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Entkoppelte Gesellschaft – Ostdeutschland seit 1989/90

Band 5: Zeugnisse Teil I: Fotografie

Edited by Yana Milev, Philipp Beckert and Marcel Noack

Seit das »Ende des Kommunismus« auf 1990 festgeschrieben und der »Unrechtsstaat DDR« der Justiz übergeben wurde, inszenieren neue Institutionen, Stiftungen und Behörden auf Bundesebene den ökonomischen, kulturellen und moralischen Erfolg des Rechtsstaates. Dabei wird die Mehrheit der Neubürger mit Schockereignissen des krassen sozialen Wandels und der gesellschaftlichen Stigmatisierung konfrontiert. Konzepte wie »Transformation«, »Modernisierung« und »Demokratisierung« treten als Euphemismen auf, die über eine neoliberale Annexion der »Neuländer« hinwegtäuschen. Das Investmentprojekt »Aufschwung Ost« ist ein Laborfall der Globalisierung. Über eine Aufarbeitung der DDR im Totalitarismus- und Diktaturenvergleich hinaus ist eine politische Soziologie der Landnahme, des Gesellschaftsumbaus und des strukturellen Kolonialismus in Ostdeutschland längst überfällig. Das Forschungsprogramm »Entkoppelte Gesellschaft. Liberalisierung und Widerstand in Ostdeutschland seit 1989/90. Ein soziologisches Laboratorium« will im dreißigsten Jahr der »Einheit« diesem Thema mit einer mehrbändigen Publikation Rechnung tragen.

Der Band »Zeugnisse/Fotografie« thematisiert Arbeits-, Kultur- und Lebenswelten in der DDR und deren Verschwinden in Folge der »Wiedervereinigung«. Anhand von Fotografie und Reportage werden drei zeithistorische Phasen rekonstruiert: A/ Aufbau und Aufbruch in der DDR; B/ Formen des Überlebens im Umbruch; C/ Entheimatung und Kampf um Sichtbarkeit im Neuland/Exil. Der Band stellt 18 Positionen der Visuellen Soziologie vor.

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Albert O. Hirschman

Edited by Luca Meldolesi

Well-known as a pioneer of economic development, Albert O. Hirschman has been the flag-bearer of possibilism and reform-mongering in political science. How Reforms Should Be Passed is an anthology of texts chosen personally by Hirschman on the latter production line—as he was to call it informally—that is rooted in his long and quasi-exclusive concern for development and Latin America. Key essays on the formation and the evolution of Hirschman’s point of view on the subject are collected: from "Ideologies of Economic Development in Latin America" to Journeys (and later "A Return Journey") on policy-making; from "Obstacles to the Perception of Change" to "The Search for Paradigms as a Hindrance to Understanding." They show an extraordinary turn of the mind in the making that will be very useful for the United States and the developed world as well—as the final texts of the book on democracy and Europe (Italy, Germany and France) bear out. This book represents a unique opportunity for becoming familiar with many original and perceptive lenses provided by Hirschman to look at the world we live in, and especially to favor social change—focusing (first of all) on the cultural and political side of the matter.

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Alina Petra Marinescu

The book presents the reader with an applied analysis of how the concepts of information and manipulation were illustrated in the Romanian press when the Securitate files were revealed, based on the case of Mona Muscă, a controversial topic that was widely debated by most dailies at the time. One of the most important roles played by the press is agenda setting – the role of setting priorities on the individual’s agenda. Journalists draw up an imaginary list of topics of primary interest for public debate and forming different currents of. The analyzed press segment revealed the predilection for a speech condemning Mona Muscă. The message received by the target audience was not a balanced, objective one, but one that contradicts the deontology of the journalistic profession.

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“Not of an Age, but for All Time”

Revolutionary Humanism in Iqbal, Manto, and Faiz

Abdul Jabbar

The world can derive much enlightenment from Muhammad Iqbal, Saadat Hasan Manto, and Faiz Ahmed Faiz—three of the greatest twentieth-century authors featured in this book. All of them believed and taught through their writings that the world should be led by principles that transcend territorial, religious, and cultural divides and serve the essential needs of all human beings. Iqbal’s works teach us that without infusion of compassion and justice in the world’s political and economic systems, the noble ideals of liberty, equality, and fraternity will remain out of reach. Like Iqbal, Manto and Faiz also wrote to give voice to the systemically excluded segments who are oppressed by one system or another. All three authors’ works are an invitation to the victims to rise up against oppressive systems, break the chains that bind them, and claim their rightful place. This book also demonstrates through the works of the selected three authors that the only enduring foundation for human civilization, as well as the primary linking force, is love, empathy, and compassion. If built on that foundation, our world can easily find ways to solve our economic and political problems that so often erupt into flames of war.
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Origen and Hellenism

The Interplay between Greek and Christian Ideas in Late Antiquity

Panayiotis Tzamalikos

This book elucidates and engages in critical discussion of the Greek philosophical background to the work of Origen, the great third-century scholar and theologian. The author, Professor Panayiotis Tzamalikos, has long argued that Origen was in many respects an anti-Platonist, and that the clauses in Origen’s official anathematisation in AD 553 were based on misreadings by unschooled and fanatical drumbeaters. Tzamalikos has refuted those charges and demonstrated that they had nothing to do with Origen’s real thought. Origen and Hellenism continues the argument by placing Origen’s achievement in its correct context: Origen may have forsaken his ancestral religion and converted to Christianity when he was advanced in years, but he implicitly made much use of his Greek intellectual inheritance in composing his ground-breaking theological work, which paved the way to Nicaea.

