National Global Imaginaries journal articles
“This paper contests the cosmopolitan consensus in contemporary Marxism that Marx and Engels’s vision of capitalism was ‘global’ and that nations are essentially ‘cultural’ constructs. It contributes to a wider project arguing that nations are material by taking a closer look at Marx and Engels’s writings on free trade and protectionism and, in particular, at Marx’s notes on Friedrich List’s National System of Political Economy (1841/56). This examination shows that Marx and Engels had a keen understanding of the economic roles of states, national and imperial, and thought about free trade and protection in geopolitical terms. Though Marx aimed his characteristically caustic wit and forensic critique at List’s contradictions, silences, and hypocrisies as a bourgeois thinker, he accepted that nation-states played economic and geopolitical roles in a capitalist world and that developmental states were possible, indeed necessary. The ground for these arguments is prepared by outlining the centrality of the economic roles of states in the development of modern capitalism and by showing how the recent revival of Marxist accounts of capitalist geopolitics is hampered by a purely economic, non- or anti-statist conception of capitalism.”
“‘Indian’ postcolonial writings continue to have a significant impact on contemporary scholarly approaches to nationalism in the subcontinent, and have helped displace the hold of earlier left/liberal approaches to nationalism. While the impact of these recent postcolonial trends on Indian historiography more broadly has been the subject of considerable scholarly discussions and debates, less attention has been devoted to their specific impact on scholarly approaches to nationalism. Through a close and critical reading of the changing historical approaches to ‘minority’ Tamil nationalism in the subcontinent as well as through comparison of such postcolonial perspectives with that of ‘anticolonial’ national liberation theorists such as Frantz Fanon, this essay seeks to offer a historical perspective on the strengths and limitations of the currently ascendant ‘Indian’ postcolonial perspectives on nationalism.”
“This article reviews the development of universal women’s human rights since 1970. It begins by discussing how the international feminist movement influenced the development of women’s legal human rights, and continues by reviewing three debates in the literature on women’s rights. The first debate is whether human rights as originally formulated were actually men’s rights; the second debate is about the relationship between culture and women’s rights; and the third considers the effects of globalization on women’s rights. The author defends a liberal approach to human rights via the principles of equality and autonomy for women, but also argues that the socialist approach is very important for women to achieve their economic human rights. Autonomy, moreover, is the means by which women can negotiate their own way between “Western” style personal liberation, and participation as they see fit in their own religions and cultures.”
Here, we introduce the articles that comprise this special issue of IFJP, entitled, ‘Critically Examining UNSCR 1325’. The aim of this special issue is to examine the implementation of UNSCR 1325 and its implications for women’s activism and for peace and security. Given that the articles in this volume approach UNSCR 1325 from various perspectives and in different contexts, our aim in this introduction is to point out a number of conceptual, policy and practical issues that are crucial in the debates around UNSCR 1325 specifically, and women, peace and security more broadly. We do this in four parts: first, problematizing the resolution in relation to changes in global governance; second, examining the Resolution’s assumptions about (gendered) agency and structure; third, examining the Resolution’s assumptions about the links between conflict and gender; and, fourth, comparing different contexts in which 1325 is implemented. To some degree, differences between contributors may be accounted for by different understandings of feminism(s) as a political project. Different feminisms may underpin different visions of peace and, consequently, different projects of peacebuilding. Ultimately, this volume, while answering the questions that we originally posed, throws up new questions about transnational feminist praxis.
“Frantz Fanon offers a lucid account of his entrance into the white world where the weightiness of the ‘white gaze’ nearly crushed him. In chapter five of Black Skins, White Masks, he develops his historico-racial and epidermal racial schemata as correctives to Merleau-Ponty’s overly inclusive corporeal schema. Experientially aware of the reality of socially constructed (racialized) subjectivities, Fanon uses his schemata to explain the creation, maintenance, and eventual rigidification of white-scripted ‘blackness’. Through a re-telling of his own experiences of racism, Fanon is able to show how a black person in a racialized context eventually internalizes the ‘white gaze’. In this essay I bring Fanon’s insights into conversation with Foucault’s discussion of panoptic surveillance. Although the internalization of the white narrative creates a situation in which external constraints are no longer needed, Fanon highlights both the historical contingency of ‘blackness’ and the ways in which the oppressed can re-narrate their subjectivities. Lastly, I discuss Fanon’s historically attuned ‘new humanism’, once again engaging Fanon and Foucault as dialogue partners.”
