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: email@example.com
The Militant-Artists of North Africa and the Struggle for a Pan-African, Postcolonial Future
By Paraska Tolan-Szkilnik
Upon their independence, Moroccan, Algerian, and Tunisian governments turned to the Global South and offered military and financial aid to Black liberation struggles. Tangier and Algiers attracted Black American and Caribbean artists eager to escape American white supremacy; Tunis hosted African filmmakers for the Journées Cinématographiques de Carthage; and young freedom fighters from across the African continent established military training camps in Morocco. North Africa became a haven for militant-artists, and the region reshaped postcolonial cultural discourse through the 1960s and 1970s.
Maghreb Noir dives into the personal and political lives of these militant-artists, who collectively challenged the neo-colonialist structures and the authoritarianism of African states. Drawing on Arabic, Spanish, Portuguese, French, and English sources, as well as interviews with the artists themselves, Paraska Tolan-Szkilnik expands our understanding of Pan-Africanism
geographically, linguistically, and temporally. This network of militant-artists departed from the racial solidarity extolled by many of their nationalist forefathers, instead following in the footsteps of their intellectual mentor, Frantz Fanon. They argued for the creation of a new ideology of continued revolution—one that was transnational, trans-racial, and in defiance of the emerging nation-states. Maghreb Noir establishes the importance of North Africa in nurturing these global connections—and uncovers a lost history of grassroots collaboration among militant-artists from across the globe.
The Routledge International Handbook on Decolonizing Justice
The Routledge International Handbook on Decolonizing Justice focuses on the growing worldwide movement aimed at decolonizing state policies and practices, and various disciplinary knowledge including criminology, social work and law. The collection of original chapters brings together cutting-edge, politically engaged work from a diverse group of writers who take as a starting point an analysis founded in a decolonizing, decolonial and/or Indigenous standpoint. Centering the perspectives of Black, First Nations and other racialized and minoritized peoples, the book makes an internationally significant contribution to the literature.
The chapters include analyses of specific decolonization policies and interventions instigated by communities to enhance jurisdictional self-determination; theoretical approaches to decolonization; the importance of research and research ethics as a key foundation of the decolonization process; crucial contemporary issues including deaths in custody, state crime, reparations, and transitional justice; and critical analysis of key institutions of control, including police, courts, corrections, child protection systems and other forms of carcerality.
The handbook is divided into five sections which reflect the breadth of the decolonizing literature:
• Why decolonization? From the personal to the global
• State terror and violence
• Abolishing the carceral
• Transforming and decolonizing justice
• Disrupting epistemic violence
This book offers a comprehensive and timely resource for activists, students, academics, and those with an interest in Indigenous studies, decolonial and post-colonial studies, criminal legal institutions and criminology. It provides critical commentary and analyses of the major issues for enhancing social justice internationally.
Soldiers of Democracy?
Military Legacies and the Arab Spring
By Dr Sharan Grewal
Why do some militaries support and others thwart transitions to democracy? After the Arab Spring revolutions, why did Egypt's military stage a coup to end the transition? Conversely, why did Tunisia's military initially support the transition, only to later facilitate the elected president's dismantling of democracy?
In Soldiers of Democracy? Military Legacies and the Arab Spring, Sharan Grewal argues that a military's behavior under democracy is shaped by how it had been treated under autocracy. Autocrats who had empowered their militaries produce soldiers who will repress protests and stage coups to preserve their privileges. Meanwhile, autocrats who had marginalized their militaries produce soldiers who support democratization, but who are also more susceptible to incumbent takeovers and civil wars. The dictator's choice to either empower or marginalize the military thus creates legacies that shape both the likelihood of democratization and the forms by which it breaks down.
