Social Research: An International Quarterly

Social Research: An International Quarterly Founded in 1934 by immigrant refugees. Carrying the torch of academic freedom and freedom of expression, and mapping the landscape of intellectual thought.

Most issues of Social Research address a single theme, which is addressed by scholars, writers, and experts from a wide range of disciplines. Some of these issues are the proceedings of our conference series; others are guest coedited by scholars who bring their unique expertise to bear on multifaceted explorations of the subjects of their interest. Some of our themes are explicitly drawn from the social sciences; others consider particular parts of the world. Still other issues address concepts, ideas, or phenomena that seem ripe for exploration. A complete list of our back issues is available on our website; many are still in print and available for purchase. Social Research is available online through Project Muse: http://muse.jhu.edu/journals/social_research/ and JSTOR: http://www.jstor.org/journal/socialresearch

Most issues of Social Research address a single theme, which is addressed by scholars, writers, and experts from a wide range of disciplines. Some of these issues are the proceedings of our conference series; others are guest coedited by scholars who bring their unique expertise to bear on multifaceted explorations of the subjects of their interest. Some of our themes are explicitly drawn from the social sciences; others consider particular parts of the world. Still other issues address concepts, ideas, or phenomena that seem ripe for exploration. A complete list of our back issues is available on our website; many are still in print and available for purchase. Social Research is available online through Project Muse: http://muse.jhu.edu/journals/social_research/ and JSTOR: http://www.jstor.org/journal/socialresearch

“The discovery of social, cultural, and religious pluralism by ancient empires and modern global conquests helped genera...
09/28/2020
Project MUSE - On Illuminating Darkness

“The discovery of social, cultural, and religious pluralism by ancient empires and modern global conquests helped generate a sense of common humanity, the idea that, despite many differences, others are more like us than not, that we thus owe each other a threshold level of neighborliness. And yet, divisions between "us" and "them"—divisions of faith, geography, and hierarchy—became ever more profound, often cruel and dangerous, precisely as ideas about human fellowship advanced. Propinquity and distance, regard and loathing, have coincided.”

In his paper “On Illuminating Darkness,” #SocResAuthor Ira Katznelson mourns the irony at work in modern times where people, much like us, can slaughter others they know by face and name. He asks, “which circumstances of social geography, material arrangements, and cultural and political patterns raise prospects for toleration rather than persecution?”

Read his ruminations about religious pluralism and toleration in our issue “Political Transition Revisited”: https://muse.jhu.edu/article/726001

soon after the world trade center towers came down, the leaders of the Jewish Theological Seminary sought to offer comfort and consolation. In their statement, they recalled that before the destruction of the Temple in Jerusalem by the Romans in AD 70, the high priest would pray on behalf of those a...

What are Iranians dreaming about today? A question that our author Kian Tajbakhsh asks in our issue “Political Transitio...
09/28/2020
Project MUSE - What Are Iranians Dreaming about Today? Reflections on the Islamic Revolution at 40

What are Iranians dreaming about today? A question that our author Kian Tajbakhsh asks in our issue “Political Transitions Revisited,” and offers possibilities that address the concerns of three specific groups in Iran. In focusing on Islamists, Islamic reformers, and modernists, Tajbakhsh writes that “each group advances a distinct interpretation of the existing political regime.” The views of these three groups dominate Iranian politics today and in that sense are the choices that citizens confront when attempting to envision a political future for their country.

Islamists, or velayi, are the current ruling strata in Iran; their idea of a perfect future is already being realized in today’s Islamic Republic of Iran (IRI) that successfully combines clerical rule with managed popular participation.

The Islamic reformers aspire to create a “religious democracy” wherein the country’s uniquely Islamic culture integrates with a few Western human rights perspectives. Through this combination, they hope to “fashion a nontyrannical but nonliberal government.”

The modernists, on the other hand, are a secular bunch who espouse Western liberalism and the creation of a constitutional republic that is “shorn of all clerical and religious official dispensations.”

