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The Ten Pillars of American Democracy

Has the United States Become a Pseudo-Democracy?

Michael Haas

Democracy rests on ten pillars. However, they have fallen in the United States because both major political parties have strayed from the concept of government of the people, by the people, and for the people. One party wants to recreate life in the past, while the other party appeals to the economic self-interest of specific groups. The coup on January 6, 2021, has prompted a fundamental analysis of what has gone wrong, but proposed corrections have failed to strengthen belief in democracy.

The fundamental pillars are of two types—preconditions and the structure of government. The preconditions are a strong middle and working class, belief in liberal and social democracy, an informed citizenry, a vibrant civil society, and a Constitution prescribing equal justice. Governments must have legislatures with integrity, an independent and competent bureaucracy and civil society, an executive who acts with civility, and free and fair elections. In each case, the trend had been away from democracy.

According to the Mass Society Paradigm, democracy works best when the voices of the people are aggregated into coherent programs by political parties, which seek majority approval and then demand action by government to solve problems, with the information media performing an oversight over the political process and government actions. But in the United States, some individuals are so cultural desperate that they have supported politicians favoring extreme measures to end democracy by paying attention to alternative concepts of reality. If ever achieved, corrective measures will take decades.

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Jewish Warsaw – Jewish Berlin

Literary Portrayal of the City in the First Half of the 20th Century

Alina Molisak

This book is a reflection on the Jewish presence in two European capitals, Warsaw and Berlin, in the first half of the 20th century. It was inspired by the works of Polish-Jewish, Yiddish and German-Jewish authors, as well as by the connections between urban spaces and the formation of different varieties of modern Jewish identity. The spotlight is cast on images preserved in literary works, namely those concerning separate Jewish neighborhoods and the sphere of cultural interethnic contacts. By attempting to restore the presence of Jewish inhabitants of both cities, destroyed by the Holocaust, it may become possible to see how the imagined communities of the time were created and preserved in the texts, even if, in reality, the metropolises were transformed into necropolises.

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Edited by Luďa Klusáková and Bianca del Espino Hidalgo

Small towns are continuously overlooked and under-researched, although they represent a type of urban settlement present in large numbers, especially in Europe. Questions regarding the resilience of small towns are an important issue acknowledged in the EU policy of regional development. This volume is written by an international and interdisciplinary team of scholars who are convinced about the importance of the small town as a research topic. It looks at how towns approach heritage, its instrumental use and its commodification in support of its survival, asking about towns’ strategies to achieve resilience to external pressure. The chapters present cases from Europe and beyond. It represents various types of situations and approaches of urban communities, but it is not limited to success stories. The authors deal with places that are undervalued, not fully exploited, or in danger because of lack of appreciation. They explore a wide range of strategies in the fields of revitalization, stabilization, stagnation, decline, or desertification, considering the possible role of heritage, as well as small towns´ creativity in networking initiatives.

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Shouying Liu

Land system reform in China has always been a hot topic and a controversial one. After the Third Plenary Session of the 18th CPC Central Committee (2013) issued its “Decision,” people throughout society generally responded well to that part relating to land system reform, but there were also a few dissenting voices. In the face of controversy, the central government determined the principles of land system reform: it set the program, tested it in local pilots, and only then did it apply the reform uniformly, first by enacting the laws, and so on. Under this background, this book goes through the fundamental logic of China’s land system reform since the 1980s and studies the problems this logic has encountered and whether it still works well. Hence, this book covers topics ranging from the historic origin of China’d land system, China’s rural land system and the relationship between China’s urbanization and land system reform. As a famous policy expert in China, the author also provides his own insights into how to find a solution to the land issue in China. This book is suitable for anyone who is interested in the facts and relevant research works of China’s land system reform, especially researchers in similar fields.
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Revolutions and the Making of the Modern World

From Peter the Great to Karl Marx

James Cracraft

Edited by William Benton Whisenhunt

Professor James Cracraft is an established specialist on early modern Russian history, particularly the era of Peter the Great (1682-1725), tsar and first Russian emperor. This volume gathers some of the many key articles and reviews published by him over the last forty years and more in a wide variety of scholarly venues, some of which are not readily accessible. They constitute in sum important contributions not only to Russian history broadly understood, but also to the study of history itself. The collection will include a preface by the editor and an introduction by the author, where he will sum up his decades of historical work and point to new avenues of needed research, all the while emphasizing that "history" properly understood does not exist somewhere on its own but is the creation, however imperfect, of professional historians (as "chemistry", say, is properly understood as the work, however imperfect, of professional chemists).

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L'influence (in)visible

Les partis populistes de droite radicale et la fabrique de politiques publiques en démocratie


Benjamin Biard

Dès la fin des années 1990, les partis populistes de droite radicale ont entamé une nouvelle phase dans leur développement en atteignant des performances électorales inédites et en accédant plus aisément au pouvoir. Pourtant, dans le même temps, ils demeurent considérés comme étant une menace pour la démocratie libérale. L’objectif de cette recherche est d’estimer l’influence des partis populistes de droite radicale sur la fabrique des politiques publiques, en interrogeant leur capacité à exercer une influence mais aussi le mode opératoire par lequel ils procèdent.

L’Union démocratique du centre (UDC) en Suisse, le Front national (FN) en France et le Vlaams Belang (VB) en Belgique sont étudiés dans cet ouvrage grâce à la méthode du process-tracing, sur la base d’un large corpus de données notamment composé de 107 entretiens semi-dirigés, de documents d’archives et de nombreuses observations directes.

