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Article

Addis Ababa  

Getahun Benti

Addis Ababa was founded as a military garrison in 1887 by the Amhara king and later Emperor Menilek II of Ethiopia. Its foundation was the result of a long historical process in which Christian Ethiopia (then known as Abyssinia) expanded southward, culminating in large-scale conquest and the creation of the largest empire in the region in the last decade of the 19th century. Located at the center of Menilek’s empire, Addis Ababa quickly grew into a vibrant political, economic, and administrative center. Its closeness to the resources of the conquered regions, the diplomatic recognition the country earned after the Battle of Adwa in 1896, and the city’s connection to the sea by railway in 1917 turned Addis Ababa into the largest city in the Horn of Africa. Addis Ababa brought people of different ethnic groups together, the Amhara as conquerors and the rest as subjects of that conquest. Having removed the Indigenous Oromo people, Menilek allotted their land to his fellow-Amhara followers, who created segregated settlements, which the Italians dismantled during their occupation, 1936–1941. The Italians conducted the first project of modern urban planning and erected new buildings, built new roads, created separate urban quarters, and changed the physical structure of the city. The city grew beyond its capacity, and subsequent postwar plans (1956, 1986, and 2014), which attempted to strictly control the city’s growth, were of little effect in this regard. Addis Ababa continued to be where all national activities and services—economic, social, administrative, health, educational—were concentrated, which led to inward migration. Several international organizations and agencies, including the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa, opened their headquarters in Addis Ababa, which enhanced the city’s status. As a result of all these historical developments, Ethiopians have mixed feelings about Addis Ababa; some see it as a symbol of victory and power, others as a symbol of subjugation and deprivation, while yet others see it as a symbol of modernity and as a melting pot.

Article

A History of Institutional Meteorology in the Philippines, 1865–1972  

Kerby C. Alvarez

Meteorology, as a science that has colonial roots, was cleverly devised to advance and increase the capabilities of colonies to be more beneficial for the state and the public. Its character as a public science was a by-product of a profusion of necessities—commercial demands , disaster mitigation mechanism, and scholarly pursuits. The Philippine experience in the development of meteorology is reflected in the institutional progress of the Observatorio Meteorológico de Manila (OMM) and the Philippine Weather Bureau (PWB). Originating as an atmospheric observation facility of the Jesuit professors at a burgeoning secondary school in Manila in 1865, it was absorbed and expanded by various state regimes in the Philippines for governmental programs and activities. The OMM’s and PWB’s scientific activities offered a form of public engagement and service under the pretext of various state projects instigated by the Spanish, American, and Japanese regimes, as well as the postwar-era Filipino governments. Essentially, these regimes used meteorological science to harness the benefits of modern weather forecasting to serve imperial programs in various fields—from trade, shipping, and agriculture to civilizational and war efforts. In congruence with the period of birth and formation of the Philippine nation, the institutional development of meteorological science accorded further intricacies to an already convoluted national narrative. The project of a state bureaucracy with proactive Filipino presence and participation coincided with the development of meteorology as a primordial agent of scientific development.

Article

Amazigh Cultural Movement and Media in Morocco  

Abdelmalek El Kadoussi, Bouziane Zaid, and Mohammed Ibahrine

The Amazigh, ethnographically known as the local inhabitants of North Africa, constitute more than half of the Moroccan population. As of 2023, the Amazigh question is a pending contention spot in the current political and public debate. The Amazigh’s contribution is evident in the Moroccan premodern political history (11th–17th century), the protectorate period (1912–1956), and the post-independence nation-building period (1956–1975). However, after independence, the linguistic, cultural, and ideological choices of modern Moroccan national identity did not include the Amazigh, since their cultural recognition and visibility remained marginal. Constitutions prior to 2011 denied local and Indigenous languages and prohibited ethnicity-oriented political parties with very few exceptions. Cultural marginalization, underrepresentation, and misrepresentation were far more evident in Moroccan media, especially the government-owned ones. From its inception, the Amazigh cultural movement (ACM) has militated for both communicative and socioeconomic rights. ACM activists were aware of the importance of Amazigh languages for the construction, consolidation, celebration, and reimagining of the Amazigh collective identity. They were also aware of the centrality of mass media for Indigenous identity politics and cultural representation, articulation, and diffusion. Drawing on secondary and case study data analysis, quantitative and qualitative indicators testify to Amazigh underrepresentation and misrepresentation in Moroccan public media. They show, for example, that Amazigh broadcast outlets’ poor content quality and amateurish diffusion styles tend to be a disservice rather than a service for indigenous communities and culture. However, the advent of the internet and digital platforms offered Indigenous cultural activists convenient spaces and effective venues for revitalizing cultural identity politics. Techno-savvy Amazigh youths managed to do in a few years what their ascendants failed to do in many decades: join efforts of home-based and diaspora activism; gather established scholars, academics, artists, and advocacy groups to address that question from different perspectives by engaging in multidirectional digital activism; build a multilayered virtual community that transcends geographical borders; and, most importantly, firmly address the political authorities and hold them to account.

