Blog

Ends and Means: a range of political subjectivities

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By Brendan Donegan · 2 April 2014
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 A few years ago some friends organised a meeting in central London to raise awareness about Operation Green Hunt, a name used by the Indian media to refer to an all-out offensive by state and paramilitary forces against Maoist insurgents in central India. Having reviewed the details of what was happening in India, the meeting concluded with a discussion of strategy.

Constructing democracy and deconstructing buildings: attempts at a different present and future in Bosnia

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By Elena Cirkovic · 12 March 2014
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Bosnia’s widespread protests against unemployment and corruption, began in the formerly industrial town of Tuzla in early February, and spread quickly among other cities, eventually shutting down the center of Sarajevo. The general expression of the protests is that the average Bosnian citizens have had enough, and that the time has come for real change.

An Arab Christian Perspective

Photograph by Okeen 2010
By Raghda Butros · 23 January 2014
Photograph by Okeen 2010

In first grade in Amman, we were asked to divide into two groups, Christians on one side, and Muslims on the other. I stayed with my closest friends, and was pleased to notice we were the larger group. As we were about to start our first religious education class, my enthusiasm was interrupted when the teacher abruptly stopped at my name in the roster.

Citizenship is not just for a year: The End of the European Year of Citizenship

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By Jack Harrington · 13 December 2013
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‘Lithuania is an activism superpower.’ With these words, Andris Gobiņš of the European Economic and Social Committee began his speech at the closing ceremony of the European Year of Citizens in Vilnius. The words ‘superpower’ and ‘activism’ seldom sit peacefully together.

Why statelessness?

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By Laura van Waas · 28 November 2013
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Throughout my participation in the OECUMENE project, I have endeavoured to help shed light on different aspects of the issue of citizenship by way of an analysis, from different angles, of the phenomenon of statelessness.

Fifth Symposium. Haredi Settlers: the Non-Zionist Jewish Settlers of the West Bank

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By · 23 November 2013
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Dana Rubin’s paper expands on the limited existing academic literature on Haredi Settlements, so called ‘non –ideological’ ultra-orthodox Jews, in the West Bank living in the largest of the settler cities.

Fifth Symposium. ‘We, the non-Europeans’: Derrida with Said

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By · 23 November 2013
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The final paper of the 5th Oecumene Symposium was presented by Engin Isin, entitled, ‘We, the non-Europeans: Derrida with Said’.

Fifth Symposium. Can subalterns enact citizenship?

Multiculturalism research
By · 23 November 2013
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The fifth Oecumene Symposium opened with Zaki Nahaboo’s paper ‘Can Subalterns Enact Citizenship’, which takes Gayatri Spivak’s ‘Can the Subaltern Speak?’ as its initial starting point in its deconstruction of the speech/silence binary and makes communication the basis for political engagement. Dr

Fifth Symposium. Imperial Subjects: Britain and French Algeria

From Subject of Empire to Citizen of Commonwealth
By · 23 November 2013
From Subject of Empire to Citizen of Commonwealth
Jack Harrington’s paper, presented at the 5th Oecumene Symposium, explores the radical distinctions between metropolitan ideas of citizenship and society, and differing imperial ideas of ‘otherness’.

Fourth Symposium. Law, Orientalism and Citizenship

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By · 9 November 2013
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The workshop on ‘Law, Orientalism and Citizenship’ was held on 7th November 2013 as part of Oecumene’s Fourth Symposium.
 

Fourth Symposium. Hypertrophies of Citizenship: The Nation-State and the Political Style of Paranoia

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By Andrea Mura · 9 November 2013
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The workshop 'Hypertrophies of Citizenship: The Nation-State and the Political Style of Paranoia' by Andrea Mura was held on 8th November 2013 as part of Oecumene’s Fourth Symposium.

Fourth Symposium. Citizenship, Identity and Otherness Workshop

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By · 9 November 2013
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The workshop on ‘Citizenship, Identity and Otherness’ was held on 7th November 2013 as part of Oecumene’s Fourth Symposium.
 

