Becoming Landowners: Entanglements of Custom and Modernity by Victoria C. Stead

By Victoria C. Stead

Across Melanesia, the ways that humans hook up with land are being remodeled by way of strategies of modernization globalization, the construction of states and countries, practices and imaginaries of improvement, the legacies of colonialism, and the complexities of postcolonial encounters. Melanesian peoples have gotten landowners, Stead argues, either within the experience that those methods of swap compel varieties of estate family members, and within the feel that landowner and customized landowner turn into identities to be wielded opposed to the encroachment of either kingdom and capital. In areas the place everyday kinds of land tenure have lengthy been dominant, deeply intertwined with senses of self and relationships with others, land now turns into a crucible upon which social kinfolk, energy, and tradition are reconfigured and reimagined.

Employing a multi-sited ethnographic process, turning into Landowners explores those changes to land and lifestyles as they spread throughout Melanesian nations. The chapters stream among coasts and inland mountain levels, among city facilities and rural villages, telling the tales of individuals and locations who're regularly located and specific yet who additionally proportion robust commonalities of expertise. those comprise a subsistence-based group formed via the legacies of colonialism and profession in distant Timor-Leste, villagers in Papua New Guinea resisting a mining operation and the govt brokers assisting it, an city East Timorese payment resisting eviction by means of the geographical region its citizens was hoping might characterize them within the post-independence period, and other people and teams in either international locations who're suffering for, with, and infrequently opposed to the formal codification in their claims to land and position. In each one of those cases, prevalent and smooth different types of connection to land are propelled into complicated and dynamic configurations, theorized right here in an leading edge means as entanglements of customized and modernity.

Moving among a number of websites, scales, and different types of collectivity, changing into Landowners unearths entanglements as areas of deep ambivalence. right here, constructions of strength are destabilized in ways in which can lend themselves to the diminishing of neighborhood autonomy within the face of the kingdom and capital. whilst, the destabilization of energy additionally creates new probabilities for the reassertion of that autonomy, and of the generic types of connection to land within which it's grounded.

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Seite 8
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Additional resources for Becoming Landowners: Entanglements of Custom and Modernity in Papua New Guinea and Timor-Leste

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First, it means participating in self-rule, which is achieved by alternating in rule: ‘ruling and being ruled in turn’. In this way people can be ruled and yet not be subject to a master. Second, freedom is understood as ‘living as you like’. This entails personal freedom running in tandem with the former. Democratic citizens expect to be left in peace to run most of their lives themselves. ) If Aristotle preferred a mixed ‘polity’ to pure democracy, what are his views on freedom? As we have seen, despite his antidemocratic scepticism, Aristotle values the diverse perspectives and practical experience that ordinary citizens can bring to bear on politics.

For Aristotle, then, virtue is not a matter of subordinating inclination to duty, but an ingrained disposition to act in a certain way that leads to success in every dimension; it is acquired by ‘educating’ the desires, and by harmonising them with reason. We need practical reason to act correctly, because what is best in any case has to be identified in deliberation, and cannot simply be deduced from first principles. Aristotle’s account of the human good has been well described as being simultaneously ‘thick’ (based on a very specific idea of what is essential to human nature) and ‘vague’ (not specified in detail for every instance) (Nussbaum, 1990: 217).

Like Plato before him, Cicero sees four principal virtues: wisdom, courage, moderation and – the primary virtue – justice. These came to be known as the cardinal 33 The Historical Evolution of Republican Thought virtues, and were an important reference point in defining the concept of civic virtue as it became central to civic republican thought. Wisdom (prudentia) is practical reason guiding actors to put justice, or the common good, before personal advantage (Cicero, 1991: 53, 59–60). Courage (fortitudo) is the ability, essential for a statesman, to transcend material concerns.

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