Alors que chaque cas étudié est confronté à un rapport avec le pouvoir distinct, la recherche met au jour un modèle général de l’influence et permet d’appréhender celle-ci lors des différentes phases du processus de fabrique des politiques publiques.

Cet ouvrage contribue à enrichir la littérature sur les partis populistes de droite radicale, sur l’influence partisane, sur l’analyse des politiques publiques mais aussi sur la démocratie de par les implications qu’elle comporte.

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Japanese Politics in Comparative Perspective

From the East to the West, and Then Whither?

Takashi Inoguchi

Japan lives twice. Japan belonged to the East before 1962, when The Economist's editorialized, "Consider Japan". It gave the world a warning-cum-welcoming signal to Japan about joining the West. Thereafter Japan belonged to the West in science, industry and international law, whereas Japan was regarded psychologically in the West as belonging to the East in sakura, sushi, and snow country. After 1992, the morning after the bubble collapse, Japan belonged to the new West, not bereft of mishaps and mistakes and embedded with stall and stagnation as the rest of the old West. Yet Japan has been going through the "lost three decades" of muddling through recession and deflation, as if Japan had trod the Dengist path to "hide your strength and bide your time" without loud fanfare. By 2022 Japan will come up quietly as the oasis of stability when the world is struggling with climate change and infectious disease diffusion in addition to its decline from the overconfidence of its own capabilities. Japan has emerged, combining its aggregate niches of technology of its own erstwhile dominant manufacturing, further enhanced by technological prowess obtained by massive foreign direct investment due to sluggish domestic market demand. In examining Japanese politics in comparative angle, this book starts by asking: from the East to the West, and then whither?
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Azawad’s Facebook Warriors

The MNLA, Social Media, and the Malian Civil War


Michael Keen

In January 2012, the National Movement for the Liberation of Azawad (MNLA), a group dominated by members of the Tuareg ethnic group, launched a military uprising seeking the independence of Mali’s vast but sparsely populated north as the democratic, secular nation-state of Azawad.  Azawad’s Facebook Warriors tells the extraordinary story of a small group of social media activists who sought to broadcast the MNLA’s cause to the world. Azawad’s Facebook Warriors offers a groundbreaking new study of the MNLA’s use of social media through the original analysis of more than 8,000 pro-MNLA Facebook posts published over a four-year period and interviews with key architects of the MNLA’s media strategy. The book further places the MNLA’s social media activism in context through a nuanced treatment of northern Mali’s history and an unparalleled blow-by-blow account of the MNLA’s role in the Malian civil war from 2012 through 2015. More broadly, through the case study of the MNLA, the book argues that studying rebel social media communications, a field that has until now unfortunately received scant scholarly attention, will prove an increasingly important tool in understanding rebel groups in coming years and decades.
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Boten im frühen Mittelalter

Medien – Kommunikation – Mobilität


Volker Scior

Die Studie betrachtet Boten als Medien im Rahmen zentraler Dimensionen der frühmittelalterlichen Kommunikationspraxis. Auf der Grundlage interdisziplinärer Forschungen werden Boten auf breiter Textbasis als körperliche Träger und Vermittler von Kommunikation und Wahrnehmung sowie als Informanten und Zeugen analysiert. Das Buch enthält einen begriffshistorischen Teil, widmet sich der Auswahl von Boten und deren räumlichen Aktionsradien und behandelt agonale Aspekte des Botenwesens. So werden Boten in kulturwissenschaftlich geprägten Themenkreisen verortet, darunter ‹Mündlichkeit und Schriftlichkeit›, ‹Öffentlichkeit› und ‹symbolische Kommunikation› sowie ‹Wissens- und Informationstransfer›. Ein weiterer Fokus liegt auf der Praxis der Mobilität, etwa dem Transport, Reisegeschwindigkeiten, aber auch auf Fragen des Geleits, der Gastlichkeit und Empfänge vor Ort.

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La lettre de l’estampe

Les formes de l’écrit et ses fonctions dans l’image imprimée en Europe au XVIe siècle


Edited by Marianne Grivel and Emmanuel Lurin

Les relations entre le texte et l’image ont été surtout étudiées sous l’angle de l’iconographie, de l’illustration et de la présence – occasionnelle et souvent paradoxale – de mots dans la peinture. C’était sans compter avec l’estampe qui constitue, dès la fin du XVe siècle, un champ d’expérimentation majeur pour tous ceux qui cherchent à concilier les qualités formelles, esthétiques et sémantiques d’un texte et d’une représentation artistique. Les techniques de gravure permettent en effet de réunir dans une même composition une grande variété de signes, verbaux et iconiques, dont l’ensemble constitue l’image : la « lettre » gravée est donc la partie écrite et effectivement lisible de l’estampe.

Centré sur la gravure de la Renaissance, ce livre explore une période particulièrement féconde, le XVIe siècle, qui a vu l’émergence en Europe d’une véritable industrie des arts de l’imprimé. Signatures, titres, légendes, dédicaces, commentaires, etc. sont passés au crible de l’analyse critique et interprétés suivant des méthodologies variées. Qui rédigeait les textes ? Comment étaient-ils gravés ? Quelle était la fonction des différentes inscriptions ? Comment étaient-elles lues et comprises par les usagers ? Ce livre offre, pour la première fois, une vision d’ensemble sur des questions d’écriture et de composition propres à l’estampe ; ce faisant, il nous invite à repenser de nombreux aspects de la création dans l’histoire artistique européenne.