Fourth Symposium. Between rights and ethics: Sexuality and political agency in postcolonial times

Sexual citizenship research
By Leticia Sabsay · 9 November 2013
Sexual citizenship research
The workshop 'Between rights and ethics: Sexuality and political agency in postcolonial times' by Leticia Sabsay was held on 8th November 2013 as part of Oecumene’s Fourth Symposium.
 

Third Symposium. Doing Genealogy by Telling Tales: the philosopher, the critic and the barber

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By · 25 October 2013
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Deena Dajani’s paper ‘Doing Genealogy by Telling Tales: the philosopher, the critic and the barber’, presented at the third Oecumene Symposium held on the 24th and 25th of October 2013, explored the possibilities, implications and limits of writing comparative genealogies and the challenges genealogy – as a mode of

Third Symposium. Light and Darkness: Jyoti Singh Pandhey and the Question of Justice

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By · 25 October 2013
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Tara Atluri’s paper titled ‘Light and Darkness: Jyoti Singh Pandhey and the Question of Justice’, presented at the third Oecumene symposium, examined the Delhi gang rape case, and the protests, changes in legislation and debates regarding gender it triggered in India and transnationally.

Third Symposium. Suicidal Citizens: Buddhism, Secularism, and War in Japan

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By · 25 October 2013
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Aya Ikegame’s paper ‘Suicidal Citizens: Buddhism, Secularism, and War in Japan’, presented at the Third Oecumene Symposium, explored Buddhist understandings of secularism in Japan and challenged the idea of justifiable secular wars by examining the involvement of Buddhist organizations in the Asia-pacific war during WWII.

Third Symposium. Acts of angry writing: ethics, subjectivity, agency

Women research
By · 25 October 2013
Women research

Alessandra Marino’s paper ‘Acts of angry writing: ethics, subjectivity, agency’, presented at the third Oecumene symposium, examined the works of Devi and Roy as two sites of writing with different temporal and spatial dimensions and highlighted a triangular relationship of three main ways in which the project contr

Sharing songs: Decolonising ethnography, disrupting scientific orientalism

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By Brendan Donegan · 15 October 2013
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On an evening in early 2009 I sat on a hilltop not far from the Narmada river in western India. I was visiting a militant mass-membership organisation based in that area, as part of a field trip with health activists from a nongovernmental organisation (NGO) I had already spent many months with.

Will Entrepreneurship Save the Arab World?

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By Raghda Butros · 13 August 2013
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Entrepreneurship is suddenly huge in the Arab world. The hype around the concept grew from nothingness to infamy practically overnight. Does this mean the Arab world was devoid of entrepreneurship before the hype?

Citizens of the world and citizens of Turkey: the Occupy Gezi protests

Istanbul view - Elena Cirkovic

By Elena Cirkovic · 17 July 2013

Istanbul view - Elena Cirkovic

Following several days of police raids on the protesters participating in a sit-in in Istanbul’s Gezi Park near Taksim Square, the clashes escalated violently on May 31 2013.

The China Chronicles: Final Reflections

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By Deena Dajani · 1 July 2013
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 Our journey led from Beijing, the capital, to Shanghai, the financial centre, to Guangzhou, the manufacturing heartland and then to Hong Kong, which defies quick categorisation. Inevitably this was a path along a spine of urban power centres.

Day 21: Hong Kong - The China Chronicles

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By Deena Dajani · 27 June 2013
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The final leg of our Sino-British exchange programme took us to Hong Kong for a seminar on state-society relations. City University presented us with a very different experience from the previous campuses we visited on mainland China.

Day 20: Farewell Guangzhou - The China Chronicles

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By Deena Dajani · 26 June 2013
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 A final day in Guangzhou was rounded off by a banquet to celebrate the end of the exchange. In this way, our last day at Sun-Yat Sen was typical of so many we had experienced here in China, combining arresting reflections on the sharp contrasts of modern life in China at the same time as offering the joys of friendship.

Supra-national citizenship: an increasingly powerful tool of protection… and exclusion

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By Laura van Waas · 26 June 2013
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In May 2013, the European Commission announced its proposal for new EU legislation that would give every citizen of the European Union the right to a bank account.

