[Aaus-list] New Book: Anna Fournier. Forging Rights in a New Democracy

Chernetsky, Vitaly A. Dr. chernev at muohio.edu
Fri Oct 26 12:30:51 EDT 2012

Dear Colleagues,
Please see the announcement below.


Dr. Vitaly Chernetsky
Associate Professor
Dept. of German, Russian & East Asian Languages
Director, Film Studies Program
Miami University
Oxford, OH 45056
chernev at muohio.edu
tel. (513) 529-2515
fax (513) 529-2296

Anna Fournier. Forging Rights in a New Democracy: Ukrainian Students
Between Freedom and Justice. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania
Press, 2012
232 pages

Table of Contents

Note on Transliteration and Translation

1. Young Citizens and the Meanings of Rights in a Globalizing World
2. Order, Excess, and the Construction of the Patriot
3. Seeking Rights, Performing the Outlaw
4. The "Bandit State": From State Force to the Violent Pedagogies of
5. Citizenship Between Western and Soviet Modernities
6. From Revolution to Conversation?


"Through ethnographic fieldwork in high schools, both public and private,
Fournier offers rich details about how Ukraine's young people are
positioning themselves vis-à-vis one another, their elders, authorities,
and the state. Hers is a sympathetic view that is oftentimes very funny,
catching young people as they really are, including their antics inside
and outside the classroom."—Melissa Caldwell, University of California,
Santa Cruz

"The topic is timely and relevant. Fournier counters the prevailing
argument voiced by political scientists, the media, and ideologues that
Ukraine is in 'transition' from one kind of political system to another by
showing how—at least in students' ideations and expressions—Ukraine's
younger generation embrace many different positions simultaneously."—Amy
Stambach, University of Wisconsin-Madison

The last two decades have been marked by momentous changes in forms of
governance throughout the post-Soviet region. Ukraine's political system,
like those of other formerly socialist states of Eastern Europe, has often
been characterized as being "in transition," moving from a Soviet system
to one more closely aligned with Western models. Anna Fournier challenges
this view, investigating what is increasingly recognized as a critical
aspect of contemporary global rights discourse: the active involvement of
young people living in societies undergoing radical change. Fournier
delineates a generation simultaneously embracing various ideological
stances in an attempt to make sense of social conditions marked by the
disjuncture between democratic ideals and the everyday realities of
growing economic inequality.

Based on extensive fieldwork in public and private schools in the
Ukrainian capital city of Kyiv, Forging Rights in a New Democracy explores
high-school-aged students' understanding of rights and justice, and the
ways they interpret and appropriate discourses of citizenship and civic
values in the educational setting and beyond. Fournier's rich ethnographic
account assesses the impact on the making of citizens of both formal and
informal pedagogical practices, in schools and on the streets. Chronicling
her subjects' encounters with state representatives and "violent
entrepreneurs" as well as their involvement in peaceful protests alongside
political activists, Fournier demonstrates the extent to which young
people both reproduce and challenge the liberal discourse of rights in
ways that illuminate the everyday paradoxes of market democracy. By
tracking students' active participation in larger contests about the
nature of liberty and entitlement in the context of redefined rights, her
book provides insight into emergent configurations of citizenship in the
New Europe.

Anna Fournier teaches anthropology at the University of Manitoba and is a
visiting scholar in the Department of Political Science at the Johns
Hopkins University.

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