This issue, our fourth issue of pariss, marks a turning point in the short life of the journal and an opportunity to take stock. The launch of the journal back in summer 2020 happened to coincide with an exceptional interruption in the normal functioning of work, education, and movement across borders. Though it was of course not our intention to launch a new publication at the start of a global pandemic, setting pariss in motion during this time undoubtedly shaped the contours of the journal. Bringing to the forefront the continuities between the exercise of emergency
In this paper I complicate the boundaries of fieldwork by grappling with my academic and personal investment in the histories of conflict in Northern Ireland. Counter to rationalist assumptions that envision fieldwork as an accumulative acquiring of knowingness, it is often through affective mechanisms that we begin to sense the constellations of longings, emotions and lived experiences that endure through conflict. Aesthetic narratives such as novels are a powerful medium that can activate such sensibility. Thinking with feminist and other critical ir interventions, I reflect on sensing the unbearable lightness of the Troubles through a reading of the novel Milkman by Anna Burns. I propose reading as a fieldwork practice that, by dabbling with affect and disrupting neat boundaries between the field, the data and the analysis, can disclose alternative ways of knowing, allowing us to (momentarily) become more fluent in the everyday affective grammar of/in conflict.
The Global War on Terror has killed or harmed far more innocent people than “terrorism” over the last twenty years. This observation has led some critical scholars to reverse the mainstream question on political violence. Instead of asking how and why some people become “terrorists”, they analyse how the violence of the Global War on Terror has been produced and reproduced. This article contributes to this critical scholarship by investigating two cases: first, the “enhanced interrogation” policy implemented by the Bush administration and, second, French aerial bombings in Afghanistan and Mali. Despite their numerous differences, these warlike counter-”terrorist” practices have one thing in common: their partisans and operatives tend to fetishize the question of intentionality. They claim that counter-”terrorism” remains more moral than “terrorism”—regardless of the aforementioned death toll—because counter-”terrorist” forces do not specifically intend to kill or harm innocent people. I analyse this claim as a “frame of war” in Judith Butler’s sense - i.e. as a regime of knowledge which normalizes a particular violence -, and I document its social construction.
Scholarship has often compartmentalised issues associated with injustice, political violence, and past wrongdoings. To contextualise questions of political change and justice across time and space, we introduce a dynamic, layered and transversal understanding of these processes. Drawing on Inés Valdez’s notion of “justice as a political craft,” we explore situated struggles for change and justice. Coping with injustice is contingent on context-specific conceptual and practical understandings of justice and grounded in particular experiences. Drawing on symbolic sites—the Uprising, the Audience, the Body, the Affect, the Island, and the Map—we highlight a variety of struggles against past, present and future injustices. Struggles for political change arise out of expanding, sometimes exploding, transitional justice knowledge(s). Claims to (in)justice are being made and received in different physical and symbolic sites. We lay out a framework of justicecraft to capture these intricacies, drawing on different conceptual lenses and empirical illustrations.
Based on the sketches of the ethnographic fieldwork I undertook in Lebanon and Jordan in 2018–2019, this article hopes to shed light on the ethical questions about earning and spending involved in between the institutional field and the field site. It traverses from the “dance” of hospitality in which multiple social expectations are in action and require constant negotiation, to the talks of money in which the research relationship and its “give and take” dynamic and inequality stand out among the multiple social relations and entangled expectations. Essentially, the article examines the performance I made in the research relationship in order to meet the multiple, and at times conflicting, expectations produced in both the “field” and our academic “field”.
This article demonstrates how digital diplomacy strategy has been devised, developed, and executed in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation in Spain. Since 1995, digital initiatives have taken place without a joint plan of action, but as a result of individual impulses. Until 2008, public diplomacy is developed without a model, planning, or evaluation. However, the global financial crisis has accelerated interest in this issue. The first steps were taken to face the reputation crisis and the bases of action were established. Since 2012, the digital response has been systematized through the communication of diplomatic missions. The Spanish model has evolved toward consular services and issues of language and culture, showing a case study of digital transformation in the field of public administration.
Renaissance diplomatic relationships between sovereigns can often be understood vis-à-vis the gifting of portraiture. Such presentations enacted exchanges of an essential part of the individual portrayed – their presence. Hence, portraiture as a diplomatic gift served as an exchanged acknowledgement between rulers of their respective political authority. Using this mode of political messaging, Cosimo I de’ Medici (r. 1537–74) sought to bolster his reign by commissioning a portrait series of historical and contemporary, Mediterranean-wide potentates. When installed alongside maps and globes of the known terrestrial and celestial universe within the Guardaroba nuova, the painted effigies dissimulated multi-generational Medici involvement in international diplomacy because displaying the portraits en masse suggested that Cosimo and his predecessors had continuously received the paintings as diplomatic gifts, and thus recognition as masters of Florence.
This article examines the state-private network binding cultural diplomatic institutions, East Coast establishment elites and US psychological operations against Soviet Russia in early Cold War (1945–60) Syria. It outlines the role of the State Department, the United States Information Agency (usia), and the short-lived Psychological Strategy Board (psb)’s efforts to coordinate a coherent US psychological strategy to influence Syria’s elites and to make connected constituents of them via the “long-established instruments” of the state-private network. Among these instruments were the Near East Foundation (nef), the Franklin Books Program, and the Committee of Correspondence (CoC). A key argument of this article is that the “Eisenhower escalation” of the Cold War, which culminated in the 1957 attempted coup in Syria, was not a radical departure that ruined the previous “century of friendship” between Syria and the US. Instead, it was a risky and frustrated gamble seeking to reverse the pre-existing loss of US influence.
This article presents anti-communism as a flexible, chameleon-like phenomenon that took on various guises in different countries, depending on their specific domestic circumstances. Historical scholarship remembers both the Netherlands and the United States as strongly anti-communist. However, in the 1950s Dutch officials contrasted their own supposedly sober-minded approach to communism with what they regarded as emotional responses to communism in America. Based on the private correspondence of Dutch ambassador in Washington, Herman van Roijen, and his interactions with The Hague, it is argued that the Red Scare in the United States (1947–54) unsettled Dutch policymakers and diplomats. The initial phase of the transatlantic alliance was complicated by disagreements between allies about geostrategy and budgetary questions, but also by anti-communism, which revealed a deep cultural divide between Europe and the United States and tested allied relations from the outset.