Day 19: Standing by oneself - The China Chronicles

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By Deena Dajani · 24 June 2013
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Migration and Kung Fu were the themes of the day. First we traveled to Kaiping. This area presents a hybrid architecture that was the result of intercultural encounters that took place in the 20th century. Migrants returning to China after setting up successful businesses abroad built their houses combining Chinese themes and European and Mediterranean styles.

Day 18: Contrast - The China Chronicles

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By Deena Dajani · 22 June 2013
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Guangzhou is a puzzle that one cannot quite put together. Different areas of the city resist the construction of a continuous narrative: they do not fit into each other and yet, they follow each other. Hopping on and off the metro and several cabs, today we have experienced its wide range of shapes and aspects.
 

Day 17: Across academic discourses and toilet conversations - The China Chronicles

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By Deena Dajani · 21 June 2013
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 Our final day of the exchange programme gave us an insight into the shifting meanings of 'citizenship' in China. One intriguing and puzzling moment was the discussion about the concepts “Guomin” and “Gongmin”. The simple translation of each would be 'citizenship'. However, these two terms have undergone, important transformations during the 20th century.

Day 16: Guangzhou, city of water - The China Chronicles

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By Deena Dajani · 19 June 2013
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The city of Guangzhou evokes metaphors of water. Of course Guangzhou is literary a city of water, surrounded by the majestic Pearl River. Its name, Guangzhou, means a wide sandbank or shallows. The hot and humid summer of Guangzhou, which apparently lasts at least 9 months of the year, constantly reminds us of water. But there is much more to it. 

Day 15: On authenticity - The China Chronicles

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By Deena Dajani · 19 June 2013
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To walk through China today, as on any day, turns the most common experiences into extraordinary events.  The everyday acts of urban living are rare in the lessons they offer.  
 

Day 14: A weekend in Guangzhou - The China Chronicles

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By Deena Dajani · 17 June 2013
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With the arrival of the weekend, we took the chance to delve deeper into Guangzhou life. The African district and a tea market present two different sides of commercial life in this historic trade and manufacturing hub.
 

Day 13: Reflecting on the said and unsaid - The China Chronicles

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By Deena Dajani · 16 June 2013
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During two days, we listened to over twenty papers, six discussants and a keynote lecture. The amount of information received will take us some time to process. It will also take some time to fully understand what we implicitly learned about different academic traditions and ways of theorising in China, the UK, the US, Japan and so on. Language was not the biggest issue.

Day 12: Between the language and the story

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By Deena Dajani · 15 June 2013
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Today marked the beginning of the conference on 'Citizenship in Orientalised Societies' at Sun Yat-Sen University. Chinese and international scholars looked at citizenship in its cultural, social and political dimensions, mainly focusing on China.
 

Day 11: The hidden, half-acknowledged side of prosperity

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By Deena Dajani · 14 June 2013
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On our third day in Guangzhou, our understanding of this ancient city, its complexity and contradictions, deepened. Or at least, it moved on.

Day Ten: Attempts at hybridising understandings of cultural theory - The China Chronicles

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By Deena Dajani · 13 June 2013
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On the first full day of our exchange programme, our hope was to be able to overcome conceptual dead ends through thinking together. Divided in small groups with Chinese researchers, we transformed the day into an experiment of hybridising our understanding of cultural theory. Translation had its limits. Language prevents communication as much as it promotes it.

Day Nine: An introduction to Sun Yat-Sen - The China Chronicles

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By Deena Dajani · 12 June 2013
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 At our first meeting of the Sino-UK exchange programme at Sun Yat-Sen University, we met with Professor Guo and thirteen of his colleagues and students. Looks of interest, fascinating research projects, but also an unexpected injection of vitality - this is how we would describe the students and researchers we met today. It was a great day of learning. 

Day Eight: Guangzhou - The China Chronciles

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By Deena Dajani · 10 June 2013
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After heat and humidity welcomed us to Guangzhou, our warm reception was continued by our hosts. Guangzhou, also known historically as Canton or Kwangchow, the capital of Guangdong province is a hub for China's manufacturing industries and a home for twenty three universities. Students, young migrant workers, and business people come here from different parts of the country. 

