Monthly Digest is a resource provided by Security in Context that provides a list of recent publications, calls, conferences and other items relevant to the critical global, security, and international political economy studies audience. In addition to new items, our digest may contain relatively recent entries, so please double check dates on any calls or conferences. All descriptions taken from their original sources unless otherwise indicated. If we’ve missed something, or you have items you’d like to contribute for future digests, please email us at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Sovereignty, Natural Resources, and Environmental Science in the South Atlantic
By JAMES J. A. BLAIR
Salvaging Empire probes the historical roots and current predicaments of a twenty-first century settler colony seeking to control an uncertain future through resource management and environmental science. Four decades after a violent 1982 war between the United Kingdom and Argentina reestablished British authority over the Falkland Islands (Las Malvinas in Spanish), a commercial fishing boom and offshore oil discoveries have intensified the sovereignty dispute over the South Atlantic archipelago. Scholarly literature on the South Atlantic focuses primarily on military history of the 1982 conflict. However, contested claims over natural resources have now made this disputed territory a critical site for examining the wider relationship between imperial sovereignty and environmental governance. James J. A. Blair argues that by claiming self-determination and consenting to British sovereignty, the Falkland Islanders have crafted a settler colonial protectorate to extract resources and extend empire in the South Atlantic. Responding to current debates in environmental anthropology, critical geography, Atlantic history, political ecology, and science and technology studies, Blair describes how settlers have asserted indigeneity in dynamic relation with the environment. Salvaging Empire uncovers the South Atlantic's outsized importance for understanding the broader implications of resource management and environmental science for the geopolitics of empire.
Traces of Enayat
By Iman Mersal
Cairo, 1963: Enayat al-Zayyat’s suicide becomes a byword for talent tragically cut down, even as Love and Silence, her only novel, languishes unpublished. Four years after al-Zayyat’s death, the novel will be brought out, adapted for film and radio, praised, and then, cursorily, forgotten. For the next three decades it’s as if al-Zayyat never existed.
Yet when poet Iman Mersal stumbles across Love and Silence in the nineties, she is immediately hooked. Who was Enayat? Did the thought of her novel’s rejection really lead to her suicide? Where did this startling voice come from? And why did Love and Silence disappear from literary history? To answer these questions, Mersal traces Enayat’s life, interviews family members and friends, reconstructs the afterlife of Enayat in the media, and tracks down the flats, schools, archaeological institutes, and sanatoriums among which Enayat divided her days. Touching on everything from dubious antidepressants to domestic abuse and divorce law, from rubbish-strewn squats in the City of the Dead to the glamour of golden-age Egyptian cinema, this wide-ranging, unclassifiable masterpiece gives us a remarkable portrait of a woman artist striving to live on her own terms.
Edited by Peter Kornbluh
As the commander in chief of the Chilean army, Gen. René Schneider, lay dying in a hospital after being shot in a CIA-backed coup plot in October 1970, President Nixon placed a phone call to his national security advisor, Henry Kissinger, to ask “What is happening in Chile?” according to a transcript of their conversation posted today by the National Security Archive. Kissinger told the President that the CIA-backed plot to block Socialist president-elect Salvador Allende from being inaugurated—an operation ordered by Nixon five weeks earlier—had not succeeded. The Chilean military turned out to be “a pretty incompetent bunch,” according to Kissinger, having failed to seize power after the removal of Gen. Schneider, Chile’s top pro-constitution officer.
“There’s been a turn for the worse,” Kissinger explained, referring to the Schneider assassination, “but it hasn’t triggered anything else. The next move should have been a government takeover, but that hasn’t happened.”
“The [congressional] election is tomorrow and the inauguration is [November] third,” Kissinger informed Nixon. “What they could have done is prevent the Congress from meeting. But that hasn’t been done. It’s close, but it’s probably too late.”
Can sanctions help win peace? According to this report, not likely
Economic sanctions —an increasingly popular tool for policymakers in Washington — can hinder peacemaking efforts, according to a report published on Monday by the International Crisis Group.
The key questions of when to impose sanctions, how to use them as leverage, and when to lift them have never been as salient, after the U.S. and the West imposed the harshest global embargoes on Russia in history after it invaded Ukraine in February 2022 — yet an end to the war, much less a diplomatic course, is as elusive as ever.
