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.
Understanding the violence of the benevolent welfare state in Norway
The trauma of waiting: understanding the
violence of the benevolent welfare state
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
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
’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
Waiting for the revolution is a volume of essays examining the diverse currents of British left-wing politics from 1956 to the present day. The book is designed to complement the previous volume, Against the grain: The far left in Britain from 1956, bringing together young and established academics and writers to discuss the realignments and fissures that maintain leftist politics into the twenty-first century. The two books endeavor to historicise the British left, detailing but also seeking to understand the diverse currents that comprise ‘the far left’. Their objective is less to intervene in on-going issues relevant to the left and politics more generally, and more to uncover and explore the traditions and issues that have preoccupied leftist groups, activists and struggles. To this end, the book will appeal to scholars and anyone interested in British politics. It serves as an introduction to the far-left, providing concise overviews of organisations, social movements and campaigns. So, where the first volume examined the questions of anti-racism, gender politics and gay rights, volume two explores anti-nuclear and anti-apartheid struggles alongside introductions to Militant and the Revolutionary Communist Party.
The British monarchy in Australia, New Zealand and Canada, 1991–2016
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
, 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
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
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 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