“Over the past three decades, scholars studying the phenomenon of political scandal have mostly based their works on the premise that scandals can only occur in liberal democracies. Contradictory to this assumption, however, some of the most heavily discussed phenomena in contemporary semi-authoritarian Russia are scandals emanating from the new, vibrant sphere of social media thriving on a largely unfiltered internet. How are these ‘internet scandals’ impacting politics in the semi-authoritarian political environment? To address this and related questions, I juxtapose two case studies of police corruption scandals that erupted in the social media sphere in 2009/2010. Drawing on the findings, I argue that Russia’s ruling elites are presently very much capable of managing these outbursts of public outrage. Mainly with the help of the powerful state-controlled television, public anger is very swiftly redirected towards lower-level authorities and foreign, supposedly hostile powers.”
Fitna is a 2008 short film made by a Dutch member of parliament to support his fight against Islam. It shows shocking footage of terrorism, violence and women’s oppression and claims that these are inherent to Islam. The film caused immense controversy and mobilized people across the world to produce and upload their own views to YouTube. In this article we analyze these videos using different theoretical models of democratic interaction, and distinguishing between antagonism, ‘agonism’ and dialogue. On the basis of a cybermetric network analysis we find that the videos are mostly isolated reactions to the film. Only 13 percent or fewer of the posters interacted with each other through comments, subscriptions or ‘friendship’. These interactions could be qualified as antagonistic or agonistic, but very rarely involved dialogue. We therefore conclude that YouTube enabled a multiplication of views rather than an exchange or dialogue between them.
“This article explores the use of nonstandard English forms and intertextuality in two recent works by Nigerian writers in English living abroad. To date, Chris Abani’s Graceland and Uzodinma Iweala’s Beasts of No Nation have attracted little critical commentary, far less any academic survey of their language, yet each book is in its own way representative of conflicting treatments of nonstandard varieties of Nigerian English by writers in the diaspora. Beasts of No Nation owes a considerable debt to the linguistic and stylistic experiments Ken Saro-Wiwa made in his novel Sozaboy and Iweala has drawn heavily on this work in his use of a first person narrator and his assignment of a limited, if forcefully expressive, language to his hero. According to Saro-Wiwa, Sozaboy is written in a mixture of Nigerian Pidgin (NP), Standard English (SE) and other forms. Graceland, however, makes selective use of nonstandard forms for reasons closer to those of earlier writers and makes this clear through its author’s insertion of intertextual elements. After providing an overview of the background to and characteristic features of NP and Nigerian English this article surveys their use in Nigerian literature and concludes by examining the language of Graceland and Beasts of No Nation through a linguistic comparison of shared episodes and a consideration of thematic similarities in order to place these two novels in a continuum of Nigerian writing in English through their use of language.”
“Intellectual property rights (IPRs) ultimately delineate the way in which knowledge is created, owned, controlled and diffused, domestically and now globally. They have always been contested because knowledge is both a form of capital and a public good, but these contests have become more acute since the WTO TRIPs Agreement came into force in 1995. As a result of new frames and linkages propelled by various actors between IPRs and other issue-areas, the current intellectual property regime has become complex and somewhat inconsistent. This article contributes to a better understanding of the concrete mechanisms and processes through which various global regimes come to overlap with each other in the area of IPRs, of the actors that are involved in these processes, as well as of the consequences of such developments for the governance of IPRs and global governance more generally.”
“IR’s dominant theoretical and methodological approaches are, to varying degrees, compliance oriented. IR needs a theory of resistance if it is to survive its current methodological and ethical crisis. Resistance, read from a broadly Foucaultian perspective, is a process in which hidden, small-scale and marginal agencies have an impact on power, on norms, civil society, the state and the ‘international’. This may be in the form of individual or grass-roots critical agency not coordinated or mobilized on a large scale but still globally connected. Such agency is often discursive and aimed at peaceful change and transformation. Through such critical agency a post-colonial civil society has emerged, which is transversal, transnational, fragmented, but may be constitutive of new, hybrid and post-liberal forms of peace.”
There are another 10 new items in group, See More »