Tajbakhsh goes into further details about the political reality that each group tries to advance in his paper “What Are Iranian Dreaming About Today?: Reflections on the Islamic Revolution at 40”: https://muse.jhu.edu/article/725998

almost 20 years ago, i published an article in this journal under the title "Political Decentralization and the Creation of Local Government in Iran: Consolidation or Transformation of the Theocratic State?" (Tajbakhsh 2000). The establishment of an elected local government in every city and village...

Angela Merkel faced much opposition when she made the decision to welcome refugees during the 2015 crisis. 5 years later...
09/15/2020
Vol. 84, No. 1 (Spring 2017)

Angela Merkel faced much opposition when she made the decision to welcome refugees during the 2015 crisis. 5 years later, her decision has paid off, with reportedly 1.2 million refugees successfully integrated into German society. The other European Union member states did not have a similar policy towards refugees. On the contrary, many re-bordered by instituting checkpoints between themselves and neighbouring countries.

In “The Politics of Pests: Immigration and the Invasive Other,” Social Research author Bridget Anderson writes about the media coverage of the refugee crisis and its consequences on public opinion and policy. Portrayals of migrants in the European media, particularly as “invasive insects,” offer insights into the nature of popular anxieties about the foreigner.

Anderson’s article discusses the ramifications of such metaphoric tropes in our issue “The Invasive Other”: https://bit.ly/3fksuiD

THE INVASIVE OTHER Miriam Ticktin, Guest Coeditor Arien Mack, Journal Editor (Click for related issues and articles) Table of Contents Ebby Abramson Endangered

The growing conflict between science and politics in the United States has created a chasm between scientists, policy-ma...
09/12/2020
POLITICS AND SCIENCE How Their Interplay Results in Public Policy / V

The growing conflict between science and politics in the United States has created a chasm between scientists, policy-makers, and government officials that has been difficult to suture. The effects have ranged from large scale climate denial to a slowdown of stemcell and healthcare research. The ongoing election campaigns further reveal the increasingly partisan nature of these topics.

In his introduction to our issue “Politics and Science: How Their Interplay Results in Public Policy,” Gerald Holton asks if “the balance of power among the various interests that play a role in determining public policy has changed? What are the consequences of these changes? What lessons can be learned from past successes and failures in public policy?” Our authors explore these questions as they relate to environmental and healthcare science.

In “The Politics of Healthcare,” M. Joycelyn Elders writes that “politics and healthcare are strangely entangled with little regard for the healthy outcome of the populace,” creating multiple complex crises and diminishing access to affordable healthcare in the United States.

In “Environmental Science Input to Public Policy” Paul R Ehrlich laments the many egregious examples “where the inputs of science to environmental policy have been given too little weight or were totally overwhelmed by other input.” The lack of population policy is possibly the worst of this, where a dense human population has already been pushed into “closer contact with animal reservoirs of novel infectious diseases.”

Read more from this revelatory issue:

https://bit.ly/2R1Uy0E

Arien Mack, Editor Table of Contents Arien MackEditor’s IntroductionCurrent events seem designed to make the subjects of “Politics and Science” increasingly re

Amidst growing protests over police brutality, and a raging pandemic, concerns about voter suppression in November’s Pre...
09/05/2020
FRAUD / Vol. 75, No. 4 (Winter 2008)

Amidst growing protests over police brutality, and a raging pandemic, concerns about voter suppression in November’s Presidential election are still rife in America. In 2020, voter suppression takes an ironic turn wherein voters are forced to come to ballot boxes to exercise their right. With COVID-19 unrelenting, this puts millions of people at a crossroads where they have to decide between voting and putting their lives at risk, or staying home and forgoing participation in the electoral process.

This type of blatant election fraud is not uncommon in American politics, but it was the 2000 Presidential election that “opened the eyes of many Americans to a reality they had, up to that point, largely chosen to ignore: that their electoral system was—in at least some parts of the country—decrepit, poorly managed, lacking transparency, or clear procedural rules, and prone to corruption, political manipulation, and outright fraud.”

