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Contested Mediterranean Spaces

Contested Mediterranean Spaces: Ethnographic Essays in Honour of Charles Tilly

Maria Kousis
Tom Selwyn
David Clark
Series: Space and Place
Copyright Date: 2011
Edition: NED - New edition, 1
Published by: Berghahn Books
Pages: 330
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  • Book Info
    Contested Mediterranean Spaces
    Book Description:

    eISBN: 978-0-85745-133-0
    Subjects: Anthropology, Sociology

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-iv)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. v-vi)
  3. List of Figures
    (pp. vii-vii)
  4. List of Tables
    (pp. viii-viii)
  5. List of Abbreviations
    (pp. ix-xi)
    (pp. xii-xiv)
    Maria Kousis, Tom Selwyn and David Clark
  7. Introduction
    (pp. 1-14)

    This Introduction has two aims, both shaped by the work of Charles Tilly. The first is to locate the collection of essays within a framework of overlapping spaces. These consist of the Mediterranean region itself, the European Union, the cities from which the ethnographies have come and the streets and neighbourhoods in which the individual persons described here live and work. The second is to suggest how the essays express the dynamics of social structures and processes within these spaces in terms of relationships between politics, capital and identity. What follows is divided into two parts reflecting these two aims....

  8. Part 1. Recovering the Mediterranean?

    • Chapter 1 On Bureaucratic Essentialism: Constructing the Mediterranean in European Union Institutions
      (pp. 17-34)

      The reemergence of the concept of the ‘Mediterranean’ in anthropological research reawakens memories of the essentialism of the ‘culture area’ but also raises questions pertaining to the legitimacy of this concept in contemporary research. This seeming return warrants examination in the broad politico-economic and historical context of European Union institutions and politics, a main locus of production of the Mediterranean discourse today. Drawing on research experience in an EU-funded programme on the Mediterranean, in this chapter I provide not an ethnographic analysis of material from the field, but rather an account of historical and geopolitical conditions allowing for the emergence...

    • Chapter 2 European ‘Securitization’ Policies and the Southern ‘Fortress-Europe’
      (pp. 35-54)

      This chapter presents a socio-political assessment of the ‘securitization’ policies of the European Union (EU) and their impact on immigration, human rights and civil liberties in the EU and especially in Southern Europe. We focus upon the post-9/11 EU security agenda and the reinforcement of the Schengen Information System (SIS) in building a ‘fortress-Europe.’ Documented evidence is provided, especially from Southern Europe (Greece, Italy, France, Spain and Portugal). ‘Securitization’ logic and practice are examined in relation to social issues like immigration and anti-globalization protests, which are perceived as security threats. The decentralization of ‘fortress-Europe’ in non-EU Mediterranean states is also...

    • Chapter 3 Locating the Mediterranean in Music: The Medi-Terra Music Festival
      (pp. 55-74)

      In his discussion of the making of ethnographic texts, James Clifford stresses the embeddedness of power relations in any act of cultural representation. Ethnographies are seen as complex, plural cultural accounts, as hierarchical arrangements of discourses, inherently partial and enmeshed in dynamics of difference and power. The crucial task of placing them within larger contexts of power inequality necessitates – also – a specification of discourses, identifying who speaks/writes, when and where, with or to whom, and under what institutional and historical constraints (Clifford 1986). In what follows, I wish to consider the Medi-Terra Music Festival conducted in Crete in...

  9. Part 2. State, Capital and Resistance

    • Chapter 4 Spaces of War, Spaces of Memory: Popular Expressions of Politics in Postwar Beirut
      (pp. 77-91)

      In 2005, Lebanon returned to international attention after a seemingly uneventful period of political and social reconstruction. In order to explain the political and social transition that Lebanon has witnessed since 2005, we must turn to that very ‘uneventful’ period between the end of the civil war in 1990 and the death of former Prime Minister Rafiq al-Hariri in 2005. The social transformations of postwar Lebanon and the legacy of its civil war had an important impact on the transformations in political alignment that allowed a broad opposition to be formed against the regime in the fall of 2004.


    • Chapter 5 Environmentalists in Malta: The Growing Voice of Civil Society
      (pp. 92-121)

      In 1964, civil society in newly independent Malta was relatively mute, cowed for centuries by fear of, and obedience to, various colonial rulers, the powerful Roman Catholic Church and, since independence, a highly centralized government. Within four decades Maltese environmentalists succeeded in giving a strong voice to the islands’ ‘civil society’, a diffuse term that has been defined as ‘that segment of society that interacts with the state, influences the state and yet is distinct from the state’ (Chazan 1992: 281 in Fisher 1997: 487). This study explores how they accomplished this, looking at new trends, patterns and prospects for...

