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Religious Neoliberalism and the Politics of Welfare in the United States
Experimental Statecraft at the Thresholds of Neoliberalism
We inhabit a perpetually accelerating and increasingly interconnected world, with new ideas, fads, and fashions moving at social-media speed. New policy ideas, especially “ideas that work,” are now able to find not only a worldwide audience but also transnational salience in remarkably short order.
Fast Policy is the first systematic treatment of this phenomenon, one that compares processes of policy development across two rapidly moving fields that emerged in the Global South and have quickly been adopted worldwide⎯conditional cash transfers (a social policy program that conditions payments on behavioral compliance) and participatory budgeting (a form of citizen-centric urban governance). Jamie Peck and Nik Theodore critically analyze the growing transnational connectivity between policymaking arenas and modes of policy development, assessing the implications of these developments for contemporary policymaking. Emphasizing that policy models do not simply travel intact from sites of invention to sites of emulation, they problematize fast policy as a phenomenon that is real and consequential yet prone to misrepresentation.
Based on fieldwork conducted across six continents and in fifteen countries, Fast Policy is an essential resource in providing an extended theoretical discussion of policy mobility and in presenting a methodology for ethnographic research on global social policy.
Geopolitics and Identity along the Canada–US Border
The Fence and the Bridge is about the development of the Canada–US border-security relationship as an outgrowth of the much lengthier Canada–US relationship. It suggests that this relationship has been both highly reflexive and hegemonic over time, and that such realities are embodied in the metaphorical images and texts that describe the Canada–US border over its history.
Nicol argues that prominent security motifs, such as themes of free trade, illegal immigration, cross-border crime, terrorism, and territorial sovereignty are not new, nor are they limited to the post-9/11 era. They have developed and evolved at different times and become part of a larger quilt, whose patches are stitched together to create a new fabric and design.
Each of the security motifs that now characterize Canada–US border perceptions and relations has a precedent in border-management strategies and border relations in earlier periods. In some cases, these have deep historical roots that date back not just years or decades but centuries. They are part of an evolving North American geopolitical logic that inscribes how borders are perceived, how they function, and what they mean.
Stream Restoration, Neoliberalism, and the Future of Environmental Science
Living Morally and Dying of Cancer in a Chinese Village
Numerous reports of “cancer villages” have appeared in the past decade in both Chinese and Western media, highlighting the downside of China’s economic development. Less generally known is how people experience and understand cancer in areas where there is no agreement on its cause. Who or what do they blame? How do they cope with its onset? Fighting for Breath is the first ethnography to offer a bottom-up account of how rural families strive to make sense of cancer and care for sufferers. It addresses crucial areas of concern such as health, development, morality, and social change in an effort to understand what is at stake in the contemporary Chinese countryside.
Encounters with cancer are instances in which social and moral fault lines may become visible. Anna Lora-Wainwright combines powerful narratives and critical engagement with an array of scholarly debates in sociocultural and medical anthropology and in the anthropology of China. The result is a moving exploration of the social inequities endemic to post-1949 China and the enduring rural-urban divide that continues to challenge social justice in the People’s Republic. In-depth case studies present villagers’ “fight for breath” as both a physical and social struggle to reclaim a moral life, ensure family and neighborly support, and critique the state for its uneven welfare provision. Lora-Wainwright depicts their suffering as lived experience, but also as embedded in domestic economies and in the commodification of care that has placed the burden on families and individuals.
Fighting for Breath will be of interest to students, teachers, and researchers in Chinese studies, sociocultural and medical anthropology, human geography, development studies, and the social study of medicine.
The Passionate Politics of Labor Organizing on the Mexican Frontera
The history of the maquiladoras has been punctuated by workers’ organized resistance to abysmal working and living conditions. Over years of involvement in such movements, Rosemary Hennessy was struck by an elusive but significant feature of these struggles: the extent to which organizing is driven by attachments of affection and antagonism, belief, betrayal, and identification.
What precisely is the “affective” dimension of organizing for justice? Are affects and emotions the same? And how can their value be calculated? Fires on the Border takes up these questions of labor and community organizing—its “affect-culture”—on Mexico’s northern border from the early 1970s to the present day. Through these campaigns, Hennessy illuminates the attachments and identifications that motivate people to act on behalf of one another and that bind them to a common cause. The book’s unsettling, even jarring, narratives bring together empirical and ethnographic accounts—of specific campaigns, the untold stories of gay and lesbian organizers, love and utopian longing—in concert with materialist theories of affect and the critical good sense of Mexican organizers.
Teasing out the integration of affect-culture in economic relations and cultural processes, Hennessy provides evidence that sexuality and gender as strong affect attractors are incorporated in the harvesting of surplus labor. At the same time, workers’ testimonies confirm that the capacities for bonding and affective attachment, far from being entirely at the service of capital, are at the very heart of social movements devoted to sustaining life.
Geography of a Revolution
This on-the-ground study of one square mile in Detroit was written in collaboration with neighborhood residents, many of whom were involved with the famous Detroit Geographical Expedition and Institute. Fitzgerald, at its core, is dedicated to understanding global phenomena through the intensive study of a small, local place.
Beginning with an 1816 encounter between the Ojibwa population and the neighborhood’s first surveyor, William Bunge examines the racialized imposition of local landscapes over the course of European American settlement. Historical events are firmly situated in space—a task Bunge accomplishes through liberal use of maps and frequent references to recognizable twentieth-century landmarks.
More than a work of historical geography, Fitzgerald is a political intervention. By 1967 the neighborhood was mostly African American; Black Power was ascendant; and Detroit would experience a major riot. Immersed in the daily life of the area, Bunge encouraged residents to tell their stories and to think about local politics in spatial terms. His desire to undertake a different sort of geography led him to create a work that was nothing like a typical work of social science. The jumble of text, maps, and images makes it a particularly urgent book—a major theoretical contribution to urban geography that is also a startling evocation of street-level Detroit during a turbulent era.
Fossil Traces of Coal-Age Tetrapods
Geologists on Intelligent Design
According to the idea of intelligent design, nature's complexity is the result of deliberate planning by a supernatural creative force. To date, most scientific arguments against this form of creationism have been made by evolutionary biologists. In this volume, a team of earth scientists reveals that the flaws of intelligent design are not limited to the biological sciences. Indeed, the geological sciences offer some of the best refutations of intelligent design arguements. For the Rock Record is dedicated to the proposition that the idea of intelligent design should be of serious concern to everyone. Editors Jill S. Schneiderman and Warren D. Allmon have gathered leading figures from the geological community with a wide range of viewpoints that go to the heart of the debate over what is and is not science. The purveyors of intelligent design theories and its kindred philosophies threaten the scientific literacy that our society needs by confusing faith and the practice of science. This collection offers a much-needed response.