Drawing on over 140 interviews with civilian and military leaders, and three surveys of military personnel, this scholarly volume illustrates this theory through detailed case studies of Egypt and Tunisia. Grewal also probes the generalizability of the theory through a cross-national analysis of all countries between 1946-2010. Overall, he brings the military front and center to the study of democratic transition and consolidation
Fear makes the soul: constituting whiteness through moral panics in postcolonial Germany
I am greatly indebted to private conversations with two scholars, Banu Karaca and Bilgin Ayata, on dispossession, Whiteness, and Germany’s postcoloniality. These were crucial in formulating the theoretical contributions of this article. Without their work and generosity, this article would not have been possible. Earlier versions of this article were presented at ‘The Personal is Still Political’ conference at MIT, the annual meetings of the German Studies Association and the American Anthropological Association, Gender and Sexuality Workshop at Harvard University, and Bettina Stoetzer’s ‘Race and Migration in Europe’ class at MIT. I am grateful to audiences at these events for their engagement. I would also like to thank Gbemisola Abiola, Jean Comaroff, Hardeep Dhillon, Çiçek İlengiz, Sarah Lewis, Amulya Mandava, George Paul Meiu, Derya Özkaya, Sarah S. Richardson, Bettina Stoetzer, Ajantha Subramanian, Urszula Woźniak, and Shanni Zhao for their comments on different versions of the article. I’m grateful to Fatima Raja for her careful edits. All translations from German are mine.
The Many Enablers of Saied's Dictatorship in Tunisia
It's been two years to the day since Kais Saied unilaterally declared himself Tunisia's absolute ruler. After he sacked the prime minister, froze parliament and granted himself judicial powers, arguments raged—between Tunisian civil society and commentators, trade unionists and politicians—over whether this was a coup and whether Saied was a tyrant. Meanwhile, the army watched on from their tanks, ensuring that no matter the outcome of those debates, parliament would not be reconvening.
Tunisia's amateur autocrat has come a long way since then. Despite telling crowds that he was too old for a new "career as a dictator," Saied has reshaped the Tunisian state and rewritten its constitution according to his whims. The constitutional process was so clumsy, had such poor public engagement, and resulted in a constitution that was so disappointingly dictatorial—after Saied had spent years pontificating on "direct democracy"—that some Tunisians retorted that if only he had just taken his first career as a constitutional law professor more seriously, Tunisia would have been much better for it.
On Censorship And The American Anthropological Association’s Declining Democracy
By Lori Allen and Ajantha Subramanian
The American Anthropological Association (AAA) is awaiting the results of a membership vote on a resolution to boycott Israeli academic institutions submitted in response to a solidarity call from Palestinians. Despite the AAA’s decision to hold the vote in the summer, there has been a robust exchange of views on the resolution. Much of it has happened on the association’s online “Communities” discussion site. What was once just a venue for circulating information about upcoming conferences became a public sphere for “citizens” of the AAA to partake in dialogue and critical debate. This should have been lauded by the AAA’s leadership as a sign of democracy in process. Instead, association leaders have engaged in acts of censorship that contradict their claims to fairness and neutrality. This is behavior unbecoming of an academic association, especially one that espouses a commitment to anti-racism and social justice, and the values of collaboration, dialogue, and transparency.
The Future of AI Is War
Once confined to the realm of science fiction, the concept of supercomputers killing humans has now become a distinct possibility in the very real world of the near future.
A world in which machines governed by artificial intelligence (AI) systematically replace human beings in most business, industrial, and professional functions is horrifying to imagine. After all, as prominent computer scientists have been warning us, AI-governed systems are prone to critical errors and inexplicable “hallucinations,” resulting in potentially catastrophic outcomes. But there’s an even more dangerous scenario imaginable from the proliferation of superintelligent machines: the possibility that those nonhuman entities could end up fighting one another, obliterating all human life in the process.
