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The Politics of Mobilizing Local Resources for Growth: ‘Urban Areas’ in Romania

Abstract

In this paper I argue that sociology was a key discipline in producing relevant knowledge for managing and reimagining the socialist economic development in Romania. It played a central role in placing economic development at the subnational level, since much of the everyday economics unfolded at the level of the regions, which formed around the emerging cities. I analyse the birth of the ‘urban area’, an academic concept and a policy tool, as it was developed by Miron Constantinescu and his associate Henry H. Stahl. This was the main device that shifted economic growth to the subnational level and allowed the planners to regulate the economy as a set of inter-connected production chains. Sociology was disbanded as an academic discipline in 1948; nonetheless, through the figure of Miron Constantinescu, a key member of the Political Bureau between 1945-1957, it remained a central producer of knowledge through complex institutional arrangements, put in place in the 1950s. These institutions employed sociological figures from the inter-war sociological establishment. Their methodological skills and theoretical endeavours were put to work in applied research. I argue that some strategic developmentalist policies in socialist Romania were strongly shaped by the reworking in Marxist terms of certain key ideas of the Gustian school of a ‘sociology of the nation’.

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How Foreign of a Country is the Past? Colonial Archives, Customary Law and Land Transactions in Ghana

Abstract

This paper looks at a set of documents produced in the early 1950s in the Gold Coast to establish land boundaries in a region and to contribute to the crystallization of customary law for future reference and use. The material is placed in a longer historical flow and seen as one of the results of transformations in the metropole, in the colony, and in their relationship over the first decades of the century, and as a significant landmark collection that has been used in land transactions ever since. The analysis pleads for treating the archives in an ethnographic and not just in an extractive manner (Stoler, 2002, 2009), suggesting that the making, the form, the authors’ stances and the use of the documents can be useful supplementary tools in making sense of the already heavily edited representations of the past that we have access to. The focus on this particular archival material contributes to the discussions about the pitfalls of basing land management on, as Sally Falk Moore would put it, “customary” law.

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Phantasmic Devices: Wedding Videos and the Creation of an Imagined Transnational Community by Bulgarian Muslims in Spain

Abstract

For the Bulgarian Muslims in Spain wedding videos are a popular device for socializing, overcoming nostalgia and keeping pace with the news and events that take place back home in Bulgaria. The mediatization of the ritual allows an extension of the ritual across time and space. Watching the videos is a re-enactment of the celebration and has become part of the ritual itself. Subsequently, this extension of the ritual through a mediated device has led to its subtle transformations. At the same time, wedding videos and the particular mode of use produce a social effect beyond the structure of the ritual. They contribute to the extending and re-creating of a migrant community that spreads over space transnationally and temporally between the past of home and the present of life in migrancy. Drawing on ethnographic material and using the analytical tools of actor-network theory, the main aim of this paper is to trace the uses and effects of wedding videos for transforming the wedding ritual through postponing and re-enacting it on one hand, and for sustaining the phantasm of an imagined virtual community on the other. The broader problem that this paper seeks to address is the specific role that material devices play for producing social effects for migrant communities.

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Competitiveness and Research-Oriented Teaching in Romanian Universities: The Neo-Liberal Transformation of the Higher Education System

Process and National Challenges . Springer Open. http://www.springer.com/978-3-319-08053-6 [last accessed: 03.05.2015]. The European Commission (2014). Teachers' and School Heads' Salaries and Allowances in Europe, 2013/14 . Brussels: The European Commission. http://eacea.ec.europa.eu/education/eurydice/documents/facts_and_figures/salaries.pdf [last accessed: 03.05.2015]. Sabic, N. (2014). Governance through transparency tools. The case of Romanian higher education reforms. Paper presented at the EAIR 36th Annual Forum , Essen, 2014 August 27 – 30

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National Identity Formation in Pakistan: Analysis of the Anti-Secular Narrative

’s chief Maulana Fazl-ur-Rahman said that he would oppose secularism ( The Express Tribune , 1 March 2016). Religious parties also use this anti-secular debate as a political tool against governments. For example, JI’s chief Sirajul Haq (2016a) criticised the Pakistan Muslim League – Nawaz (PML-N) government by saying that ‘the Prime Minister’s slogan of a liberal and secular Pakistan and [Pakistan Peoples Party] PPP leader Bilawal Bhutto’s move for a political alliance against the religious parties was an indication that whereas the Qibla [direction in which Muslims

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Being “Other” in Berlin: German Koreans, Multiraciality, and Diaspora

its use as a typological tool to point out grounded facts, this has given way to thinking about diaspora as a social process ( Anthias 1998 ; Alexander 2010 ; Kalra, Kaur and Hutnyk 2005 ) or a “stance” ( Alexander 2017 ) that offers a more critical theoretical engagement with difference. Understanding diaspora not just as a given category but as an active, self-fashioning and political “stance” becomes useful to understanding how participants in my study create and fashion diasporic affiliations and develop markers of identity in order to make certain claims

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Critical global citizenship: contextualising citizenship and globalisation

‘sustainable development’ for all. 4 Young people and everyday citizenship The characteristics of a critical global citizenship as discussed earlier are evident in the everyday lives and practices of young people in the global North and South, sometimes adhering to global citizenship normative aspirations and sometimes departing from these to suggest more radical civic and political participation and designs. The tensions outlined between citizenship as a tool of integration and belonging to a broader societal whole on the one hand and as an arbiter of individual

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Implications of Lived and Packaged Religions for Intercultural Dialogue to Reduce Conflict and Terror

asking about what policy documents regarding ICD they have produced ( Bouma, 2013 ). This approach is seductively easy as it facilitates approaching religious groups and communicating with them as organisations and, in the process, ICD becomes a tool for encouraging different leaders to speak to each other resulting in platforms filled with ‘heads of faith’– bishops, muftis, ayatollahs, chief rabbis, swamis and so on. A packaged-religion approach also suits nation-states and policy makers, as governments need only to deal ‘heads of faith’ to develop and implement ICD

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Intercultural Public Intellectual Engagement

religious identities that are purely private, and not treating all religious identities equally. We’re preferring a particular kind of religious identity. So now we are not just talking about, say, Hannah Arendt’s ideas. We’re thinking about our existing political arrangements in light of the claims that some Muslims or some Christians or, for that matter, some “new atheists” are making about political life and equality. We are engaged in public questions. But we are still drawing on academic conversations, academic tools, academic perspectives. In an earlier

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