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  • Author: Thibaut Menoux
  • Publication Date: 03-2017
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Cultures & Conflits
  • Institution: Cultures & Conflits
  • Abstract: Based on the case of luxury hotel concierges, this paper addresses the question of how to make night work an object for the sociology of professional groups without producing an essentialist or relativist categorization of what “night time” is. To make this argument, I assemble different temporalities observed at different scales of analysis. Firstly, the micro-sociological scale of day-to-day tasks is analyzed with the tools of the sociology of work. Secondly, the scale of career paths is seen from the perspective of the sociology of employment. Finally, the broader scale of the professional group is looked at from the viewpoint of the sociology of collective mobilizations. These three scales of observation all show that the marginality of night concierges actually outlines the hidden face of the entire group. Their inclusion in the analysis, which obliges the sociologist to widen his scope of inquiry and to acquire somewhat of a night vision, is therefore vital.
  • Topic: Labor Issues, Sociology, Marginalization
  • Political Geography: Europe, France
  • Author: Sara Casella Colombeau
  • Publication Date: 03-2017
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Cultures & Conflits
  • Institution: Cultures & Conflits
  • Abstract: This article seeks to grasp the evolution of French border management policies over a half century (1953-2004) from the vantage point of one specific activity performed by border police (PAF): the collection and use of information from border checks. This form of knowledge production represents a privileged object of analysis by which to observe the professional developments of this police department. The PAF was first an intelligence police department and then a police service dedicated to immigration control in the 1970s, before finally becoming a department in charge of the fight against migration-related crime from the 1990s. Since the 2000s, the PAF now cooperates with the European agency Frontex. In turn, the definition of administrative categories and analytical tools used by the PAF have equally followed such institutional transformations towards the criminalization of immigration and the Europeanisation of border control.
  • Topic: Migration, Border Control, Political Science
  • Political Geography: Europe, France
  • Author: Anna Zaytseva
  • Publication Date: 03-2017
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Cultures & Conflits
  • Institution: Cultures & Conflits
  • Abstract: Venues for new music styles, some clubs and DJ bars in St.-Petersburg take form as places for gathering for certain milieus. To secure and retain the loyalty of regular patrons, and by extension to ensure the sustainability of the establishment, clubs tenders implement different mechanisms of social homogenization to keep out random or unwelcome visitors. Common techniques include face control, being in hidden locations, the limited diffusion of information, the specificity of music and ambiance, and carelessness for universal standards of service and welcoming. Though they don’t fully constitute exclusive communities, these venues explicitly value an extended social grouping and a sense of secure domesticity which facilitates spontaneous and informal interactions between strangers. From a relative anonymity to a familiarity between “close relations,” a whole range of intermediary situations become possible, thus enabling the emergence of rather new forms of sociability in a post-soviet metropolis.
  • Topic: Nightlife, Social Groups
  • Political Geography: Russia, Eurasia
  • Author: Tomas Fouquet
  • Publication Date: 03-2017
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Cultures & Conflits
  • Institution: Cultures & Conflits
  • Abstract: Drawing on a long ethnographic study in Dakar among young women who regularly frequent bars and nightclubs, this article argues for the need to consider the urban night as a time-space that can give rise to a feeling that “anything is possible”. The city at night can then be seen primarily as a place for social reconfigurations and cultural experiments. On this empirical basis, a more theoretical issue is addressed: what could be the heuristic nature of the concept of “potential space” (D. W. Winnicott) for the study of urban night? To advance these hypotheses, the question of creativity is regarded as a key issue both in Winnicott’s conceptualization of the “potential space” and concerning the way the young women I met engage with “Dakar by night”.
  • Topic: Women, Space, Anthropology, Ethnography
  • Political Geography: Africa, Senegal, Dakar
  • Author: Rachida Brahim
  • Publication Date: 09-2017
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Cultures & Conflits
  • Institution: Cultures & Conflits
  • Abstract: In the 1970s, French immigration policy was reoriented with the tightening of entry and residency conditions. During that same decade, parallel to actions led by activists of the Movement of Arab Workers (Mouvement des Travailleurs Arabes), Algerian authorities regularly politicized assaults against their citizens on French territory. At a time when the number of Algerian migrants authorized to enter French territory was a subject of sustained debate, finger-pointing racism was used to exert pressure on the French government. This article highlights the discursive practices and operations through which French officials of the Ministry of the Interior tried to demonstrate that such acts of violence were not due to racism. Contrarily, French officials argued that attacks were the result of cohabitation difficulties provoked by the moral traditions and lifestyles of the supposed “North African” culture.
