Revolutionary Moments in Tahrir Square The Arab Revolutions

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Moments in

Tahrir Square                           Mona Abaza

The Arab Revolutions:
Who Are The Actors?                      Sari Hanafi

                                                        VOLUME 1 / ISSUE 4 / APRIL 2011

The Harbor
of Hope                             Koichi Hasegawa

> Challenging Cosmopolitanism

> Conference on Inequality

> Meeting of the ISA Executive Committee

> Without Borders

> The Turkish Sociological Association

> National Associations in Europe

> History Corner: Mexico 1982

> Human Rights: Guilty of Being a Sociologist
> Editorial                                            > In This Issue
          he world has changed since we last went      Editorial                                                  2
T         to press. Cairos are springing up all over
          the planet. The Arab insurgencies – the
jury is still out on whether we can call them revo-    Revolutionary Moments in Tahrir Square                     3
lutions – have demonstrated once again just how
difficult it is to anticipate the outbreak of social    The Arab Revolutions: Who Are The Actors?                  6
movements. We are better at understanding the
way they spread and unfold, once they surface.
                                                       Yokohama: The Harbor of Hope                               9
Thus, our two lead articles focus on revolutionary
processes: Mona Abaza describes what it was
like to be in and around Tahrir square in January
and February 2011, while Sari Hanafi examines           > DEBATE
the combination of social actors now battling for
the social transformation of Tunisia and Egypt.
                                                       Challenging Cosmopolitanism                               12
  Our third article takes us from human earth-
quakes to the terrestrial one that devastated Ja-      Conference on Inequality                                  14
pan, creating a major nuclear accident. For 15
years Koichi Hasegawa, a sociologist of the envi-
ronment, has been asking whether Japan need-
ed another Chernobyl before it would change its        > MEETINGS AND ASSOCIATIONS
nuclear policy. We still don’t know the answer
to that question. As head of the local organizing      ISA Executive Committee Meeting in Mexico City            15
committee for the 2014 ISA World Congress in
Yokohama, Dr. Hasegawa gave a moving speech
to the Executive Committee meeting in Mexico           Without Borders                                           17
City on the Japanese response to the earthquake
and tsunami. We publish it here. For its part the      The Turkish Sociological Association: Celebrating 20 Years 18
ISA Executive Committee redoubled its commit-                                                                          2
ment to the success of the 2014 Congress.
                                                       National Associations in Europe                           19
  In this issue we also report on the deliberations
of the Executive Committee, March 21-25, and
the parallel International Conference on Inequal-
ity, organized by Raquel Sosa Elízaga,Vice-Pres-       > SPECIAL COLUMNS
ident for Program. In her history corner, Jennifer
Platt writes about the famous Mexico City World        History Corner: Mexico 1982                                8
Congress of 1982. This was the first time the ISA
held its World Congress in a ‘Third World’ country.
It started the round of debates about international    Human Rights: Guilty of Being a Sociologist?              20
sociology that continue to this day. In this issue,
for example, Sujata Patel takes on the question
of global sociology and cosmopolitanism from
the standpoint of diverse national traditions. We
also have reports from the European Sociological
Association, from the Turkish Sociological Asso-
ciation, and from the US branch of Sociologists
without Borders. Finally, there is a new column
on the violation of the human rights of sociolo-
gists with cases from Turkey and Hungary.
  We continue to reach out to ever-wider audi-
ences. We now have a popular Facebook page
as well as a new look to our website that in-
cludes a section on Digital Worlds. Through the
initiatives of Sari Hanafi, Mounir Saidani and Ish-
war Modi, Global Dialogue now appears in Arabic
and Hindi, making 9 languages in all. Sociology         Cover Photo by Mona Abaza
is on the move!

                                                          GDN VOL. 1 / # 4 / APRIL 2011
                                                                                    lis and they clogged the main bridges
                                                                                    of the Six of October and Kasr al-Nil
                                                                                    bridge. Brutal confrontations were
                                                                                    recorded. Anger against the brutality
                                                                                    of the regime was mounting as was
                                                                                    the determination to resist. This time
                                                                                    things will be different, it was said.
                                                                                    Protesters lost their fear, they resist-
                                                                                    ed through barricading themselves,
                                                                                    through praying communally while
                                                                                    confronting the columns of black po-
                                                                                    lice, and by throwing stones when they
                                                                                    were attacked. They did not fear the
                                                                                    green police vans that ran into them.
                                                                                    Then the police forces started to re-
                                                                                    treat out of fear – they could not deal
                                                                                    with the growing fearlessness of the
                                                                                    moving compact army of bodies. They
                                                                                    ran away from the powerful but pacifist
                                                                                    crowds. Suddenly all policemen disap-
                                                                                    peared. Cairenes woke up one morn-
                                                                                    ing and found the entire city without
                                                                                    one single policeman. The army then
                                                                                    entered the city with their tanks.

                                                                                      Many like me, who were not political
                                                                                    activists and who were afraid of the
 Peaceful Protest in Tahrir Square.
                                                                                    violence perpetrated in crushing the
 Photo by Mona Abaza                                                                protesters, decided finally to march to
                                                                                    the square. Middle-class mothers de-
                                                                                    scended onto the streets. My friends’      3
> Revolutionary Moments                                                             sons and daughters experienced a
                                                                                    metamorphosis in their lives. These
  in Tahrir Square                                                                  youngsters, who led their parents to
                                                                                    the street, had been protesting since
     by Mona Abaza, American University of Cairo                                    day one. They found their new selves
                                                                                    in the life of the Square. Several
     happened to be in Cairo when           Mubarak had paralyzed the trains        youngsters were proud of their newly

I    the catalytic demonstration of
     the 25th of January occurred. I
did not participate in the first dem-
                                         nationwide. This unintelligent control-
                                         ling measure did not stop the angry
                                         people from pouring into the city. In-
                                                                                    discovered skills in street fighting.

