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Editors: Boris Barth and Rolf Hobson
Author: Yousra Abourabi
Depuis l’avènement du règne de Mohammed VI en 1999, le Maroc déploie une politique étrangère continentale. Le Royaume ambitionne d’être reconnu comme une puissance africaine émergente dans son identité comme dans son espace de projection. Afin de satisfaire ces ambitions l’appareil diplomatique se développe et se modernise, tandis qu’une identité de rôle singulière émerge autour de la notion de « juste milieu », soutenue par un cadre de légitimation discursif ainsi que par la conduite d’une « stratégie indirecte ». Cette étude présente, sur le plan empirique, les conditions de l’élaboration et de la conduite de cette politique africaine, et analyse, sur le plan théorique, l’évolution de l’identité de la puissance marocaine au regard de cette politique africaine.

Since Mohammed VI's accession to the throne in 1999, Morocco has pursued a continental foreign policy. The Kingdom aspires to be recognized as an emerging African power both in its identity and in its space of projection. In order to satisfy these ambitions, the diplomatic apparatus is developing and modernising, while a singular role identity is emerging around the notion of the "golden mean", supported by a system of discursive legitimisation as well as by the conduct of an "indirect strategy". This study presents, on an empirical level, the conditions of the elaboration and conduct of this African policy, and analyses, on a theoretical level, the evolution of the identity of the Moroccan power with regard to this African policy.
Editors: Anthony Axon and Susan Hewitt
The fourth in a new series, the Contemporary Archive of the Islamic World (CAIW), this title draws on the resources of Cambridge-based World of Information, which since 1975 has followed the politics and economics of the region. Qatar’s documented history begins in the mid-19th Century. Its location established it as having close, if differing links to Bahrain, Kuwait and Saudi Arabia.

Notionally under Ottoman rule, Qatar did not become a de facto protectorate of Great Britain until some time after the end of the Ottoman empire. The discovery of oil in Qatar happened later than was the case with its neighbours. However, the discovery of substantial oil deposits, and later of enormous gas reserves changed Qatar beyond recognition, allowing it to claim in the 1980s that its inhabitants were the richest people on earth. Still a semi-feudal monarchy, it gained full independence in 1971 but was initially considered to be the least developed state in the Gulf. By the 21st century many close neighbours felt that in a number of respects Qatar was becoming an unreliable partner. To the extent that in 2017 a number of its fellow Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) members, as well as other states – notably Egypt - broke off diplomatic relations.

The circumstances in which Shostakovich’s 13th symphony was composed must be a wake-up call and a source of inspiration for anthropologists today, at a time when nationalism in various forms is reasserting itself: internationalism should remain our horizon. As neoliberalism is unfolding all its illiberal potential, the freedom to choose one’s research subjects and to carry out field surveys must be actively defended. Authoritarian populism has exacerbated all identity claims and spread turmoil within the academy itself. Fear now fuels identity prejudices, censorship and self-censorship. We must confront this new fear collectively, prevent people from becoming trapped in a narrow vision and thus promote dialogue and the open exchange of ideas. The rise of the question of identity as a threat is a serious challenge for anthropologists and we must all focus on our various minoritized experiences to address this issue and to strengthen democratic pluralism, because becoming minor(itarian) is the best way to defeat populism. Anthropologists must all assume their subjectivities and release their creative potential to produce critical estrangement and confront all forms of conformism here and elsewhere.

In: Political Anthropological Research on International Social Sciences (PARISS)

Through a critical engagement with substantive and stylistic guidelines dictated by dominant journals in the social sciences, this article enquires on what it means to write like a social scientist in the twenty-first century. Academic production and diffusion now regularly take place beyond and across national borders, with English often standing in as the lingua franca of these global exchanges. Though just one effect of this restructuration, academic journals have become more transnational in scope with regards to the authors whose work they publish and the audiences whose readership they seek to attract. However, while one could expect the “globalization” of the social sciences to lead to the transnational circulation of national disciplinary traditions and perhaps multiple manifestations of cultural hybridization, we are instead witnessing the imposition of a strangely singular and harmonized mode of doing the social sciences. Paradoxically, standards of how long a scientific article should be or how one should fashion an argument are so familiar and intimately known, yet curiously opaque and of unknown origins. In interrogating the historical-contextual origins of conventions that so strongly shape the world of academic publishing and, dare we say, reasoning, we raise questions about the conditions of the present and the naturalization of standards on how to write a scientific article. As a consequence of this exploration, we propose alternatives guidelines that a new journal such as ours has to present to its anticipated authors and readers.

In: Political Anthropological Research on International Social Sciences (PARISS)
Author: Anna Leander

This article is an argument about why it is worth taking the trouble to work with feminist, new materialist approaches inspired by Haraway, Mol, Stengers and others, when studying IR questions. It introduces and exemplifies one specific analytical strategy for doing so, namely one of “composing collaborationist collages”, focusing first on the main building blocks of the approach and then on the (dis-)advantages of working with it. In terms of the building blocks, I underline that composing makes it possible to join the heterogeneous and unlikely, that collaging accentuates the scope for playing with heterogeneity and that collaborating is a necessary part of this process as a well as a helpful check on one’s positionality. I then proceed by focusing on the (dis-)advantages of composing collaborationist collages, making the arguments that this research strategy directs attention to (dis-)connections and to the temporal politics of emergence. It also requires a willingness to face the uncertainties associated with creative academic work. The article introduces composing collaborationist collages as a research strategy. It does so working with material from feminist new materialism, practice theories, the exhibition War Games featuring installations by Hito Steyerl and Martha Rosler and my own work on the politics of commercial security.

In: Political Anthropological Research on International Social Sciences (PARISS)

Alarmist reactions to an ostensible “migrant” or “refugee crisis” in Europe have inadvertently lent an unprecedented prominence to the veritable and undeniable autonomy of (transnational, cross-border) migrant and refugee mobilities, replete with their heterogeneity of insistent, disobedient, and incorrigible practices of appropriating mobility and making claims to space. Between an asylum system predicated upon suspicion and a border regime ever increasingly dedicated to intensifying the purview of detention and deportation, on the one hand, and the increasing virulence of anti-immigrant racist populist movements, on the other, Europe—rather than a space of refuge or freedom—has become a space of rejection for most migrants and refugees. This dialectic of autonomous human mobilities and the forces arrayed to alternately govern, discipline, punish, and repel them render Europe a convulsive space, a space of convulsions.

In: Political Anthropological Research on International Social Sciences (PARISS)