Day Seven: Last day in Shanghai - The China Chronicles

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By Deena Dajani · 9 June 2013
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Our last day in Shanghai drew together three great currents in the life of any city: the power of the poster, urban planning and a great night out. 

Day Six: The inescapability of predetermined questions - The China Chronicles

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By Deena Dajani · 9 June 2013
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Hierarchies of status, age and gender, inform any society and in our sixth day in China we wonder about the particular cartography that they assume here. This does not go without questions and doubts.

Day Five: Tensions of urban space - The China Chronicles

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By Deena Dajani · 7 June 2013
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Reveling in the pleasures of Shanghai and the massive privilege of narrating the city on our own terms and in our own language, we are struck by the tensions of urban space.  The beauty of the city is tangled in political questions.  The Monument to the People's Heroes in Shanghai, for example, was impressive.

Day Four: A train journey to Shanghai - The China Chronicles

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By Deena Dajani · 6 June 2013
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Our fourth day in China is strongly marked by the journey from Beijing and Shanghai. The best way to describe this change is through using the image of the speed train that literally and symbolically took us from Beijing, the administrative center of the country, to the business and cosmopolitan futuristic city of Shanghai.
 

Day Three: The Beijing Taxi - The China Chronicles

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By Deena Dajani · 5 June 2013
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 Today we travelled to a virtual city within Beijing. After a security guard let our taxi through the barriers, we entered the vast and leafy campus of Tsinghua University. Several blocks of flats, villas, 23 restaurants, a whole complex of streets and parks populate the prestigious university.

Day Two: Beijing - The China Chronicles

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By Deena Dajani · 5 June 2013
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Under a burning sun, today our trip to the Great Wall of China confronted us with breathtaking views of natural paths as well as new perspectives on its modern society. One cannot fail to remember that the Great Wall occupies a special place in the history of orientalism.

Human rights and citizenship in Bosnia and Herzegovina

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By Elena Cirkovic · 10 May 2013
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In the 'Groundwork of the Metaphysics of Morals', Immanuel Kant writes: 'In the kingdom of ends everything has either a price or a dignity. What has a price can be replaced by something else as its equivalent; what on the other hand is raised above all price and therefore admits to no equivalent has a dignity.' [1] More than half a century after the adoption of the UNDHR, the characteristics of the bearer of 'universal' rights and dignity, still remain unclear.

Do we really know who can act as a European citizen?

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By Michael Saward · 7 May 2013
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The new book Enacting European Citizenship does a curious thing: it questions the very ownership of the idea of citizenship.

There is, of course, a continuing complex debate, not least within core EU institutions like the European Commission and the European Court of Justice, about how the legal status of European citizenship can be better known, more widely respected and more commonly acted upon.  There is plenty in the book reflecting that debate and taking it further. My own chapter discusses the new European Citizens Initiative as an effort to encourage European citizens to activate their legal status, to be active European citizens.

Mercury and Corporate Citizenship

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By Brendan Donegan · 30 April 2013
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Hindustan Unilever Ltd (HUL), a majority-owned subsidiary of Anglo-Dutch multinational Unilever, has left the town of Kodaikanal (Tamilnadu, India) tainted with mercury from its thermometer factory. In 2005 the company said it would clean up the factory site to a standard of 10mg of mercury per kilogram of soil: a Dutch soil quality standard for residential areas.

Hope and Despair

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By Raghda Butros · 30 March 2013
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Ten of us on my programme at Columbia University are Jordanian. We share a common interest in social change and a belief that we can forge a better future for Jordan and the region – even if that belief is sometimes tested. Our Jordanian upbringings are varied, even though we grew up in the same country.

What Pussy Riot Know

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By Rosi Braidotti · 28 March 2013
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Globalization has contributed to the tendency to de-link the three basic units that used to compose citizenship: one’s ethnic origin or place of birth; nationality or bond to a nation state and the legal structure of rights and obligations. These three factors are disaggregated and re-arranged in new ways.