A review of U.S. sanctions policy, released by the Treasury Department in October 2021, showed that over the last two decades, the use of sanctions by Washington had increased by 933 percent. As the Crisis Group report notes, the rationale for implementing these sanctions typically includes cutting off adversaries’ resources, punishing individuals or governments for human rights abuses, or trying to push warring parties toward negotiations.
In Iraq, To Defend Gender Is to Refuse Violence
[This article was translated into Arabic by Zahra Ali and Wasan Qasim. Qasim is an Iraqi poet and translator with degrees from Mustansiriyah University, MacEwan University, and an MFA from Lindenwood University. She published poetry and translations in Arabic and English.]
In the past month, gender became a buzzword in Iraq’s mainstream media and political discourse. An ideologically motivated campaign led by factions of the Iraqi political establishment has demonized and banned the use of the terms gender, social sex, and homosexuality, accusing those who use them of conspiring to corrupt society, undermine religion, and destroy the family.
The actors behind this campaign are well known: they are the conservative Islamist political groups and individuals affiliated with the Iraqi political establishment. The argument sounds dated and all too familiar, a repetition of a discourse we heard in the 1990s and 2000s about the words feminism and equality: “It is Western, it is against our culture, our religion,” etc. In fact, the anti-gender campaign is so caricaturish, so extreme in its simple-mindedness and lack of expertise that it was at first hard to even take it seriously.
Can The Far Right Become Popular? The Case Of Javier Milei And The Rise Of Ultra-Libertarianism In Argentina
By Fernando Brancoli and Tamires Alves
Javier Milei, a former talk show presenter turned politician, has shaken up Argentina's political scene as a far-right contender for the presidency. Representing the "La Libertad Avanza'' party, Milei's anti-establishment and economic reform rhetoric has garnered significant appeal, especially among young voters. This surge in far-right popularity in Argentina, embodied by Milei, underscores the nation's changing political dynamics and raises concerns for vulnerable communities. The article explores Milei's rapid rise, his core support base, and the wider implications of a far-right presence in Argentina.
Policy Brief – Fighting Corruption in the Middle East: Recalibrating U.S. Foreign Policy
By Sean Yom
The Biden administration’s elevation of anti-corruption efforts worldwide is a welcome and necessary shift, ostensibly aimed at countering corruption in allies as well as adversaries.
Yet despite the endemic corruption that plagues Washington’s authoritarian allies in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA), there is little evidence that the administration’s new focus on countering corruption has led to a major change in U.S. policies in the region.
Though robustly pursuing anti-corruption measures with these regimes may cause bilateral tensions in the short-term, these will be outweighed by the long-run benefits of reduced corruption and, in turn, greater stability.
Some ways of applying the global strategy to MENA allies include using public and private diplomacy to underline corruption as a high-priority issue, sanctioning the most egregious offenders, supporting non-state actors fighting corruption, and conditioning economic and security aid on recipient governments’ anti-corruption efforts.
Calls for Papers
Submit a Manuscript to the Journal Middle East Critique for a special Issue on
Economic Sanctions and Order-Making: Towards a New Approach
This Call for Papers has two main aims: first, to challenge dominant assumptions about and conceptions of economic sanctions; and second, to promote new critical ways for understanding sanctions. In particular it seeks contributions centering the material realities, experiences, and knowledge of targeted states and those residing under the constraints of these coercive measures, as well as innovative analyses of their structural connections to the making and reproduction of global order.
Since the end of the Cold War, sanctions have proliferated, targeting formerly colonized and semi-colonized states, but also more recently, powerful states. Their formal stated aims have varied, but they have become the primary tools to police and discipline defiant actors threatening the existing order or to act out geopolitical and other rivalries.
The proliferation of sanctions was accompanied by a sharp increase in scholarship about sanctions, including critiques. To date, however, the terms of the debates have remained largely the same, focusing on a) whether sanctions ‘work’ b) their humanitarian impact, including their impact on human rights. More recently, perspectives that examine the geopolitical dimensions of sanctions have begun to emerge, which is particularly pertinent amidst intensifying global competitions among nations and deepening global inequalities. Yet, they too remain largely trapped within the deeper ideological and material assumptions about sanctions.
