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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.

The British far left from 1956
Editors: Evan Smith and Matthew Worley

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.

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
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County Galway and the Irish Free State 1922–32

This book focuses on the historical debate beyond the Irish revolution and introduces a new study of post-revolutionary experience in Ireland at a county level. It begins to build an image of regional political and social life in the immediate post-revolutionary period. The book discusses the turbulent years of 1922 and 1923, the local electorate's endorsement of the Anglo-Irish Treaty and the beginning of domestic Irish politics in what was a vastly altered post-treaty world. The Anglo-Irish Treaty was signed in London and confirmed dominion status on a twenty-six-county Irish Free State. The book further examines four major themes in rural agrarian society: land, poverty, Irish language, and law and order. It establishes the level of deprivation in local society that the Cumann na nGaedheal government had to confront. Finally, the book attempts to relate the political record of the county to the existing socio-economic realities of local life. Particular emphasis is placed on the election campaigns, the issues involved, and the voting patterns and trends that emerged in Galway. In east Galway agrarian agitation shaped the nature of civil war violence. The civil war fanned a recrudescence in acute agrarian agitation in the west. In the aftermath of the civil war, the August 1923 general election was fought on the Free State government's terms.

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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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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

in Crowns and colonies

know. You can. You do’ and ‘Everything Is Happening’ (Latvija Var!, Zini. Vari. Dari, Viss Notiek). That day’s seminar was going to be led by Juris, a middle-aged psychologist who had been working for the Employment Agency since 1996. Initially he had been a full-time employee, but he now worked on a temporary contract, like all the other trainers. I found out later that Juris was also a career counsellor at the agency, a lecturer in career consulting at a university and a priest, reading 46 Politics of waiting occasional sermons at a small church. After 12

in Politics of waiting
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Waiting for freedom

Epilogue: Waiting for freedom Where is your responsibility? Drawing on ethnographic analysis, I have sought to make a number of contributions to social theory in this book. First, I have engaged with the recently emerging sociology of waiting and theorised waiting as a form of state control (operating at the meso, or policy, level of society), but also as a form of political subjectivity (at the micro level) and an organising logic legitimating a national austerity regime (at the macro level). Secondly, the analysis that I have laid out contributes to the

in Politics of waiting
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at Aina’s seminar in the previous chapter, said that he was ‘waiting for the courses’, did these words identify him as the waiting subject that the trainers were supposed to ‘activate’? Or was this waiting subject merely a rhetorical construct to discipline the job seekers? How were these subject positions, made available by the seminar discourse, inhabited? And how to examine such forms of subjectivity without replicating the ideological categories of ‘activation’ and ‘passive waiting’? So far, I have shown how time for Latvians has been ‘pressing rather than

in Politics of waiting

how what was at stake when the Maxima roof was collapsing could not only be understood in terms of an economic value. Following Viktorija’s lead, I started unravelling the political, ethical and conceptual links between ‘being willing’ as a disciplinary discourse and a form of agency, between waiting and freedom. In this chapter, I inquire further into carving out a conceptual space for theorising agency beyond resistance (Mahmood 2005) and ethical practices of self-work beyond ideological subjectivity construction. Conceptually, it means considering the ways of

in Politics of waiting