Calls for Papers
Call for Proposals: 2024 Travel Research Engagement Grants
The Project on Middle East Political Science announces a call for proposals for POMEPS Travel – Research – Engagement (TRE) grants for 2024. Awards of up to $3,000 will be offered to support research travel to the broader Middle East in support of an ongoing academic research project or the development of new research projects. Given the ongoing COVID-19 crisis and the unusual difficulty of conducting research in the region, we will continue to consider proposals for research which does not involve travel to the Middle East. The proposed research should be anytime in 2024, and proposals which do include travel should include a contingency plan in the event that travel is not possible. While there is a preference for junior scholars, defined as pre-tenure, the competition is open to academic political scientists at all career stages. Awards are not restricted to U.S. citizens or residents. Past recipients of TRE grants are eligible to apply, but please be advised that priority will be given to those who have not previously received funding.
Proposals including a CV, a research proposal + budget (2 PAGE MAXIMUM, not including budget) should be submitted via this link by September 30, 2023.
Call for Proposals: Demystifying Decentralization and Federalism
As Lebanon continues to suffer from several compounded crises, a growing debate is gaining traction on possible political solutions to the country's woes and responses to the country's sectarian, clientelist, and corrupt political system. Decentralization and federalism are two political models that have become important topics when discussing political and institutional reform in Lebanon. Inherently linked but varying in their modeling and applications, decentralization and federalism are currently being touted by some as the cure-alls for Lebanon's ills, and staunchly opposed by others.
In order to contribute and bring more awareness to the political debates on decentralization and federalism, Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung (KAS) Lebanon Office Lebanon and the Issam Fares Institute for Public Policy and International Affairs at the American University of Beirut are collaborating on a multi-dimensional research project entitled Demystifying Decentralization and Federalism. This project will be centered on the research and development of two main in-depth research papers: one on decentralization and one on federalism, in addition to other activities such as roundtable discussions and other dissemination activities towards creating a nationwide awareness campaign. Target groups for this particular project include:
- Lebanon scholars and academics across various disciplines (such as political studies, sociology, economics, and policy);
- Lebanese politicians and policymakers, former Ministers, current Members of Parliament, and top-ranking senior officials and advisors; and
- Lebanese civil society organizations, non-governmental organizations, and political groups involved in calls for and the debate on decentralization, federalism and/or policy reform.
II. Call for Proposals
In this call for proposals, the Demystifying Decentralization and Federalism Project Team invites candidates to submit a proposal for the development of the two in-depth research papers. The main objective of these papers is to provide clear definitions of federalism and decentralization and elucidate their potential applications to the Lebanese context. More specifically, in order to contribute to the increasingly growing debates in Lebanon and bring more clarity to political and expert discussions, these papers will:
- Define and analyze the various aspects of each of these models and potential applications for Lebanon;
- Tackle the increasingly heated debates on these topics;
- Define and map out what these models entail; and
- Identify the pros and cons to each.
These papers would provide a timely scholarly perspective to the greater political discussions and policy debates happening in Lebanon on both decentralization and federalism. Such discussions and debates more than often lack a rigorous academic perspective and presentation of data and research analysis, which these papers will provide. Two researchers will be selected to write the two papers accordingly, with each paper approximately 7,000 to 8,000 words in length.
Deadline for the submission of a first draft for review of the paper is September 30, 2023; for the final paper October 14, 2023.
The proposal to be submitted to the Project Teams should include:
1. An updated CV/resume with contact details;
2. A one-page cover letter that specifically indicates which paper the researcher is interested to develop (decentralization OR federalism);
3. A one- to two-page proposal document which includes a proposed outline for the paper and the planned research methodology as well as a timeline for the development of the paper;
4. A list of potential interviewees for the paper; and
5. A proposed budget detailing cost of services rendered.
III. Selection Notification
The selected researchers must begin developing the paper shortly after the Project Team sends a notification of selection by email. Following recruitment of the two researchers, an initialization meeting will be organized to agree on the final outline of the paper and the timeline.
IV. Submission and Evaluation of Proposals
Please submit your proposal by sending an email with all the documents listed above to firstname.lastname@example.org by August 15, 2023. Only selected proposals will be notified.
