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Security Paradigms and Social Movements

The Changing Nature of Japanese Peace Activism

Akihiro Ogawa


In 2014, Japan’s cabinet approved a significant change to national security policy. Previously barred from using military force, except in cases of self-defence, a constitutional reinterpretation by the cabinet allowed “collective self-defence”—using force to defend itself and its allies. The decision was controversial, considering post-war pacifism is firmly entrenched in Japanese national identity. I analyse how national security has been portrayed in the policymaking process for reinterpreting the Constitution. Meanwhile, since the early 2010s, Japanese society has been rocked by demonstrations opposing this. I explore the rise of a new youth activist movement in response to the proposed legislation. In particular, I argue that new ideologies and strategies appealed to young people in the organising of various protests, focusing on how they interpret the national security discourse and locating these social movements in Japanese post-war peace activism.

Azher Hameed Qamar


The ‘Child’ is a value-laden concept in rural Punjabi society with foremost pronatal values. The woman is primarily responsible for childbearing. Fertility is valued for the social value of the child that raises the status of the woman as woman-being and a mother. It is believed that the child removes the curse of childlessness and sets a woman from social demotion. Infertility or other related issues that cause congruent child mortality are serious and often perceived as Athra, an “evil sickness” to be cured by religious healing. This ethnographic study investigates perceptions of rural Punjabi women about the socially valued child and the fears attached to Athra. This study was conducted in a village in southern Punjab. The study explores the social value of the child, the status of the mother, the ‘unexplained’ nature of Athra, and its contagious effects.

Sharmin Afroz, Rob Cramb and Clemens Grünbühel


We explore the vulnerability to cyclones of different socio-economic groups and their individual and collective responses to cyclone-related disasters through case studies of two villages in southwest coastal Bangladesh. We take a political ecology perspective, drawing on the widely-used Pressure and Release (PAR) Model to structure our analysis of the physical exposure of the villages to cyclone-related hazards; the multilevel processes leading to the vulnerability of different groups within the villages; the differential impacts of two recent cyclones; and subsequent responses undertaken through the actions of individual households, collective action at the village level, and the government-initiated Cyclone Preparedness Program. We conclude that recognising the complexities of vulnerability to multiple, interlinked, recursive hazards is essential to developing better risk reduction strategies for the coastal zone. However, the root causes of vulnerability are embedded in the socio-political structures and processes that determine access to resources and influence in Bangladeshi society.

Nasima M. H. Carrim


There is a dearth of research on how women managers engage in hybrid identity work during their career transitions, and the aim of this study was to fill this gap. Interviews were conducted with 13 Indian women managers in senior and top managerial positions, and the data obtained were analysed using thematic analysis. The narratives indicate that previously disadvantaged groups (Indian women in this case) are caught between subscribing to cultural values and concurrently conforming to organisational norms. Participants’ answers to the question: “Who am I as an Indian female manager?” reveal that during their career ascendency these women engage in a tremendous amount of hybrid identity work and rework related to their self-concept of being an “ideal” Indian female and simultaneously being a “perfect” manager. Nevertheless, in their career transitions to managerial positions, these women are selective in the hybrid identity work they engage in.

Expatriates Go, Let Us Grow

An Analysis of Employment Patterns and Development of a Viable HRD Model of Saudi Arabia

Deepanjana Varshney


The employment situation in Saudi Arabia and the dynamics of the labor market are the results of a series of decisions to grow the economy fast after the discovery of oil. Since the locals were not equipped and prepared with the required knowledge and expertise, to build up the nascent economy at rapid speed during that phase, there was a massive inflow of expatriates. The current research highlights the changing labor market in Saudi Arabia, unemployment among locals, remedial policies framed by the government, their drawbacks, and effect on the overall economy. The key antecedents are the preference of Saudi youth for the Public sector, unemployment, the role of the Education System, the private sector, the Nitaqat (job localization) system and expatriate factor. Finally, I propose a viable human capital development model that suggests a collaborative role for expatriates and employability enhancement programs for sustainable economic and social development.