Mobility is changing the World? Just ask Obama

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By Iker Barbero · 4 March 2013
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The road to the old factory is almost deserted. Perhaps this is because it is a sunny Saturday afternoon and few companies have opened their doors in this area of Poble Nou, in the south of Barcelona. The economic crisis probably has a great deal to do with it too. Street after street reveals industrial (and post-industrial) buildings with their blinds down, both in a real and metaphorical sense. Suddenly, as we approach the door of the factory (or la nave, as they call it), where we are supposed to meet Obama, one sees artisans’ carts of all types, pushed along by men and women. They seem to hide as if they are ashamed or scared of something, or of someone.

Nationality: from genuine connections to tenuous links

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By Laura van Waas · 8 January 2013
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Around the world today, many hundreds of thousands of people – if not more – encounter difficulties affecting the rights that they enjoy as citizens of their state. Their situation is commonly described as one of “ineffective nationality” and it can have dire consequences.

As a citizen of the world...

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By Brendan Donegan · 1 December 2012
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During one of my visits to India I spent some time talking to people who were engaging with local processes of land acquisition for industrial development. I learned that local people took different positions on these processes.

Men as People

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By Raghda Butros · 26 November 2012
Men as people

Is being a man in the Arab world truly cause for celebration? Not if you happen to be a fourteen to twenty-four year old male in Amman, where it has become common practice to exclude young men from public and semi-public spaces.

A response to 'A critique of levantine women rights movements'

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By Deena Dajani · 18 October 2012
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I read with much interest Zahra’s recent blog ‘A critique of the Levantine women rights movements’ on the Oecumene website. I found myself agreeing with her over some aspects of her analysis; for example, she states that ‘there has been a generalized policy amongst dictators to allow some, albeit restricted, space for women’s movements in order to propagate the notion among domestic and international audiences of their regimes’ ‘acceptance’ of certain aspects of human rights’. There is little to disagree with here. Arabic governments continue to use ‘women’s rights issues’ as pawns in a chess game: on the one hand reducing domestic reform efforts to ‘token’ gestures that work towards increasing female ‘visibility’ in institutions like parliaments (arguably powerless to begin with), and on the other using such token reforms as bargaining chips in view of attracting funding from foreign donors.  

A critique of Levantine women rights movements

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By Zahra Albarazi · 12 October 2012
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Initiatives to achieve gender equality in access to citizenship, alongside accessing various levels of effective citizenship, have been at the forefront of advocacy movements worldwide for decades. The establishment of the Convention on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women in 1979, provided the motor for significant advancements on this front.

Scottish Citizenship: Now is the Time to Start Discussing it

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By Jo Shaw · 21 September 2012
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I was recently invited to give evidence before the Scottish Affairs Select Committee of the House of Commons. The Committee is conducting an inquiry into The Referendum on Separation for Scotland, and the evidence session on 5 September 2012 is available to view. The evidence session has also attracted some press coverage in the Herald (article and leader) which highlights the importance of the issue.

Olympic citizenship

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By Laura van Waas · 11 August 2012
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If you have a Google Alert set up with the key word ‘citizenship’ or ‘statelessness’ (i.e. absence of citizenship), you will have received a slightly unusual story in your inbox this summer. Between updates on the troubling plight of populations like the Bidoon in Kuwait and the Rohingya in Myanmar, a piece of news of a very different kind was grabbing attention on the internet: “Stateless African to compete under Olympic flag”.

Apples and pears, or, 'Why don't you move to Cuba?'. A response to Alessandra Marino's article on 'Occupy Movement in India'

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By Brendan Donegan · 9 August 2012
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This blogpost is a response to Alessandra Marino's article 'Occupy Movement in India', published on the OpenLearn website in June 2012 and on the Oecumene website in August 2012.

Occupy Movement in India

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By Alessandra Marino · 3 August 2012
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In September and October 2011, thousands of young people occupied the squares of New York, London, Madrid and other major cities across the globe. The waves of protests, including the indignados in Spain and the student demonstrations in Athens all involved claiming back iconic spaces of Western politics; squares being a modern designation of the Greek agora.

How to recover common property. India's informal courts

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By Aya Ikegame · 23 July 2012
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One morning in December 2011, I was sitting with more than one hundred people, many of who came from nearby villages. In the large hall, which many did not hesitate to call a ‘court’, we were waiting for the sole judge to appear.

