frequently in recent years.
By what criteria should theories or explanations be judged to be good, over and above the requirement or at least the ambition for them to be true or correct? We may invoke appropriateness, relevance, economy, clarity, comprehensiveness, generality, parsimony, simplicity, elegance, even beauty, but what views did earlier investigators entertain on the subject? We have already seen that one group of ancient Greek theorists developed a model of axiomatic-deductive demonstration designed to bolster claims that a sequence of argument could yield results that are not only true but incontrovertible.
This chapter tracks what happened when America’s virus crisis became heavily politicized, even weaponized. Moreover, the pandemic was politicized not only at home but abroad, specifically regarding Sino-American relations, which deteriorated significantly from what they had been for four decades previous. At home were two obvious casualties. The first was the truth. The president’s proclivity outrageously to lie, now also about Covid-19, and his enablers’ proclivity no matter what to protect him, became increasingly costly. Now the cost was not only public trust but people’s lives. The second casualty to be chronicled was the comity of the American body politic. The growing divisiveness was symbolized by the wearing, or the not wearing, of masks which came to be emblematic of what here is called the politics of the pandemic.
Studies the ‘afterlife’ of the gospels into the public realm – the realm of morality and politics. According to Bader-Saye, the gospels are misunderstood if they are confined to the realm of the personal. Rather, the gospels are a summons to a moral life expressive of shared ‘deep themes’ of liberation, dispossession and love. He elaborates on this through a critical appreciation of the way these gospel themes have been taken up in modern discussions of ethics and politics from Immanuel Kant to Romand Coles.
Chapter 4 explores social and political organisation in the late colonial Copperbelt in the run-up to political independence in the early 1960s. It explains why social unrest was diagnosed in contrasting ways by states, companies and researchers in the Congo and Northern Rhodesia. While Belgium encouraged social stabilisation of urban family life, while denying meaningful ‘modern’ political reform, British policy-makers encouraged ‘responsible’ unionisation. The consequences of these different policies are explored with an examination of the African Mineworkers’ Union in Northern Rhodesia and the Indigenous Enterprise Councils in Haut-Katanga. The chapter also analyses ‘elite’ African political mobilisation and expression in both regions and how the frustration of their aspirations led them to engage in diverse forms of anti-colonial activism. It argues that, while the materialist politics of the Northern Rhodesian Copperbelt placed it at the centre of a cosmopolitan Zambian nationalism, Haut-Katanga’s strategic minerals and ethnicised politics led to a chaotic decolonisation marked by its secession from newly independent Congo and to the military conflict and ethnic violence of the Congo crisis.
Chapter 6 explains the uneasy integration of the Copperbelt region into the two nation-states of DRC and Zambia. It explores how the Copperbelt border was given new political and moral meanings in official attempts to impose national identities on the region’s mobile communities. It shows how the centrality of Copperbelt mining wealth to projects of national development necessitated political control from distant capitals, generating conflict (in Zambia) with labour unions and fuelling political opposition, while (in Haut-Katanga) the secession was followed by military occupation and political rule by decree. The chapter explains the nationalisation of copper mining companies and the ways that ruling elites sought effective national control over mineral wealth and Copperbelt societies, but also the limits to this control. It also investigates the nationalisation/Africanisation of knowledge production about the Copperbelt in the region’s universities and among leading Zairian and Zambian intellectuals.
Surrealism was indelibly linked to the idea of revolution. This is evident in the name of the two reviews closely linked to the movement – La Révolution surréaliste and Le Surréalisme au service de la revolution – and its long history of engagement with revolutionary political movements, from the French Communist Party in the 1920s to the student movement in the 1960s. This chapter explores the dynamic of Surrealism and politics to argue that a tension between politics and culture not only animates the history of the movement, but is in fact constitutive of Surrealism. In this context the demands of politics repeatedly interrupt Surrealism’s efforts on a cultural level; yet, as Surrealism is incorporated into the annals of art and literary history, the priority given to its cultural achievements can eclipse the demands of politics.