                                                                                       Then the spectacular first one-
onstrations. It has been many years      deed, the public visibility of the peo-    million-demonstration turned into a
since I had been politically active. I   ple grew every day in the streets after    historic moment that mesmerized
have to confess that the violence and    the 25th of January. The demonstra-        the Egyptians themselves. It was the
brutality, witnessed in numerous pre-    tions obstinately continued. Day af-       euphoria of the newly discovered
vious demonstrations, were certainly     ter day, people increasingly occupied      freedom and the collective longing
the main reasons that kept me away       all the streets of Cairo. They were all    for dignity. Words fail me to describe
from the street.                         heading towards the Square. The city       how more than some 2 million people
                                         was collapsing with attacks on police      marched peacefully and in an orderly
  From the first day, the police were     stations. Thugs were all over and loot-    manner towards one main space: the
ruthless with the demonstrators.         ing was going on in various quarters.      Tahrir Square. The organization was
Friends who were active in demon-        The more the police forces became          spectacular. A clear sense of order
strations from day one recalled the      violent, the more determined protest-      was masterminded by the young pro-
violence. Rubber bullets, spraying wa-   ers became and the more they gained        testers to penetrate and then move
ter and massive teargas bombs were       visibility in the streets. The cities of   through the square in a peaceful way.
thrown at the protesters. The city was   Alexandria, Suez, Port Said, Mansura       It was most remarkable. The people
burning. The offensive and the mi-       and Mahalla al Kubra were all expe-        were amazing in their care for each
asma of teargas were to be felt for      riencing the same massive human            other so that nothing would go wrong.
several days in the city. On the 25th    insurgency of angry protesters. In         The square was encircled by army
of January three people were report-     Cairo, demonstrations departed from        tanks and soldiers, who checked the
ed dead along with a considerable        Shubra, from Mattariya, Bulaq, Dokki,      IDs to make sure that no thugs of the
number of wounded. 1                     Mohandessin, Nasr City and Heliopo-        regime would get in, and no weapons
                                                GDN VOL. 1 / # 4 / APRIL 2011
could be used inside the square. At       laat Harb Street heading towards the       the night, the number of visiting pro-
checkpoints, men and women were           square. They threw Molotov cocktails.      testers increased (we were probably
segregated so as to be controlled         They were shooting live fire towards        some 50 or 60 people). A few pro-
by ‘popular committees’ consisting        the protesters and they were burn-         testers were wounded in their faces,
of highly disciplined anti-Mubarak        ing anything that was in their way. In     hands and legs.
groups of young men and women.            particular, they set fire to cars, which
Bags and wallets were checked.            they would then turn upside down.             A television set was broadcasting
Knives, scissors and potentially dan-     One could clearly see that the army        continually in a separate room. We
gerous tools were confiscated. Con-        tanks did nothing to stop the burn-        kept on coming and going through
trol checkpoints multiplied since the     ing of cars or the fighting of thugs.       this room. Some were lying asleep
thugs of the regime were a constant       The anti-Mubarak protestors could          in front of the TV, being utterly ex-
threat. Then there was the careful or-    only defend themselves by barricad-        hausted. We were all trying frantically
chestration of the way people circu-      ing the checkpoints with some metal        to alternate between two main things:
lated around the square.                  shields that were collected from the       to move around the three large balco-
                                          construction field of the former Hilton     nies and follow what was going on the
> The Carnage of 2nd                      hotel, which was under renovation.         Tahrir Square and the two side streets
                                          Their only weapon was to collect           of Talaat Harb and Bab al-Louq. Then
  of February                             stones and throw them. The streets         we would run back inside to follow
                                          were in total chaos and many were          the news on TV, in order to discover
   The second of February will remain     wounded. That night, it was reported       the direction of the next attack of the
an unforgettable date for both my         that four were killed and hundreds         thugs. Al Jazeera channel was the ref-
daughter and myself. The night be-        wounded. From what we saw, it was          erence point to locate what was really
fore, Mubarak had made his second         clear that the death toll must have        going on beyond the square. We could
speech on television in an obvious        been much higher than reported.2           not see the attacks coming from the
evil and threatening tone. He per-        Luckily, the thugs were pushed back        Museum of Antiquities, neither could
sisted that he would not give up his      and they failed to enter the square.       we see the thugs who were attacking
throne. It looked like his wrath would                                               the protesters from the Six of Octo-
soon descend on the disobedient na-         We spent the night in Pierre’s flat.      ber bridge with petrol bombs, but we
tion. On the second of February, in       Pierre was busy putting the hundreds       saw them instead on TV. We also saw
the afternoon, we went to the Tahrir      of photos that were taken from his         on TV how the thugs set fire to the
Square with two of my friends and my      balcony on all possible Facebook ac-       trees on the Square, which made us        4
daughter with the intention of meet-      counts available. It was the first day      all panic at the thought of a possible
ing other friends and of staying there    Internet had been restored after some      bigger fire that might catch the sur-
for a while. My friend Samia proposed     five days of blocking its use. Pierre’s     rounding buildings. The TV screen was
that we pay a visit to our common         charming decadent, Belle Époque flat        our only guide in detecting the dan-
friend Pierre who owns two magnifi-        was turned into a large shelter. Several   ger. But there was a common feeling
cent large flats on the ninth and tenth    beds and blankets were on the floor.        amongst all of us in the flat. Our ha-
floor overviewing the square and the                                                  tred of Mubarak had no limits. We all
angles of Talaat Harb and Bab al-Luq         The two large flats on top of the        had the same idea: tonight’s carnage
street. Around 4 pm, the attacks by       square were transformed into hosting       was exactly one day after Mubarak’s
the armed thugs of the regime com-        lots of people coming and going. There     refusal to step down. If he remains
ing from the direction of the Egyptian    were several French, Italian, American     one more week, the damage will be
Museum started. We saw many se-           and Egyptian reporters, also photog-       beyond imagination. His egomaniacal
verely wounded men carried by groups      raphers; several mothers whose sons        madness had no limits.
of men leaving the square from the        and daughters were in the square and
checkpoints that were guarded by the      the many young and old demonstra-            Most, if not all of us, had our mo-
demonstrators and the army tanks.         tors who took refuge when things be-       biles on (the curfew, or blackout on
Many were shot in their head and the      came nasty downstairs. Some of the         the mobile phones had been lifted).
eyes. The ‘battle of the camels’ had      protesters I met happened to be my         All the mothers were phoning their
already started, but luckily the pro-     former students at the American Uni-       sons and daughters in the Square.
testers managed to arrest the thugs       versity. I was delighted and yet truly     They were describing the images they
who entered the Square with camels        frightened for them in the way that        were seeing on TV to the ones in the
and horses. By then my two friends        they had turned into determined fight-      Square. Some mothers were beg-
had opted to return back to the island    ers. One of my best female students        ging those down there to come up.
of Zamalek where we are all staying.      had been camping in the square for         The reporters were phoning their col-
I remained with my daughter, thinking     four days and looked completely ex-        leagues stranded or possibly lost in
that it was too risky to walk back with   hausted. Other protesters turned out       the skirmishes on the other side of
her. I was already panicking after hav-   to be the sons and daughters of my         the Square.
ing seen so many wounded people.          friends. There were also friends of the
                                          demonstrators who did not know any-          The square, on the other hand, was
 Around 5:30 pm a large crowd of the      one in the flat but they were still wel-    packed with people who kept on revolv-
thugs of the regime came from Ta-         comed. As violence escalated during        ing around the center the whole night
                                                 GDN VOL. 1 / # 4 / APRIL 2011
until dawn. Women and children were         which exposed the flagrant discrepan-        When the Egyptian 68 movement
camping in the middle of the square.        cies between propaganda and reality,        came finally to the streets, it coincid-
Some loudspeakers, located near the         and the ridiculous lies of the state tel-   ed with a national debate about ge-
Omar Makram mosque were playing             evision propaganda. Satellite channels      netic degeneration of races and the
religious slogans, other loudspeakers       gained even more significance when           integration of Turks in Germany by a
were playing patriotic songs from the       Facebook, mobile phones and the In-         parochial Sarrazin. (For a discussion
sixties. At a certain point, very late at   ternet were blocked by the regime.          of the Sarrazin affair, see Helma Lutz,
night, the protesters began rhythmi-                                                    “From Cosmopolitanism to Public So-
cal drumming on their metal shields.           For the coming years, academic           ciology,” Global Dialogue 1/3.)
These different sounds showed how           research agendas will be kept busy
well organized the protesters were.         studying the unprecedented role of Al           It might be premature to compare
The orchestrated cacophony was              Jazeera in the making of Arab revo-         the Egyptian revolution to the Russian
meant to keep them awake and warn           lutions. The revolution’s great victory     and Chinese revolutions. But what
them about the direction of any forth-      was Al Jazeera’s too. The journalists       makes the Egyptian case fascinating
coming danger. There was something          made no attempt to disguise their           is that the Internet, Facebook, mobile
apocalyptic about all this noise, espe-     subjectivity and their support for the      phones, and twitters turned out to be
cially if we add the constant hovering      street. Their habile movement and           vital tools in transmitting information
overhead of the helicopters.                clever anticipation of the ransack-         in the quickest possible way. This re-
                                            ing of their offices and the escalating      vealed how a controversial technology
   The several mothers who spent            witch-hunting they underwent, only          – often negatively assessed as being
the night at Pierre’s waited for their      enhanced their heroic image.                a product of an affluent consumer
daughters and sons who were in the                                                      culture and consumerist lifestyles
square to come up. As we watched               The contagious rebellious spirit that    – was evidently used here for insur-
the news unfold in the late night,          ran through Tunisia, Algeria, Egypt,        gence against the iron curtains of
many of us were in tears. One mother        Yemen, Bahrain, Libya and Oman mes-         the clinically mad Arab despots. But
was talking on her mobile phone beg-        merized the world. It simply exposed        technology here was only a medium;
ging her daughter to give up protest-       the power and velocity of image trans-      it was certainly not the message. The
ing. I glued myself to my daughter          mission through the medium of the           medium was all about velocity, and
and thought that I wished that all this     television. There was clearly a com-        the message was genuinely what was
would be over.                              mon denominator in the protesting           going in the street. Manuel Castells
                                            slogans and the demands that spread         was right in pointing to the role of cy-           5
> Contagion                                 like fire through the Arab world. Arab       berspace in creating new parameters
                                            revolts evolved around broad issues:        of a network society. He speaks of a
  In writing these reflections, my           dignity, recognition, injustice, blatant    new informational language and new
daughter became my main guide in            corruption and despotism.                   codes. Many who saw Tahrir Square
remembering the succession of the                                                       were mesmerized by the cleverness of
events of the night of the 2 of Febru-         It is a fact that the Egyptians have     the young protesters of the 6th of April
ary. Both of us seemed to have ex-          been famed for their wit and their          movement who created the most ef-
perienced a similar problem. We both        lightness of being, through which this      fective and yet the shortest, concise
suffered from an unconscious vague-         revolution succeeded in seducing            ever, anti-Mubarak slogans. These
ness in our attempts to evoke the           large publics in the West. For sure, it     concise slogans were the main means
memory. We became both convinced            was a bloody revolution, but that was       that rallied thousands if not millions of
that much of it had to do with the ten-     not it. Time and again, commenta-           supporters. Some slogans consisted
sion of the situation and the constant      tors did not cease to repeat that the       of one simple word like “irhal” (leave),
shifting between trying to observe the      Square reinvented itself as a magnet        and “baatel” (illegitimate). Was this
Square and following the continuous         for counterculture and popular artistic     the effect of the codified and abbre-
flow of the TV images. My daughter           imagination, for wonderful ironic mu-       viated language of electronic com-
described the night at Pierre’s as a        sicians and dancers. The famed Egyp-        munication, as Castells prophesized?
surrealist moment. One thing is evi-        tian sardonic nokta (the joke) and the      There is no real answer to that.
dent: the pervasive television images       most amazing improvised public per-
have effectively colonized our memory       formances discovered their heyday in        1
                                                                                          Evidently a much higher number had died
and consequently reified reality.            the square.                                 from the first day since there are still hundreds
                                                                                        of people missing.
   Had Adorno and Horkheimer wit-             The children of the revolution taught
nessed the role of Al Jazeera in the        the West a lesson on the beloved              Later the press stated that this number un-
                                                                                        derstated the real death toll. Many died in the
Egyptian revolution, they would cer-        notions of cosmopolitanism and de-
                                                                                        hospitals and the government had issued an
tainly have given a second thought to       mocracy. The application of these two       order not to provide death certificates so as to
their prophecy regarding the ‘culture       claims has been denied for so long          disguise the high number of casualties.
industry’ and the banalizing effect         to the Global South under the infan-
of television. Clearly, the revolution      tilizing excuse that it lacked maturity.
would not have been as successful           These values once again proved to
had there not been satellite channels       be no longer exclusive to the West.

                                                   GDN VOL. 1 / # 4 / APRIL 2011
> The Arab Revolutions:
  Who Are the Actors?
     by Sari Hanafi, American University of Beirut, ISA Executive Committee


  Photo by Mona Abaza.

                                                                     ployed university graduates and the working class, and,
 Unity in the Egyptian Revolution: Green (above) – “Revo-
 lution until Victory” and in Red (below) – “We, the poor            again, they were marked by the call for both social and
 will defend our country and defend the Revolution from the          democratic reform.
 thugs and officers of the Ministry of Interior”.
                                                                        The protestors’ sensitivity to unemployment and their
                                                                     hostility to the neoliberal and neo-patrimonial regimes are
        ver the last four months political earthquakes have          linked to their sense of justice, dignity and freedom: free-