  • Topic: Crime, Migration, Race, History, Border Control, Violence
  • Political Geography: Europe, France
  • Author: Jérémie Gauthier
  • Publication Date: 09-2017
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Cultures & Conflits
  • Institution: Cultures & Conflits
  • Abstract: Based on ethnographic fieldwork conducted in Berlin police precincts, this article focuses on the so-called “intercultural prevention” policy implemented in Berlin since the early 2000s. The author analyzes how police work is informed by a culturalist framework, particularly regarding Muslim communities. The article shows how the link between prevention strategies and the culturalist approach to the treatment of minorities has broadened the police mandate, making police work closer to social work. Yet, this culturalist framework has ambivalent effects: on the one hand, it limits the effects of individual stereotyping during police interventions; on the other hand, it produces forms of reification of groups labeled as “cultural minorities.”
  • Topic: Sociology, Minorities, Ethnography, Police
  • Political Geography: Europe, France, Germany
  • Author: Jérôme Tournadre
  • Publication Date: 03-2016
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Cultures & Conflits
  • Institution: Cultures & Conflits
  • Abstract: This article echoes the now recurring calls to broaden the conceptualization of social movements. Moving away from classic definitions, the author suggests that certain elements of protest activity can be better understood through an examination of its actors in their most ordinary and daily social relations as opposed to the exceptional moments when they face political power. This study is based on a series of inquiries conducted since 2009 in various South African urban areas with active militants affiliated with organizations shaping the agenda on social discontent. More specifically, this article draws attention to how these collectives develop ties with their most immediate social environment, that is in impoverished, working-class neighborhoods.
  • Topic: Politics, Social Movement, Protests
  • Political Geography: Africa, South Africa
  • Author: Bénédicte Florin
  • Publication Date: 03-2016
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Cultures & Conflits
  • Institution: Cultures & Conflits
  • Abstract: This paper is based on interviews held with Istanbul waste collectors who cross the city to collect recyclable waste. Bound in some sense to garbage, these waste collectors are cast to the edges of the city and to the margins of society. Their working and living spaces are both degraded and threatened by encroaching urban renovation projects and real-estate developments; associated waste-management reforms do not recognize the work of waste collectors as legitimate and therefore exclude these “poor”, “dirty, and “archaic” waste collectors. Through an analysis of small and discrete practices of resistance of waste collectors, namely by continuing to collect waste despite its illegal status as well as through mobilization efforts to become organized as “waste workers”, this article argues that far from being passive, these waste collectors resist against exclusion and elaborate a justificatory discourse to defend their role in society.
  • Topic: Class, Sanitation, Cities, Waste, Resistance
  • Political Geography: Turkey, Middle East, Istanbul
  • Author: Julian Jeandesboz
  • Publication Date: 06-2016
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Cultures & Conflits
  • Institution: Cultures & Conflits
  • Abstract: Research on the security politics of the European Union is becoming increasingly abundant. To further the aims of this special issue on methodology among critical approaches to security, this article draws on the appropriation by this scholarship of the “social life of methods” debate to open two related lines of investigation. First, the article examines the inscription of researchers into European security politics not only as a limit to research, but as a method of access and analysis. The article looks particularly at the identification of researchers as “experts” by EU practitioners, and at expertise as method. The second line of investigation and reflection concerns the limits inherent to the way in which critical scholarship on security has appropriated the “social life of methods” discussion. The article argues that this is an opportunity to engage with methods in relation to concrete research endeavors, rather than to stage a theoretical discussion on methods.
  • Topic: Security, European Union, Methods, Experts
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Stephan Davidshofer, Amal Tawfik, Tobias Hagmann
  • Publication Date: 06-2016
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Cultures & Conflits
  • Institution: Cultures & Conflits
  • Abstract: Investigating the possible emergence of a transnational field of security in Europe constitutes a very stimulating research venue for literature on critical approaches to security. However, the operationalization of such an agenda entails some challenges. Notably, time-consuming data collection and analytical processes are needed in order to fully grasp the characteristics and resources of numerous actors. Drawing on a research project funded by the Swiss National Science Foundation (SNF), the aim of this paper is double. It offers both an analysis of the contemporary dynamics of the field of security in Switzerland and a presentation of practical solutions for researchers willing to conduct empirically-oriented studies of different settings of the transnational field of security in Europe. In order to do so, this contribution stands as a methodological roadmap, presenting the various steps leading to the construction of a national social space dedicated to “security issues”. Given the significant volume of data collected in this research project, a series of statistical analysis methods are mobilized in this paper: multiple correspondence analysis (MCA), principal component analysis (PCA), and network analysis. Lastly, in summarizing the project’s results, the paper points to the growing influence of transnational security dynamics on Swiss security actors.
