Abstracts Revista Crítica 82 (2008)

23 February 2009
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Immanuel Wallerstein
Reading Fanon in the twenty first century

Debate is ongoing as to the relevance of Frantz Fanon’s thought to our time, revolving around three main poles which represent an equal number of dilemmas – the use of violence, the affirmation of identity, and class struggle – showing how, in the present time, these issues continue to be decisive in the struggle for a fairer world-system with more emphasis on solidarity.

Maria Raquel Freire
Paula Duarte Lopes
Reconceptualising peace and violence: a critical analysis

Peace studies are at present at a crossroads, critiqued for their too broad research programme, for their uncritical stance with respect to the terminology used, and for the disconnection between research and action. This article proposes the reconceptualisation of theoretical nucleus of peace studies, not just reclaiming peace as a central value, but also framing the research-action binomium within a culture of peace. The article takes as its starting point a critique of the conventional conflict narrative, which evolved with Boutros Ghali’s Agenda for Peace, since then reflecting a peace-centred narrative. However, despite the adoption of a new political agenda for peace results have in practice not reflected this change, which has proved to be more formal than operational. Our article thus argues that peace and violence are not mutually exclusive, adopting the concept of the continuum of states of peace and violence and proposing a peace web, the better to frame the dynamics in question, with special attention to the area of implementation.

José Maria Castro Caldas
The art of fugue: the mechanisms of liquidity

The idea of “liquidity” as a feature of the ongoing phase of modernity, to be found in the most recent work of Zygmunt Bauman, invites a cross-reading of this author and Keynes. Both in Bauman and in Keynes, liquidity is linked to relations which can easily be reverted, or reverted at a low cost, and to systems which, characterised by the precariousness of bonds linking its constituting elements, tend themselves to be unstable and precarious. For both authors, liquidity and speculation appear as rational responses to uncertainty, and at the same time as individual strategies contributing to increased systemic risk. Both approaches are complementary and consistent. Cross-reading suggests the existence of liquidity mechanisms which are transversal to different institutional domains, identification of which is here essayed.

João Pedroso
Patrícia Branco
The times they are a-changing, the family it is a-changing. Mutations in access to the law and to family and children’s justice in Portugal

Faced with new family scenarios, moulded under the sign of flexibility, fluidity and plurality, family and children’s law is called upon to respond to new issues, as yet under-defined, which arise between a trend towards privatisation, de-institutionalising, and contractualising of family relations, on the one hand, and a trend towards (re)publicisation, on the other, namely in the domain of new conjugalities and the defence of children’s rights. These two transformative progressions – the family and family and children’s law, respectively subject to swift progression and moderate progression – are joined by a third, slower progression; that of the system of access to family law and justice without which such rights will never be effective and will not be able to be exercised, in full citizenship, by all those who may need to seek its jurisdiction.

Luciana F. M. Mendonça
Popular cultures and emerging identifications: reflections from manguebeat and contemporary Brazilian musical expression

This article analyses the interaction among several factors which, related to recent socio-cultural changes, contribute to the centrality of music and other forms of aesthetic expression in processes of re-articulating identities, within which we can observe renewed interest in traditional popular manifestations and the energising of urban spaces. Seeking to compare with other contexts, this article starts from a study of the Recife, Pernambuco, manguebeat movement, whose elements allow for a debate of issues linked to relations between the local and the global, tradition and modernity, cultural creation and enjoyment. Research has confirmed a number of trends in contemporary music which places certain regional musical forms in unison with changes in the musical domain in general. A key issue is that of processes of re-signification of popular cultures.

Catarina Martins
“The imperialism of the spirit”. Fictions of totality and of the ‘I’ in Austrian modernism

In studies on Austria, the debate persists on the applicability of post-colonial theory to the Habsburg monarchy. This text aims to contribute to the debate, analysing discursive structures common to the continental empires rooted in medieval times, and to modern colonial empires, critically assessing a number of specificities. To this end, I analyse the utopia of an “imperialism of the spirit” present in the essays of two writers who are central in Viennese modernity, Hugo von Hofmannsthal and Robert Müller, demonstrating the discursive construction of a singular imperialism and nationalism, grounded on culture and the arts. Taking as starting point Robert Müller’s and Robert Musil’s major novels, I further show how imperialism works as a fulcrum of the complex relation of modernist literature and the modern paradigm, which is at the same time the target of critique and re-writing, within the resolution of modernity’s multiple crises, especially that of the subject.

Heloisa Maria Murgel Strarling
The Republic and the Sertão. Literary imagination and republicanism in Brazil

This article sets out to reflect on the pretensions to roots and ancestrality in the political foundations of republicanism in Brazil. To this end, it reintroduces formulations on the concept of sertão generated within the Brazilian historical and literary imagination as one of the possible ways of interpreting the republic and its normative ideals. Recourse to the idea of sertão expresses the importance of the register of the imagination, of invention and symbolisation for an understanding of the theme of foundation. In this scenario, my article takes up anew the concept of sertão in the trajectory of the Brazilian literary imagination, anchored by three authors: Euclides da Cunha, Graciliano Ramos and Guimarães Rosa.

Published 23 February 2009

Original in Portuguese
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