Using Ukraine as a case-in-point, Svitlana Krasynska engages diverse bodies of literature and rich empirical data to reveal the vital role and unique potential of below-the-radar civic engagement in contexts where informal practices abound—a phenomenon largely neglected by scholars of civil society who traditionally focus on formal civic organizations.Civil society in Eastern Europe has long been labeled weak based on a general lack of citizen participation in formal civil society organizations—a key criterion for assessing civic engagement in comparative studies. However, such assessment of civil society fails to recognize the role and impact of informal civic engagement in contexts where informality permeates economic, political, and social spheres. Ukraine offers a valuable counterargument of the importance of informal civil society in Eastern Europe, especially in the post-Soviet countries.Krasynska convincingly shows that informality constitutes an essential component of civil society, shaping popular approaches to addressing social, economic, and political issues. The trailblazing findings in Below the Radar will be of interest to scholars of democratization, informality, and area studies, and they will aid development practitioners and policy makers in determining a more effective approach to helping fledgling democracies around the world.
Longlisted for the 2022 Kraszna-Krausz Book Award, Moving Image Category
Despite their considerable presence in Hollywood, extras and working actors have received scant attention within film and media studies as significant contributors to the history of the industry. Looking not to the stars but to these supporting players in film, television, and, recently, streaming programming, Below the Stars highlights such actors as precarious laborers whose work as freelancers has critically shaped the entertainment industry throughout the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. By addressing ordinary actors as a labor force, Kate Fortmueller proposes a media industry history that positions underrepresented and quotidian experiences as the structural elements of the culture and business of Hollywood.
Resisting a top-down assessment, Fortmueller explores the wrangling of labor unions and guilds that advocated for collective action for everyday actors and helped shape professional norms. She pulls from archival research, in-person interviews, and firsthand observation to examine a history that cuts across industry boundaries and situates actors as a labor group at the center of industrial and technological upheavals, with lasting implications for race, gender, and labor relations in Hollywood.
More than 630 million Chinese have escaped poverty since the 1980s, reducing the fraction remaining from 82 to 10 percent of the population. This astonishing decline in poverty, the largest in history, coincided with the rapid growth of a private enterprise economy. Yet private enterprise in China emerged in spite of impediments set up by the Chinese government. How did private enterprise overcome these initial obstacles to become the engine of China’s economic miracle? Where did capitalism come from?Studying over 700 manufacturing firms in the Yangzi region, Victor Nee and Sonja Opper argue that China’s private enterprise economy bubbled up from below. Through trial and error, entrepreneurs devised institutional innovations that enabled them to decouple from the established economic order to start up and grow small, private manufacturing firms. Barriers to entry motivated them to build their own networks of suppliers and distributors, and to develop competitive advantage in self-organized industrial clusters. Close-knit groups of like-minded people participated in the emergence of private enterprise by offering financing and establishing reliable business norms.This rapidly growing private enterprise economy diffused throughout the coastal regions of China and, passing through a series of tipping points, eroded the market share of state-owned firms. Only after this fledgling economy emerged as a dynamic engine of economic growth, wealth creation, and manufacturing jobs did the political elite legitimize it as a way to jump-start China’s market society. Today, this private enterprise economy is one of the greatest success stories in the history of capitalism.
Attending to the hidden linkages among intimate realms and the public sphere, Sheller explores specific struggles for freedom, including women's political activism in Jamaica; the role of discourses of "manhood" in the making of free subjects, soldiers, and citizens; the fiercely ethnonationalist discourses that excluded South Asian and African indentured workers; the sexual politics of the low-bass beats and "bottoms up" moves in the dancehall; and the struggle for reproductive and LGBT rights and against homophobia in the contemporary Caribbean. Through her creative use of archival sources and emphasis on the connections between intimacy, violence, and citizenship, Sheller enriches critical theories of embodied freedom, sexual citizenship, and erotic agency in all post-slavery societies.
Within the discipline of American political science and the field of political theory, African American prophetic political critique as a form of political theorizing has been largely neglected. Stephen Marshall, in The City on the Hill from Below, interrogates the political thought of David Walker, Frederick Douglass, W. E. B. DuBois, James Baldwin, and Toni Morrison to reveal a vital tradition of American political theorizing and engagement with an American political imaginary forged by the City on the Hill.
Originally articulated to describe colonial settlement, state formation, and national consolidation, the image of the City on the Hill has been transformed into one richly suited to assessing and transforming American political evil. The City on the Hill from Below shows how African American political thinkers appropriated and revised languages of biblical prophecy and American republicanism.