    • Chapter 6 Science and Community based Environmental Activism, Mediterranean Coastal Biodiversity and the EU: The Caretta caretta Case in Greece
      (pp. 122-152)

      The aim of this chapter is to explore and describe Mediterranean coastal biodiversity governance issues concerning the endangered sea turtleCaretta carettain the coastal communities of Zakynthos and Crete. Participatory governance is visible in the aims, practices, actions and collaborations of the major environmental and science oriented NGOs Archelon, WWF-Greece, Medasset and Greenpeace, as well as local NGOs and citizen environmental groups, especially since the adoption of the EU Habitats Directive.¹

      The most serious problems faced by Mediterranean coastal and marine resources are environmental ones (Huber et al. 2003). Local environmental conflicts related to the protection of coastal and...

  10. Part 3. Capital and Neighbourhood Governance

    • Chapter 7 Contested Politics of the Mediterranean: Star Street and the Struggle for Development in Bethlehem
      (pp. 155-177)

      Tourism in Bethlehem has long revolved around the Basilica of the Nativity, the birthplace of Christ. This connection to the nativity, and hence to Christmas festivities, has ensured Bethlehem’s development as a tourist city. However, the importance placed upon the Nativity also presents a hindrance to the sustainability of the tourism industry of Bethlehem. In broad terms, it has meant that the bulk of tourism is seasonal, and that the visitor is interested in the basilica to the exclusion of any other available attraction. This problem has grown more acute over the past fifty or so years as Bethlehem has...

    • Chapter 8 Contentious Politics in a Bosphorus Neighbourhood: Perspectives on Conflict and Solidarity during the Twentieth Century
      (pp. 178-194)

      A government proposal to construct a third bridge over the straits in Istanbul in 1998 resulted in the creation of a successful residents’ association at Arnavutköy, a Bosphorus neighbourhood on the European side whose unique historic and social fabric would have been adversely affected by the project. Acts of civil disobedience by this impromptu NGO have until now successfully managed to prevent its realization. An oral history exercise initiated by the NGO in order to highlight the neighbourhood’s long history and rich multiethnic social composition revealed that the threatening bridge proposal was only the latest in a long list of...

    • Chapter 9 Playing Snakes and Ladders in Ciutat de Mallorca: An Ethnographic Approach to the Production of the Neighbourhood Scale
      (pp. 195-220)

      The historic centre of Ciutat de Mallorca (from now on Ciutat)¹ is the object of an everlasting urban renewal process that in recent years has involved several public administrations, private companies and organizations belonging to what has come to be called ‘civil society’. Although, because of its centrality, this process has become especially important for the whole of the city, its implementation has gone hand in hand with a more minute scale: one that has to do with the ‘neighbourhood’ question. In other words, the renewal of the whole of the historic centre has been carried out through a series...

  11. Part 4. Transforming Identities:: Imagination and Representations

    • Chapter 10 Ethnicized Interreligious Conflicts in Contemporary Granada, Spain
      (pp. 223-239)

      Over the past few years in the city of Granada in Andalusia (Spain), formerly the cradle of the Nazarí (Nazarite) dynasty and a symbol of a peaceful and harmonious interreligious community, there has been a perceived ‘return of Islam’, possibly as the result of the convergence of two different processes. On the one hand, as has occurred in the rest of Spain, the city has been experiencing a marked increase in the immigrant population, amongst which there is a large and significant percentage of Muslims from the Maghreb. On the other hand, parallel to this increased immigration and as of...

    • Chapter 11 Governance, Alliance and Resistance: Jewish Museums in Italy
      (pp. 240-259)

      Clifford (1997) developed the notion of contact zones to denote the manner in which contemporary museums are drawn into a set of relationships with other social groups around them, arising partly out of previously unequal power relationships, such as between colonized and colonizers. Bennett (1998) saw such interplay in terms of institutions of governance and community groups, whilst Witcomb (2003) introduces a further note of caution by pointing out that even within the community group camp there are a number of different and competing voices. This chapter outlines the special kind of mosaic represented by the contact zone associated with...

    • Chapter 12 The Making of Home Away from Home: The Role of Ethno-cultural Festivals in Contesting Local Spaces
      (pp. 260-275)

      The focus of this chapter is on the Ethno-Cultural Festival of Chania, in Crete. The main goal of the event was to make visible a number of foreigners who were living and working in the town of Chania, to acquaint locals with the history and culture of the working migrants and to contest ignorance and xenophobia as a result. The organizing committee made the effort to reposition new working migrants in the social and cultural scene of the town not as economic actors but as social subjects.

      The significance of the festival was that it tried to challenge nationalistic stereotypes...

    • Chapter 13 Tears on the Border: The Case of Rachel’s Tomb, Bethlehem, Palestine
      (pp. 276-296)

      This chapter is concerned with the fate of a small religious building in Bethlehem commonly known as Rachel’s Tomb¹ named after the biblical matriarch Rachel, daughter of Laban, wife of Jacob and mother of Joseph and Benjamin, two founding ancestors of the twelve tribes of Israel. Located in one of the most contentious sites of the Mediterranean, namely the borderlands of Palestine/Israel, the story of Rachel’s Tomb may be read as a microcosm of larger structures and processes in the region, which the present chapter holds in mind throughout.

      The aim of this chapter is to describe the present state...

    (pp. 297-302)
  13. INDEX
    (pp. 303-315)