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Journal Cover Cosmopolitan Civil Societies : An Interdisciplinary Journal
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  This is an Open Access Journal Open Access journal
   ISSN (Print) 1837-5391
   Published by U of Technology Sydney Homepage  [7 journals]
  • Editorial Welcome: Special Issue on Ethnocracy

    • Authors: James Goodman, James Anderson
      Abstract: This Special Issue of Cosmopolitan Civil Societies Journal focuses on the domination of social and political relations by Ethnocracy – rule or would-be rule by an ethnic group or ethnos, as distinct from Democracy or rule by the demos of all the people. Ethnocracy encompasses state regimes and associated political movements and parties that discriminate systematically in favour of a particular ethnic group (or groups) and against others. When we proposed the Special Issue in late 2014 ethnocratic practices were as prevalent as they had ever been; and now two years later they appear to be on the increase with an ethno-populist upsurge and the election or threatened election of governments pursuing ethnocratic agendas. From India to the USA, from Russia to Hungary, leading politicians openly discriminate against ethnic ‘others’ to attract support from ‘their own’ ethnic groups; across the European Union and in other liberal democracies they increasingly scapegoat ‘immigrants’ to hide their own inadequacies and further their political objectives. Now, more than ever, it is critical that the dynamics of ethnocracy are more clearly understood. This Issue documents the logics of ethnocracy in a variety of different contexts, posing questions about how it develops and how it can be challenged.
      PubDate: 2016-11-30
      Issue No: Vol. 8, No. 3 (2016)
  • ETHNOCRACY: Exploring and Extending the Concept

    • Authors: James Anderson
      Pages: 1 - 29
      Abstract: Ethnocracy means ‘government or rule by a particular ethnic group’ or ethnos, specified by language, religion, ‘race’ and/or other components . It has been developed from a general imprecise label into an analytical concept sometimes contrasted with democracy or rule by the demos, the people in general.  Primarily it was developed as national ethnocracy for regimes in contemporary national states which claim to be ‘democratic’, and it was mainy pioneered by the Israeli geographer Oren Yiftachel to analyse ethnically-biased policies and the asymmetrical power relations of Israeli Jews and Palestinians. However, it can be extended to several other contexts each of which has its own particular dynamics. Yiftachel himself extended it ‘down’ to city level and specifically urban ethnocracy; and we can further explore how cities and city government can moderate state ethnocracy. But going beyond the national and the urban, and the particularities of the Israeli case, the concept can be enriched in other ways, and I suggest three further extensions: firstly, ‘back’ to imperial ethnocracy which often preceded and gave birth to national ethnocracy; secondly, and more speculatively, it can be extended ‘forwards’ to the (usually mis-named) ‘post-conflict’ or power-sharing stages of ‘peace processes’, to what we might call shared or ‘post-conflict’ ethnocracy; and thirdly, it can perhaps be extended to contemporary religious-political conflicts which are at least partly transnational in character, to what could be called religious or ‘post-national’ ethnocracy. The five variants of ethnocracy and their varied inter-relations can help tie together different features of ethno-national conflicts. However questions remain: about, for instance, the variable and relative importance of ethnicity’s different components; about where to draw the boundary between ethnocracy and democracy; and about possibly rival concepts such as ‘ethnic democracy’ on one side and ‘apartheid’ on the other.Keywords: national, urban, imperial, ‘post-conflict’ and ‘post-national’ ethnocracies; democracy; majoritarianism
      PubDate: 2016-11-30
      Issue No: Vol. 8, No. 3 (2016)
  • Extending Ethnocracy: Reflections and Suggestions

    • Authors: Oren Yiftachel
      Pages: 30 - 37
      Abstract: As prelude to the special issue, this short piece reflects on the scholarly origins of the 'ethnocracy' concept, and comments on the arguments made by James Anderson's insightful opening article. It then outlines several concepts developed in the author's own work in later years as 'offsprings' of ethnocracy. Finally, it answers the challenge raised by Anderson by suggesting future theoretical, conceptual and empirical directions for research into ethnocratic dynamics on urban, state and global scales.
      PubDate: 2016-11-30
      Issue No: Vol. 8, No. 3 (2016)
  • Sri Lanka: An Ethnocratic State Endangering Positive Peace in the Island

    • Authors: Nirmanusan Balasundaram
      Pages: 38 - 58
      Abstract: Although proclaimed as a democratic republic, the Sri Lankan state is strongly controlled and ruled by Sinhala Buddhist influence due to a deep engrained belief that the island belongs to the Sinhala Buddhists. The modus operandi of the Sri Lankan state apparatus outlines the ethnocratic characteristics of the state. This mono-ethnic and mono-religious attitude has led to the widening and deepening of the discrimination against a particular ethnic group known as the Tamils who traditionally inhabit the North and East of the island. Ethnocracy continues to be defended and justified by the state in the name of sovereignty, territorial integrity and national security and has led to further polarization of the already divided ethnic groups. As a consequence and outcome of the ethnocratic nature of the Sri Lankan state, a bloody war erupted between successive governments of Sri Lanka and the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE). After nearly 38 years the prolonged war came to a brutal end in May 2009 amidst blatant violations of international law. However, the root causes of this conflict, which occurred due to ethnocratic nature of the state, have not yet been addressed resulting in the continuation of the ethnic conflict despite the end of the war. 
      PubDate: 2016-11-30
      Issue No: Vol. 8, No. 3 (2016)
  • Exploring Ethnocracy and the Possibilities of Coexistence in Beirut

