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belt and road

Roads, Belts, and Connectivities: Chinese Silk Road Projects in New Perspective

By Madeleine Herren

Chinese news is presenting the new silk road project with a strong reference to a deep historical past, imaging the silk road as a bustling trading route established centuries ago. The narrative usually does not mention the very fact that the concept of a silk road in the sense of a coherent trading route only surfaced as recently as 1877.

“Make the Nation Look at our Demands:” The 2018 National Prison Strike and the Crises of Mass Incarceration

By Toussaint Losier

State officials did not simply build more prisons, but they commissioned increasingly secure, riot-proof facilities. These new prisons were designed to hold captive a population that might regularly exceed official capacity, while limiting the space in which imprisoned men and women might move about, congregate together, and, potentially, gain control of the institution.

Behind the Humanitarian Crisis in the Mediterranean: Five Years After Lampedusa, Political Incoherence and Dysfunction Continues to Kill

By Anna Arnone and David O’Kane

Certain historical incidents can crystallize and condense the reality of an entire era. The mass drowning of at least 500 migrants, mostly Eritrean, near the island of Lampedusa on the third of October 2013, was one such incident. It was part of a wider set of political logics that characterize this era, logics that include those described by Barbara Pinelli in her ethnography of the conditions endured by asylum seekers in the reception centers of the Italian state.