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Open access series
The refereed series ZMO-Studien publishes monographs and edited volumes which mirror the interdisciplinary research programme and approach of the Leibniz-Zentrum Moderner Orient.
The welfare regime in Turkey has been undergoing a radical transformation since the early 2000s. Welfare provisions, especially poverty alleviation schemes, are increasingly framed as gifts, and select civil society organisations have assumed the state’s welfare provision functions through non-transparent public funding. Waqf, the Islamic institution of endowment, has played an important role in this transformation. It provides both the institutional frame of operations and the religious imaginary signification that interpellates subjects to take part as givers and receivers of gifts. This material exchange of care and money through newly configured gift-relations between the providers and beneficiaries constitutes not only a realm of politics but also a site of ethical negotiations with embodied consequences.
This book is based on an extensive ethnographic study conducted between 2008-2009 among the charitable organizations of Kayseri, a central Anatolian city with booming industry and a majority conservative political orientation. A stronghold of the Justice and Development Party (AKP), which has been in power in Turkey since 2002, the city has showcased the tenets of the welfare transformation that is to come, even in the early stages of AKP rule. With a focus on the daily practices within the field of beneficence, the book investigates the gift circuits that bring together central state institutions, municipalities, local notables and business people, religious groups, volunteers and employers of charitable organisations, and the urban poor. In these gift circuits, objects, money, services, prayers, recognition, and political and social influence flow in various directions through formal and informal routes. The book illustrates the growing significance of these particular forms of gift-giving in the field of poverty alleviation and welfare provision in Turkey and their role in the drastic political transformation of the country.
How and why did students at Kabul University engage in political activism or refrained from it between 1964 and 1992? Based on oral history interviews with former students, this book reveals how they – as many others around the world at the same time – were galvanized by and disappointed with promises of progress dominating local and international politics. During the 1960s, the international influences on campus encouraged students’ engagement with competing political ideologies. Collective student protest against the monarchy turned into hostilities between opposing political groups within the student body claiming to lead Afghanistan towards independence and prosperity. After the coup d’état by the People’s Democratic Party of Afghanistan (PDPA) in 1978, none of the ideologies which had previously incited students provided hope for a better future anymore. Many students who had fought for the PDPA earlier were repelled by the government’s violence and those who stood up against the regime were persecuted and fled the country. Overall, the dynamics of political activism at Kabul University reflect the deep intertwinement of the Global Cold War and local struggles for inclusion and independence.
This volume brings together a series of discussions by scholars from a range of disciplinary, (trans)regional and epistemic perspectives that came out of the Berlin-based "co2libri" networking initiative, with longstanding collaborative partners based in the global South. "Co2libri" stands for "conceptual collaboration: living borderless research interaction". As an interdisciplinary and transregional oriented initiative, co2libri envisages a multicentric perspective that integrates neglected positions of Southern theory and praxis into the heart of academic conversations. Co2libri’s collaborative endeavor builds on long-standing active connections with partners in Africa, South and Southeast Asia, and the Middle East. Instead of setting an agenda from the North, it proposes to figure out ways forward through collaborative engagement, building on relationships of mutual trust. Using formats that facilitate substantial and open-ended discussion, we are re-thinking theory and method, academic practices, and research ethics, while keeping material inequalities in view.
Contributors to this edited volume are working toward the implementation of various innovative activities, research perspectives and collaboration formats which all subscribe to the principle of dialogue on equal footing with scholars and activists based in divergent positionalities along and beyond the Global North-South divide. In different ways, the authors work toward the goal of producing more adequate, and more sensitive, critical knowledge, and applying a fresh view to approach, methods, and ethical standards. Overall, the volume works, sometimes in exploratory ways, with alternative frames of reference while it presents diverse theorizations of lived experiences.
As far too many intellectual histories and theoretical contributions from the ‘global South’ remain under-explored, this volume works towards redressing such imbalance. Experienced authors, from the regions concerned, along different disciplinary lines, and with a focus on different historical timeframes, sketch out their perspectives of envisaged transformations. This includes specific case studies and reflexive accounts from African, South Asian, and Middle Eastern contexts. Taking a critical stance on the ongoing dominance of Eurocentrism in academia, the authors present their contributions in relation to current decolonial challenges.
Hereby, they consider intellectual, practical and structural aspects and dimensions, to mark and build their respective positions. From their particular vantage points of (trans)disciplinary and transregional engagement, they sketch out potential pathways for addressing the unfinished business of conceptual decolonization. The specific individual positionalities of the contributors, which are shaped by location and regional perspective as much as in disciplinary, biographical, linguistic, religious, and other terms, are hereby kept in view. Drawing on their significant experiences and insights gained in both the global north and global south, the contributors offer original and innovative models of engagement and theorizing frames that seek to restore and critically engage with intellectual practices from particular regions and transregional contexts in Africa, South Asia, and the Middle East.
This volume builds on a lecture series held at ZMO in the winter 2019-2020
Shared Margins tells of writers, writing, and literary milieus in Alexandria, Egypt’s second city. It de-centres cosmopolitan avant-gardes and secular-revolutionary aesthetics that have been intensively documented and studied since 2011. Instead, it offers a fieldwork-based account of various milieus and styles, and their common grounds and lines of division.
Structured in two parts, Shared Margins gives an account of literature as a social practice embedded in milieus that at once enable and limit literary imagination, and of a life-worldly experience of plurality in absence of pluralism that marks literary engagements with the intimate and social realities of Alexandria after 2011.
Literary writing, this book argues, has marginality as an at once enabling and limiting condition. It provides shared spaces of imaginary excess that may go beyond the taken-for-granted of a societal milieu, and yet are never unlimited. Literary imagination is part and parcel of such social conflicts and transformations, its role being neither one of resistance against power nor of guidance towards norms, but rather one of open-ended complicity.
To what extent can Islam be localized in an increasingly interconnected world? The contributions to this volume investigate different facets of Muslim lives in the context of increasingly dense transregional connections, highlighting how the circulation of ideas about ‘Muslimness’ contributed to the shaping of specific ideas about what constitutes Islam and its role in society and politics. Infrastructural changes have prompted the intensification of scholarly and trade networks, prompted the circulation of new literary genres or shaped stereotypical images of Muslims. This, in turn, had consequences in widely differing fields such as self-representation and governance of Muslims. The contributions in this volume explore this issue in geographical contexts ranging from South Asia to Europe and the US. Coming from the disciplines of history, anthropology, religious studies, literary studies and political science, the authors collectively demonstrate the need to combine a translocal perspective with very specific local and historical constellations. The book complicates conventional academic divisions and invites to think in historically specific translocal contexts.
This monograph analyses the role of the province of Tripoli, Libya, in the context of German foreign politics with a focus on the period between 1884 and 1918. Suaad Alghafal examines the German military, political and economic strategy, and sheds lights on the international events that provided the setting for the German policy towards Libya, particularly the European ‘Scramble for Africa’.
1971 was a critical year for India and Pakistan and also for West and East Germany. The Third India–Pakistan War led to the independence of Bangladesh, at the same time that the German–German policy of détente sought to surmount the East–West conflict. The global Cold War influenced both regional conflicts and linked them to each other. However, at their points of intersection, they were also bounded by the influence of the great powers.