Against this background, there is an urgent need to transcend the boundaries of existing knowledge and develop new tools, methodologies, and theories to better understand the role, place, and character of sanctions in our contemporary global order. The call is open to scholars across a range of disciplines, including International Law, International Political Economy, International Relations, and History. Scholars in and from the Global South, particularly nations under sanctions in West Asia/Middle East, are strongly encouraged to submit, as do perspectives that center such region.
Topics of interest include:
- The politics of knowledge production about sanctions, including in dominant scholarship, policy circles and the media;
- Critiques of the ideological assumptions underpinning sanctions, including the war/peace, political/economic, public/private binaries, and their liberal/neo-liberal, Western/Eurocentric and neoclassical origins;
- Critiques of the material basis of sanctions, including their connection to the global division of labour and global capitalism;
- Alternative voices, such as histories from below;
- Alternative methodologies such as ethnographic studies of sanctions from the field, comparative analyses of sanctions regimes, particularly in the context of the West Asia;
- Alternative theoretical perspectives, particularly those that foreground questions of gender, class, race and imperialism;
- Resistance to sanctions, including their connection to the formation and development of popular resistance or anti-western alliances, particularly between West Asia and other Global South regions;
- Intersection of sanctions with other social phenomena, such as migration, wars, or climate change;
- Critical contextual perspectives of sanctions in the West Asia, including the links between sanctions regimes, hybrid warfare, and overt / covert operations/ US colonial interventions/ US backed coup d’états/ and imperial domination of Middle East.
Evolving Geopolitics In The Middle East - Highlights & "MENA: Geopolitical Re-Alignment?"
On July 20, 2023, Security in Context hosted the event, "Evolving Geopolitics in the Middle East: The Gulf Countries, Iran, Turkey, and China."
We are witnessing important developments in the geopolitical disposition of the Middle East and North Africa (MENA), even if the magnitude of these changes is often overstated.
MENA today is experiencing the convergence of several distinct yet related dynamics. These include: a diversification of strategic relationships; the reduction of regional polarization; and efforts to restore the Arab regional order after more than a decade of upheaval.
Saudi Arabia has emerged as a key driver of these developments. While this may seem surprising and even counter-intuitive, these changes did not materialize overnight, and reflect a series of broader local, regional, and global transformations.
Camera Palaestina: Photography and Displaced Histories of Palestine (New Texts Out Now)
Issam Nassar, Stephen Sheehi, and Salim Tamari, Camera Palaestina: Photography and Displaced Histories of Palestine (University of California Press, 2022).
Jadaliyya (J): What made you write this book?
Issam Nassar, Stephen Sheehi, and Salim Tamari (IN, SS & ST): The book project emerges out of two affinities. The first was our affection for and admiration of Wasif Jawhariyyeh’s seven volume photographic albums in Beirut and Athens tracing the modernity of Jerusalem and Palestine from the 1870s to 1948. Salim and Issam, of course, are well-known for publishing and commenting on the memoirs of Jawhariyyeh, first as a complete and full Arabic rendition and later on in an abridged version in English. The second reason is our friendship, which increased with our shared interest in Jawhariyyeh’s photographic archive. While his written and photographic collective generated among scholars, we realized Jawhariyyeh’s visual archive, particularly his photographic albums, have not been engaged themselves as a source to think about social life and social relations in Palestine at the end of the Ottoman Era and specifically the Mandate period. What started the project really was our shared questions: what do these archives make visible that still evades what we think we know about Palestine and Palestinians, especially in Jerusalem, during the Mandate?
Supporting outstanding scholarship in the humanities and interpretive social sciences
ACLS invites research proposals from scholars in all disciplines of the humanities and interpretive social sciences. Given the disproportionate effect the pandemic’s social and economic disruptions have had on emerging, independent, and untenured scholars, ACLS will continue in the 2023-24 competition year to offer these fellowships solely to untenured scholars who have earned the PhD within eight years of the application deadline. ACLS welcomes applications from scholars without faculty appointments and scholars off the tenure track.
