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Daniella Trimboli

Abstract

The contemporary diasporic experience is fragmented and contradictory, and the notion of ‘home’ increasingly blurry. In response to these moving circumstances, many diaspora and multiculturalism studies’ scholars have turned to the everyday, focussing on the local particularities of the diasporic experience. Using the Italo-Australian digital storytelling collection Racconti: La Voce del Popolo, this paper argues that, while crucial, the everyday experience of diaspora always needs to be read in relation to broader, dislocated contexts. Indeed, to draw on Grant Farred (2009), the experience of diaspora must be read both in relation to—but always ‘out of’—context. Reading diaspora in this way helps reveal aspects of diasporic life that have the potential to productively disrupt dominant assimilationist discourses of multiculturalism that continue to dominate. This kind of re-reading is pertinent in colonial nations like Australia, whose multiculturalism rhetoric continues to echo normative whiteness.

Open access

Helen Kim

Abstract

Germany is considered a relatively recent country where multiraciality has become a recognised phenomenon. Yet, Germany still considers itself a monoracial state, one where whiteness is conflated with “Germanness”. Based on interviews with seven people who are multiracial (mostly Korean–German) in Berlin, this article explores how the participants construct their multiracial identities. My findings show that participants strategically locate their identity as diasporic to circumvent racial “othering”. They utilise diasporic resources or the “raw materials” of diasporic consciousness in order to construct their multiracial identities and challenge racism and the expectations of racial and ethnic authenticity. I explored how multiracial experiences offer a different way of thinking about the actual doing and performing of diaspora.

Open access

Arnošt Veselý, František Ochrana and Martin Nekola

Abstract

The role of evidence in policy-making is one of the most researched topics in public policy and public administration. However, surprisingly little research has been done on how public officials actually use evidence in everyday life practice. Moreover, these studies have been limited to countries that have been influenced by the evidence-based policy movement (EBP). Little is known about how the evidence is conceptualized and utilized in other countries which have not been so strongly influenced by EBP movement. This paper addresses this gap. Using a large-N survey on the Czech ministerial officials and in-depth interviews with them, we explore what is understood under the term of “evidence”, what kind of evidence is used and preferred by public officials and why. In doing so, we use four theoretical perspectives on the use of evidence. We show that despite the long-established tradition of using research in policy-making the importance of research evidence in the Czech Republic is far from being taken for granted. On the contrary, the immediate and personal experience is often preferred over the research findings. The exception to that are census-like statistical data and comparative data published by international organizations. We find some support for the two-communities metaphor, though these communities are not defined by their socio-demographic characteristics, but rather by their internal discourse and understanding of evidence.

Open access

Deepjyoti Chand

Abstract

As interdependence grows, economic issues are increasingly political in their nature and impact, and political issues are increasingly economic. The interdependence is acute in issues that relate to international trade, and especially in the case of landlocked countries. Nepal is one such land-locked country, being between India and China, whose economy depends on the trade relations with its neighbouring countries. Two-thirds of Nepalese trade depends on India. The article presents a summary of Nepal-India trade cooperation, primarily the Nepalese dependence in trade and transit route to India and its effects. It also presents an overview of the trade pattern between the two countries and focuses on the trade embargoes by India. The article analyses the reason behind the embargoes of 1969, 1989 and 2015 and how the situations have been resolved. The embargoes imposed by India on Nepal seem to be more political in nature and their impacts are both political and economic. The Indian embargoes in Nepal follow an objective of compliance, deterrence and subversion. By analysing India’s pursuance of trade embargoes against Nepal, the article reaffirms that landlocked nations such as Nepal are susceptible to manipulation by geopolitical threats since neighbouring countries adjust trade ties or use trade ties to fulfil their political, security and economic interests.

Open access

Ewa Skrabacz

Abstract

Constituting the key element of a democratic system, political parties are among entities obliged by the Polish legislator to comply with the principle of disclosure by providing public information. The main objective of this paper is to determine the level of Polish political parties’ disclosure, understood here as their willingness to disclose information on their own structures. It seems that the practice of disclosing such basic organizational data may constitute a specific measure of Polish political parties’ respect for the idea of disclosure. The subject matter of the conducted research was particular parties’ sites in the Public Information Bulletin as well as their official websites. An attempt was made to acquire data concerning party structures by way of direct contact with particular parties’ organizational units – questionnaires were sent to both central and regional/district organizational units. In order to acquire a wider perspective, the research also included data provided by the Central Statistical Office concerning political parties’ organizational structures and election manifestos. The conducted analysis was summarized in the form of a ranking of the examined political parties based on a proposed political party disclosure index. This attempt to measure disclosure on the basis of data on internal structures provided by parties themselves is of a preliminary character which, nevertheless, makes it possible to capture the general properties of the phenomenon under analysis. Among the examined parties, it is PSL, SLD, and PO that, to an acceptable degree, follow the principle of disclosure in the analysed scope (indexes at the level of 60%-80% of the maximum value). Four other parties, i.e. N, Wolność, Razem, and Kukiz’15, are on the edge of the zone making it possible to regard their disclosure as sufficient (indexes at the level of around 50% of the maximum value). In the case of PiS, whose index does not reach 20% of the maximum value, it should be concluded that this party implements the principle of disclosure at a minimum level. The ranking did not show relationships between parties’ willingness towards providing information and their sizes or positions on the political scene (parliamentary parties vs. extra-parliamentary parties).

