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Byzantium is more and more recognized as a vibrant culture in dialogue with neighbouring regions, political entities, and peoples. Where better to look for this kind of dynamism than in the interactions between the Byzantines and the Armenians? Warfare and diplomacy are only one part of that story. The more enduring part consists of contact and mutual influence brokered by individuals who were conversant in both cultures and languages. The articles in this volume feature fresh work by younger and established scholars that illustrate the varieties of interaction in the fields of literature, material culture, and religion.
Contributors are: Gert Boersema, Emilio Bonfiglio, Bernard Coulie, Karen Hamada, Robin Meyer, Johannes Preiser-Kapeller, Claudia Rapp, Mark Roosien, Werner Seibt, Emmanuel Van Elverdinghe, Theo Maarten van Lint, Alexandra-Kyriaki Wassiliou-Seibt, and David Zakarian.
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Modernization and conversion to world religions are threatening the survival of traditional belief systems, leaving behind only mysterious traces of their existence. This book, based upon extensive research conducted over a period of nearly four decades, brings scientific rigor to one of the questions that have always attracted human curiosity: that of the origin of the dragon.
The author demonstrates that both dragons and rainbows are cultural universals, that many of the traits that are attributed to dragons in widely separated parts of the planet are also attributed to rainbows, and that the number and antiquity of such shared traits cannot be attributed to chance or common inheritance, but rather to common cognitive pathways by which human psychology has responded to the natural environment in a wide array of cultures around the world.
Volume Editors: and
Contests over heritage in Asia are intensifying and reflect the growing prominence of political and social disputes over historical narratives shaping heritage sites and practices, and the meanings attached to them. These contests emphasize that heritage is a means of narrating the past that demarcates, constitutes, produces, and polices political and social borders in the present. In its spaces, varied intersections of actors, networks, and scales of governance interact, negotiate and compete, resulting in heritage sites that are cut through by borders of memory.

This volume, edited by Edward Boyle and Steven Ivings, and with contributions from scholars across the humanities, history, social sciences, and Asian studies, interrogates how particular actors and narratives make heritage and how borders of memory shape the sites they produce.
Politics of Development and Imaginaries of the Future
Volume Editors: , , and
China, Laos and Vietnam are three of a handful of late socialist countries where capitalist economics rubs up against party-state politics. In these countries, sweeping processes of change open up new vistas of opportunity and imaginaries of the future alongside much uncertainty and anxiety, especially for their large rural populations.

Contributors to this edited volume demonstrate the diverse ways in which rural people build futures in this unique policy landscape and how their aspirations and desires are articulated as projects involving both citizens and the state. This produces a politics of development that happens through and around the state as people navigate discourses of betterment to imagine and make new futures at individual and collective levels.
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Abstract

Gunner Myrdal’s Asian Drama was the first serious and somewhat pessimistic study on the postcolonial development prospects of newly independent Asian countries. Since the world is in the grips of covid-19 pandemic and facing disrupted global supply chains, it is worth reflecting on the Asian Drama and rediscovering some of its insights. The rapid growth of Southeast Asian countries at the beginning of the twenty-first century may have proved Myrdal’s pessimistic outlook wrong, but his concern over the balance between state and market is still valid as it informs countries in the region that they should be more cautious in pursuing their current industrial policies. This is more so when Keynesian foresight is married to Myrdal’s forecast of development and economic growth, the precariousness of Southeast Asia’s development prospects post-pandemic is more pronounced.

In: Bandung
In: Bandung

Abstract

This paper traces the historical origins of the state’s exploitative agricultural market system in Malawi with a case of Agricultural Development and Marketing Corporation (admarc), a post-colonial agriculture marketing board established in 1971. The study analyses how its initial intention of facilitating the transformation of agriculture got thwarted by political interest and structural adjustment and recently globalization processes. The study goes further to explain the changes that had taken place from early colonial era agricultural marketing institutions to the present days of admarc, covering a period from 1926 to 2000. This period has been chosen as present day admarc directly traces its origin to the Native Tobacco Board that was established in 1926. The paper explores how these marketing boards, which were initially created in the colonial era to facilitate the participation of the peasant farmers in organized markets, turned to be instruments of exploitation and vehicles of marginalization of the peasantry. Furthermore, as this paper notes, after the country gained independence, admarc continued to be a post-colonial era instrument for peasant farmers’ systematic oppression through intrinsic taxation that further compromised the development of the peasant farmers. The institution was further used to strengthen agricultural sector dualism in Malawi as the surplus extracted from the peasant smallholder farmers was used to develop the capitalist estates sector.

In: Bandung

Abstract

As a theoretical framework in the Science and Technology Studies (sts) scholarship, the sociotechnical imaginaries approach (sta) has provided a conceptual framework and methodology that not only overcome the deterministic understanding of technological development but also theorized the relationship between society on the one hand, and science and technology on the other. However, as will be pointed out, a limitation of the sta renders it incapable of problematizing what I will call as the technopolitics of specialization, defined as the organization of unequal positions based on the capitalist centers’ control over techno-epistemic networks set against the backdrop of a neocolonial relation. Such an incapacity glosses over the persistence of neocolonialism and dependency especially in the Global South.

This paper aims to reimagine the theoretical framework of the sociotechnical imaginaries by developing a critical review of its approach. The paper will place in dialogue the most recent and relevant conceptual developments of the sta and the dependency theory of Samir Amin. The paper will present how the most relevant literature concerning the sta work on the assumption that every polity has control over existing techno-epistemic networks from which imaginaries are independently defined. The paper will argue that given the notion of international specialization developed by Samir Amin and presupposed today in the sta, the technopolitics of specialization monopolizes control of the techno-epistemic networks thereby constraining the imaginaries of peripheral countries.

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