Visiting Fellowships for researchers with lived experience of displacement
24 July, 2023
The Kaldor Centre for International Refugee Law at UNSW Sydney is currently accepting applications for two Visiting Fellowship positions for researchers with lived experience of displacement who are undertaking research in refugee and forced migration studies. These Fellowship positions are an opportunity to be based at the Kaldor Centre for a period of one to three months and to benefit from knowledge exchange and learning with the Kaldor Centre team, along with researchers from UNSW’s Forced Migration Research Network.
During the course of the Fellowships, the Fellows will be expected to pursue their own program of research and to engage with the Kaldor Centre community. They will actively contribute to the Emerging Scholars Network Annual Workshop on 21-22 November 2023 and the 2023 Kaldor Centre Conference on 20 November 2023 (registration fees for both events will be waived). Fellows will also have an opportunity to contribute to the development of the workshop program.
Fellows will each be eligible for up to $2,000 AUD towards reimbursement of travel and accommodation costs. Organisation of any travel or accommodation is the responsibility of the Fellow. Fellows will also need to be physically present in Sydney for at least the period between 6-24 November 2023. Fellows will be provided with a desk and computer access on campus and access to UNSW Library resources for the duration of the Fellowship.
Please note that this position is not a training course, nor is it applicable for people wishing to apply for a student visa to study on a course. For most of the period, the Fellows will be undertaking independent, self-directed research. Applications are now open on a rolling basis until suitable candidates are identified.
Selective Security in the War on Drugs: An Interview with Alke Jenss
In this video, Executive Producer of the Security in Context podcast Anita Fuentes interviews author Alke Jenss about her new book, "Selective Security and the War on Drugs: The Coloniality of State Power in Columbia and Mexico" (January 2023).
Dr. Alke Jenss is a senior research fellow at the Arnold-Bergstraesser Institute in Freiburg, Germany. Her research is centered at the intersection of critical political economy, state theory, and urban insecurity, with a focus on Latin America, particularly Colombia and Mexico.
Selective Security and the War on Drugs: The Coloniality of State Power in Columbia and Mexico: https://rowman.com/ISBN/9781538151099...
For more please visit www.securityincontext.org or follow us on Twitter @SecurityContext Edited by Nick Bythrow Graphics by Owen Neuburger
Tahrir Podcast - بودكاست التحرير
Tahrir Podcast is the first political podcast to broadcast from Cairo and is among the Middle East's top podcasts.
Tune in to conversations with academics, journalists, activists, and leaders from and on #MENApolitics, #MENAhistory, the #ArabSpring, #Jan25, #GlobalSouthPolitics, and everything in between.
Reach out! TahrirPodcast@gmail.com
Streaming everywhere! https://linktr.ee/TahrirPodcast
Support us on Patreon for as low as $2 per month ($20 a year)! https://www.patreon.com/TahrirPodcast
Single Malt Podcast: Whiskey & International Relations Theory
By Drs. Patrick Thaddeus Jackson & Daniel Nexon
Patrick and Dan work their way through a piece of international-relations scholarship. And drink whiskey.
The Looking Glass and The Politics of Disaster Podcast
The Looking Glass is the premier international relations podcast by The SAIS Review of International Affairs with support from The Foreign Policy Institute. Showcasing fresh, policy-relevant perspectives from professional and student experts, The Looking Glass is dedicated to advancing the debate on leading contemporary issues in world affairs. SAISer Kosi Ogbuli, this cycle's senior editor, won't be the only voice you hear! Join us as we reflect on foreign policy and peer into its future. *The views and opinions expressed in this podcast are the speakers' own, and they do not represent the views or opinions of The SAIS Review of International Affairs, its Editorial Board, or its Advisory Board; the SAIS Foreign Policy Institute; SAIS; or The Johns Hopkins University.*