This book takes a body of ethnographic data collected in 2001-2, during a year's fieldwork at the Bank of Scotland (BoS) and HBOS, and revisits it from the perspective of the 2014-16 period. It explores the tension between the 'ethnographic present' of the author's original research and the unavoidable alteration of perspective on that data that the economic crisis has created. The original research had been planned to take place in the BoS but in 2001, before the research began, BoS had merged with the Halifax to form HBOS. The book provides a long-term historical perspective on BoS/HBOS, from inception to the 2008 financial crisis, and then a consideration of the nature of historical explanation, under the rubric of 'theory'. The main attempts to explain the proximate causes of the 2008 crisis, as well as more encompassing political economic arguments about the trajectory and dynamics of capitalism are examined. The concept of 'culture' as applied to both national groups, Scots and English, and organizations, BoS and Halifax, are also dealt with. The book examines other governing concepts such as organisational change in the business world and social change, identity and the way Scottish and English experience their own personhood, and comparative nature of ethnographic research. The conclusion reviews and draws together the themes of the book, returning to the overarching question of historical perspective and explanation.
The Arab–Israeli conflict has been at the centre of international affairs for decades. Despite repeated political efforts, the confrontation and casualties continue, especially in fighting between Israelis and Palestinians. This new assessment emphasizes the role that military force plays in blocking a diplomatic resolution. Many Arabs and Israelis believe that the only way to survive or to be secure is through the development, threat, and use of military force and violence. This idea is deeply flawed and results in missed diplomatic opportunities and growing insecurity. Coercion cannot force rivals to sign a peace agreement to end a long-running conflict. Sometimes negotiations and mutual concessions are the key to improving the fate of a country or national movement. Using short historical case studies from the 1950s through to today, the book explores and pushes back against the dominant belief that military force leads to triumph while negotiations and concessions lead to defeat and further unwelcome challenges. In The sword is not enough, we learn both what makes this idea so compelling to Arab and Israeli leaders and how it eventually may get dislodged.
down against anyone. The case that English nationhood is not inherently regressive is a strong one.
How relevant this observation is for our purposes, however, is questionable. The Introduction made clear that nationhood and national ism are distinct. We are only interested in nationhood insofar as it makes possible nationalist mobilisation for the purposes of nationalisation. Robin Hood is a great story, and it is conceivable that it could form the basis of a nationalising project that promised to make the state more English by introducing
citizen or subject to the state (Ichijo et al., 2017 ; McCrone, 1998 ).
The most explicit working through of the nature of a politicised English identity is Michael Kenny’s notion of nationhood (Kenny, 2014 ) . This concept allows the rich and plural nature of collective expressions of English nationality to emerge and avoids this diversity being subsumed under any one particular interpretation, positive or negative (Kenny, 2014 : 241). Initially national ism was assumed to be ‘proper’ only under certain conditions, a point later modified and refined
mainstay of nation
hood and British identity, was, by the time of Family Portrait, assailed
by anti-imperialism, a process which expanded in the post-war period
of political and national realignments. Quoting the historian Gareth
Stedman Jones and the sociologist Bill Williamson, Betty Conekin
notes that ‘by 1951 the retreat from Empire had begun, and therefore by
1949, with Labour in power, the Empire was no longer an appropriate
or comfortable foundational structure around which to build British
national identity … [An outcome of this situation was] the gradual reali