Current Issue Article Abstracts

Volume 12, Number 3, Winter 2021 

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Raymond Aron, Friedrich Hayek, and "The Third World": An Alternative History of the End of Ideology Debate
Daniel Steinmetz-Jenkins

This article explores the differences and similarities between neoliberalism and Cold War liberalism by looking at the decade's long relationship between two of its chief representatives: Friedrich Hayek and Raymond Aron. It argues that the key to understanding their differences concern's Aron's notion of an "end of ideology": the perspective that the post-War welfare state had made obsolete the need for something like a revolutionary workers party. Hayek, contra Aron, believed that such welfare states were inherently ideological and thus potentially totalitarian. What kept the differences between Aron and Hayek at bay was the early Cold War, and namely fears over Soviet expansion and Communist Party electoral victories in Western Europe. Their relationship became antagonistic in 1955 when Aron suggested that the North Atlantic Community had achieved an end to ideology. Yet at this time the political fate of the Third World remained undecided—a reality made sober to Aron and his fellow members of Congress for Cultural Freedom in light of the Bandung Conference which took place in April 1955. This larger international context, it is argued, explains the antagonism between Aron and Hayek after 1955, as the latter's thinking came to be seen as detrimental to the Congress's mission of fighting global communism.

Constructing the Child Soldier Crisis: Violence, Victimhood, and the Development of Transnational Advocacy against the Recruitment and Use of Children in Conflict, circa 1970–2000
Stacey Hynd

This article explores why the figure of the child soldier as an abused and exploited victim of war erupted to the forefront of humanitarian and human rights advocacy in the 1990s, arguing that a humanitarian calculus of concern constructed this "child soldier crisis." It analyzes the structural and contingent factors that drove the development of transnational advocacy from initial concerns in 1969–71 to the 2000 Optional Protocol on the Involvement of Children in Armed Conflict. The article highlights the successful campaigning tactics of these networks, showing how the object figure of the child soldier as victim was framed by racialized and paternalistic tropes of global south societies and shifting constructions of childhood itself. It is based on extensive research across UN agency and INGO archives, private papers, media sources, and human rights reports

Dossier: Deexceptionalizing Displacement

Deexceptionalizing Displacement: An Introduction
Heath Cabot, Georgina Ramsay

Displacement is often framed as exceptional to a presumed norm of national sedentism. However, displacement can be seen as an increasingly ubiquitous experience, deriving from conditions that throw into question the sustainability and flourishing of lives and accompanying experiences of struggle and uncertainty. Historically deep forms of dislocation and contemporary global projects of accumulation by dispossession structure how displacement is experienced by diverse populations—including many with the privilege of citizenship. This article argues for a more expansive utility of the framework of displacement (thus deexceptionalized), while attending to how specific forms of displacement unfold on the ground.

Methodological De-nationalism: De-exceptionalizing Displacement, Re-exceptionalizing Citizenship
Bridget Anderson

Exchanging the lens of migration for one of displacement can help move away from assumptions about migrant exceptionalism, but it does not necessarily trouble the idea that some people are "out of place" and others are "in place." This is bound up with nationally specific ways of encoding and remaking race. I examine this with reference to the UK's Windrush Scandal and consider the class dimensions of displacement which are imbricated with race. This points to the importance of attending to citizenship and its inequalities, and demanding we re-exceptionalise citizenship at the same time as de-exceptionalising displacement.

Locating Refuge: Racialized Displacement and the Spatial Politics of Belonging
Michelle Munyikwa

From the vantage point of Philadelphia and the surrounding region, this article situates refuge within a framework attentive to settler colonialism and imperialism. Through the example of Fort Indiantown Gap, a space of both temporary refuge and colonial war, I note that making refuge in the United States entails a demarcation of those deemed non-human through practices of dispossession and displacement. By articulating displacement not as a past phenomenon of nation-building but an ongoing project, this article argues for the centrality of displacement to the making of the United States; not an event, but an overarching structure which continues to endure. Such an analytic opens up the potential to articulate forms of spatial justice and repair beyond current projects of refuge-making.

Simultaneous Citizen and Noncitizen: Displacement, Precarity, and Passports in Hong Kong
Nicole Constable

Arguing against the reification of a citizen-noncitizen binary, and drawing on the example of economically precarious Indonesian workers and worker-activists in Hong Kong, I argue that simultaneous citizenship and non-citizenship (botha politico-legal citizen of one state and a non-citizen of another) can contribute to existential displacement in the form of disrupted lives and futures. The severe displacement of Indonesian workers, despite heroic mitigating efforts of migrant worker activists after a new passport renewal policy was introduced in 2015, illustrates how their displacement is tied to the inability of their Indonesian citizenship or their Hong Kong status to provide the necessary legal and social protections. Indonesian displacement is compounded by their economic precarity, but their displacement as citizen-noncitizens resembles that of Hongkongers who opposed China's encroachment after the 2019-2020 protests.

Shapeshifting Displacement: Notions of Membership and Deservingness Forged by Illegalized Residents
Susan Bibler Coutin, Jennifer Chacón, Stephen Lee, Sameer Ashar, Jason Palmer

This paper considers how accounts produced by illegalized residents in the United States shapeshift US immigration enforcement regimes by defining narrators and their communities as "belonging." Anthropologist Aimee Cox develops the notion of "shapeshifting" to refer to how groups that are deemed "social problems" redefine the institutions within which they are embedded. The illegalized residents interviewed for this paper redefined US immigration law and policy as arbitrary, racially biased, and exploitative, even as they argued that they deserved status in the United States. Such critiques and definitions of deservingness perform a politics of displacement, redrawing boundaries of belonging.

"Not a cozy dwelling": Exploring Aspirational Anxieties and the Politics of Displacement in São Paulo's Squats
Heike Drotbohm

In São Paolo's ancient center, squats provide protective spaces to thousands of residents who cannot or do not want to access the formal and highly gentrified housing market. At the same time, these formerly abandoned buildings are also a site of the political struggle and claim the right to decent communal living. This paper traces the motives and aspirations of different types of squatters, such as activists, internal and international migrants as well as refugees. Through the notion of "aspirational anxieties" it concentrates on the uncomfortable emergence and recognition of power asymmetries inherent in the affective dimensions of solidarian future-making. By showing how dis- and emplacement are experienced by actors with contrasting and eventually irreconcilable biographical experiences, this paper warns against a normative understanding of the notion of displacement.

Displacement and the Capitalist Order of Things
Georgina Ramsay

One of the problems with the term "displacement" is that it is often mapped onto seemingly bounded groups—the "refugees," the "homeless"—whose displacement is considered distinct. The effect of this bounding is twofold: displacement is treated as an exceptional experience, and the structural forces of displacement are obscured. In this article, I collapse the conventional bounding of displacement by bringing the experiences of disparate groups into the same analytical frame. These experiences prompt us to consider displacement from a political economy lens, showing that—far from an exceptional experience—displacement is caused by and realized through vulnerabilities within the "capitalist order of things."