Women as People

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By Raghda Butros · 17 July 2012
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I have always been resistant to working on “women’s issues”. This might seem odd, considering how much there is to do, but my resistance is well founded. Women, and their so-called “issues” keep being put into boxes. I do not like to be boxed and neither do most of the women I know.

First Symposium: Local instances, global claims - acts of writing and social movements

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By Helen Arfvidsson · 1 July 2012
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‘Local instances, global claims: acts of writing and social movements’ was the theme of the third workshop in the Oecumene Symposium – Citizenship after Orientalism. The aim of the workshop was to explore how writing can be used as a tool for engaging and mobilizing people and in turn enhance social and political struggles across the globe.

First Symposium: Migrant Subjects - Citizenship, Law and Orientalism

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By Stephan Scheel · 22 June 2012
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What are the connections between the make-up of contemporary border regimes, their justification through orientalising discourses and the potential of citizenship as a political resource in migrants’ struggles against disenfranchisement and selective exclusion?

Reflections on the Arab Citizen

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By Zahra Albarazi · 11 June 2012
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In December 2011 the world witnessed a momentous ministerial meeting organized by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees in Geneva. This was deemed one of the most successful events aimed at raising the profile of the problem of statelessness. 

Activism and Academia: 'We Are Not Border Agents'

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By Brendan Donegan · 22 May 2012
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UK government policy on overseas students has come back into the news recently.

Europe, 'Kill Bill' Style

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By Iker Barbero · 5 April 2012
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'Growing together. The more we are, the stronger we are' is the title of a recent European Commission promotional video designed to send youngsters in member countries the message that unity is strength. Yet, it does so by showing an extremely orientalist version of the EU.

First Symposium: Performance and Political Subjectivity Workshop

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By Helen Arfvidsson · 1 April 2012
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Twenty four participants took part in the workshop on ‘Performance and Political Subjectivity’ held on 9 February 2012 as part of Oecumene’s First Symposium.

First Symposium: Religion and Citizenship Workshop

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By Maria Nita · 31 March 2012
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Held on the last day of the Oecumene project's First Symposium, the workshop entitled 'Religious organisation and the political articulation of citizenship', explored many relevant and current issues concerning the involvement of religion in the public sphere. The workshop underscored the need for an inclusive cross-regional academic dialogue on this subject.

First Symposium: Sexual Democracy, Imperialism and Cultural Translation Workshop

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By PG Macioti · 19 March 2012
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The workshop Sexual Democracy, Imperialism and Cultural Translation opened up a rich and intense exchange about sexuality, citizenship, political liberalism, orientalism and political subjectivity.

First Symposium: Creating publics?

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By Nick Mahony · 15 February 2012
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I'm just back from an exhilarating two-days at the ‘Opening the Boundaries of Citizenship’ conference, hosted by the Oecumene: Citizenship after Orientalism research project, at The Open University.

First Symposium Inaugural Lecture: 'Citizens Without Frontiers'

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By Engin Isin · 7 February 2012
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Academics, auditors, entrepreneurs, footballers, investors, journalists, lawyers and managers move as professionals through distinct but overlapping fields (of expertise, knowledge, and competence) that traverse national borders.

Chronicle of a non-violent protest: Christmas in Jobat

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By Alessandra Marino · 4 January 2012
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The decorations are up and the tree is full of colours. More than thirty children have adorned it with painted dried flowers and scraps of paper carrying their wishes for the future. The star does not appear on top, but hangs from one of the tallest branches of the small palm tree that was chosen as a Christmas insignia in the protest camp of Jobat.

Chronicle of a non-violent protest: Jobat, Madhya Pradesh (India)

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By Alessandra Marino · 19 December 2011
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With children gathering under the trees for their morning classes, a handful of men cooking food on the  fire and other villagers farming in the fields behind the green tent in which I write, it is easy to forget that I am in the heart of a struggle. But I am.