Read more about this crucial political event in Andrew Gumbel’s article in our Winter 2008 issue “Fraud,” where he discusses election fraud and the myths of American democracy at large: https://bit.ly/3gBR7YM

Arien Mack, Editor Table of Contents Endangered Scholars Worldwide Arien Mack Editor’s Introduction The decision to edit an issue on fraud unfortunately reflec

Egypt’s veteran Human Rights defender Bahey el-Din Hassan was sentenced to 15 years on the grounds of disseminating fals...
09/04/2020
EGYPT IN TRANSITION / Vol. 79, No. 2 (Summer 2012)

Egypt’s veteran Human Rights defender Bahey el-Din Hassan was sentenced to 15 years on the grounds of disseminating false news through Twitter, bringing stark focus on the country’s persistent attack on human rights activists. When and how did this crackdown begin? Joe Stork addressed this question in the broader context of Egypt’s human rights crisis, in our issue “Egypt in Transition.”

Stork writes that the Egypt uprisings in December 2010 were a byproduct of “decades of egregious and systematic human rights violations” that were sent over the edge by more outrages that transformed simmering resentment into an unstoppable force. However, it was the firsthand experience of torture and police brutality that brought about the initial engagement of key human rights activists, like Hassan, who formed NGOs in the country.

There’s an inherent conflict between the expectations of international human rights law and what Egypt’s rulers are willing to tolerate. Much of this conflict revolves around opposing views on freedom of speech and religion, cultural expression, and rights of women. Stork suggests that addressing these challenges will ultimately help solve the human rights crisis in #Egypt. Read more in his article:

https://bit.ly/3jsqrvh

Talal Asad, Guest CoeditorArien Mack, Editor This special issue aims to shed light on the origins of the events in Tahrir Square, the deposing of President Mub

The role that prison inmates play in the American labor force has recently come under larger scrutiny during the wildfir...
08/28/2020
PUNISHMENT: The US Record / Vol. 74, No. 2 (Summer 2007)

The role that prison inmates play in the American labor force has recently come under larger scrutiny during the wildfires in California. Many of these inmates, who were previously employed as firefighters to tackle the wildfires, and were paid a dollar per day for their work, have now been released as part of an early release program due to the COVID-19 pandemic. As a result, the fire crews battling the ongoing disaster are facing an acute shortage of manpower.

“Once the prison became the dominant way for states to respond to serious crime, building prisons became one of the largest and thus most politically and economically lucrative projects that tax-raising and spending governments could take on,” writes
Jonathan Simon in his article “The Rise of the Carceral State.” As the pandemic forces many state prisons to let go of inmates, the need for their incarceration is weaker than ever.

Read Simon’s paper in our issue “PUNISHMENT: The US Record” which is one of several addressing the issue of how America punishes criminal acts:
https://bit.ly/3gpOetZ

Arien Mack, Editor Table of Contents Endangered Scholars Worldwide: An IntroductionIn this issue of Social research we are introducing a new feature that we ho

This year marks the 75th anniversary of Hiroshima and Nagasaki’s horrific nuclear blast. With increasing access to knowl...
08/14/2020
LIMITING KNOWLEDGE IN A DEMOCRACY: Vol. 77, No. 3 (Fall 2010)

This year marks the 75th anniversary of Hiroshima and Nagasaki’s horrific nuclear blast. With increasing access to knowledge about chemical and nuclear weaponry, national security fears are rife across countries.

In an expansive conversation about freedom of information and the potential need to limit this freedom, Peter Galison, Victor Navasky, Naomi Oreskes, Anthony Romero, and Aryeh Neier discuss the many circumstances under which dangerous knowledge should not be made available.