O       shaken the Arab World. These revolutions have
        toppled the presidents of Tunisia and Egypt and
are making their way to Yemen, Bahrain, Libya, Jordan and
                                                                     dom to join political groups and parties, freedom of expres-
                                                                     sion, freedom of religious practice, freedom to write about
                                                                     corrupt people in the government. We shouldn’t forget that
Syria. No matter how one defines the success of these                 the so-called ‘Tunisian economic miracle’ is in the capital
uprisings, it is clear that they are forcing dictatorial regimes     and northern coastal cities but not in the interior of Tunisia
toward political reform.                                             or in the south. The Arab youth felt that they had become a
                                                                     homo sacer, in the sense of the Italian philosopher Giorgio
  The importance of these revolutions resides in the meet-           Agamben, meaning that this was the revolt of ‘bare lives’,
ing of social and democratic demands. We should remem-               of defenceless hungry bodies that the regime has stripped
ber, for example, that the Tunisian uprising had its begin-          of political identity and the right to belong to such groups
nings in Gafsa, two years ago, in a protest over bread and           as the Islamic Renaissance Movement al-Nahda, the Tuni-
unemployment. Dissident bloggers and Facebook users in               sian Communist Labor Party and the Muslim brotherhood.
the Tunisian city of Jarjis demanded the release of politi-
cal prisoners and freedom of expression. In both Tunisia              When the two presidents of Tunisia and Egypt, Ben Ali and
and Egypt, the revolutions were initiated by young, unem-            Mubarak, became sovereigns making the ultimate deci-
                                                     GDN VOL. 1 / # 4 / APRIL 2011
sion over whether to enact a law or to suspend it, whether           received Netanyahu on January 4, the day after Israeli
to ‘take life or let live’, they violated Egyptian and Tunisian      demolished four houses in East Jerusalem and after the
rights – arresting, torturing, murdering and economically            bombing of Gaza in which three Palestinians were killed.
ruining their countries.
                                                                        Hence, the Israeli phobia of these revolutions is well
  In a book that I edited last year called The State of Excep-       grounded. The new Arab regimes will have popular le-
tion and Resistance in the Arab World, the Tunisian soci-            gitimacy, not requiring a Western power to support them.
ologist Mohsen Bouazizi wrote about the silent expressions           Most probably, Egypt will restore its position as a leading
of opposition among the Tunisian youth and how indiffer-             force of Pan-Arabism, strengthening the will of the Palestin-
ence and carelessness are deployed against the regime.               ian people to resist Israel’s colonial project. In interviews,
But what Mohsen Bouazizi didn’t see then is how a figure              protestors repeatedly used the word ‘dignity’, something
such as Mohamed Bouazizi, who is from the same city as               they had been denied by the ousted regimes. These Arab
Mohsen – Sidi Bouzid –, could become so alienated from               revolutions give us food for thought about what kind of
the social life as to become, echoing Touraine’s words, a            social movements are emerging in the Arab world and the
subject: the driving force of a social movement.                     interplay of internal and external actors.

  Mohamed’s body, like that of other young Tunisians, was a          > Actors of the Social Movement
target for the oppressive regime and its disciplinary author-
ity, which aimed to strip it of its political identity. Thus, by       Two groups of actors played a crucial role in these revolu-
committing protest-suicide, Mohamed created a pattern of             tions. First, the educated non-affiliated youths deftly com-
resistance whose effectiveness is achieved at the moment             bined with political parties and unions that traditionally give
of the body’s self-immolation. As the Palestinian research-          such movements the needed momentum and mobilization.
er May Jayussi put it, we are at a moment similar to when            Second, there was the working class, whether members
the Palestinians in the occupied territories challenged the          of unions or not. Many analysts, deliberately or not, miss
sovereign authority that sought to turn them into humili-            the importance of the latter group and mythically present
ated subjects – subjects who could be killed without any             the youth as classless and non-ideological. In reality, these
recognition, i.e. death without value. Mohamed Bouazizi              revolutions in Tunisia and Egypt represent emerging so-
and his fellows, who died by committing suicide, became              cial movements that combine the classical form based
actors who deliberately sacrificed themselves and by that             on social class with a new form in which the struggle for
act, inverted the relationship with the sovereign authority.         civil rights prevails. In addition to working-class identity,
                                                                     the individuals construct themselves in the space between         7
   However, despite all the oppression of Ben Ali’s regime           social integration and disintegration, what Touraine calls
and the use of a permanent state of exception, this regime           commitment and non-commitment, armed with the power
was not a total institution, controlling everything. After all,      of reflexivity. For instance, some activists from the 6th of
it is often the case that oppression is a sign of weakness           April Movement are members of the Muslim brotherhood,
rather than strength, as we saw when the ‘mighty’ regime             but they also criticized the Brotherhood’s actions and how
of Ben Ali could not get the army to follow the oppressive           quickly it entered into dialogue with the old regime.
rule of the police. The system also failed to silence the
opposition, especially in the diaspora. This offers a ray of           In Tunisia, Mohamed Bouazizi’s act sparked an uprising
hope to all those struggling for democratization – to learn          which began as an unorganized and spontaneous event
how to use the regimes’ weaknesses to produce change                 but which was soon taken over by labor unions. The Gener-
in the order.                                                        al Union of Tunisian Workers was masterful in dealing with
                                                                     the regime: In Northern Tunisia, especially in the capital,
  Indeed, the symbolic dimension of these Arab revolutions           the leaders of the union were negotiating with the regime
is remarkable. In Egypt, the revolutionary youth are edu-            while their counterparts in the south were opposing it. The
cated individuals – men and women, Muslim and Christian              Bar Association also played an important role in expanding
– who use mobiles and laptops to communicate their revo-             the protestors from youth to all ages, and from the regions
lution while, at the same time, carrying handmade signs.             to the capital, Tunis. One might note the prominent place
This revolution is fully indigenous. There are no USAID or           of lawyers, and even judges, in social movements across
other international agencies funding glossy placards and             the Arab and Islamic world, from Egypt to Pakistan.
brochures or workshops in five-star hotels. In complete
contrast, the supporters of the calcified regime came with              As for Egypt, the revolution was started by the 6th of April
their horses and their camels, bricks, knives and sticks.            Movement as a youth movement in solidarity with the labor
                                                                     strikes in Al-Mahalla al-Kubra. They used Facebook, Twitter
   In the Arab revolutions, the Arab-Israeli conflict was not         and SMS, to mobilize thousands of demonstrators on Jan-
absent. Both Egyptian and Tunisian regimes, being part               uary 25, and, with the help of the political opposition they
of what is called the ‘axis of moderation’, had a political          reached millions of protestors in al-Tahrir Square in Cairo,
discourse that was deeply at odds with popular feelings,             Alexandria, Swiss (where workers demonstrations were
which saw their regimes’ moderation as a green light for             prominent), Zakazik, Mansoura, etc. Each demonstrator
Israel’s colonial project and the siege of Gaza. I was sur-          became a ‘journalist’ carrying a mobile phone and film-
prised to see that even in a pro-government newspaper                ing state repression, thereby bypassing the official media.
like al-Ahram, there was criticism of Mubarak for having             Indeed, we are in a period of revolutions where political
                                                     GDN VOL. 1 / # 4 / APRIL 2011
and civil rights supersede ideological claims. Arab regimes
as well as some Arab and western scholars and journal-
ists thought that the Arab street could only be mobilized               > History Corner
by political Islam. Both the Tunisian and Egyptian cases
                                                                               by Jennifer Platt, ISA Vice-President
show that although Islamic movements are important, by
                                                                               for Publications
themselves they cannot succeed, rather there is a need
for alliances with other oppositional groups. The strength
                                                                                   ith the Executive Committee holding its an-
of Islamic movements resides in going beyond simplistic
slogan “Islam is the solution” toward freedom and democ-
racy – joining forces with other oppositional parties.
                                                                        W          nual meeting in Mexico City (March 21-25),
                                                                                   plus the bonus of a seminar with Mexican col-
                                                                        leagues, it is appropriate to write on aspects of the his-
                                                                        tory of the ISA in Mexico. Until the 1990s Latin America
  But what about human rights associations and civil and
                                                                        as a whole provided only about 4% of ISA’s individual
non-governmental organizations (NGOs)? Many donors and
                                                                        members, but they occupied a larger share of positions
international organizations limit their view of civil society to
                                                                        in Research Committees and on the Executive, which
these ‘depoliticized’ associations, thinking they would be              has almost always had Latin American representation.
the ones to carry the winds of change. These associations               Gino Germani (Argentina, Vice-President 1962-6) and
played an auxiliary role in relation to the syndicates and              Fernando Cardoso (Brazil, President 1982-6) were espe-
opposition parties, disseminating information about casu-               cially prominent. The first member of the EC based in
alties and death tolls, urging international powers, at both            Mexico, however, was Francisco Zapata, a political exile
official and unofficial levels, to take firm positions against             from Chile, for 1978-82; he was nominated by Alain Tou-
the regime. Therefore, one of the most important features               raine, with whom he had studied in Paris. The next was
of civil society was the synergy between syndicates and                 Jorge González, for 1994-8.
parties and NGOs. It is time for donors who focus only on
NGOs to extend their support to all those institutions not                A major highlight was the World Congress of 1982, held
only to avoid the inflation of NGOs, but to strengthen the               in Mexico City – the first ever in a country of the Third
syndicates and parties which will, in turn, feed the NGOs               World. Under ISA President Ulf Himmelstrand the general
with fresh talent.                                                      theme was ‘Sociological Theory and Social Practice’; the
                                                                        local arrangements committee was led by Gerardo Es-
   In contrast with the Eastern and Central Europe revolu-              trada of the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México.
tions, these two revolutions do not have a unified opposition            The numbers of participants were unexpectedly large, so
leadership. Rather, we witness revolutions without leaders,             that an emergency printing of more programs was re-
fragmentation without organization, although over time this             quired – and, perhaps more importantly, some of the
has improved. Mass media, although less important, none-                effective participation probably did not come only from
                                                                        those registered to attend.
theless did inform people of what was going on, especially
when the national Tunisian and Egyptian TV stations were
                                                                          Local students objected strongly to both form and con-
completely misinforming their publics. On January 26th,
                                                                        tent of the meetings. The program had few papers which
Egyptian TV showed a cooking program, as if nothing was
                                                                        dealt with Mexican problems; at the time, those were
happening in the streets. Channels such as Al Jazeera, BBC              acute, with devaluation against the dollar and nationali-
Arabic and France 24 transmitted images sent to them                    zation of banks. For many Mexicans sociology was orient-
from the mobiles of the activists, providing information and            ed to political activity as much as to a purely academic
analysis. I should stress that Al Jazeera turned from the               style of work, so the failure to focus on such issues was
‘principal of non-interference’ in internal Arab affairs to a           strongly criticized. This demand was met by the impro-
stance of ‘solidarity’ with Arab public grievances.                     vised organization of a large number of sessions addition-
                                                                        al to the official programme, but held in the same build-
> What Next?                                                            ing, with Mexican speakers and topics. The fact that the
                                                                        meeting was almost entirely conducted in English was
  Finally, we can only hope that this wonderful uprising is a           also attacked. A large demonstration at a plenary session
starting point for a process of democratization – a process             demanded translation into Spanish (not then an official
                                                                        language of the ISA) – one banner had the slogan ‘Cer-
that will be full of minefields. Whatever else, people will no
                                                                        vantes yes, Shakespeare no’; other sessions were also
longer be convinced that the only choice is between the
                                                                        interrupted to make this demand. ISA’s finances did not
stability and security of a dictator and the danger of Islamic
                                                                        then (and do not now) permit professional simultaneous
extremism. Mao Zedong’s old motto is pertinent: “There
                                                                        translation except for plenary sessions, but arrangements
is great chaos under heaven – the situation is excellent.”              were made for students to offer translation for some ses-
For the immediate future we should expect many difficult                 sions. (Artur Meier, writing a later report on the Congress,
moments and a lot of negotiation with the Army that has                 suggested that these demonstrations were not really just
taken power in both Tunisia and Egypt.                                  a language conflict, but an assertion of national cultural
                                                                        identity in the face of wider US hegemony experienced
                                                                        as imperialism.) Similar protest was made when in 1990
                                                                        the World Congress was held in Madrid, and Spanish was
                                                                        then finally made an official language of the ISA.