Bolivia decentralized in an effort to deepen democracy, improve public services, and make government more accountable. Unlike many countries, Bolivia succeeded. Over the past generation, public investment shifted dramatically toward primary services and resource distribution became far more equitable, partly due to the creation of new local governments. Many municipalities responded to decentralization with transparent, accountable government, yet others suffered ineptitude, corruption, or both. Why? Jean-Paul Faguet combines broad econometric data with deep qualitative evidence to investigate the social underpinnings of governance. He shows how the interaction of civic groups and business interests determines the quality of local decision making.
In order to understand decentralization, Faguet argues, we must understand governance from the ground up. Drawing on his findings, he offers an evaluation of the potential benefits of decentralization and recommendations for structuring successful reform.
In 1789 the French colony of Saint Domingue was the wealthiest and most flourishing of the Caribbean slave colonies, its economy based on the forced labor of more than half a million black slaves raided from their African homelands. The revolt of this underclass in 1791—the only successful slave rebellion in history—gained the slaves their freedom and set in motion the colony's struggle for independence as the black republic of Haiti.
In this pioneering study, Carolyn E. Fick argues that the repressed and uneducated slaves were the principal architects both of their own freedom and of the successful movement toward national independence. Fick identifies "marronage," the act of being a fugitive slave, as a basic unit of slave resistance from which the revolution grew and shows how autonomous forms of popular slave participation were as important to the success of the rebellion as the leadership of men like Toussaint Louverture, Henri Christophe, and Dessalines. Using contemporary manuscripts and previously untapped archival sources, the author depicts the slaves, their aspirations, and their popular leaders and explains how they organized their rebellion.
Fick places the Saint Domingue rebellion in relation to the larger revolutionary movements of the era, provides background on class and caste prior to the revolution, the workings of the plantation system, the rigors of slave life, and the profound influence of voodoo. By examining the rebellion and the conditions that led to it from the perspective of the slaves it liberated, she revises the history of Haiti.
Carolyn Fick is currently a Canada Research Fellow at Concordia University in Montreal.
John Lonsdale says in his introduction:
“This is the oral evidence of the Kikuyu villagers with whom Greet Kershaw lived as an aid worker during the Mau Mau ‘Emergency’ in the 1950s, and which is now totally irrecoverable in any form save in her own field notes.
Professor Kershaw has uncovered long local histories of social tension which could have been revealed by no other means than patient enquiry, of both her neighbour’s memory and government archives…
Nobody, whether Kikuyu participant, Kenyan or European scholar, has provided such startlingly authoritative ethnographic insights into the values, fears and expectations of Kikuyu society and thus of the motivation of Kikuyu action…
Her data suggests, as other scholars have also accepted, that there never was a single such movement and that none of its members, even those who supposed themselves to be its leaders, ever saw it whole, not because they did not have a political aim, but because that agenda was contested within different political circles over which they had no control and of which they may scarcely have had any knowledge.
And why is this finding important? It is because others, including almost all the movement’s enemies, did see Mau Mau whole in order to try to comprehend it, a first step towards defeating it.”
Who are the people beside Paul, and what can we know about them?
This volume brings together an international and interdisciplinary group of scholars with a broad range of expertise and a common interest: Philippi in antiquity. Each essay engages one set of contextual particularities for Paul and the ordinary people of the Philippian assembly, while simultaneously placing them in wider settings. This 'people's history' uses both traditional and more cutting-edge methods to reconsider archaeology and architecture, economy and ethnicity, prisons and priestesses, slavery, syncretism, stereotypes of Jews, the colony of Philippi, and a range of communities. The contributors are Valerie Abrahamsen, Richard S. Ascough, Robert L. Brawley, Noelle Damico, Richard A. Horsley, Joseph A. Marchal, Mark D. Nanos, Peter Oakes, Gerardo Reyes Chavez, Angela Standhartinger, Eduard Verhoef, and Antoinette Clark Wire.
A friendly critique of the field, The Politics of Writing Studies examines a set of recent pivotal texts in composition to show how writing scholarship, in an effort to improve disciplinary prestige and garner institutional resources, inadvertently reproduces structures of inequality within American higher education. Not only does this enable the exploitation of contingent faculty, but it also puts writing studies—a field that inherently challenges many institutional hierarchies—in a debased institutional position and at odds with itself.