'Best interests of the child' as a uniting principle for citizenship

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By Laura van Waas · 8 December 2011
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When thinking about the Oecumene project, I reflect on what binds us together and what separates us in terms of our experiences of citizenship around the world. In my last blog, I wrote about the shared experience of statelessness, which has regrettably become a truly global case study for exploring how the absence of citizenship affects people. This time, I’d like to share some thoughts on another common or shared experience relating to citizenship, which caught my attention thanks to a recent decision of the African Committee of Experts on the Rights and Welfare of the Child. It would seem that, whether we are perusing international legal standards or delving into the domestic citizenship law of any state picked at random, one notion emerges as a uniting principle: the best interests of the child.

What is 'illegality'? A response to Iker Barbero

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By Stephan Scheel · 14 November 2011
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With an estimated 1.9 to 3.8 million ‘illegal’ immigrants in the EU and continued evidence of official breaches of non-discrimination laws, it is reasonable to ask: What is ‘illegality” in this context. I will answer by looking at the concept of ‘illegality’ from a historical perspective, as an actively produced condition and as a stake.

Dependent identity: The MENA, Women and Citizenship

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By Zahra Albarazi · 17 October 2011
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State sovereignty in determining nationality legislation has led to a number of difficulties worldwide, including the lack safeguards against statelessness, and often discriminatory policies.  In the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region, a substantially apparent flaw in state citizenship legislation is gender discrimination. Women rarely possess the right to pass nationality on to their children or their spouse – and maternal affiliation can only be the case in extreme circumstances. This leaves the acquisition of citizenship dependent on the male figures in the family. Individuals who have often lived all their lives within the country of their mother - and cannot leave - are unable to acquire her nationality. This situation is not only impractical, it also leaves thousands of people at risk of being born stateless.

The clock ticks for Israel. Will the Israelis listen to it?

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By Dana Rubin · 17 September 2011
Social Justice Protest, Tel Aviv, Israel - 'Leave' (Arabic), 'Egypt is here' (Hebrew)

A week ago, I was breathlessly following news of the attack by hundreds of Egyptian people on the Israeli embassy in Cairo. This event – one of great popular rage – stemmed from both the long-term conflictual history of Egypt-Israel relations and short-term outrage over the killing of five Egyptian soldiers by the Israeli Defence Force (IDF) a few weeks ago.

#Spanishrevolution: Real Democracy Now

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By Iker Barbero · 31 August 2011
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It may seem bizarre that from its beginnings in March 2011, ‘Democracia Real Ya’ (DRY) – ’Real Democracy Now’ – could burst so dramatically into the public sphere with a series of demonstrations all across Spain.

Copts' Civil Rights in Egypt: Quo Vadis?

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By Ashraf Milad · 6 July 2011
Direction cross

Unlike Gypsies, Jews, Nubians, Bedouins, Shi'a or Baha'is in Egypt, Copts are not a small minority of citizens that live in a particular part of the country or use a different dialect. Copts represent, according to unofficial estimations, 10-15% of the total population in Egypt. The real number of Copts is known but treated as a military secret and is not disclosed.

Globalising statelessness

Maze
By Laura van Waas · 23 June 2011
Maze

At the heart of the exploration underway within the Oecumene project lies the concept of citizenship. Whether described in terms of membership or of participation, citizenship reflects some form of belonging, contributing to the drawing of dividing lines between ‘us’ and ‘them’.

Citizenship in post-referendum Sudan

Sudanese women
By Cynthia Morel · 19 June 2011
Sudanese women

Following decades of civil war, the Comprehensive Peace Agreement of 2005 provided southern Sudanese with the opportunity to exercise their right to self-determination by way of a referendum. In January 2011, voters overwhelmingly supported the call for secession from Sudan.

Who is illegal?

Racist raids in Spain
By Iker Barbero · 9 May 2011
Racist raids in Spain

In the last years two photographers, Edu Leon and Olmo Calvo, have been developing a project called Fronteras invisibles or invisible borders. Despite increasing obstacles created by the police when taking pictures, this project is still active with the aim of exposing the reality of identity checks and police raids in Madrid (Spain). These controls are carried out to identify, arrest, and in some cases, imprison in detention centers all those ‘foreigners’ who, for whatever reason, lack the immigration documents.