Read their panel discussion in our issue “Limiting Knowledge in a Democracy”: https://www.socres.org/single-post/773-fall-2010-limitingknowledge

Arien Mack, Editor How do the US government and other political and cultural institutions restrict, facilitate, or otherwise affect the flow of information? Wh

Last week’s devastating blasts in Beirut have intensified the backlash against Lebanon’s corrupt government. With public...
08/11/2020
CORRUPTION, Accountability, and Transparency / Vol. 80, No. 4 (Winter

Last week’s devastating blasts in Beirut have intensified the backlash against Lebanon’s corrupt government. With public trust in the Lebanese leadership remarkably low, what could possibly help change the country’s political trajectory?

Bo Rothstein writes about the empirical research on “corruption-trust theory,” and how cultivating social trust is key for corruption-free governance. Read his article in our issue “CORRUPTION, Accountability and Transparency”: https://bit.ly/2DOnNRe

Arien Mack, Editor Corruption is both a pressing contemporary issue that characterizes aspects of our social and political world and an enduring problem. It ha

A GLOSSARY OF IGNORANCE (drawn from "Micro-Ignorance and Macro-Ignorance in the Social Sciences" by @LinseyMcGoey in Soc...
08/10/2020

A GLOSSARY OF IGNORANCE (drawn from "Micro-Ignorance and Macro-Ignorance in the Social Sciences" by @LinseyMcGoey in Social Research)

“The beast of ignorance has been clawing at its cage…. No wonder people guard their own ignorance: it strikes people as exactly the sort of dangerous animal that should be contained.”

UNKNOWABILITY tends to refer to realities and processes that are not capable of being apprehended in any way—not simply by the “uninitiated” but at all.

IGNORANCE implies the failure or the inability to learn rather than the inherent impossibility of knowing something. Clearly, not all ignorance is willful, but it's difficult to measure whether someone's ignorance is deliberate or accidental.

The WILL TO IGNORE uncomfortable knowledge is not merely human and excusable. It is embedded in relationships of power that affect the ability to know, the effort not to hear, and the refusal to speak openly about what is already known.

SECRECY suggests knowledge that is concealed.

STRATEGIC IGNORANCE, by contrast, encompasses knowledge that has been thwarted from emerging in the first place, making some societal "unknowns" a collective achievement.

WHITE IGNORANCE, a concept introduced by the influential Jamaican American philosopher Charles Mills, legitimizes the unknowing through which predominantly white, Anglo-American global dominance is perceived. It enables white Americans to misperceive their own worldviews as neutral or universal knowledge rather than carefully constructed mythologies that efface their own group's history of violence in order to make that history more tolerable to members of the group.

MICRO-IGNORANCE describes daily, individual acts of ignoring, while MACRO-IGNORANCE is the sedimentation of individual ignorance into rigid ideological positions or policy perspectives that obscure their own mistaken assumptions from adherents, leading to new patterns of individual micro-ignorance. Both terms are introduced in my 2019 book, The Unbelievers.

Read more in McGoey, Linsey. "Micro-Ignorance and Macro-Ignorance in the Social Sciences." Social Research: An International Quarterly 87, no. 1 (2020): 197-217. muse.jhu.edu/article/758641.

Trump’s call to ban TikTok potentially represents a larger fear, one shared by the American public, of Chinese surveilla...
08/07/2020
Vol. 84, No. 1 (Spring 2017)

Trump’s call to ban TikTok potentially represents a larger fear, one shared by the American public, of Chinese surveillance and information gathering. However, the recent shut down of a Department of Homeland Security investigation into two journalists’ coverage of Portland protests raises concerns of surveillance closer to home.

Jacob Silverman tackles the deeply intertwined relationship between mass government and corporate surveillance, pointing that digitalization “actually stifles personal privacy and autonomy,” in our issue “The Invasive Other.”

https://bit.ly/3fksuiD

THE INVASIVE OTHER Miriam Ticktin, Guest Coeditor Arien Mack, Journal Editor (Click for related issues and articles) Table of Contents Ebby Abramson Endangered

What rights can and should the state have over our bodies? A question that has become more prominent after Poland’s ruli...
08/01/2020
THE BODY AND THE STATE: How the State Controls and Protects the Body,

What rights can and should the state have over our bodies? A question that has become more prominent after Poland’s ruling right-wing party decided to withdraw from the Istanbul Convention – a European treaty on violence against women. This withdrawal is symptomatic of state forces imposing “their ideas and norms on the rules governing our bodies.”