  • Topic: National Security, Statistics, Methods
  • Political Geography: Europe, Switzerland
  • Author: Kimberly Theidon
  • Publication Date: 09-2016
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Cultures & Conflits
  • Institution: Cultures & Conflits
  • Abstract: War and its aftermath serve as powerful motivators for the elaboration and transmission of individual, communal, and national histories. These histories both reflect and constitute human experience by contouring social memory and producing truth effects. These histories use the past in a creative manner, combining and recombining elements of that past that serve to interests in the present. In this sense, the conscious appropriation of history involves both remembering and forgetting—both being dynamic processes permeated with intentionality. This essay explores the political use of the narratives being elaborated in rural villages in the department of Ayacucho regarding the internal war that convulsed Peru for some fifteen years. Each narrative has a political intent and assumes both an internal and external audience. Indeed, the deployment of war narratives has much to do with forging new relations of power, ethnicity, and gender that are integral to the contemporary politics of the region. These new relations impact the construction of democratic practices and the model of citizenship being elaborated in the current context.
  • Topic: Gender Issues, War, Citizenship, Memory
  • Political Geography: South America, Peru
  • Author: Pamela Colombo
  • Publication Date: 09-2016
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Cultures & Conflits
  • Institution: Cultures & Conflits
  • Abstract: The military program for building “strategic villages”, which emerged at the beginning of the Cold War, sought to develop ex nihilo urban spaces to displace rural populations living in zones influenced by guerrilla groups. This article analyses the Rural Relocation Plan implemented in the Argentinian province of Tucumán between 1976 and 1978 that led to the construction of four strategic villages. In doing so, it seeks to establish whether or not space has the power to transform a community’s political and social life in the long term. This article equally addresses the following three questions: What is everyday life like in spaces where military and civil worlds cohabit and hybridize? What are the characteristics of urban spaces designed to dissuade populations from rising up in support of the guerrillas? The analysis of in-depth interviews conducted with the inhabitants of strategic villages in Tucumán allows for an examination of the social and political effects of forced urbanization as a counter-insurgency technique.
  • Topic: Counterinsurgency, Displacement, Space, Violence
  • Political Geography: Argentina, South America
  • Author: Andrew Crosby, Andrea Rea
  • Publication Date: 09-2016
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Cultures & Conflits
  • Institution: Cultures & Conflits
  • Abstract: Based on empirical research in a European airport, this article analyses how border guards control third-country nationals by advancing an anthropology of the power of border control as exhibited by the use of symbolic violence and discretionary state power. Leaning on the theories of street-level bureaucracies and organizations, we analyze the work practices, professional routines and organization of the work of border guards in order to show how border guards activate and constitute the border and the control of mobility. We argue that control at the airport is based both on the influence of the network-border and on a dramaturgical performance of bureaucratic governance, which is meant to create legitimate travelers and undesirable passengers, while circumventing potential protests of the latter and simulating accountability toward the broader public of citizens. As such, border control is more of a symbolic act than an efficient tool of immigration policy.
  • Topic: Immigration, Border Control, Borders, Bureaucracy
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Chiara Calzolaio
  • Publication Date: 09-2016
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Cultures & Conflits
  • Institution: Cultures & Conflits
  • Abstract: With over ten thousand victims, the Mexican city of Ciudad Juárez was one of the most violent theatres of the war against drug trafficking, which was initiated by the former Mexican president, Felipe Calderón, during his 2006-2012 mandate. This article draws parallels between, on the one hand, the manner through which the government problematized the rise in homicides and, on the other hand, the experiences of some of the victims of violence inflicted by law enforcement agencies. Drawing from ethnographic material collected between 2008 and 2011, the practices of state violence implemented during the last military operation are approached here through the experiences and narratives of victims.
  • Topic: War on Drugs, State Violence, Ethnography, Violence
  • Political Geography: Central America, Mexico, Ciudad Juarez
  • Author: Romain Huët
  • Publication Date: 03-2015
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Cultures & Conflits
  • Institution: Cultures & Conflits
  • Abstract: This article presents the findings of a sixty-days ethnographic research in a group of Free Syrian Army’s fighters in Aleppo and its region (July 2012, January 2013) and in a group of Mujahedeen affiliated with the Islamic Front in the Hama region (May 2014, September 2014). Literally embedded in these brigades, our research allowed us to describe "the ordinary life" of these combatants who were engaged into the battle for more than three years. Adopting ethnographical tools (interviews, observations), this article discusses how fighters explain the legitimacy of their engagement and the processes of radicalization.