Orientalism in Europe: From Delacroix to Kandinsky. Exhibition Review

Paintings
By Alessandra Marino · 3 May 2011
Paintings

With more than 150 paintings and sculptures, the Kunsthalle der Hypo-Kulturstiftung in Munich has just hosted one of the largest recent exhibitions on Orientalist art, organised jointly with the Musées Royaux des Beaux-Arts, Brussels (where the event was on until 9 January 2011): “Orientalism in Europe: From Delacroix to Kandinsky”. Almost at the same time, the Musée d’Orsay in Paris dedicated an entire show to the contested work of the Orientalist painter Jean-Léon Gérôme, whose images of the desert had a relevant place in Munich as well.

The Census as a gatekeeper to political history

Files
By Zaki Nahaboo · 15 April 2011
Files

As millions will have filled in the indomitable lilac census questionnaire in the UK we should ask ourselves what “tomorrow” are we helping to “shape”? The primary use of the Census is stated as assisting various levels of government to provide key services. It will also undoubtedly be a goldmine for other quantitative researchers.

Subjectivity after orientalism: Citizenship in Other Worlds

Methods conference lecture
By Engin Isin · 7 April 2011
Methods conference lecture

For at least two centuries the origins of citizenship appeared European. It is essentially considered a Judeo-Christian development and it is juxtaposed against its ‘lack’ in Buddhism, Confucianism, Islam, and Hinduism (if one thinks along religious terms) or Asia, America and Africa (if one thinks along geographic terms).

The use of the word Oecumene

Launch podcast
By Engin Isin · 4 April 2011
Launch podcast

Engin Isin explores the meaning of the word Oecumene and how it relates to the content of the project. The meaning of this classical Greek word is somehow ambiguous which makes it all the more interesting and challenging for our project.

Paris, Barcelona, Thessaloniki: what do sans-papiers want?

Hands Bilbao
By Iker Barbero · 10 March 2011
Hands Bilbao

The world has just celebrated the International Women’s Day on the 8th of March. It has been a long struggle and without an international movement of women and their struggles and claims for rights we would not have been here.

Framing Citizens

Camera
By Parvati Nair · 28 February 2011
Camera

Is the visual political? The question has long preoccupied those who work in the field of visual culture. After all, as Barthes told us, photographs carry studium, but it is only the rare ones with punctum that make us stop and take note.

Safe multiculturalism and David Cameron's culturally transmitted diseases

United Colours of Benetton (1991) Condoms
By Zaki Nahaboo · 26 February 2011
United Colours of Benetton (1991) Condoms

Official multiculturalism has meant that we tolerate diversity so long as we can safely consume and/or inhabit it; so long as pleasure in difference continues without consequence to either the ‘majority’ values or marketable cultures.

What's in a name? That which we call Tahrir

Wikipedia search for Egyptian Revolution 2011
By Deena Dajani · 25 February 2011
Wikipedia search for Egyptian Revolution 2011

Media frames are representations of reality. Their resemblance to reality is always partial. They emerge through institutionalised journalism practices that favour certain stories over others and influence the language and images used to describe events. [1]

Arab worlds of politics

hand and pencil
By Engin Isin · 25 January 2011
hand and pencil

More may have been written about the explosion of politics in Arab worlds in the past two weeks than about 1848 in the last hundred and sixty years. I will leave proving this hypothesis to Google Books executives and their calculators who have developed a penchant for quantifying knowledge. If true, what does it say about the overaccumulation crisis of words? Do we say too much?

Nationality or citizenship?

There is no image that symbolises nationalism than the flag
By Engin Isin · 14 July 2010
There is no image that symbolises nationalism than the flag

There is no image that symbolizes nationalism more poignantly than the flag. In this photograph I took in Toronto during the 2002 World Cup a number of fans were celebrating the victory of their ‘nation’. There has been so much discussion about whether nationality is an immutable identity or an identity that is internalized and enacted.

Oecumene: Citizenship after Orientalism is funded by an European Research Council (ERC) Advanced Grant (Institutions, values, beliefs and behaviour ERC-AG-SH2).

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