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Author Riccardo Baldissone interviewed by Iain MacKenzie

IM: On reading your book, I am reminded of Foucault’s comment that all genealogies must be ‘patient, gray and meticulous’. This is why it is an almost unbearable method (and so far away from simply denouncing origins). Who can really follow Foucault into every highway and byway of Discipline and Punish, all those wonderful small paths of his scholarship that give shape to Foucault’s archive? And yet here, in Autos, it is clear from the opening pages that the reader must embrace a writer who loves nothing better than to be diverted, to follow a small path, to find a little adjacent desire line that connects hitherto unconnected terms. One result of this scholarly single-mindedness, is that we are left wondering how you can hold it all together, how you can traverse such small trails and still take us on a clear journey. And yet you do and the result is a story told that was until now untold and a territory mapped that was until now unmapped. …


By Wilfred Wang

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Ruling legitimacy has long been a popular point of departure for researchers and commentators when examining China’s digital media. In the West, digital media is perceived as decentralised and capable of forging popular participations, which challenges and even unsettles the power authority of the state. Many inquiries have tried to follow the same narrative to evaluate where things have unfolded differently. Digital media has occasionally challenged and even undermined the state’s authorities and has elevated the voice of those who are disadvantaged in society. …


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Reichstag, Berlin, Germany

By Daniel Bendix, Professor for Global Development at Friedensau Adventist University, Germany

Clemens Tönnies, chairman of top German football club Schalke 04, recently caused a public outcry for uttering racist statements. At a public meeting with 1.600 in the audience, he spoke about “Entrepreneurship with responsibility — ways into the future of food production”. This was in his capacity as founder and owner of the German food industry giant Toennies Lebensmittel, a company specializing in pig and beef cattle slaughtering and processing.

Tönnies criticised tax increases designed to help to fight climate change. …


By Lucy Mayblin

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Despite their current political views, the British government have been advocates of welcoming migrants and refugees into Britain, in what they claim is a ‘long and proud’ tradition. The recent Integrated Communities Strategy Green Paper is no exception, suggesting that Britain is an ‘open and tolerant country which has a long history of welcoming migrants and the benefits they bring, as well as meeting our international obligations to refugees’[1].

So how about this ‘long and proud’ tradition? Is it something that we can trace across time? Unfortunately, not — anyone who has studied the history of immigration to Britain will know that it is much easier to find examples of the state passing new legislation to keep migrants out of the country, steadily reducing their social and economic rights and building walls and special detention centres [2]. Add this to a broader context of hostility towards immigrants, one in which today’s Brexit Britain is generally seen as much more tolerant and welcoming, and the ‘long and proud tradition’ starts to look vacant. When we look at the history of asylum and immigration policy in the UK, we find a history of exclusion, dehumanisation, decriminalisation, impoverishment, and the shirking of international responsibilities. …


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By Kory P. Schaff

Recent political trends in the U.K. and U.S. have placed immigration at the center of a contentious public debate about nationalism, democracy, and inclusiveness. Starting with Brexit, there has been a resurgence of right-wing nativism and anti-immigrant racism. The “Leave” campaign, in part, appealed to the irrational fears of white working-class citizens that an influx of immigrants made possible by permissive European Union policies was to blame for their economic insecurity.

Similarly, President Donald Trump declared a national emergency on illegal immigration in the U.S. He frequently targets undocumented immigrants from Latin America as “criminals, drug dealers, and rapists,” [1] and has used executive fiat to secure funding for a wall along the southern border. …


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Photo by Delia Giandeini

By Dr. Faridun Sattarov

If you think about it, power is an all-pervading feature of our social reality. A parent getting a child to tidy up her room, a literature professor getting her students to read the works of Shakespeare, a Prime Minister getting what they will despite resistance from the Parliament — are all instances of power. In these and other similar examples, power is exercised by one person (or group) over some other person (or group). Given the prevalence of such cases, we often think of power as something people exercise in an intentional, deliberate or purposeful manner. However, can there be a situation in which a person exercises power over another person without necessarily intending to do so? …


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Featuring Alexander Dunlap, interviewed by Professor Mariel Aguilar-Støen.

MAS: Could you start by telling us a little bit about you?

AD: Ouuuhhh… I am a dirty skateboarder turned academic who now has a post-doctoral position at the Centre for Development and the Envrionment, University of Oslo. I am proudly a part of the Rural Transformations group, which you lead.

MAS: I found something you wrote in the book I would like you to explain. It is this adaptation of Michel Foucault, where you say: “How do you expect over a thousand wind turbines-operating, planned and placed in the lands of Mexico-to have survived, and to have established and actually maintained permanent power generation in the coastal Istmo? (p. 21).” …


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By George Sotiropoulos

A specter appears to be haunting Europe, but it does not wear red. The recent European elections are the last in a series of electoral results indicating that the ghost has taken a decisively rightwing turn. Of course, “populism” is still used widely by politicians and intellectuals in order to pinpoint this ominous presence that is said to threaten our liberal democracies. However, along with the dubious analytical merits of the term and its questionable political uses, it is becoming increasingly difficult to ignore that the political forces who are on the rise today across Europe have a more concrete ideological identity, which puts them firmly on the (far) right of the political spectrum. This is not to deny that parties such as Rassemblement National in France or Lega Nord in Italy deploy tropes that have come to be identified with populism, notably the use of the “elite/people” binary as a potent demarcation of political reality. Yet, this is effectively integrated into a politics whose defining components are unmistakably rightwing: nationalism, islamophobia, anti-immigration, valorization of order and security. On the other hand, leftist political forces, who have also been accused for the sin of populism, have suffered a notable defeat in the recent elections, this being again part of a wider regression that the (radical) Left has suffered in recent years. …


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By Stan Erraught

20 years ago, the recorded music industry was booming. An unprecedented decade and a half had followed the effective replacement of the vinyl record as the main medium of the technological reproduction and dissemination of recorded music by the compact disc, an innovation that the industry was able to market as a premium product, with — supposedly — better sound quality, longer playing time and greater durability. The industry was not only selling more records than ever to what had always been the core market for popular music — the consumer in their teens and twenties — but had also managed to re-engage an older audience by effectively selling them the music of their youth all over again. …


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By Stan Erraught

Conspiracy theories are an increasingly hot topic. Not only are they seemingly rife in contemporary political discourse, there has been a surplus of new work on conspiracy theory in academic literature.

“Conspiracy theory” refers to a broad church. There are stories about alien, shape-shifting reptiles in control of our political elites, chemtrails and fluoride turning the population into docile drones, and rumours of Cultural Marxism forcing children to change gender. But claims of alien bloodlines secretly controlling the world’s governments are not the only conspiratorial game in town. There are also tales of hidden “pee-tapes” relating to a sitting U.S. President, dirty politics behind the Leave Campaign in the U.K., and historical cases of conspiracy like the Watergate Affair or the Moscow Show Trials. As such conspiracy theories range from sensible, upright members of the community to something akin to those weird relatives you regret sitting next to at a family dinner. …

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