Article

Analyzing Change in IR Theory  

Charlotta Friedner Parrat

Change is often taken for granted and treated as commonsensical in international relations (IR) theory, but this treatment of change obscures the fundamentally different roles that scholars’ understandings of change play. Making the underlying ontological views of history as determined- or contingent-explicit and addressing their interaction with pessimistic or optimistic normative outlooks, four ideal-typical conceptualizations of change can be distinguished: one in which change is cyclical, one in which it is progressive, one in which it is unpredictable, and one where it is malleable. Understanding which one is being employed in any given analysis will enhance comprehension both beyond and across theoretical fault lines. The cyclical conception of change, at the interception of a determinist view of history and normative pessimism, is the archetypical realist position, which emphasizes continuity and reproduction rather than change. The progressive conception, combining determinist history with normative optimism, is the widespread idea of change as improvement, commonly drawn on in idealism, liberalism, and some forms of constructivism. The conception of change as unpredictable, squaring a pessimistic normative outlook with a contingent view of history, is an idea of change as random, irregular, and omnipresent. This view often underlies poststructuralism, feminism, and postcolonial perspectives. Finally, the combination of a contingent view of history with an optimistic normative outlook leads to a conception of change as malleable, where change is something that can be influenced, and the world can be bettered if enough people put their minds to it. This view is typical for historical sociology and large parts of the English school.

Article

Ancient Egypt and Southwest Asia  

Jana Mynářová

Relations between ancient Egypt and the neighboring regions of Southwest Asia, which began to form already in prehistoric and early historic times, underwent a significant development consisting of a series of booms and declines before reaching the Iron Age (c. 1150–586 bc). The geographic conditions stand out as a crucial element in this formation process, as these enabled the essential communication between the respective cultural and political entities. In these historical periods, the relations were realized on several bases, and the presence of Egyptians in the regions of the Levant, as well as “foreigners” in Egypt, is well attested both by means of archaeological and textual evidence.

Article

Arab Wests: Maghrib, Europe and the Americas in the Modern Literary Imagination  

Ahmed Idrissi Alami

“Arab Wests” is defined by long and complex processes of mobility, cultural exchanges, and imperial encounters in the Western Mediterranean and across the Atlantic in the early modern period. Two novels, Granada: A Trilogy (1994) by Radwa Ashour and The Moor’s Account by Laila Lalami (2014), reimagine Arab culture in early modern literary imagination across multiple geographies in the Western Mediterranean and the New World. The two narratives reflect significant aspects of the importance of the late 15th to early 16th centuries to the development of Arab culture in the early modern world—a historically unique time that coincides with advancing global capitalism and its constitutive relations and derivative effects such as slavery, dispossession, conquest, and territorial expansion in North Africa and the Spanish conquest of the New World. This period saw major transformations in trade routes, shifting the center of exchange to the transatlantic sphere and making Iberia an important hub for launching early modern global capitalism. All these new shifts in politics and material economies indicate that the center of action, previously located farther east, would soon be displaced to the Ibero-Maghreb and the Atlantic. Within this purview, the analytical trope of “Arab Wests” offers a site to reimagine the Western Mediterranean cultures and polities as interactive gravitational coordinates in the rapidly changing power balance in the early modern age. The Arab communities and cultures of the regions of al-Maghrib and al-Andalus have been configured and represented in these two novels in relation to each other as well as through their connections to the New World in the early modern period. Given that the history of Spain is intricately connected to and dependent on that of the Arab Muslims in Iberia, the so-called Moors, these narratives highlight the continuities and iterations of the colonial politics of conquest, exile, and dispossession between the three geographical locations of al-Maghrib, al-Andalus, and the New World. They also challenge the narrow view and understanding of early modern Atlantic world history and its Eurocentric models of analysis and interpretation. The interconnected model of early modern history demonstrates how Arab Muslim cultural history in the Western Mediterranean is not only relevant to understanding the major socio-cultural and political transformations in North Africa and Iberia at that time but is also an integral and significant player in imagining and rewriting the “frontier” and the account of the emerging global Atlantic history in which Africa, Europe, and the Americas are linked through diverse forms of exchanges as well as conflicts. Ashour’s and Lalami’s texts, which draw on a rich and diverse repertoire of Arabic conventions of writing and storytelling, put “Arab West” historical fiction within a transatlantic network of narratives through their rhetorical content and textual dynamics, which also resonate with 21st-century issues such as racial identity politics, global Arab diasporic identity, and transnational forms of belonging. Despite the historical remoteness of the context of these fictions, the narratives are animated by an immediacy that corresponds and speaks to our modern sensibilities, especially the global realities that emerged post-9/11, the increasing awareness of systemic racism, and the call for more engaging and rigorous revisionist readings of imperial histories as well as more ethical representations of our interconnected past legacies.