In 2023-24, the program will award up to 60 fellowships. ACLS invites applications from scholars pursuing research on topics grounded in any time period, world region, or humanistic methodology. ACLS aims to select fellows who are broadly representative of the variety of humanistic scholarship across all fields of study. We also believe that diversity enhances scholarship and seek to recognize academic excellence from all sectors of higher education and beyond. In ACLS’s peer review, funding packages, and engagement with fellows, we aspire to enact our values of equity and inclusion.
The ultimate goal of the project should be a major piece of scholarly work by the applicant, which can take the form of a monograph, articles, publicly-engaged humanities project, digital research project, critical edition, or other scholarly resources. The fellowships support projects at any stage of development – beginning, middle, or end. This program does not fund works of fiction (e.g., novels or films), textbooks, straightforward translation, or pedagogical projects.
ACLS Fellowships are intended to help scholars devote six to twelve months to full-time research and writing. (See FAQ) The awards are portable and are tenable at any appropriate site for research. An ACLS Fellowship may be held concurrently with other fellowships and grants and sabbatical pay. For fellows with tenure-track academic appointments, the total amount of support, including the ACLS Fellowship, may not exceed the candidate’s 2024 academic year salary. Fellows without tenure-track academic contracts may teach up to one course per semester (if desired), or perform the equivalent of one course per semester in administrative work, during the fellowship term. (See FAQ) Tenure of the fellowship may begin no earlier than July 1, 2024 and no later than July 1, 2025. The fellowship term must conclude no later than December 31, 2025.
The fellowship stipend is set at $60,000 for a 12-month fellowship. Awards of shorter duration will be prorated at $5,000 per month, with the minimum award set at $30,000. Independent scholars and adjunct faculty will receive an award supplement of $7,500 for costs incurred during the research term, including research support, access to manuscript development workshops, learned society conference attendance, health insurance, or child- or eldercare.
Call for applications: 2023-24 Mellon/SAR Academic Freedom Workshop & Fellowships
Arab Council for Social Sciences
Scholars at Risk (SAR) announces a call for applications for five remote research fellowships for early career researchers who investigate issues focusing upon academic freedom and/or related higher education values. The fellowship program, made possible by the generous support of and partnership with the Mellon Foundation, is intended to provide support for a professional community of researchers who wish to develop and share related work leading to the completion of a formal written publication, a new course offering, workshop, webinar or other significant end product.
Open Rank Professor Position in Sociology of Culture
UC Santa Barbara
Position title: Assistant Professor, Associate Professor , Professor
Salary range: The posted UC salary scales set the minimum pay determined by rank and/or step at the time of appointment. See https://ap.ucsb.edu/compensation.and.benefits/ucsb.salary.scales/1.pdf for the salary ranges. Off-scale salaries and other components of pay, i.e. a salary that is higher than the published system-wide salary at the designated rank and step, are offered when necessary to meet competitive conditions. A reasonable estimate for this position is $90,000 - $130,000 at the Assistant Level $95,000 - $180,000 at the Associate level and $142,000 - $276,000 at the Professor level
Percent time: 100
Anticipated start: July 1, 2024
Open date: August 17, 2023
Next review date: Friday, Oct 20, 2023 at 11:59pm (Pacific Time)
Apply by this date to ensure full consideration by the committee.
Final date: Friday, Jun 28, 2024 at 11:59pm (Pacific Time)
Applications will continue to be accepted until this date, but those received after the review date will only be considered if the position has not yet been filled.
The Sociology Department at the University of California, Santa Barbara, invites applications for a position in the area of culture, beginning July 1, 2024. The ideal candidate will have an active research agenda that engages in the sociological study of culture (topical specializations and methodologies are open), an outstanding publication record as demonstrated through peer reviewed journal articles and/or books, and demonstrated excellence in teaching, student mentorship, and professional and public service.
UCSB’s Sociology Department is ranked among the top 10 nationwide in the sociological subfield of culture. Within the department, culture is a core area that intersects deeply and broadly with all the other core and thematic areas of research and teaching. We seek to hire a scholar whose expertise in sociology of culture can add to the department’s strength, which lies in the rich theoretical, analytical, and methodological diversity of the faculty. The ideal candidate also can contribute teaching and mentoring excellence to serve our graduate program and our large and highly diverse undergraduate major.
The University is especially interested in candidates who can contribute to the diversity and excellence of the academic community through research, teaching, and service as appropriate to the position.