This volume offers new insight into the breadth of contexts that inform Norman Mailer's body of work. It examines important literary, critical, theoretical, cultural, and historical frameworks for Mailer's writing, highlighting the ways his work reflects the concerns of twentieth and twenty-first century America. This book traces Mailer's literary influences; his contributions to a variety of literary genres; his participation in the American political sphere; the philosophical, religious, and gendered contexts that shape his work; and the iconic American figures he profiled. The book concludes with reflections on Mailer's literary and cultural legacy, emphasizing his advocacy for literary freedom and the contemporary resonance of his work.
This chapter explores urban prose, poetry and painting that moves from sense impressions of city streets to statements about American social and political conditions. A strain of American culture, from Ashcan School painting through James Baldwin’s essays on Harlem to Don DeLillo’s set-piece performative protests, insists that the nation’s politics take shape and moods register on city streets. It argues that certain, primarily literary, forms, through their close attention to, and lucid expression of, the way streets feel offer access to experiences that range from jostling crowds to organized protests to violent confrontations. Where the flâneur pursues urban aesthetics and impressions in the spirit of dilettantism, Henry James restlessly analyses New York’s metropolitan scale; insiders and outsiders probe the tensions that shape ethnic enclaves; and in Tillie Olsen’s strike journalism and E. L. Doctorow’s political fiction of mass protests are at once inspiring and monstrous. Where Doctorow and DeLillo describe postmodern withdrawal from the street as a site of meaning, the chapter ends with its reemergence with Occupy and other recent protest movements.
Conclusion: Awareness of the romance of everyday life did not disappear from Scottish women’s writing with the advent of the First World War. A concern with magnificence of the mundane continues to illuminate a range of mid-century fiction, from D. E. Stevenson’s popular romances to Muriel Spark’s postmodern novels. The persistence of Scottish women writers’ interest in the romance of everyday life has been met with a similarly persistent devaluation of their work on the grounds of its supposed triviality. In the place of depth, originality, and complexity, Scottish women writers offer comfort, fortification, and pleasure – affective qualities that scholars and critics have largely forgotten about. They suggest that awareness of the beauty and wonder of everyday life is an important skill to cultivate because it is not an instrumental or goal-oriented practice: the experience is its own end.
This book examines the salient ideas and practices that have shaped Surrealism as a protean intellectual and cultural concept that fundamentally shifted our understanding of the nexus between art, culture, and politics. By bringing a diverse set of artistic forms and practices such as literature, manifestos, collage, photography, film, fashion, display, and collecting into conversation with newly emerging intellectual traditions (ethnography, modern science, anthropology, and psychoanalysis), the essays in this volume reveal Surrealism's enduring influence on contemporary thought and culture alongside its anti-colonial political position and international reach. Surrealism's fascination with novel forms of cultural production and experimental methods contributed to its conceptual malleability and temporal durability, making it one of the most significant avant-garde movements of the twentieth century. The book traces how Surrealism's urgent political and aesthetic provocations have bequeathed an important legacy for recent scholarly interest in thing theory, critical vitalism, new materialism, ontology, and animal/human studies.
The 1937 manifesto “Blueprint for Negro Writing” is typically regarded as a programmatic articulation of the literary and aesthetic principles for the kind of socially engaged literature Richard Wright believed a modern Black writer ought to produce. This reading of the text assumes, however, an internally coherent argument that it does not entirely warrant. Indeed, I argue that the “Blueprint” is substantially haunted by a fear of alienation and isolation that tends to undermine its purportedly communalist politics. When read in the context of the vexed coterie politics of Dorothy West’s New Challenge magazine where it first appeared, as well as the edits and alternative draft notes in the archive, Wright’s attitude assumes a far more doubtful, and even vulnerable posture. This revised understanding of a key document in Wright’s oeuvre opens it—and by extension the early fiction as well—to new directions in Wright scholarship, especially those concerned with the intersection of race, affect, and alienation.