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A Difficult Neighbourhood

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ISBN: 9781760460600 Year: DOI: 10.22459/DN.10.2016 Language: English
Publisher: ANU Press
Subject: Political Science --- Languages and Literatures
Added to DOAB on : 2016-12-29 13:23:14
License: ANU Press

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"Through a series of essays on key events in recent years in Russia, the western ex-republics of the USSR and the countries of the one-time Warsaw Pact, John Besemeres seeks to illuminate the domestic politics of the most important states, as well as Moscow’s relations with all of them. At the outset, he takes some backward glances at the violent suppression of national life in the ‘bloodlands’ of Europe during World War II by the Stalinist and Nazi regimes, which helps to explain much about the region’s dynamics since. His concern throughout is that a large area of Europe with a combined population well in excess of Russia’s could again be consigned by the West to Moscow’s care, not this time by more and less malign forms of collusion, but by distracted negligence or incomprehension. ‘This is a wonderful collection of essays from a leading Eastern Europe specialist. John Besemeres brings a lifetime of experience, profound insights, and an incisive style to subjects ranging from wartime and post-war Poland through contemporary Ukraine to Putin’s Russia. At a time when doublespeak has become the new normal, his refreshing honesty has never been in greater need.’
— Bobo Lo"

First Contacts in Polynesia

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ISBN: 9781921536021 Year: Pages: 241 DOI: 10.26530/OAPEN_459235 Language: English
Publisher: ANU Press
Subject: Anthropology --- History
Added to DOAB on : 2012-06-14 11:46:24
License: ANU Press

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This book explores the first encounters between Samoans and Europeans up to the arrival of the missionaries, using all available sources for the years 1722 to the 1830s, paying special attention to the first encounter on land with the Lapérouse expedition. Many of the sources used are French, and some of difficult accessibility, and thus they have not previously been thoroughly examined by historians. Adding some Polynesian comparisons from beyond Samoa, and reconsidering the so-called ‘Sahlins-Obeyesekere debate’ about the fate of Captain Cook, ‘First Contacts’ in Polynesia advances a hypothesis about the contemporary interpretations made by the Polynesians of the nature of the Europeans, and about the actions that the Polynesians devised for this encounter: wrapping Europeans up in ‘cloth’ and presenting ‘young girls’ for ‘sexual contact’. It also discusses how we can go back two centuries and attempt to reconstitute, even if only partially, the point of view of those who had to discover for themselves these Europeans whom they call ‘Papalagi’. The book also contributes an additional dimension to the much-touted ‘Mead-Freeman debate’ which bears on the rules and values regulating adolescent sexuality in ‘Samoan culture’. Scholars have long considered the pre-missionary times as a period in which freedom in sexuality for adolescents predominated. It appears now that this erroneous view emerged from a deep misinterpretation of Lapérouse’s and Dumont d’Urville’s narratives.

Tracking Rural Change

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ISBN: 9781921536533 Year: Pages: 187 DOI: 10.26530/OAPEN_459757 Language: English
Publisher: ANU Press
Subject: Geography --- Sociology
Added to DOAB on : 2012-06-14 11:46:24
License: ANU Press

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A key, intensifying change affecting rural areas in the last few decades has been a decline in the proportion of national populations whose principal livelihood is farming. The corresponding re-distribution of population has typically resulted in a net population loss to rural areas, and diversification of rural activity. The corporatization and technological modification of food production has prompted new policy challenges, and has bound rural and urban populations together in new relationships articulated in moral discourses of custodianship, food safety, and sustainability. Contributors to this volume came together in the attempt to stimulate collective insight into trends of rural change in Australia, New Zealand and Europe. The first two countries have been characterised by avowedly `neoliberal’ rural policy – with considerable departures from it in practice; Europe, on the other hand, by a mix of policy measures which attempt to integrate land management and sustainability, diversification and maintenance of a competitive farming sector within an overarching policy framework more overtly, though only partially, oriented towards sustaining rural society. Aiming to build on research relating to the character of rural transitions, this volume offers substantive and critical contributions to the understanding of the sources of unpredictability, instability, and continuity, that underpin rural transition. The papers explore changes and continuities in policy, the governance of rural spaces, technological developments relating to rural areas and populations, and social forms of subjectivation and participation in increasingly diverse rural settings.

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