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Workfare, post-Soviet austerity and the ethics of freedom

This book is an ethnography of politics of waiting in the contemporary austerity state. While the global political economy is usually imagined through metaphors of acceleration and speed, this book reveals waiting as the shadow temporality of the contemporary logics of governance. The ethnographic site for this analysis is a state-run unemployment office in Latvia. This site not only grants the author unique access to observing everyday implementation of social assistance programmes that use acceleration and waiting as forms of control but also serves as a vantage point from which to compare Western and post-Soviet workfare policy designs. The book thus contributes to current debates across sociology and anthropology on the increasingly coercive forms of social control by examining ethnographically forms of statecraft that have emerged in the aftermath of several decades of neoliberalism. The ethnographic perspective reveals how time shapes a nation’s identity as well as one’s sense of self and ordinary ethics in culturally specific ways. The book traces how both the Soviet past, with its narratives of building communism at an accelerated speed while waiting patiently for a better future, as well as the post-Soviet nationalist narratives of waiting as a sacrifice for freedom come to play a role in this particular case of the politics of waiting.

Open Access (free)
Understanding the violence of the benevolent welfare state in Norway
Nerina Weiss

11 Nerina Weiss The trauma of waiting: understanding the violence of the benevolent welfare state in Norway Bisrat, a refugee from Eritrea, was granted asylum in Norway after a relatively short waiting period of ten months. However, it took another two years before he was settled in a municipality. Asked about how he experienced his time in the reception centre after he was granted asylum, Bisrat answered as follows: It completely changed my behaviour. It is difficult when you have to spend three years of your life waiting for something. It is a very expensive

in Refugees and the violence of welfare bureaucracies in Northern Europe
Open Access (free)
Kinneret Lahad

7 Waiting and queuing The temporal construct of waiting is one of the predominant images associated with single women. The figure of the single woman waiting for coupledom and married life has become deeply embedded in conventional thinking about single women. The “What’s new?” genre of questions, the blessing Bekarov ezlech (“Soon at yours [wedding]!”), and promises like “By your wedding day you will feel better,”—discussed throughout this book—can be regarded as reflecting and endorsing this temporal imagery. They remind single women of their belated

in A table for one
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Cary Howie

’d like to argue, that we might be waiting for—in relation to this inexorable anti-future, where the equivocal relationship to a body (to our own bodies, even) would be fixed, like Pier’s, in the painful alienation of the “appended” body, the adjacent, non-identical stuff of it? How, in other words, can we begin to redeem our appendages? What I’d like to sketch, in this chapter, is something like a phenomenology of the waiting body, which would also be a phenomenology of the body in waiting; the body we can’t lose because we never entirely had it in the first place

in Transfiguring medievalism
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The British monarchy in Australia, New Zealand and Canada, 1991–2016
Mark McKenna

As the Queen approaches her ninetieth birthday, republicans in both major political parties have reached a consensus in recent years that there will be no move towards a republic until the post-Elizabethan era. Agreeing to wait until the monarch dies, they hope that the last residue of attachment to the monarchy will die with her, if it has not died already. During the Queen’s past four visits to

in Crowns and colonies
Cary Howie

, especially, when we look at or, more fundamentally, participate in the world—is to wait? And what would the implications of this waiting be for our relationships to the past? The temporality of these relationships has been discussed—and performed—with unusual delicacy in recent years, from Catherine Brown’s emphasis on “coevalness” with medieval readers and their texts, “where simultaneous, apparently conflicting truths can be equally in effect,” to Carla Freccero’s advocacy of “porous, permeable pasts and futures.” 1 I’d like to suggest that these insights into the

in Transfiguring medievalism
Liene Ozoliņa

1 Waiting as an organising logic The seven fat years ‘We have seven fat years ahead of us’, said the Latvian prime minister (PM) Aigars Kalvītis in his New Year’s Eve speech to the nation. The years ‘that we have been dreaming about’. He said these words on 31 December 2005, only for the economic crisis to hit three years later. The biblical reference to Joseph’s travails in Egypt, enduring seven years of hunger to arrive at another seven of abundance, fitted the ceremonial tone of the speech. The PM’s address on New Year’s Eve is an established political

in Politics of waiting
Citizenisation and migratisation
Anne-Marie Fortier

Do they really know the agony they put people in? Do they really know the effect they have on people's life? Why do they treat these kinds of issues in this inhumane detached manner? Do they really realise … [pause] When someone who's waiting to know if they can stay or not …[trails off]. (Tamara, Lebanese national waiting to apply for citizenship) ‘Tell me your story.’ This is how I started each interview with migrants and

in Uncertain citizenship
Martin D. Moore

In early August 1954, the News Chronicle reported on the ‘Brighten-Up’ campaign led by Birmingham’s Local Medical Committee of forty general practitioners (GPs). Working in pairs, these practitioners planned to visit the city’s 400 general practice surgeries, inspecting premises, talking to GPs, and making recommendations for improvements. If successful, the report suggested, ‘no more will there be dingy rooms for the patients to wait in. Gone will be the old, inadequate furniture, and the chilly draughts

in Posters, protests, and prescriptions
Ancient Egypt in the aesthetic and decadent imaginary
Giles Whiteley

architectural effects’, Pater writes, ‘is, according to Hegel's beautiful comparison, a Memnon waiting for the day, the day of the Greek spirit, the humanistic spirit, with its power of speech’. 28 ‘Taken as symbols ’, Hegel clarifies, ‘the meaning ascribed to these colossi is that they do not have the spiritual soul freely in themselves’, so that ‘instead of being able to draw animation from within, … they require for it light from without which alone liberates the soul from them’. 29

in Victorian literary culture and ancient Egypt