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Sangeeta Bagga-Gupta and Aprameya Rao

Drawing inspiration from two theoretical framings: a sociocultural perspective on languaging and writings on a decolonial-turn, the study presented in this paper center-stages issues related to the need to engage analytically with, (i) social actions of political parties, citizens, including netizens in Web 2.0 settings, and (ii) alternative epistemologies where issues from the global-South are privileged. A central concern of decolonial linguistics enables asking new questions that destabilize established Eurocentric models of language. Thus, peripherally framed sociocultural premises contribute to critical social-humanistic perspectives that allow for (potentially) unpacking northern hegemonies and contributing to global-North challenges. Building upon an analytical design, this paper presents cross-disciplinary analysis of languaging in contemporary political mediascapes of the nation-states of India and Sweden. Bringing to bear that language does not only mirror reality, but is also a constitutive culturaltool, the study aims to highlight the contrastive ways in which the dominating political parties and citizens engage with languaging (i.e. the deployment of semiotic resources across language-varieties, modalities, including imagery). The study unpacks similarities and differences in salient issues related to the nature of social media and language and identity-positions in political discourse, highlighting dimensions of the participants voices. Thus, patterns that emerge from the contrastive analysis of political discourses, including the features of social media are highlighted and discussed. Data includes social media pages of two political parties from both the nation-states across a 6-week period at the end of 2017.

Jennifer Carter and Clark Scott Taylor

Abstract

There is a critical need to reduce the surrender rates of companion animals by understanding the socio-economic circumstances of caretakers. This research analyzed questionnaires with 117 relinquishers and 13 interviews. Interviews were conducted with relinquishers and staff at Sunshine Coast Animal Refuge Society and Sunshine Coast Animal Pound. Most companion animals relinquished were from litters and around half were de-sexed and micro-chipped. A caretaker’s living situation was a critical reason for relinquishment. Humans need to understand the time and space needs of companion species, how these might change with time, and the relationality between humans and companion animals. Alongside regulated breeding and accessible sterilization, shelter staff and other organizations might offer more tailored solutions, especially temporary care, during times of socio-economic crisis. Fundamentally, individuals need to critically examine their commitment to caretaking, but solutions are also structural and should be tailored to the underpinning socio-economic geography of different regions.

Md. Jahangir Alam

This paper explores changing land values in the process of rapid urbanization in Dhaka, Bangladesh and its implications for urban land management and administration in the megacity. The study reveals that substantial increase in land values have resulted in land speculation among real estate and individual developers. Land values have increased by an average of 22.26% per year between 1990 and 2000, while the period spanning from 2000 to 2010 saw about 74% of yearly increase in Dhaka. The study revealed that due to increasing land values, prospective real estate developers are tempted to build housing in restricted areas defined by Dhaka metropolitan development plan such as flood zones, lakes, canals, ditch and drainage channels etc. The paper proposes a re-look at the causes of increase in land values and land speculations and the resulting environmental damage pointed out in this study as part of a broad urban land and environmental management strategy in rapidly growing megacities.

Benno van den Toren and Klaas L. Bom

Abstract

This article explores the importance of “action research” and “participatory research” (ar and pr) for intercultural theology. After introducing these research strategies, it provides a theological rationale for their use in intercultural theology: (1) they move beyond false dichotomies between theoretical and practical theology; (2) they understand professional theologians as part of communities of believers; and (3) they allow for intercultural encounters which approach “the other” as partners in research rather than merely objects of research. Using the example of a research project which studies attitudes to the interface between science and Christian faith among African university students and academics, the article considers three crucial issues for the value and use of ar and pr in intercultural theology: (1) the intrinsic motivation of the partners for intercultural research projects, (2) the role of shared visions of change and (3) the question of truth implied in visions of human flourishing.1

Halvard Leira

Summary

This article deals with the duty of care that states hold in relation to their citizens abroad — more specifically, the double role of diplomatic personnel, as both providers and recipients of care. The focus of discussion is states’ duty of care for diplomatic personnel, raising questions of how this care can be balanced with the duty of care for citizens and how far this duty stretches. The article first emphasizes the threats, before focusing on the means of protection: evacuation; physical structures; and psychological care. A tension remains, for as states fulfil their duty of care towards personnel through increasing security, they might at the same time reduce their personnel’s capacity to provide care for citizens. One solution for this tension — outsourcing and local personnel — tests the limits of care.

Nina Græger and Wrenn Yennie Lindgren

Summary

This article analyses the state’s duty of care (DoC) for citizens who fall victim to unforeseen catastrophic or violent events abroad. The DoC highlights the challenges, dynamics and relations involved in diplomatic practice that is aimed at protecting citizens outside of state borders and where traditional security concepts have little relevance. How has a globalized, more insecure world — with shifting relations and responsibilities among states, their subordinates and other carers — affected the provision of DoC? How do governments and private actors act on the DoC during and after crises? To illustrate, the article draws on the terrorist attack at a gas facility in Algeria in 2013 and the nuclear disaster in Japan in 2011, focusing particularly on the Norwegian framework and approach to protecting citizens abroad. In both crises, implementing the DoC required practical skills and measures beyond traditional diplomacy and institutionalized crisis mechanisms.

Kristin Haugevik

Summary

States alternate between the roles of ‘caretaker’ and ‘rescuer’ when providing care to citizens abroad. This article suggests that they are more likely to assume the ‘rescuer’ role when core values underpinning their self-identity are at stake. This dynamic is explored by examining a case where a Norwegian mother re-abducted her two children from Morocco. In the process, Norway’s foreign minister authorized shielding the children at the Norwegian Embassy in Rabat, citing ‘Norway’s duty to protect two Norwegian minors in fear of their lives’. A diplomatic conflict between Norway and Morocco followed. The Norwegian response must be seen in light of Norway’s self-identity as a frontrunner for children’s rights. Ultimately, helping the children ‘had’ to trump concerns about diplomatic costs. The broader dilemmas that this case exemplifies should be relevant also to other cases where a state’s concern for a child citizen is pitted against its obligation to diplomatic conventions.

Eva F. Nisa

Abstract

Social media have become part of the private and public lifestyles of youth globally. Drawing on both online and offline research in Indonesia, this article focuses on the use of Instagram by Indonesian Muslim youth. It analyzes how religious messages uploaded on Instagram through posts and captions have a significant effect on the way in which Indonesian Muslim youth understand their religion and accentuate their (pious) identities and life goals. This article argues that Instagram has recently become the ultimate platform for Indonesian female Muslim youth to educate each other in becoming virtuous Muslims. The creativity and zeal of the creators of Instagram daʿwa (proselytization), and their firm belief that ‘a picture is worth a thousand words’, has positioned them as social media influencers, which in turn has enabled them to conduct both soft daʿwa and lucrative daʿwa through business.

Martin Slama and Bart Barendregt

Abstract

This article introduces the special issue ‘Online Publics in Muslim Southeast Asia: In Between Religious Politics and Popular Pious Practices’ by discussing prominent approaches in the study of media and the public sphere in light of the specific history of digital media’s rise in Muslim Southeast Asia. It focuses on earlier and current expressions of mobile and Islamic modernity as well as on changing moralities and forms of Islamic authority. Referencing the other contributions to this special issue, it particularly emphasizes the (discursive and visual) contestations and social dramas that take place in the region’s media spaces providing for a variety of Islamic forms, practices, and socialities that can best be grasped, the authors argue, by considering politics, the pious, and the popular not as separate, but as mutually constitutive domains.