                                                     GDN VOL. 1 / # 4 / APRIL 2011
> Solidarity With Japanese Sociologists
  The ISA Executive Committee would like to express sympathy and solidarity with the victims of the
terrible Japanese earthquake and tsunami as well as of the nuclear accident they have precipitated.
We know that the Japanese people will continue to confront this unprecedented tragedy with fortitude
and a renewed collective spirit. We would like to express our commitment to Japanese sociology in
any way feasible, but especially to the success of the ISA World Congress of Sociology in Yokohama
in 2014. We know that this event is the culmination of 100 years of Japanese sociology. We doubly
appreciate that in this time of great anxiety and distress two members of the Japanese Sociological
Society – its President, Professor Shujiro Yawaza, and the head of the Local Organizing Committee for
the 2014 Congress, Professor Koichi Hasegawa – managed to attend the meeting of the ISA Executive
Committee in Mexico City. Professor Hasegawa presented the following report to the Executive Com-
mittee, which we reproduce in full below.


                                                                                   Disaster Prevention Center.
                                                                                   Photo by Koichi Hasegawa.

  Along the beautiful and deeply-indented coast line of North-East Japan, the tsunami destroyed every fishing port,
sweeping away wooden buildings, and leaving just steel structures. This picture of the devastated town of Minami
Sanriku shows the frame of its three-story disaster prevention center. From among the more than thirty officials work-
ing in the building on March 11, only eight including the town mayor were miraculously rescued from the roof top.
The others died, including a young woman whose job it was to broadcast evacuation instructions over the community
wireless system. Her voice rescued many people, but she was swept away. The newly erected electricity pylons mark
the fighting spirit of hope and determination to rebuild Japan.

                                              GDN VOL. 1 / # 4 / APRIL 2011
                              > Yokohama
                                The Harbor
                                of Hope
                                          by Koichi Hasegawa, Tohoku University, Sendai, Chair of Local
                                          Organizing Committee for 2014 World Congress of Sociology,

           isastrous earthquakes and      first five minutes. This is the reason      To change Japan’s energy policy,

D          tsunami waves hit the Pa-
           cific Ocean side of north-
east Japan in the afternoon of March
                                          why the tsunami from the 9.0 quakes
                                          grew so unexpectedly fast and why
                                          the damages from the waves were
                                                                                    did we need another nuclear dis-
                                                                                    aster like in Chernobyl?

11th. The City of Sendai, where I live,   beyond our imagination.                     Many of us are deeply worried about
was one of the most severely dam-                                                   the nuclear reactors in Fukushima. As
aged areas. My family and I were             Yet, considering the number and        an environmental sociologist and a
fortunate enough to survive. When         size of the earthquakes, the fourth       scholar of social movements, I have      10
the earthquake struck, I just hap-        largest in the world, and the high        been totally opposed to Japan’s ener-
pened to be working on the budget         population density of Japanese so-        gy policy of promoting nuclear power.
for the ISA World Congress of Sociol-     ciety, damages ended up relatively        In 1996 I published a critique of that
ogy. A peaceful Friday afternoon sud-     small. Communities were well-pre-         policy in a book titled A Choice for
denly turned into a disaster. A series    pared with quake-resistant buildings.     a Post Nuclear Society, which urged
of massive and never-experienced          Schools and neighborhoods had rou-        the Japanese government to termi-
tremors attacked me, my family, and       tinely conducted emergency drills for     nate its nuclear power policy. When
the entire area. Almost all my books      earthquakes and tsunami.                  I was invited to give public lectures,
and folders fell to the floor. And the                                               I often raised the following question.
next moment, I was in the midst of                                                  “In order to change the Japan’s en-
piles of books and papers that rose          I am very proud that so far no ri-     ergy policy, do we need another nu-
a meter high. Even now, two weeks         ots or plundering have been reported.     clear disaster like Chernobyl?” It is
later, I still cannot believe what has    Even after the worst damage, even         extremely unfortunate that my warn-
happened. I feel I’ve been part of a      in the most severely affected areas,      ing from 15 years ago had to come
movie, not real life.                     and even in Metropolitan Tokyo, peo-      true. The Japanese government has
                                          ple behaved calmly, joining lines for     missed and neglected several chanc-
                                          food, water and delayed transporta-       es to learn lessons from the Three
   Just like San Francisco and Los
                                          tion. Many foreign reporters were im-     Mile Island disaster, the Chernobyl
Angeles, Japan experiences many
                                          pressed that a sense of order, charac-    nuclear disaster and other less well-
earthquakes. Japan is located on
                                          teristic of Japanese culture, prevailed   known accidents. I regret to say that
the boundary of four tectonic plates.
                                          even under this catastrophe.              I have a sense of powerlessness and
Thus, to some extent, earthquakes
have always shaped the history of                                                   emptiness with regard to this issue.
Japanese society, and the Japanese         Almost 10 thousand deaths have al-
people always expect and are pre-         ready been reported, mainly in coast-
pared for big quakes. However, no         al areas, and over 16 thousand peo-       > Our Venue is Safe
one anticipated the continuous and        ple are still missing after two weeks.      Against earthquakes
multiple shocks that rocked north-        These earthquakes and tsunami are
east Japan – three large-scale ones       the worst natural disasters of modern        I can understand if you all start
occurred one after another within the     Japanese history.                         thinking twice about travelling to Ja-
                                                 GDN VOL. 1 / # 4 / APRIL 2011
                                             which began its work in June, 2008.       hope for greater opportunities. Cur-
                                             The 17 members come from all over         rently Yokohama is one of Japan’s
                                             Japan and work in diverse areas of        global cities and vividly shows many
                                             research. We are doing our best to        faces of diversity, displaying fascinat-
                                             build the best organized World Con-       ing differences and dynamics based
                                             gress of Sociology ever. Collaborat-      on different ethnicities, challenging
                                             ing with the Executive Committee of       the stereotypical image of a homoge-
                                             the ISA and the Japan Sociological        neous Japanese society.
                                             Society, we are learning from experi-
                                             ences and the lessons of Gothenburg         One of our concerns is the number
                                             Congress. As regards PACIFICO Yoko-       of registered participants. Our tar-
                                             hama, within one site there are two       get is to attract more than 5000
                                             closely located buildings, providing      delegates as was the case for the
                                             80 meeting rooms for research com-        Gothenburg Congress. I am afraid
                                             mittees and other groups. It takes no     that the number of participants might
                                             more than 10 minutes to walk be-          be less because of negative images
                                             tween any two rooms.                      concerning big earthquakes and a
 Koichi Hasegawa, Chair of the Local Orga-                                             nuclear accident.
 nizing Committee for the Yokohama World
 Congress.                                     The Japanese LOC is preparing five
                                             thematic sessions on the following          But I know you are NOT ‘armchair
                                             topics:                                   sociologists’. You are all brave soci-
pan for the next ISA World Congress                                                    ologists facing social reality. Please
in 2014. But let me tell you – you will      • Natural and Human disasters, and        urge your colleagues, friends and
want to come and see how revived             the recovery of local society             students, to come to Yokohama in
Japan will be by then. The history of        • Low fertility, rapidly aging society,   three years time, in 2014, to see and
Japanese society is one of overcom-          and changing gender relations             experience a renewed and fortified
ing disastrous experiences – the Great       • Civil society issues: CSOs, NGOs,       Japanese society. Your commitment
Kanto Earthquake of 1923, WWII Air           social movements                          to visiting Japan and to participating
Raids on Tokyo and the atomic bombs          • Compressed modernization and glo-       in the World Congress will be a major      11
dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki            balization in the East Asian context      boost to Japanese society and Japa-
in 1945, and most recently the Kobe          • Social research and education in        nese sociology. Please make sure you
Earthquake of 1995.                          the field of sociology                     come to Japan and see the people
                                                                                       and its culture with your own eyes,
  The City of Yokohama and the con-            These topics are very closely related   so that you can experience and feel
ference venue, PACIFICO Yokohama,            to the theme of the Congress: Facing      Japan’s recovery. Let us make Yoko-
did not experience any major damage          an Unequal World: Challenges for a        hama, again, the Harbor of Hope,
from the recent earthquakes. After           Global Sociology. We are also stress-     a place for brave sociologists facing
them, the City of Yokohama informed          ing East Asian perspectives, and we       an unequal world and seeking alter-
me that buildings are made ready for         are collaborating with Korean, Chi-       natives and sustainable futures. The
large-scale earthquakes and regu-            nese and Taiwanese sociologists.          Yokohama congress is yours. Thank
larly monitored for safety. Our meet-                                                  you all for your kind support.
ing venue is constructed so as to be
completely earthquake-resistant. And         > Make Yokohama the
a tsunami in Yokohama is unheard of.           Harbor of Hope
In its 152 years of history, there has
been only one tiny wave recorded and            PACIFICO Yokohama is located in
that didn’t cause any damage. The            the area of Minato-Mirai, called the
shape of the Yokohama Bay makes it           ‘Harbor of the Future’, also meaning
hard for tsunami waves to get into the       ‘Harbor of Hope’. Yokohama has long
area. Yokohama and its people are            been the hub of East-West interac-
very well prepared for earthquakes.          tions and the center of Northeast and
                                             Southeast Asian exchanges – bridging
                                             Asia and America, and linking North-
> The Japanese LOC                           ern and Southern parts of Asia to the
  Will Do Its Best                           world. It was the Harbor of Hope for
                                             the youth leaving Asia for abroad be-
  The Japanese Local Organizing              fore the time of air travel. Many en-
Committee is a broad national team           tered Japan through Yokohama with