Our issue “The Body and The State: How the State Controls and Protects the Body” explores the ways in which various stakeholders attempt to control bodies through public policies:

https://www.socres.org/single-post/782-summer-2011-bodystate

Arien Mack, Editor Assumptions about the "normal," "healthy," and "acceptable" body lead to policies around the world that are unjust. Papers in these two issu

The increasingly violent police crackdown on peaceful protestors in Seattle and Portland could be made worse in the futu...
07/30/2020
ALGORITHMS / Vol. 86, No. 2 (Summer 2019)

The increasingly violent police crackdown on peaceful protestors in Seattle and Portland could be made worse in the future through autonomous weapons. New School Professor Peter Asaro writes about the sociopolitical implications of the development of such weapons, and the unbridled power it could place in the hands of authoritarian regimes, in our issue “Algorithms.”

https://www.socres.org/single-post/862-summer-2019-algorithms

Arien Mack, Journal Editor Ebby Abramson Dolunay Bulut Endangered Scholars Worldwide Peter AsaroPeter Asaro is an associate professor in the School of Media St

American government’s most prominent infectious disease expert, Dr Fauci, has found himself at the receiving end of verb...
07/21/2020
CLIMATE CHANGE DEMANDS WE CHANGE. WHY AREN'T WE? / Vol. 82, No. 3 (Fal

American government’s most prominent infectious disease expert, Dr Fauci, has found himself at the receiving end of verbal and physical threats in the last few weeks as he continues to push for a more aggressive response to the pandemic. Climate scientists have borne the brunt of similar reactions for decades as many people refuse to believe in the efficacy of climate science.

What forces influence people to resist making the kind of personal and political changes that are necessary to act on climate change? Our authors tackle this question and more, in “Climate Change Demands We Change. Why Aren’t We?”:

https://www.socres.org/single-post/823-fall-2015-climate

Arien Mack, Editor There is no issue more urgent than climate change, yet government, corporations and the public are reluctant to change. This issue examines

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In 1933, the New School’s first president, Alvin Johnson, with support from philanthropist Hiram Halle and the Rockefeller Foundation, initiated an historic effort to rescue endangered scholars from the shadow of Nazism in Europe at the brink of WW II. These refugees became the founding scholars of “The University in Exile,” and constituted what became known as the Graduate Faculty of Political and Social Science, now known as The New School for Social Research. Social Research: An International Quarterly of the Political and Social Sciences was launched in 1934 by these scholars, who held the deep conviction that every true university must have its own distinct public voice. Read Alvin Johnson’s introduction to our first issue. In the years since, Social Research has matured into one of the oldest and most influential journals in the United States. Papers by authors from around the globe have reached our readers in nearly 100 countries, and our audience continues to grow. Articles and complete back issues are regularly used as classroom texts across the United States. More than 250 articles from our pages have been translated or reprinted in books and journals all over the world, and our special conference issues are award winners.

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In 1933, the New School’s first president, Alvin Johnson, with support from philanthropist Hiram Halle and the Rockefeller Foundation, initiated an historic effort to rescue endangered scholars from the shadow of Nazism in Europe at the brink of WWII. These refugees became the founding scholars of “The University in Exile,” and constituted what became known as the Graduate Faculty of Political and Social Science, now known as The New School for Social Research. Social Research: An International Quarterly of the Political and Social Sciences was launched in 1934 by these scholars, who held the deep conviction that every true university must have its own distinct public voice. Read Alvin Johnson’s introduction to our first issue: http://www.socres.org/vol01/issue0101.htm

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