  • Topic: Sociology, Arab Spring, Ethnography, Armed Conflict , Free Syrian Army
  • Political Geography: Middle East, Syria
  • Author: Carolina Moulin Aguiar, Jana Tabak
  • Publication Date: 03-2015
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Cultures & Conflits
  • Institution: Cultures & Conflits
  • Abstract: The paper aims at investigating the dilemmas involved in the recent turn of international humanitarian organizations to urban areas of the Global South. The incorporation of impoverished urban communities—such as Rio de Janeiro’s favelas—in the landscape of humanitarian action results from a particular reading that connects urbanization processes with a redefinition of the scope of humanitarian action. The paper argues that the transposition of humanitarian protection and assistance to other situations of violence, such as Rio’s favelas, is premised on the construction of slums as marginal sites of insecurity and as the epitome of all problems related to urban processes in developing and underdeveloped societies. Based on a review of Médecins sans frontières’ project in Complexo do Alemão - Rio de Janeiro, from 2007 to 2009, the paper concludes with a critical reading of the consequences of recognizing favelas (and the global slum) as a problem of security and protection, without acknowledging the complex democratic dimensions of local political struggles.
  • Topic: Development, Humanitarian Aid, Urbanization, Slums
  • Political Geography: Brazil, South America
  • Author: Grégory Daho
  • Publication Date: 06-2015
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Cultures & Conflits
  • Institution: Cultures & Conflits
  • Abstract: This article intends to explain the transformation of the foreign policy since the end of the Cold War through the hypothesis of the evolution of the interactions between the professional groups: military, diplomats and industrialists. Using the genesis of French civil-military activities in Bosnia and in Kosovo between 1992 and 2001 as empirical framework, we endeavor to objectify the cross-sector dynamics which permeate with the bureaucratic competition between administrations, the mobilizations of senior officials and the interministerial division of labor in matter of international crises management. We wonder to what extent the international crises “managers” form an institutional space, a professional group or a social field in process of empowerment within the current foreign and defense policy.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, International Cooperation, War, History, Sociology
  • Political Geography: Europe, Yugoslavia, Balkans
  • Author: Médéric Martin-Mazé
  • Publication Date: 06-2015
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Cultures & Conflits
  • Institution: Cultures & Conflits
  • Abstract: Why does the EU promote the OSCE concept of border security in Kyrgyzstan while the OSCE export the EU Integrated Border Management in Tajikistan? To elucidate this paradox, this article lays bare the transnational symbolic struggle between two professional guilds: Finnish and Austro-Hungarian border guard contest for the monopoly over the legitimate definition of means of circulation in Europe, and beyond. In European headquarters, the Fins successfully occupy the forestage of the EU, thereby relegating their Austro-Hungarians competitors to the backstage of the OSCE. On the Central Asian fields, however, the former provide the assistance of the OSCE to Tajikistan, whereas the later deliver the aid of the EU to Kyrgyzstan. This chassé-croisé helps understand why the Tajik strategy of border reform incorporates key elements of the Schengen 4 tiers model, while the Kyrgyz strategy implicitly refers to the cooperative approach put forth by the OSCE.
  • Topic: Security, European Union, Borders
  • Political Geography: Central Asia, Asia
  • Author: Evelyne Ritaine
  • Publication Date: 09-2015
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Cultures & Conflits
  • Institution: Cultures & Conflits
  • Abstract: This paper aims to understand how media outlets, political actors and activist groups have come to interpret the dead of the Lampedusa shipwreck on the 3rd of October in 2013. Moreover, it defends the hypothesis that these mediations work around and play with the invisibility/visibility of the dead. Through a genealogy of the various interpretations that were made, this paper shows how the dead were first represented as bodies, to be treated materially and symbolically; secondly, as public policy issues, caught up in political controversies; and finally, as people with fundamental rights, to be respected and remembered.
  • Topic: Migration, Refugees, Immigrants, Humanitarian Crisis
  • Political Geography: Europe, Italy
  • Author: Paolo Cuttitta
  • Publication Date: 09-2015
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Cultures & Conflits
  • Institution: Cultures & Conflits
  • Abstract: This paper presents the island of Lampedusa as the theatre stage on which the “border play” of immigration control is performed. The paper first introduces the performers and spectators of the play, outlining their roles and places with respect to the architecture of the theatre space as well as the dramaturgy of the play. Next, the paper analyses the five acts of the play, notably examining the time period in which each of them transpires and the most marking or spectacular events. Each act is analysed with regard to its dominant narratives. The war against irregular migration is waged and justified in resorting to two different narratives: one being security, and the other humanitarian. On the Lampedusa stage, while both narratives take turns commanding the scene, they both are in fact always present. The two rhetorics are intertwined with one another, and together they contribute to constituting and strengthening the policies and practices of migration and border control.
  • Topic: Security, Humanitarian Aid, Immigration, Border Control, Borders
  • Political Geography: Europe, Italy, Lampedusa