                                                    GDN VOL. 1 / # 4 / APRIL 2011
> An International Sociology With
  Diverse Epistemes
     by Sujata Patel, University of Hyderabad, India

         lobal Dialogue has initiated an interesting debate         the demands of human progress. Instead of perceiving mo-
         regarding international sociology. My intervention         dernity as a world economic system (a capitalist produc-
         is directed to Ulrich Beck’s two contributions on          tion system together with its market), sustained by a politi-
the theme of ‘the cosmopolitan turn’ (Global Dialogue               cal formation (a system of nation-states, each legitimated
1:2 and 1:3) and also alludes to the comments made                  through law), a social organization (in the form of classes,
on this subject by Raewyn Connell (Global Dialogue 1:2).            gender, races, ethnicities) together with cultural practices
This comment restricts itself to three ideas: methodo-              (such as leisure, good life), the Eurocentric imagination rei-
logical cosmopolitanism, methodological nationalism and             fied it to mean, as Arif Dirlik argues, a ‘culturalist’ process
global sociology.                                                   internal to Europe. This self emerged not only in terms of
                                                                    its own endogenous development but also in and through
  Cosmopolitanism, as Craig Calhoun says, is in fashion.            the organization of colonial and imperialist processes of
Instead of elaborating its various meanings and trajecto-           domination. However, European scholars have evaluated
ries, I use it in its common understanding – the recognition        and continue to evaluate this discourse not in its mutual
of the ‘other’ in all its forms, or to put it more evocatively,     relationship with colonialism, but within the confines of its
as the editorial of the 2000 issue of Public Culture does:          own endogenous history and its language. This orientation
“in its wide and wavering nets” it “catches something of            continues today to explain the processes of high, radical
our need to ground our sense of mutuality in conditions of          or second modernity within Europe and North America and
mutuality…”. Surely only when we recognize this mutuality           organizes the discussion of methodological nationalism.
and difference, is it possible to combine what Beck states
are the “contradictory perspectives (Northern and South-
ern) systematically on the level of sociological analysis”.         > Methodological Nationalism
   My question is: Why does Beck’s methodological cos-                                                                                12
                                                                      Critical to the theory of methodological nationalism are
mopolitanism not recognize one of the most significant
                                                                    two concepts, that of space and place. Theorists have tried
experiences of sociological scholarship in the various re-
                                                                    to keep these analytically separate, but oftentimes there
gions of the south? This has not only been discussed
                                                                    is a conceptual fuzziness in their use. Most often space is
by Connell in her book, Southern Theory, but it has also
                                                                    understood as an abstract discourse of enumerating social
been elaborated by many scholars from the Global South.
                                                                    interrelations, while place is perceived to be the physical
It has been termed and identified as academic depend-
                                                                    location where it is actualized – places are produced in
ency and its manifestations have been explored within
                                                                    terms of a mix of social relations. Over time, these places
teaching and learning processes, in the curriculum, in
                                                                    ‘stretch out’ and identify themselves in terms of a ‘con-
the processes of research, in the formulation of criteria
                                                                    sciousness’ and associated symbolic meanings (such as
adopted for accepting articles for journals and books, and
                                                                    in case of a city, Buenos Aires or a nation-state, South
ultimately in defining where one publishes and what is
                                                                    Africa). And in turn, these identities allow solidarities to be
academic excellence.
                                                                    constructed against other places/territories, such as the
                                                                    national (Singapore against Malaysia) and supranational
   What are the reasons for the continuing prevalence of
                                                                    (Indonesia against Holland) by utilizing bonds and solidari-
these academic dependencies? The answers are many
                                                                    ties of ‘local’ places (Tahrir Square).
and it starts with the explorations of the relationship be-
tween colonialism and its forms of knowledge. However, its
prevalence in the form of the ‘captive mind’ syndrome (in             Methodological nationalism confuses the complex articu-
the words of Syed Hussein Alatas), even after the formal            lation between space and place when it argues that the
demise of colonialism, has led many to explore the theo-            conceptions of the nation, nationality and nationalism have
ries regarding modernity and thus sociology. Scholars have          impinged only negatively on the framing of social sciences
argued that European and North American sociological                (both in the way theories were organized and methodolo-
theories are ethnocentric and that its Eurocentric episteme         gies and methods were implemented). It may have done
has constrained the developments of a genuinely inclusive           so in the colonizing imperial countries, such as France
discipline that may be termed ‘cosmopolitan’.                       and Germany where the ‘founders’ of sociology elaborated
                                                                    the disciplines’ canons, but this contention cannot be ac-
  A Eurocentric imagination understands itself in terms of          cepted for the entire world. For, nation and nationalism
its own self image. This self saw its growth located in Eu-         have also positively implicated themselves in discourses in
ropean Enlightenment which created a new rationalist and            ex-colonial countries, such as India. An examination of the
humanist subject. With reason and science, this subject             history of the discipline of sociology in India allows us to
conquered time and space, thereby ensuring and fulfilling            understand these complexities.
                                                    GDN VOL. 1 / # 4 / APRIL 2011
   Social science, when it developed in India, used a na-           tionalist sociologies of the ex-colonial countries, has not
tionalist conception to question colonialism’s use of an-           created methodological problems. It is clear that these so-
thropological theories and methodologies to structure a             ciologies have made invisible and/or discounted the place-
discourse of ‘Indian’ society as a non-modern society. The          bound voices and experiences of the ‘local’ ‘weak’, and the
growth of nationalist ideologies, in the pre-independence           ‘marginal’ subalterns. If sociologies of the end of the 20th
phase and later, allowed for an interrogation of received           century questioned the supranational, it also dominated
colonial knowledge that assessed ‘Indian society’ from the          and universalized its own infra-local. The moot question is:
‘outside’, asserting a need to study it from the ‘inside’,          what kinds of frames are needed to create an international
thereby facilitating the creation of a sociological language        sociology that can include in its analysis these conflictual
in debate with theories developed within European sociol-           and contradictory processes of dominance-subordination
ogy. With the initiation of a nationalist modernist project,        that have organized its differential epistemes and silenced
that used higher education for creating opportunities for           the many others in the world?
mobility, these nationalist-oriented social sciences came
to play a critical role in conceptualizing planned social
change and development.
                                                                    > Global Sociology?
                                                                       I am with Beck when he asks, “how can social and politi-

         “...Why does Beck’s                                        cal theory be opened up, theoretically, empirically as well
                                                                    as methodologically and normatively, to historically new,
                                                                    entangled modernities which threaten their own founda-
 methodological cosmopoli-                                          tions? ” We may debate whether ‘entangled modernities’
  tanism not recognize one                                          is the correct categorization to use in order to examine
                                                                    the interconnected world capitalist system that was struc-
 of the most significant ex-                                         tured in uneven and combined processes, since the 15th
                                                                    century till today. But it is clear that we need to move on
  periences of sociological                                         and away from the representations that have organized its
                                                                    discourse (as in sociology) from the 18th century onwards
 scholarship in the various                                         in terms of the binaries of the universal (Eurocentric)/par-
  regions of the south?...                             ”            ticular (ex-colonial and national). Simultaneously, we have
                                                                    to ensure that when we do this, we do not use a universal
                                                                    episteme that once again creates a ‘captive’ mind, both in
                                                                    the words and language we use and their meanings.
  Thus, in the case of India, as in other ex-colonial coun-
tries, methodological nationalism was a self-conscious
                                                                        Unfortunately the terms ‘cosmopolitan’/’cosmopolitani
embrace of a place/territory to create a set of guidelines to
                                                                    sm’ and ‘global’ have had a long history within European
confront colonial discourses of social sciences. Identifica-
                                                                    modernities and remain overburdened with these histories
tion with the ‘place’ allowed ‘national’ intellectuals to build
                                                                    and thus their meanings. I have thus preferred to use ‘di-
intellectual solidarity against dominant colonial knowledge.
                                                                    versities’, because in many languages, including English,
Second, the recognition of this place-bound solidarity fa-
                                                                    its usage has been multivariate and its meanings range
cilitated the growth of an ‘alternate’ discourse. This then
                                                                    from a simple assertion of difference to an elaboration of
became the principle for organizing the institutionalization
                                                                    an ontological theory of difference that recognizes power
of knowledge systems through a gamut of policies and
                                                                    as a central concept in the creation of epistemes. Sym-
regulations. These policies determined the protocols and
                                                                    bolically it also implies a dispersal rather than homogeniza-
practices of teaching and learning processes, establish-
                                                                    tion. Also, in its effects (as an ontological theory), its usage
ment and practices of research within research institutes,
                                                                    allows these epistemes not to be placed in a single line
distribution of grants for research, language of reflection,
                                                                    and considered equal in terms of each other. Rather these
organization of the profession and definitions of scholars
                                                                    remain in various mutual relations with each other and in
and scholarship.
                                                                    turn are organised by conditions of their own mutuality.
                                                                    These conditions are structured by various levels of space/
   This genealogy needs to be highlighted and valued in
                                                                    place dynamics within a matrix of power. Individually these
juxtaposition of the negativities outlined in the debate of
                                                                    are neither superior nor inferior and collectively these re-
methodological nationalism. Rather than restricting an un-
                                                                    main distinct, various, universal but interconnected. They
derstanding of international sociology, nationalist sociolo-
                                                                    present and define their own theories to assess their dis-
gies from ex-colonial countries have enlarged it. On the
                                                                    tinct and different perspectives of sociologies and its theo-
one hand, these have asserted alternate ways of assessing
                                                                    ries and practices.
contextual processes thereby underlining the many par-
ticularities that have structured the world and on the other,
                                                                      The challenge today is to create this language and the
have highlighted the inequalities that structures interna-
                                                                    intellectual infrastructure that can recognize this matrix
tional sociology. This heritage has relevance today and
                                                                    of power when it promotes the many voices of sociologi-
cannot be wished away.
                                                                    cal traditions.
  This is not to assert that the reduction of ‘society’ to
place/territory (as defined by the nation-state) within na-