    • Authors: Konstantin Kastrissianakis
      Pages: 59 - 80
      Abstract: In response to James Anderson’s article “Ethnocracy: Exploring and extending the concept”, this article revisits some of the extensive discussions of Lebanon’s political sectarianism through the prism of ethnocracy to the extent that it contributes to an analysis of the socio-political structure of the Lebanese capital, and vice-versa. After a discussion of the relevance of the notion of ethnocracy to the Lebanese context and Anderson’s “extensions” of the concept, the paper will briefly introduce recent developments in the country that point to growing and organised contestation of the political system and what it reveals about the Lebanese model’s “resilience”. 
      PubDate: 2016-11-30
      Issue No: Vol. 8, No. 3 (2016)
  • Extending the Concept of Ethnocracy: Exploring the Debate in the Baltic

    • Authors: Timofey Agarin
      Pages: 81 - 99
      Abstract: The advance of liberal understanding of democracy with its interest in and constrained ability to interfere with citizens’ identities made cases of ethnocracy rare over the past decades. Over the past 25 years, Baltic politics and societies have experienced considerable change, however, as I demonstrate, considerable debate persists around the issues central to the argument about ethnocracy in the region. In the context, when discussing the central role played by state institutions in negotiating conflicts between groups over access to scarce resources of the state, it is central to see minorities as being in both the inferior numerical position as well as in symbolically more disadvantageous place: If we see democratic politics for what they are as majoritarian politics, and if we see these as taking place in the context of state institutions designed to uphold the ethnic majority dominance, then any kind of liberal democratic politics would be a good candidate for ethnocracy. 
      PubDate: 2016-11-30
      Issue No: Vol. 8, No. 3 (2016)
  • From "Ethnocracity" to Urban Apartheid: A View from

    • Authors: Haim Yacobi
      Pages: 100 - 114
      Abstract: In the core of this article stands an argument that while ethnocracy was a relevant analytical framework for understanding the urban dynamics of Jerusalem\al-Quds up until two decades ago, this is no longer the case. As this article demonstrates, ver the past twenty years or so, the city’s geopolitical balance and its means of demographic control, as well as an intensifying militarization and a growing use of state violence, have transformed the city from an ethnocracity into an urban apartheid.  Theoretically, this article aims to go beyond the specific analogy with South African apartheid, the most notorious case of such a regime. Rather I would suggest that in our current market-driven, neo-liberal era, an apartheid city should be taken as a distinct urban regime based on urban trends such as privatization of space, gentrification, urban design, infrastructure development and touristic planning. I would propose that these practices substitute for explicit apartheid legislation (of a sort introduced in the South African case), bringing to the fore new participants in the apartheidization of the city, such as real estate developers and various interest groups.
      PubDate: 2016-11-30
      Issue No: Vol. 8, No. 3 (2016)
  • Ethnocracy and Post-Ethnocracy in Fiji

    • Authors: Sanjay Ramesh
      Pages: 115 - 143
      Abstract: Fiji’s history is interspersed with ethnic conflict, military coups, new constitutions and democratic elections. Ethnic tensions started to increase in the 1960s and reached its peak with violent indigenous Fijian ethnic assertion in the form of military coups in 1987. Following the coup, the constitution adopted at independence was abrogated and a constitution that provided indigenous political hegemony was promulgated in 1990. However, by 1993, there were serious and irreparable divisions within the indigenous Fijian community, forcing coup leader Sitiveni Rabuka to spearhead a constitution review. The result of the review was the multiracial 1997 Constitution which failed to resolve deep seated ethnic tensions, resulting in another nationalist coup in 2000 and a mutiny at the military barracks in December of that year. Following the failed mutiny, the Commander of the Republic of the Fiji Military Forces, Voreqe Bainimarama, publicly criticised nationalist policies of the government of Prime Minister Laisenia Qarase, culminating in another military coup in 2006. The new military government started plans to de-ethnise the Fijian state and promulgated a constitution that promoted ethnic equality.Post independence Fiji is characterised by these conflicts over ethnocracy. The ethnic hegemony of indigenous Fijian chiefs is set against inter-ethnic counter hegemony. While democratic politics encourages inter-ethic alliance-building, the ethnic hegemony of the chiefs has been asserted by force. Latterly, the fragmentation of the ethnic hegemony has reconfigured inter-ethnic alliances, and the military has emerged as a vehicle for de-ethnicisation. The article analyses this cyclical pattern of ethnic hegemony and multiethnic counter hegemony as a struggle over (and against) Fijian ethnocracy. 
      PubDate: 2016-11-30
      Issue No: Vol. 8, No. 3 (2016)
  • "Once upon a Time in … ethnocratic Australia: migration, refugees,
           diversity and contested discourses of inclusion "

    • Authors: Andrew Henry Jakubowicz
      Pages: 144 - 167
      Abstract: To what extent can Australia be analysed as an ‘ethnocracy’, a term usually reserved for ostensibly democratic societies in which an ethnic group or groups control the life opportunities of a more widely ethnically diverse population? Australia adopted its first refugee policy in 1977 having been forced to address the humanitarian claims of Asian and Middle Eastern refugees. Only a few years after abandoning the White Australia policy of three generations, the public discourse about refugees was framed by the ethnic origins of these groups (primarily Vietnamese and Lebanese). Over the decades a utopian light has come to be cast on the Indo Chinese as a success story in settlement, while the Middle Eastern peoples have been shaded as a settlement failure. Yet the counter narratives developed in the SBS television documentary series “Once Upon a Time...” demonstrate how ethnocratic framing can be challenged and more nuanced and analytical discourses introduced into the public sphere.
      PubDate: 2016-12-13
      Issue No: Vol. 8, No. 3 (2016)
School of Mathematical and Computer Sciences
Heriot-Watt University
Edinburgh, EH14 4AS, UK
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Fax: +00 44 (0)131 4513327
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