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Strategic Social Policies and Political Protests in Post-Communist Democracies
Despite dramatic increases in poverty, unemployment, and social inequalities, the Central and Eastern European transitions from communism to market democracy in the 1990s have been remarkably peaceful. This book proposes a new explanation for this unexpected political quiescence. It shows how reforming governments in Poland, Hungary and the Czech Republic have been able to prevent massive waves of strikes and protests by the strategic use of welfare state programs such as pensions and unemployment benefits. Divide and Pacify explains how social policies were used to prevent massive job losses with softening labor market policies, or to split up highly aggrieved groups of workers in precarious jobs by sending some of them onto unemployment benefits and many others onto early retirement and disability pensions. From a narrow economic viewpoint, these policies often appeared to be immensely costly or irresponsibly populist. Yet a more inclusive social-scientific perspective can shed new light on these seemingly irrational policies by pointing to deeper political motives and wider sociological consequences.
An Integrative History of Poverty Policy, Social Reform, and Social Policy in Hungary under the Habsburg Monarchy
A concise and comprehensive account of the transformation of social policy from traditional poor relief towards social insurance systems in a European state before World War One. Brings together the analysis of older, mostly local welfare policies with the history of social policy developed by the state and operated at a national level. Explores also the interaction of various layers of and actors in welfare policy, i.e. of poor relief, social reform policies and the unfolding welfare state over time, including often neglected elements of these policies such as e.g. protective policies at the work place, housing policy, child protection, and prostitution policies.
Visions, Religious Images and Photographs
This study addresses the relation of people to divine beings in contemporary and historical communities, as exemplified in three strands. One is a long tradition of visions of mysterious wayfarers in rural Spain who bring otherworldly news and help, including recent examples. Another treats the seeming vivification of religious images—statues, paintings, engravings, and photographs apparently exuding blood, sweat and tears in Spanish homes and churches in the early modern period and the revival of the phenomenon throughout Europe in the twentieth century. Of special interest is the third strand of the book: the transposition of medieval and early modern representations of the relations between humans and the divine into the modern art of photography. Christian presents a pictorial examination of the phenomenon with a large number of religious images, commercial postcards and family photographs from the first half of past century Europe.
Mass Crime, Denial, and Collective Responsibility
The subject of the book is responsibility for collective crime. Collective crime is an act committed by a significant number of the members of a group, in the name of all members of that group, with the support of the majority of group members, and against individuals targeted on the basis of their belonging to a different group. The central claim is that all members of the group in whose name collective crime is committed share responsibility for it. This book’s special interest is with analytical and normative defense of arguments that purport to explain reasons for, and the character of, responsibility of decent people. Those who did not intend, support, or committed wrong, are still accountable in a non-vicarious manner. The basis of their responsibility is the crime-specific relationship between group identity and personal identity.
In the Middles Ages, the edges of one’s world could represent different meanings. On the one hand, they might have been situated in far-away regions, mainly in the east and north, that one most often only knew from hearsay and which were inhabited by strange beings: humans with their faces on their chest, without a mouth, or with dog heads. On the other hand, the edges of one’s world could just mean the borders of the community where one lived and that one sometimes might not have had the possibility to cross during one’s whole life. In this volume specialists from eight European countries offer their ideas about different edges of the medieval world and contribute to a discussion that has been increasing greatly in Medieval Studies in recent times.
The Meaning of Mary in Medieval Religious Cultures
In Emotion and Devotion Miri Rubin explores the craft of the historian through a series of studies of medieval religious cultures. In three original chapters she approaches the medieval figure of the Virgin Mary with the aim of unravelling meaning and experience. Hymns and miracle tales, altarpieces and sermons – a wide range of sources from many European regions – are made to reveal the creativity and richness which they elicited in medieval people, women and men, clergy and laity, people of status and riches as well as those of modest means.
Coming to terms with emotions and how they influence human behaviour, seems to be of the utmost importance to societies that are obsessed with everything “neuro.” On the other hand, emotions have become an object of constant individual and social manipulation since “emotional intelligence” emerged as a buzzword of our times. Reflecting on this burgeoning interest in human emotions makes one think of how this interest developed and what fuelled it. From a historian’s point of view, it can be traced back to classical antiquity. But it has undergone shifts and changes which can in turn shed light on social concepts of the self and its relation to other human beings (and nature). The volume focuses on the historicity of emotions and explores the processes that brought them to the fore of public interest and debate.
Creating Ethnographic Knowledge in Imperial Russia and the USSR
Ethnographers helped to perceive, to understand and also to shape imperial as well as Soviet Russia’s cultural diversity. This volume focuses on the contexts in which ethnographic knowledge was created. Usually, ethnographic findings were superseded by imperial discourse: Defining regions, connecting them with ethnic origins and conceiving national entities necessarily implied the mapping of political and historical hierarchies. But beyond these spatial conceptualizations the essays particularly address the specific conditions in which ethnographic knowledge appeared and changed. On the one hand, they turn to the several fields into which ethnographic knowledge poured and materialized, i.e., history, historiography, anthropology or ideology. On the other, they equally consider the impact of the specific formats, i.e., pictures, maps, atlases, lectures, songs, museums, and exhibitions, on academic as well as non-academic manifestations.
The Revolutions of 1989 and the Resurgence of History
A fresh interpretation of the contexts, meanings, and consequences of the revolutions of 1989, coupled with state of the art reassessment of the significance and consequences of the events associated with the demise of communist regimes. The book provides an analysis that takes into account the complexities of the Soviet bloc, the events’ impact upon Europe, and their re-interpretation within a larger global context. Departs from static ways of analysis (events and their significance) bringing forth approaches that deal with both pre-1989 developments and the 1989 context itself, while extensively discussing the ways of resituating 1989 in the larger context of the 20th century and of its lessons for the 21st. Emphasizes the possibility for re-thinking and re-visiting the filters and means that scholars use to interpret such turning point. The editors perceive the present project as a challenge to existing readings on the complex set of issues and topics presupposed by a re-evaluation of 1989 as a symbol of the change and transition from authoritarianism to democracy.