                                                    GDN VOL. 1 / # 4 / APRIL 2011
> Facing Inequality: An International
  Debate in Mexico City
     by Raquel Sosa Elízaga, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, ISA Vice-President
     for Program

                                                                                       Göran Therborn, Member of Program Com-
                                                                                       mittee, addressing Conference on Inequality
                                                                                       at UNAM.

          longside the Executive Com-      a crossroads of civilization, that the     web forces us to rethink not only our

A         mittee Meeting of the ISA in
          Mexico City, March 21-25,
2011, the Faculty of Political and So-
                                           overuse of natural resources and en-
                                           vironmental destruction threaten to
                                           affect the chances of reproduction
                                                                                      explanations but also proposals for
                                                                                      overcoming inequality and the prob-
                                                                                      lems it generates.

cial Sciences of the National Autono-      of life on the planet. From our con-
mous University in Mexico City collect-    cern with wars and disasters to the           Finally, different conceptions of jus-
ed together prominent Mexican, Latin       experience of water struggles, all the     tice were present in our discussion,
American and other international col-      participants showed awareness and          from those introduced by John Rawls
leagues to debate inequality. In three     commitment to the principle of avoid-      and Amartya Sen, to the sociologi-
lectures, the President of the Asso-       ing predation and to searching for         cal contributions of Göran Therborn,
ciation, Michael Burawoy, Rolando          real alternatives that would protect       David Harvey and Pierre Bourdieu.
Cordera and Göran Therborn explored        our collective existence.                  Understanding the relationship be-
the scope of the study of inequality,                                                 tween inequality and exclusion, in-
its origins and development in the so-        In every session, the study of this     equality and violence, inequality and
cial sciences and the various implica-     complex phenomenon recognized the          power relations and their impact on
tions for the contemporary world.          overlapping and intersecting inequali-     the organization of public space dem-
                                           ties involved in discrimination, racism,   onstrate the limitations of narrow dis-
   Three panel discussions involving       violence against women, ignorance          ciplinary perspectives. The urgency of
eighteen colleagues from different         and indifference to the needs of com-      the situation globally calls on sociol-
countries gave us a comprehensive          munities and towns, denial of cultural     ogy to influence public debate.
overview of the theoretical debate         diversity, and the rise of new groups,
around inequality, knowledge of its        sectors and social classes. We were           This was the first of a series of fo-
different social and cultural expres-      able to draw on speakers’ knowledge        rums, workshops, and seminars that
sions, and perspectives from differ-       of inequality in countries such as In-     will engage the question of inequal-
ent regions. We explored the risks         dia, South Africa, Mexico and other        ity in the world today – discussions
of deepening inequality and how or-        countries in Latin America, Lebanon,       that will continue in the ISA Forum in
ganized communities could address          Japan, the UAE, the US, Spain, the         Buenos Aires (2012) and culminate
inequalities, which have worsened          Philippines, Sweden, France, Russia,       in the Yokohama World Congress in
dramatically over the last thirty years.   Britain. It was an instructive examina-    2014. This should inspire new direc-
                                           tion of the different meanings and de-     tions in sociology that is now enjoying
  From a critical perspective, sever-      grees of inequality in diverse cultural    international resurgence.
al colleagues argued that we are at        contexts. The weaving of this complex

                                                  GDN VOL. 1 / # 4 / APRIL 2011
> Executive Committee Meetting in
  Mexico City, March 21-25, 2011
     by Michael Burawoy, University of California, Berkeley and ISA President

                                                                                         The ISA Executive Committee meeting in
                                                                                         the beautiful Botanical Gardens of UNAM,
                                                                                         Mexico City.

                                                                                           We agreed that I would set up a
                                                                                       number of subcommittees to deal with
                                                                                       questions concerning the human rights
                                                                                       of sociologists, early-career sociologists,
                                                                                       ISA prizes, and the affiliation of ISA to
                                                                                       other international organizations.

                                                                                        What follows are summaries of the re-
                                                                                       ports of the individual Vice-Presidents.

                                                                                       Margaret Abraham, Vice-Presi-
                                                                                       dent for Research

                                                                                         The Research Coordinating Commit-
                                                                                       tee (RCC) had a productive meeting
                                                                                       in Mexico City. It addressed matters
                                                                                       arising from the previous RCC meet-
                                                                                       ing in Gothenburg. This included post-
                                                                                       ing online the updated Aims and Re-           15

          he ISA Executive Committee         I reported on my various visits to dif-
          spent 5 days meeting in Mex-     ferent countries since being elected        quirements for Research Committees
          ico City, generously hosted by   President at the Gothenburg Congress        and approving the recommendation
the Faculty of Political and Social Sci-   and then presented progress on our          to increase the minimum number of
ences at UNAM, Universidad Nacional        new Digital Worlds: the new newslet-        members required to establish a Re-
Autónoma de México, in particular by       ter, Global Dialogue, now appearing in      search Committee (RC) from 25 to
its Dean, Dr. Fernando Castañeda           9 languages 6 times a year; the open        50 ISA members in good standing,
Sabido, who is also President of the       university, Global Sociology, Live!; our    and 25 members to establish a Work-
Mexican Sociological Association,          own Sociotube devoted to sociology          ing Group (WG). Margaret Abraham
and Dr. Raquel Sosa Elízaga who is         in action; and finally our blog, Uni-        presented reports on Congrex (based
also Vice-President of the ISA for Pro-    versities in Crisis. They have all been     on input from RCs, WGs and TGs –
gram. The 5 day marathon began with        well received and the ISA now has an        Thematic Groups) and on the plans
a day-long meeting of the Program          active Facebook page that has drawn         for the 2012 Forum in Buenos Aires.
Committee, and then meetings of            a lot of attention. I emphasized the        The RCC discussed these reports and
the Publications Committee chaired         importance of connecting teams of           other RC related matters including
by VP Jennifer Platt, the Finance
        ,                                  young sociologists across the globe         the RC51 Board elections. It also re-
and Membership Committee chaired           to work on these Digital Worlds.            viewed proposals for two new Themat-
by VP Robert Van Krieken, the Na-
       ,                                                                               ic Groups: (1) Institutional Ethnogra-
tional Liaison Committee, chaired            Part of my commitment to Digital          phy and (2) Senses and Society. The
by VP Tina Uys, and the Research
       ,                                   Worlds is to create greater openness        former was approved while the latter
Coordinating Committee, chaired by         and transparency both in the operations     is under review. A major portion of the
VP Margaret Abraham. The Execu-
   ,                                       of the Executive Committee and in its       meeting was devoted to the review
tive Committee met as a whole for          relation to the National Associations,      and approval of ISA Research Com-
two days at the end of the week. Si-       Research Committees and general             mittee grant applications for 2011.
multaneous with the meetings of the        membership. So we will now publish
various committees our hosts organ-        a short annual report of our proceed-       Jennifer Platt, Vice-President
ized an exciting conference, drawing       ings, like this one, in Global Dialogue,    for Publications
on Mexican and ISA sociologists, ad-       including the EC’s major decisions. We
dressing the theme Facing Inequal-         also discussed a set of principles that        ISA journals have been doing well,
ity: A Challenge for the Contemporary      would govern our decision-making and        with increased submissions, circula-
World, prefiguring the debates at the       deliberations, including recognition of     tion and citations. However, editors’
ISA World Congress in Yokohama.            ‘conflict of interests’.                     workloads have increased, and some
                                                  GDN VOL. 1 / # 4 / APRIL 2011
previous local financial support has        exchanges as well as proposals to ad-       Robert Van Krieken, Vice-Presi-
been withdrawn; a (successful) bid,        dress one of the most pressing prob-        dent for Finance and Membership
supported by details of current costs,     lems of the contemporary world.
was therefore made for increased                                                         The Finance and Membership Com-
funding. Efforts are being made to                                                     mittee met on 22 March 2011 and
identify regional problems in accessing    Tina Uys, Vice-President for
                                                                                       reported to the Executive Commit-
digital content, so that policy can be     National Associations
                                                                                       tee on 25 March. After considering
adapted as required. A volume trans-                                                   a number of membership issues, in-
lating important work written by schol-        The National Associations Liaison
                                                                                       cluding the question of differentiating
ars from North East Asia is planned in     Committee (NALC) discussed the ap-
                                                                                       the Life Membership fee for Category
connection with the Yokohama 2014          plications for regular collective mem-
                                                                                       A, B, and C countries and the problem
World Congress of Sociology.               bership and website development and
                                                                                       of increasing membership in Category
                                           regional conference grants from the
                                                                                       B and C countries, a membership
  No complete application for the next     National Associations. Applications
                                                                                       sub-committee was formed to report
editorship of the International Sociol-    from the Argentinian, Bangladesh,
                                                                                       with recommendations to the next EC
ogy Review of Books was received by        Irish, Lebanese and the Mozambican
                                                                                       meeting in 2012.
the deadline; it was agreed to extend      Sociological Associations were ap-
this, and to encourage further candi-      proved. Members of the NALC were
                                                                                         As the NALC did, so did the Finance
dates to apply. The editor of Current      appointed to act as liaisons for the
                                                                                       and Membership Committee approve
Sociology has run workshops for po-        new members.
                                                                                       the applications for collective regu-
tential authors, and a ‘Meet the Edi-                                                  lar membership. The contracts and
tors’ session was held in Mexico City.        When discussing the grant applica-       budgets for the two major forthcom-
Similar activities will be organized at    tions the NALC considered it impor-         ing conferences – the Forum in Bue-
as many meetings and training activi-      tant to clarify the requirements for        nos Aires in 2012 and the World Con-
ties as possible.                          the two grants. A website develop-          gress in Yokohama in 2014 – were
                                           ment grant is awarded for assistance        discussed as they approach finality.
Raquel Sosa, Vice-President for            in establishing a functioning website
Program                                    for a national association. Support for       It was decided to make provision for
                                           a substantial revision of a website is      donations to the ISA when commenc-
   The Program Committee for the           a low priority. It was also decided that    ing or renewing ISA membership. The
World Congress in Yokohama (2014)          National Associations shoul d be en-        provisional 2011 budget was revised         16
is composed of the President, the          couraged to provide the home page           in light of applications for grants from
Vice-Presidents for Research and           of their websites in one of the official     National Associations and Research
National Associations, 4 members of        languages of the ISA. The aim of a          Committees, from the President for
the Executive Committee, the chair of      grant for a regional conference is to       his Global Dialogue newsletter and
the Local Organizing Committee and         provide funding for fostering dialogue      from the Publications Committee.
6 social scientists chosen for their ex-   across national borders in a region or
pertise, and representation of differ-     for cross-region workshops. Website           Finally, a summary budget was final-
ent academic traditions and regions.       development and regional workshop           ized for 2010 which will be made avail-
The committee is chaired by the Vice-      grants were awarded to the Alba-            able to the membership on request.
President of Program. Its basic task is    nian Institute of Sociology and the
to shape the scientific program and         Kyrgyzstan National Association; the        Other Items
debates that will take place in Yoko-      Spanish and Portuguese National As-
hama by organizing the various plena-      sociations received a joint grant for the     We discussed reports from our repre-
ries, ‘author meets critics’ sessions,     organisation of a regional workshop.        sentatives to the UN (Jan Fritz, Rose-
integrative sessions, etc. in accord-      It was also decided that the progress       mary Barberet and Rudolf Richter), to
ance with the theme: Facing an Un-         report that each grant recipient has to     the International Institute for the Soci-
equal World: Challenges for a Global       submit, should be made available at         ology of Law (Ramon Flecha and Ben-
Sociology.                                 the following EC meeting.                   jamin Tejerina), Global Development
                                                                                       Network (Emma Porio). We heard from
   At its first meeting, the Program          The call for proposals for the NALC       Tina Uys about progress on the next
Committee determined the over-             conference in 2013 was approved             Laboratory for PhD students in Johan-
all schedule of the program and the        and will be distributed to all Nation-      nesburg. We also composed a mes-
four main themes for plenaries: mul-       al Associations. Discussions were           sage of solidarity with Japanese soci-
tidimensional analysis of inequality,      initiated about a possible theme for        ologists, reasserting our commitment
dynamics of inequality, issues of jus-     the conference. Finally, the NALC is        to the 2014 Yokohama Congress. We
tice, and finally, alternative ways of      considering conducting research on          ended on a note of thanks to our hosts
overcoming inequality. We hope that        the history, membership, activities,        for their overflowing hospitality, and to
these guidelines will be stimulating       structures and constraints of each          the indefatigable staff of the ISA Sec-
for our Research Committees and            National Association with a view to         retariat for facilitating our complex
National Associations and that they        determining ways in which the NALC          meeting. The ISA marches on with
will serve to nurture fruitful academic    can assist National Associations.           more members and more activities.