Article

Archaeologists and Community Collaboration  

Krysta Ryzewski

Collaborative archaeology is a practice of partnership, stewardship, and accountability involving professional archaeologists and community stakeholders who share interests in a project’s objectives and outcomes. Community stakeholders may include familial descendants, local residents, civic officials, nonprofit organizations, tribal representatives, government agencies, commercial developers, business owners, the media, students, professionals from other fields (e.g., historic preservationists, architects, environmental scientists), and any other individuals or groups who have a vested interest in the sites that archaeologists investigate and interpret. Collaborative partnerships between archaeologists and communities take many forms, from one-time consultations to long-term initiatives that involve stakeholders in all aspects of project design, data recovery, and outcomes. In the early 21st century, collaborative archaeology projects have become increasingly oriented toward political action, ethical practice, restorative justice, community welfare, and engaging social issues that extend beyond the traditional disciplinary scope of archaeology. The sheer variety of community-involved archaeology projects and their culturally specific variations across the world are impossible to convey in a single summary. Therefore, this discussion focuses on the politically engaged and action-oriented perspectives of community archaeology projects and their processes, drawing primarily from North American examples.

Article

Argumentation and Rhetoric  

John Kephart III

The study of argumentation is inherently interdisciplinary. Broad in scope, argumentation theory generally refers to descriptive and normative attempts to understand the products and processes of disagreement and the attempts by participants in argumentative discourse to make their standpoint prevail. Rhetoric, informal logic, pragma-dialectics, and other approaches to argumentation theory describe specific theoretical approaches to the study of argument. While there is some difference of opinion as to whether the focus should be on the arguments themselves, the process of their exchange, the procedure for making and evaluating arguments, or some combination of the three, as well as over what constitutes normatively good arguments or even what counts as an argument in the first place, the range of theories that fall under “argumentation” are motivated to understand what happens when differences of opinion come into conflict with one another. Rhetorical approaches initially focused on the role of argument in contingent situations where a rhetor appeals to an audience to change a behavior or belief, adopt a policy, or reason to consensus in a disagreement. Later developments critiqued the idea that all argument assumes an attempt at reasonable resolution obscures the value in dissensus and ignores that some arguments are advanced for the purpose of demonstrating support for a cause or political faction, to undermine an opponent’s position, or to frame the terms of a debate for one’s own advantage. While this may not be ethical or “productive” argumentation, rhetorical scholars consider such tactics important to understanding the rhetorical strategies of a speaker wishing to persuade an audience. Development of rhetorical argumentation saw: criticisms of science and academic inquiry as rhetorical; the importance of controversy in generating dissensus in challenging the norms of public deliberation; approaches to nondiscursive arguments such as visual, sound, spatial, and embodied argument; and the ways that postmodern, critical, feminist, and race-conscious theories’ challenges to epistemology and ontology refigured considerations of arguer/rhetor, text, persuasion, and audience. Four areas of development for the field are: carrying elements of argument into nondiscursive forms such as aesthetics and affect, digital media (including the role of technological infrastructure on argument), argument designed to evade consensus and reasonability, and further developments in cross-cultural perspectives in argument.

Article

Art and Peacebuilding  

Berit Bliesemann de Guevara and Lydia C. Cole

While the arts can be observed to play a role in both violence and peacemaking, they are often assumed to make positive contributions to postwar peacebuilding processes and have increasingly become attached to ideas of “positive peace” in different key (sub-)disciplines that contribute to the field of “art and peacebuilding” scholarship. Art forms that have been linked with peacebuilding include animation, curating and exhibiting, dance, drawing and painting, filmmaking, music, photography, poetry and fiction, sculpture, sound art, storytelling, street art, textile-making, and theater and performance, among others. The most common uses and potentials of art in and for peacebuilding concern artistic forms as peacebuilding tools; the power of peace aesthetics in changing sociopolitical imaginaries; and the community-building potentials of the arts. Research increasingly suggests that the particular value of the arts with regard to peacebuilding may lie in their capacity to bear and hold within them tensions, struggles, and differences, and thereby to contribute not to an idealized “harmonious” but a more real-type agonistic peace. There are, however, also important limits and challenges of art in and for peacebuilding, such as the risk of political and epistemic closure when arts are instrumentalized for predefined ends, questions of hierarchies regarding different artistic forms, and ethical questions arising from relationships involving large power differentials. These limits and challenges need to be addressed for the arts’ positive contribution to peacebuilding processes to unfold.

Article

Asaga, Fusa  

Yomei Nakatani

Fusa Asaga (1894–1986) was a hospital social work pioneer in Japan. After finishing an MSW program in the United States, she returned to Japan and worked as a social worker in a hospital in Tokyo city. After World War II, she served as an officer of the Japanese government to develop a new child welfare system. She then took a teaching job as a social work professor. She also had been engaged in a variety of social action such as Japanese women’s suffrage and opposition to nuclear testing throughout her life.