Open access

Vytautas Jokubauskas

Abstract

In the 21st century - as in the first half of the 20th century - Lithuania has faced threats posed to its national security and statehood. Owing to its limited resources, the country is not essentially able to establish large regular forces; therefore, it is permanently developing its territorial defence forces. In the interwar period, their nucleus was formed by the Lithuanian Riflemen’s Union, while in the 21st century it is by the National Defence Volunteer Forces. While modelling new concepts of territorial defence, it is inevitable to consider not only the practices of other countries and their military theories but also Lithuania’s national experience. Of course, this is the experience of 1990-2004, but in the first part of the 20th century the idea of territorial defence was also put into practice and cultivated at the theoretical level. Another aspect is that territorial defence in practice is inextricably entwined with the tactics of guerrilla warfare and their application. Lithuania’s historical experience and analysis of its territorial defence and partisan war is not only knowledge for its own sake. It may have tangible practical value since Lithuania considered, premeditated and applied these notions in practice repeatedly in the first half of the 20th century. Furthermore, the geographical location of the country and distribution of eventual sources of conflict in comparison with the interwar period have virtually not changed. In the interwar period, East Prussia, part of Germany and separated by the Polish Corridor, had been a semi-exclave up until September 1939. Similarly, it is only by sea and air that this territory is accessible at present, though now a subject of the Russian Federation as the Kaliningrad region. Due to geopolitical transformations, after World War II the ‘enemy from the East’ had moved geographically to Western Lithuania. There exists a similar situation on the south-eastern border of Lithuania, where a none-too-friendly interwar Poland changed to a Belarus governed by Alexander Lukashenko. Lithuania’s northern border with Latvia, also a NATO member at present, remains unchanged and comparatively safe; in the interwar period, only attempts were made to discuss the idea of having mutual defence although Latvia had planned to provide some support for the Lithuanian forces in the case of a Wehrmacht attack from East Prussia to the East. So it is expedient to elaborate on what attention the Lithuanian Armed Forces in the interwar period paid to the history of war, what kind of experience of the 20th century territorial defence and partisan resistance they gained, and how this may be of value to defence experts in the 21st century.

Open access

Pavel Kotlík

Abstract

: Technology roadmaps have become an essential part of the European Commission’s (EC) nanotechnology policy strategies. They represent socio-technical landscapes and evolving pathways, suggesting the underlying or otherwise supportive metaphorical patterns and narrative structures. For the same reason, however, roadmaps are problematic assemblages: they can simplify and distort reality, and filter things that don’t fit. The presented study combines cognitive linguistics with narratology to scrutinise the European Commission’s nanotechnology roadmapping as a discursive formation. It targets the systematic metaphors in approximately two-hundred news and reports on nanotechnology, compiled ad hoc from the CORDIS database (between the years 1999-2015). It is argued that the identified metaphors correspond to a discourse topology of ‘locations’, ‘events’, and their structures, especially as regards to the dilemma of ‘path dependence’, overcoming ‘knowledge gaps’, and reaching ‘nanoworld’. These are accompanied by a narrative climax of developing mature science policy model, in the arrangement of actions and roles for the European governments, science (nanotechnology), policy, and the public. The study demonstrates how systematic metaphors engage all the actors in the narrative of ‘innovation journey’ to form stabilised structures of meaning, that is, spatio-temporal consolidation of nanotechnology policy. It is imperative to continuously assess the context of such consolidation, being less overt but not necessarily less effective, in privileging some meanings, interests, and practices over the others, thereby excluding other political alternatives.

Open access

Denys Kutsenko

Abstract

The paper analyzes the transformation of identity politics of Kharkiv local authorities after the Euromaidan, or Revolution of Dignity, the annexation of Crimea, and the War in Donbass. Being the second largest city in Ukraine and becoming the frontline city in 2014, Kharkiv is an interesting case for research on how former pro-Russian local elites treat new policies of the central government in Kyiv, on whether earlier they tried to mobilize their electorate or to provoke political opponents with using soviet symbols, soviet memory, and copying Russian initiatives in the sphere of identity.

To answer the research question of this article, an analysis of Kharkiv city and oblast programs and strategies and of communal media were made. Decommunisation, as one of the most important identity projects of Ukrainian central authorities after 2014, was analyzed through publications in Kharkiv’s city-owned media as well as reports from other scholars. Some conclusions are made from the analysis of these documents: Kharkiv development strategy until 2020, Complex program of cultural development in Kharkiv in 2011–2016 (and the same for 2017–2021), The regional program of military and patriotic training and participation of people in measures of defense work in 2015–2017, Program of supporting civil society in 2016–2020 in Kharkiv region and the city mayor’s orders about the celebration of Victory Day (9 May), the Day of the National Flag (23 August), the Day of the City (23 August) and Independence Day (24 August) in 2010–2015.