Heroes play a role in every nation's founding narrative, embodying a group's strength and courage, its dedication to protecting all within its fold, and its most important traditions and promises. Yet hero images and tropes have not received the attention they deserve in the social science literature on nations and nationalism. Recent theories of character work – the rhetorical construction of heroes, villains, victims, and minions – reveal the challenges of building an inclusive nationalism in post-colonial states. We engage the debates over some of Namibia's most prominent and contested heroes through the memorials dedicated to them and the commemorations honoring victims of past struggles. We study the victims that these heroes sought to defend and trace the process by which victims become heroes of endurance. The Namibian state has, after its recent independence, constructed a memorial to fallen heroes, Heroes Acre, and an Independence Memorial Museum. Alongside these state-sanctioned memorial sites, a range of citizens have sought to honor and defend their own heroes. By honoring different heroes, they have defined alternative understandings of the nation. We also demonstrate the power of victims in mobilizing present day campaigns for justice and reparations. In Namibia, as elsewhere, greater attention to victims could shift the balance of political power. This article demonstrates how a focus on struggles over the legitimacy of particular heroes and victims can provide unanticipated insights into the study of divided nationalism.
Does increasing immigration change the nature of language politics in a party system underpinned by ethnic valence strategies? This paper utilizes qualitative data to illustrate the manner in which debates on linguistic pluralism have become enmeshed in the politics of ethnic defense in Northern Ireland. It will be shown that language politics in this context is driven by the powerful pull of bi-national considerations. This is despite the fact that migrant languages have become increasingly common in the territory. The research provides insight into the manner in which ethnically defined parties have engaged with multicultural diversity, in the context of increasing immigration. It is shown that Sinn Féin representatives largely ignore discussions about wider language diversity, preferring to focus on narratives related to Gaelic. The Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) tends to utilize the broadened range of minority languages as a shield to repel nationalist demands for greater state support for Gaelic programs. The analysis of this evidence suggests that ethnically defined parties are ill-suited to the demands of a multicultural society and immigration-generated diversity.
Chinese politics are characterized by the complex issues of a large population and centralized political powers, which offers a distinct political model from the Western models. However, the last two decades have witnessed a sharp collision between Chinese and Western political thinking. In response, domestic authors have increasingly focused on the indigenization (bentuhua 本土化) of Chinese political theories and, therefore, defend the concept of politics with Chinese characteristics. In this article, the authors focus on the discourse of “deliberative democracy” within the Chinese language, namely, Xieshang minzhu 协商 民主. In the current literature, almost no scholarly discussions have explored the semantics of the notion of Xieshang minzhu within Chinese politics. This article engages with this issue, both as a subject and a methodology, to better understand the political language that has been used in the official discourses in China1 by 1) establishing a textual corpus by collecting relevant data into the Chinese and English groups through keywords; 2) conducting a statistical analysis based on the Word Cloud and Diagram analyses; and 3) using Word2Vec to calculate the relationship among other sub-keywords. The purpose of this contribution is to differentiate Xieshang minzhu as adopted by Chinese official discourses embedded in the logic of political reforms from the Western discourses. The semantic analysis presented here also serves as a methodology that systematically develops a conceptual model of xieshang, which further clarifies the misconceptions and errors in the existing literature. The authors also provide an outline of the polysemic notion of deliberative democracy, which not only exists within an authoritarian regime but is also present in other forms and other languages (such as Chinese). This serves to further maintain the legitimacy of the “socialist democracy with Chinese characteristics.”
Official propaganda mainly includes five of China’s most authoritative official media (newspapers): People’s Daily (Renmin ribao 人民 日报), Guangming Daily (Guangming ribao 光明 日报), Xinhua Daily(Xinhua ribao 新华 日报), China Comment (Banyutan 半月谈), Qiushi (Qiushi 求是, formerly known as Red Flag (Hongqi 红旗)), Xi Jinping’s series of important speech databases and official documents on the subject of Xieshang or Xieshang minzhu in the Party-Building Database.
The attitude of the Church towards the authoritarian and totalitarian state was originally determined by the fact of existence of the Ecclesiastical State. Its downfall contributed to the change in the optics of the papist policy. Leo XIII initiated open realistic policy. He declared the Church’s readiness to co-exist (co-operate) with any form of government or social system which would not disturb the essential ecclesiastical tasks. The opinion which won was that the objectives to be attained by the Church were beyond systems and politics. This approach allowed to develop a concept, that evangelization activity should be pursued in any socio-political reality, with adapted methods. Acceptance was granted to those state systems which declared that they would defend of the Church’s position, as evidenced by establishment of political relationships between the Holy See and III Reich, fascist Italy, Spain of gen. Franco. On the other hand, the communist (totalitarian) countries were accused of rejecting “the moral norms of co-existence defined by the Church”. One can state that the Vatican offered support to those governments or totalitarian and authoritarian states whose internal and foreign policy agreed with the interests of the Church.
During the pontificate of John XXIII, the Church started to express not only willingness to co-operate with each form of government, but also the need to have respect for other philosophies of life, including the leftist ones. As regards economic and political questions, the communist doctrine was not deprecated, unless in its extreme version. However, the doctrinal principles of materialism and programmatic atheism were consistently condemned and negated. Also, the Vatican decided to enter into dialogue with the extreme Left. Certainly, the papacy realised that the communist doctrine and totalitarian state in their very essence were enemies of the Church and religion. True evolution in the attitude towards different forms of governments and states was triggered by the II Vatican Oecumenical Council. While political struggle and discussion were avoided, disputes pertaining to philosophical views on life were undertaken. Agreement of any form was refused when atheism was “administratively succoured”.
During the pontificate of Paul VI specific guidelines, principles and rules of procedure were introduced to regulate co-operation with totalitarian communist states. In order to ensure functioning of the Church in totalitarian systems, the Vatican resigned from any polemics as related to capitalism and communism. In turn, the Church demanded from totalitarian regimes to cease imposing the totalitarian world-view on the society. And thus, the Church’s fight for the Christian outlook on life was not given up.
Depending on internal and external socio-political situation, and also on the form of the State and government concerned, the Church defined different conditions indispensable to be satisfied for its successful functioning. The evangelization mission was given superiority.
The principal aim of this article is to analyse how cultural relations between India and Poland have transformed into cultural diplomacy. For this purpose, the article traces the historical interactions of culture between the two countries that precede their creation as modern-day republics. The article analyses the various stages through which cultural engagement between India and Poland have progressed. The author presents culture as a binding factor as it is paving the way for deeper engagements between the two sides. Cultural diplomacy between India and Poland is opening new avenues of interactions which are reflected in their political and economic relationship. The article argues that the absence of a strategic partnership puts impetus on cultural diplomacy as it becomes an important foundational block on which a future relationship can be build.