The author’s thesis is that, in the quest to discover the real Origen, scrutiny of this background is vital. In the history of philosophy, Origen is uncategorisable as an author: his thought constitutes an unexampled chapter of its own, revealing a perfect match between Christian exegesis and Greek philosophy, which gave later episcopal orthodoxy the gravamen of its anti-Arian doctrine.

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Amir Harrak

This volume, a contribution to the emergent interdisciplinary field of Kurdish Studies, is an engagement with the politics, culture and history of the Kurds. Sections of the book treat the Kurds in medieval and modern history, including the contemporary ‘Arab Spring’, as well as their language, culture and geography and historiographical issues. Individual chapters focus on the rich cultural history of the Kurds, their language, literary history, their political struggle for self-determination and the participation of women in the resistance movement, and on the encounters of missionaries with Kurdish society as well as on the poetics and politics of the Kurds and Palestinians. The first section examines the contribution to Kurdish scholarship of Professor Amir Hassanpour to Kurdish scholarship, and this anthology is dedicated to his memory. Professor Hassanpour was a prominent Marxist scholar whose revolutionary commitment to preserve, enrich and expand Kurdish History, culture and struggle is inspirational.

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The Politics of Lockdowns, Masks, and Vaccines

The Trump Administration and the Coronavirus

Michael Haas

The disastrous handling of the coronavirus (Covid-19) in the United States calls out for an explanation of who is to blame for a disease that could have been contained but instead became an epidemic. Donald Trump, who plays so many roles in life, was unable to fathom how to deal with the problem, but others in his administration made serious mistakes as well. Readers will discover the scope of the errors in an entirely factual, chronological account from the first word about the outbreak to the last day of the Trump administration. The narrative begins by identifying 13 roles that Trump played as president. The discovery of Covid-19 is identified next. The Trump administration was unprepared to do the same and took inappropriate actions in the early stage, notably refusing to use a widely used test for 46 critical days. Congressional economic relief is also identified. States, forced to design their own programs due to federal inaction, then differed widely, resulting in a spread from the coasts to the heartland. Decisions to end lockdowns prematurely meant yet another surge. Trump promoted snake oil remedies, denigrated science and scientists, but wisely poured money into pharmaceutical firms to develop vaccines. People adversely affected are identified statistically. The book concludes by summarizing what each person and organization did to harm or help efforts to deal with Covid-19, leaving the final assessment to the reader who has absorbed all the facts during the Trump administration.
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Edited by Mariam Agah

The main theme of A Ray of the Qur’ān is reflected in Sayyed Mahmoud Taleghani's unique and all-encompassing approach of using root definitions of key Qur’ānic terms as the basis for his illumination of the Qur’ān. Taleghani's  method mirrors his thesis that drawing on the light of the Qur’ān along with authentic prophetic tradition, sound theological argument, and a grasp of ethics, science, and human history reveals the observable interconnectedness in nature that exists on an individual and societal level and is constantly evolving as unified creation of one Creator.

The relationship of humanity to the rest of creation as discussed in A Ray of the Qur’ān elicits individual and societal human responsibility to know, care for, preserve, and promote both human society and all of nature in a just, fair, and morally balanced manner. Taleghani holds that the creator of the physical world and its human inhabitants lovingly and justly offers a blueprint and manual for action, and central to that is the Qur’ān. Nonetheless, according to Taleghani’s own humble estimation, his work should not be described as an interpretation, explanation or explication but an effort to allow glimpses of divine guidance to shine on minds and hearts.

A Ray of the Qur’ān will shift the academic discourse around studies of Islam and the Qur’ān, including within Islamic institutions. It offers a compelling and unique approach to theology, comparative religious studies, ethics, environmental studies, and Arabic studies.


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Moustapha Fall

This book examines literacy education in Senegal. It assesses some of the impacts of French policies on the overall Senegalese system of education, including some of the language policies championed by a cohort of Senegalese authorities from 1960 until 2012. It begins with a definition of the concept of literacy education in general to briefly set the scene of the early resistance this encountered in West Africa particularly in Senegal. It discusses the major language policies undertaken by presidents Leopold Sedar Senghor, Abdou Diouf, and Abdoulaye Wade. Finally, the book assesses the major impacts of France's literacy policies on the current system of education in Senegal and proposes solutions on how to help Senegal and the rest of the West African countries put in place a rigorous literacy education that benefits their population.

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Star Trek and Popular Culture

Television at the Frontier of Social and Political Change in the 1960s

George A. Gonzalez

The 1960s (a.k.a. the 60s) remains a terrain of contemporary politics—with the values of period embraced or rejected, as well as differently interpreted. Popular culture is an important means to understand and analyze the political issues and controversies surrounding the 60s—egalitarianism, equality (civil rights, feminism), as well as anti-communism. In important and key instances popular culture (especially Star Trek [1966-1969]) was at the forefront of the progressive politics of the 60s. This book engages and analyzes the ongoing 60s through popular culture. The 60s is a pivotal period in American and world history—as the United States during this time turned away from white supremacy as official ideology. Also, the American public decidedly soured on U.S. military adventurism—as evidenced by broad public opposition to a military draft. Additionally, women (as a result of the feminism of the era) gained greater access to the public sphere and increased personal autonomy—non-discrimination (and anti-harassment) rules, abortion rights, and no fault divorce. Popular culture is philosophically significant because it allows people to cogitate reasons in the world—especially in the social, political realm. The creators of popular culture will often seek to offer the public authentic art, and much of the public seeks out authentic art. This makes American popular culture (in its finer forms) a viable source material about reason in the world.  In this book the author doesn't  seek to deconstruct popular culture; instead, he seeks to identify and analyze the reasons in the world depicted in it.