                                                  GDN VOL. 1 / # 4 / APRIL 2011
> Without Borders
by Judith Blau, University of North Carolina, President of US
Chapter of Sociologists without Borders and Alberto Moncada,
President of Sociologists without Borders International

           édecins Sans Frontières         rationalistic assumptions that domi-
           was, of course, at the          nated university departments and re-
           forefront of the ‘without       search settings, at least in the United
borders’ movement that accelerated         States. This began to change in the
with globalization. This list is hardly    1970s with feminist perspectives (in
exhaustive, but indicative of the broad    the US by Sociologists for Women in
                                                                                            Judith Blau, President of SSF.
extent of the movement: Architec-          Society – SWS) and African American
ture without Borders, Clowns without       perspectives (in the US by the Asso-
Borders, Engineers without Borders,        ciation of Black Sociologists – ABS).          Third, we attend, as an organiza-
Farmers without Borders, Monks             The members of the Marxist Section             tion, the World Social Forum, which
without Borders, Music without Bor-        of the American Sociological Associa-          an ASA Section could not do. Fourth,
ders, Reporters without Borders, Soc-      tion (ASA) always reminded us of the           we can ‘lobby’ the ASA, which an
cer without Borders, and Teachers          bigger picture. Newer sections of the          ASA Section could not do. Two of
without Borders.                           ASA are evidently not neutral: Aging           our resolutions have been approved
                                           and the Life Course; Altruism, Moral-          by ASA Council: a statement on hu-
   Sociologists without Borders/Sociól-    ity and Social Solidarity; Children and        man rights, and another to protect
ogos sin fronteras (SSF) is part of that   Youth; Disability and Society; and Ed-         the rights of endangered sociologists
broad movement. Founded in Spain           ucation (among others). It is hard to          around the world. We have our own
in 2002, it then expanded to other         imagine that those who do research             journal, Societies without Borders
countries – Brazil, Chile, Iran, Italy,    on children are indifferent to their 
Malaysia, Puerto Rico, and the United      welfare, and some of these research-           which, consistent with our philosophy,
States. Like other ‘without borders’ or-   ers may very well be advocates for             is open-source.
ganizations its mission statement em-      children. In other words, public soci-                                                    17
phasizes equality and peoples’ global      ology has pervaded the discipline in             Being footloose and independent of
responsibilities to one another, and ad-   the United States.                             the ASA (while being its friend) has
ditionally highlights the importance of                                                   big advantages, consistent with our
human rights, participatory democracy,       What role does the US chapter of             ‘without borders’ philosophy. We can
equitable economies, and sustainable       SSF play in American sociology?                take positions that are not in sync with
ecosystems. SSF is critical of imperi-     First, we have a list-serve and a dis-         those held by many sociologists. Do
alism and neoliberalism. The turn to-      cussion board         we advocate the free flow of money
wards a ‘public sociology,’ advocated      that are global.                               and resources to the Global South?
by Michael Burawoy, has been espe-                                                        Of course. Do we advocate the end of
cially welcomed by members of SSF.         Second, we are represented on the              imperialism and hegemony? You bet.
                                           advisory board of the Human Rights             Do we advocate the end of privatiza-
   Sociology is turning, understandably    Coalition of the American Associa-             tion? Sure. Do we advocate the free
slowly. A few decades ago there was        tion for the Advancement of Science,           flow of peoples? Migration without
little questioning of the positivist and   which an ASA Section could not do.             borders? Absolutely!

 > Editorial Board                                                 Regional Editors
                                                                   Arab World: Sari Hanafi and Mounir Saidani.
 Editor: Michael Burawoy.
                                                                   Brazil: Gustavo Taniguti, Juliana Tonche, Pedro Mancini, Fa-
 Managing Editors: Lola Busuttil, August Bagà, Genevieve           bio Silva Tsunoda, Dmitri Cerboncini Fernandes, Andreza Galli,
 Head-Gordon.                                                      Renata Barreto Pretulan.
 Associate Editors: Margaret Abraham, Tina Uys, Raquel             India: Ishwar Modi, Rajiv Gupta, Rashmi Jain, Uday Singh.
 Sosa, Jennifer Platt, Robert Van Krieken.
                                                                   Japan: Kazuhisa Nishihara, Mari Shiba, Yoshiya Shiotani,
 Consulting Editors: Izabela Barlinska, Louis Chauvel, Dilek       Kousuke Himeno, Tomohiro Takami, Nanako Hayami, Yutaka
 Cindoglu, Tom Dwyer, Jan Fritz, Sari Hanafi, Jaime Jiménez,        Iwadate, Kazuhiro Ikeda.
 Habibul Khondker, Simon Mapadimeng, Ishwar Modi, Nikita
 Pokrovsky, Emma Porio, Yoshimichi Sato, Vineeta Sinha, Ben-       Spain: Gisela Redondo.
 jamin Tejerina, Chin-Chun Yi, Elena Zdravomyslova.                Taiwan: Jing-Mao Ho.

                                                   GDN VOL. 1 / # 4 / APRIL 2011
> Celebrating 20 Years of The Turkish
  Sociological Association
      by Birsen Gökçe, President of the Turkish Sociological Association.1

                                                President Birsen Gökçe addressing Turkish    fortunately associated disciplines, such
                                                Sociologists on the occasion of the 20th.    as economics, law, and psychology often
                                                anniversary of the TSA.                      neglect or isolate social dimensions when
                                                                                             they study Turkey.
                                              of the Scientific and Technological Re-
                                              search Council of Turkey (TÜBITAK), the           Today, the wider public uses the term
                                              United Nations Development Programme           sociology as if it were magical. Journal-
                                              (UNDP), the European Union, UNICEF,            ists, columnists, politicians, and everyone
                                              NATO and the World Bank.                       else who advances explanations for social
                                                                                             phenomena are trying to be sociologists.
                                                 The Association’s most important ac-        What shouldn’t be forgotten is that one
                                              tivity is the organization of the National     does not learn sociology merely by living
                                              Congress. To date, six congresses have         in a society, in a family. It is not uncom-
                                              been held. Their most important aspect         mon to encounter university professors
                                              is the close collaboration with sociology      who say: “I was born in a village, lived in
                                              departments in the peripheral Anatolian        a village, and therefore I can teach rural
                                              Universities organized through sociologi-      sociology!”