Instead of aligning with the dominant paradigm of research universities, where research is privileged over teaching, theory over practice, the sciences over the humanities, and graduate education over undergraduate, writing studies should conceive itself in terms more often associated with labor. By identifying more profoundly as workers, as a collective in solidarity with contingent faculty, writing professionals can achieve solutions to the material problems that the field, in its best moments, wants to address. Ultimately, the change compositionists want to see in the university will not come from high theory or the social science research agenda; it must come from below.
Offering new insight into a complex issue, The Politics of Writing Studies will be of great interest to writing studies professionals, university administrators, and anyone interested in the political economy of education and the reform of institutions of higher education in America.
Describing the work of the post-Kuhnian science studies scholars Bruno Latour, Ulrich Beck, and the team of Michael Gibbons, Helga Nowtony, and Peter Scott, Harding reveals how, from different perspectives, they provide useful resources for rethinking the modernity versus tradition binary and its effects on the production of scientific knowledge. Yet, for the most part, they do not take feminist or postcolonial critiques into account. As Harding demonstrates, feminist science studies and postcolonial science studies have vital contributions to make; they bring to light not only the male supremacist investments in the Western conception of modernity and the historical and epistemological bases of Western science but also the empirical knowledge traditions of the global South. Sciences from Below is a clear and compelling argument that modernity studies and post-Kuhnian, feminist, and postcolonial sciences studies each have something important, and necessary, to offer to those formulating socially progressive scientific research and policy.
Stories of smuggling as acts of resistance and decolonization.
'This conceptually vivid book refreshes our vision' - Ruth Wilson Gilmore
The word smuggler often unleashes a simplified, negative image painted by the media and the authorities. Such state-centric perspectives hide many social, political, and economic relations generated by smuggling. This book looks at the practice through the eyes of the smugglers, revealing how their work can be productive, subversive, and deeply sociopolitical.
By tracing the illegalized movement of people and goods across borders, Seeing Like a Smuggler shows smuggling as a contradiction within the nation-state system, and in a dialectical relation with the national order of things. It raises questions about how smuggling engages and unsettles the ethics, materialities, visualities, histories, and the colonial power relations that form borders and bordering.
Covering a wide spectrum of approaches from personal reflections and ethnographies to historical accounts, cultural analysis, and visual essays, the book spans the globe from Colombia to Ethiopia, Singapore to Guatemala, Afghanistan to Zimbabwe, and from Kurdistan to Bangladesh, to show how people deal with global inequalities and the restrictions of poverty and immobility.
Much research on the city in developing societies has focused mainly on one of three areas—planning, demography, or economics—and has emphasized either power elites or the masses, but not both. The published literature on Latin America has reflected these interests and has so far failed to provide a comprehensive view of Latin American urbanization. Urban Latin America is an attempt to integrate research on Latin American social organization within a single theoretical framework: development as fundamentally a political problem. Alejandro Portes and John Walton have included material on both elites and marginal populations and on the three major areas of research in order to formulate and address some of the key questions about the structure of urban politics in Latin America.
Following an introduction that delineates the scope of Latin American urban studies, Portes discusses the Latin American city as a creation of European colonialism. He goes on to examine political behavior among the poor, with central reference to system support and countersystem potential. Walton provides material for a comparative study of four cities: Monterrey and Guadalajara in Mexico and Medellín and Cali in Colombia. He also summarizes a large number of urban elite studies and develops a theoretical interpretation of their collective results, based on class structure and vertical integration. Material in each chapter is cross-referenced to other chapters, and the authors have used a common methodological approach in synthesizing and interpreting the research literature. In the final chapter they generalize current findings, elaborating on the interface between elite and mass politics in the urban situation. They make some observations on approaching changes and pinpoint possible research strategies for the future.
Women's grassroots activism in Latin America combines a commitment to basic survival for women and their children with a challenge to women's subordination to men. Women activists insist that issues such as rape, battering, and reproductive control cannot be divorced from women's concerns about housing, food, land, and medical care.
This innovative, comparative study explores six cases of women's grassroots activism in Mexico, El Salvador, Brazil, and Chile. Lynn Stephen communicates the ideas, experiences, and perceptions of women who participate in collective action, while she explains the structural conditions and ideological discourses that set the context within which women act and interpret their experiences. She includes revealing interviews with activists, detailed histories of organizations and movements, and a theoretical discussion of gender, collective identity, and feminist anthropology and methods.
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