         he Turkish Sociological Associa-
         tion was founded in 1990 in An-      cal research conducted on Turkey’s so-
                                              cio-economic problems. The congresses            Our goal is to help youth, armed with
         kara. When it was first founded,
                                              provide a platform for the exchange of         a background in sociology, to work in
it had 40 members -- today it has 600. In
                                              thoughts, viewpoints and knowledge be-         the public arena and transfer their so-
1999 it was granted the status ‘Associa-
                                              tween senior professors and younger            ciological thinking to society. Equipped
tion for Public Interests’ by a Decree of
                                              faculty, among colleagues from different       with specialized understanding, sociology
the Council of the Ministers. It does not
                                              parts of the country and with colleagues       graduates assume the important role of
have any branches. Since its founding
                                              from sister disciplines.                       writing research-based reports and mak-
20 years ago, this Association has won                                                                                                                    18
                                                                                             ing policy recommendations to public
recognition and reputation at a national
                                                The first congress was on “Current So-        decision-makers.
level for its scientific congresses and its
research. We are an association whose         ciological Developments,” and took place
                                              at Ege University in Izmir, in 1993, three       During the era of the Five Year Develop-
services are actively sought.                                                                ment Plans, the employment of sociology
                                              years after the founding of the Associa-
                                              tion. The second was on “Migration” that       graduates was considered important and
  The Association has conducted 22 re-
                                              took place in 1996 at Mersin University.       they were commissioned at various Minis-
search projects, nearly 20 conferences,
                                              The third, on “New Sociological Chal-          tries. However, as a result of the changes
22 books and numerous collaborative
                                              lenges in the World and Turkey,” empha-        made in the law of employment in 1980,
meetings with non-governmental or-
                                              sized the topics of alienation, conflict, and   sociology graduates lost many such op-
ganizations. Moreover, since 1998, we
                                              integration. It took place at the Anadolu      portunities of public sector employment.
have published a total of 130 scientific
                                              University in Eskisehir in 2000, while the     Since its inception, our Association has
articles both in Turkish and in English in
                                              fourth congress on “The Changing World         been struggling to reverse these chang-
our peer-reviewed Journal of Sociological
                                              and Inequalities” was held in Cumhuriyet       es. Even today, sociology graduates, qua
Research, including 10 translations and 8
                                              University in Sivas in 2003. The fifth con-     university graduates, can serve in only six
research projects.
                                              gress was on the “Current Societal Prob-       public institutions. After a long political
   Besides promoting research, the Asso-      lems in Turkey” and took place in 2006 in      process, last month, the Council of Minis-
ciation seeks to spread the knowledge it      Malatya’s Inönü University. The last con-      ters signed a new decree that would once
produces and therefore values its relations   gress in 2009 was held at Adnan Mend-          more allow sociology graduates to be em-
to the wider community. The Association       eres University on “Social Transformations     ployed in a variety of agencies.
cooperates with voluntary organizations,      and Sociological Approaches.”
                                                                                              The twentieth year is only the beginning;
foundations, associations and engages
                                                At the beginning, because sociology was      there’s still a lot to be done. For this, we
in the planning of community-related ac-
                                              taught in philosophy departments, it un-       need fresh blood. Finally, I want to under-
tivities. Moreover, it cooperates with both
                                              critically adopted Western social theories     score that we still need to overcome many
national and international organizations to
                                              and neglected research with the result         obstacles to the reception of sociology in
carry out research projects.
                                              that young people did not understand the       the wider society and its institutions.
   In this vein, it has undertaken projects   discipline properly, and indeed were es-
                                                                                               I’d like to thank you again for joining us
with the support of the Ministry of Fam-      tranged from it. Today the situation has
                                                                                             today. I wish our association a happy 20th
ily and Social Research, the Ministry of      improved as it is more often taught as the
the Southeastern Anatolia Regional De-        study of social problems using scientific
velopment Administration (GAP), and the       research methods. Indeed, contempo-
Ministry of Health at the national level.     rary sociology has the potential to be an
On the national and international level,      umbrella discipline whose methods are          1
                                                                                               This is an Abridged Version of President Gökçe’s address
it has pursued projects with the support      used in all the social sciences, but un-       to Turkish Sociologists in Ankara, December 28, 2010.

                                                      GDN VOL. 1 / # 4 / APRIL 2011
> National Associations in Europe
    by Roberto Cipriani, President of the ESA Council of National Associations

         epresentatives of 21 Sociological Associations                ciations play a significant role in the ESA as they propose
         took part in the meeting organized by the Euro-               candidates for election to the ESA Executive Committee
         pean Sociological Association in Paris, October               and for the post of ESA President.
28th, 2010. ESA President Anália Torres, ESA Past Presi-
dent Claire Wallace and members of the ESA Executive                     This is a brief report about the characteristics of each na-
Committee were present too. Our special guests were                    tional association, leaving for another time the main topics
Jean-Michel Baer, Director of Research for Science, Econ-              discussed which included the Bologna process, and the
omy and Society from the European Commission and Rifka                 downsizing of the social sciences in the majority of Euro-
Weehuizen from the European Science Foundation.                        pean countries.

  ESA has two backbones: the Research Networks and                     Such is the state of European national associations of so-
the National Associations. By statute, the National Asso-              ciology!

 European National Associations of Sociology

 • The German Sociological Association has 2500 members                • The Spanish Federation of Sociology is linked to autono-
 and offers infrastructure for collective research. Indeed, they       mous regional communities in Spain. There are many activities
 have become quite professional in recent years and are active         within these regions and a variety of different journals. The Fed-
 in promoting research in Europe.                                      eration also organizes meetings and publishes its own journal.

 • The Norwegian Sociological Association plays a major                • Half of the British Sociological Association members and
 role in connecting people through various networks.                   half the PhDs do not work in sociology departments. The Brit-
                                                                       ish government has recently changed its funding policy, and
 • The Turkish Association was founded in 1990 and has 500
                                                                       there have been several large public demonstrations. Studies
 members. Since Turkey has applied for European Union member-
                                                                       are becoming very expensive.
 ship, Turkish sociologists are more focused on Western sociology.
                                                                       • The Italian universities are experiencing a double crisis:            19
 • In Romania, there is a militant sociology, which seeks to
                                                                       organizational and financial. It is difficult to evaluate the impact
 enhance social development, leading to various policy initia-
                                                                       of the organizational issues, but there is a major financial crisis
 tives. At the same time there is a focus on micro-social issues
                                                                       as far as salaries are concerned.
 at the expense of global issues. The result is an isolated sociol-
 ogy. The number of research institutes has fallen, but they now       • Sociology in Poland is a very prestigious science. Its identity was
 publish a web-based review.                                           built up during the communist period. There are more applications
                                                                       for MA than for BA degrees, which means that many applicants
 • The French Sociological Association is very young, only
                                                                       come from other disciplines, with limited sociological knowledge.
 founded in 2002, but they have 1000 members and 40 differ-
 ent research networks.                                                • The Vojvodinian Sociological Association is a non-profit
                                                                       and non-political organization. Its research projects are beset
 • The Portuguese Sociological Association has 2600 mem-
                                                                       by financial problems and multicultural divisiveness. There are
 bers. It is a scientific association as well as a professional one.
                                                                       25 ethnic groups.
 They try to bring together people who are teaching, research-
 ing, but also those working in enterprises.                           • In Denmark, there are good salaries in all fields, so this
                                                                       causes a kind of brain drain from the academic field. Further-
 • The Westermarck Society in Finland was founded in 1954,
                                                                       more academic standards are so high that it is very difficult for
 and its journal was launched in 1965.
                                                                       students to enter Danish universities.
 • The Swiss Sociological Association has 550 members,
                                                                       • The Macedonian Association is a small one. It is an aca-
 about the same number for 20 years. They have 12 research
                                                                       demic association closely connected to the major universities,
 committees which hold conferences in the year between ESA
                                                                       but it also has professional interests.
 conferences. It is a multilingual association, and its confer-
 ences are trilingual (French, German and English). They also          • The Albanian Institute of Sociology has 130 members
 publish a trilingual journal.                                         and organizes national conferences every year.

 • The statutes of the Hungarian Sociological Association              • There are three sociological associations in Russia, all
 have recently been changed, and now they can launch research          of them based in Moscow. Sociology enjoys a certain prestige.
 projects of their own. They organize yearly conferences.              Sociologists are often close to policy makers.

 • In Austria, we find many ‘homemade’ careers, and a loss of           • Sociology in Israel has been well established since 1948.
 identity. The Bologna process leads to fragmentation because          Today its association is quite large; they organize a conference
 the Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees differ considerably as far        every year, with around 1000 people attending.
 as content is concerned.

                                                       GDN VOL. 1 / # 4 / APRIL 2011
> Guilty of Being a Sociologist?
     by Frédéric Neyrat, University of Limoges

                                                                                          Gendarmerie accompanying
                                                                                          Pinar Selek.

           ne might think sociology is     tortured. According to some circles        Like other intellectuals, she stood

O          now sufficiently established
           as a discipline to raise only
scientific issues. However, a recent
                                           within the Turkish State and police, it
                                           is a crime to challenge national myths
                                           or question official discourse on the
                                                                                      against the new Hungarian law that
                                                                                      curtails the freedom of the media and
                                                                                      denounced the authoritarian drift of

seminar in Limoges1 was devoted to         Kurdish or Armenian questions.             the Viktor Orban administration.
the political obstacles faced by so-
cial science inquiries. Sociological           The second case is from Hungary           If some sociologists are victimized
research, in particular, has been dis-     where renewed nationalism has              in these ways, that is because the au-
credited, and violently so, from various   launched a hate-driven and anti-se-        thorities find sociology to be threaten-
non-scientific viewpoints in the realms     mitic media campaign against Agnes         ing. It deals with issues some states
of politics, media and the law.            Heller and her ‘clique’ (four other phi-   would like to ignore once and for all;
                                           losophers) as charged by influential        its inquiries challenge the veracity of
   Two cases testify to the threats that   Hungarian media investigating this         official claims. Sociologists are also
sociologists may face. Most signifi-        ‘cosmopolitical’ conspiracy. Agnes         attacked as intellectuals, even as they
cant is the case of Pinar Selek. Since     Heller, 81 years old, is a philosopher     follow the Weberian scientific ethic.
1998, she has been repeatedly ac-          and a sociologist trained by Georg         Indeed, it is precisely because of their
cused of a bomb attack on an Istan-        Lukács. She has taught in different        scientific commitments that attempts
bul Spice Bazaar. All the expert reports   countries including the United States      are made to discredit them.
have established that the explosion        where, in the 1970s, she occupied
was caused by a gas leak, and the          the Hanna Arendt Chair at the New
courts have found her not guilty three     School, after escaping the persecu-         Sylvain Laurens, Frédéric Neyrat, Enquêter: de
                                                                                      quel droit ? Menaces sur l’enquête en sciences
times – the last time being in Feb-        tions of the communist regime. Since       sociales, Bellecombe-en-Bauges, Éditions du
ruary 2011. But all decisions were         the beginning of this year, she has        Croquant, 2010.
appealed, and again so in February.        been accused of misappropriating,
Pinar Selek is indeed guilty of having     along with her colleagues, 2 million
behaved as a sociologist, of having        euros for ‘foggy and useless’ texts.
conducted an inquiry that broke the        Unsubstantiated charges try to slan-
taboo of the Kurdish question. She         der her reputation, asserting that
interviewed PKK militants and refused      she has brought her fatherland into
to give away their names to the po-        disgrace. In fact, nothing but her po-
lice when she was arrested and then        litical engagement is being targeted.

                                                  GDN VOL. 1 / # 4 / APRIL 2011

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