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    Anthropology and Resurgent Nationalism
    Reuter, T (American Anthropological Association, 2019-12-01)
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    World Anthropology and its Institutional Challenges: A history of the transformative impact of democratic internationalization on the discipline of anthropology
    Reuter, T (Lietuvos Istorijos Institutas (Lithuanian Institute of History), 2019)
    Anthropology reveals a rich diversity of human cultures, while also highlighting our commonalities. The discipline is a distorted mirror of this unity in diversity, however, so long as anthropologists from only a few, privileged cultures dominate the process of global knowledge construction. The World Council of Anthropological Associations (WCAA) was founded to address this. The WCAA provides a global platform for democratic participation in the spirit of a new ‘world anthropologies’ paradigm, which recognises that our understanding of other cultures is perspectivistic, and hence, to be fully understood, every culture needs to be contemplated from the multiple perspectives of all ‘anthropologies’.
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    Understanding Food System Resilience in Bali, Indonesia: A Moral Economy Approach
    Reuter, T (Wiley, 2019-06)
    Food systems in Indonesia and other developing countries have witnessed a rapid change in production, trade, and consumption patterns. The central highlands and northeastern coast of Bali form one such system, with centuries of documented regional trade relations between coastal and highland communities whose food products were complementary. This paper adopts a moral economy approach to explain the decline in local food security at a systemic level, and to explore also how it may be reversed. In particular, I explore how this regional food system operated, and how modernization since the 1990s has compromised biodiversity, ecological sustainability, social resilience, and food security. Greater attention to this moral dimension of food systems, it is argued, will contribute to more successful agricultural development and food security programs. [food systems, resilience, moral economy, Indonesia]
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    The Principle of Unity in Diversity as a Measured Response to Resurgent Nationalism: Valuing local diversity as well as global citizenship is not a contradiction
    Reuter, T (Risk Institute, Trieste- Geneva, 2018)
    The ideological war between globalism and resurgent nationalism in recent years is seen as an invitation to take sides by many intellectuals. Demonising or dismissing followers of the new right-wing nationalism is easy, but the outcome of the Brexit referendum and the last presidential election in the USA should have taught us that ignoring the genuine arguments of this demographic is foolish and dangerous. It reflects a failure by globalists to appreciate the externalised costs of globalisation and the people who bear these costs disproportionately. Supporters of renewed parochialism and xenophobia in turn fail to acknowledge the facticity of our current state of global interdependence, and indeed the urgent need for even greater global cooperation. I will argue that tensions between the two camps arise from the fact that genuine advantages are associated with national and local diversity as well as with global cooperation and unity. In short, from a rational perspective, the purely nationalist and the purely globalist viewpoint are both incomplete, and a new higher order perspective is needed to resolve the issue. This paper is an attempt to develop such a more integrated perspective beyond nationalism and globalism. I will be drawing on some of my own research, which has shown that local cultures in Asia have been experiencing strong globalisation pressures and also have been pushing back through a range of revitalisation movements. The paper draws also on my complementary experiences of working in a number of organisations that are global, but wherein diversity is valued and retained.
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    The Future of Democracy: Challenges & Prospects
    Reuter, T ; Jacobs, G ; Caraça, J ; Fiorini, R ; Hoedl, E ; Nagan, WP ; Zucconi, A (Risk Institute, Trieste- Geneva, 2018)
    Unprecedented speed, interconnectivity, complexity and uncertainty are impacting all spheres of global society today, presenting challenges that were not foreseen even a few years ago. The end of the Cold War was interpreted by many as the final victory for democracy and capitalism over authoritarian socialism. A quarter century after the sudden collapse of communism and the emergence of a new democratic consensus, liberal democracy itself is under threat. Former bastions of democracy are exhibiting a level of populism and polarization previously associated only with nascent, tenuous democracies in countries with low levels of education and economic development. The shared vision that constituted the foundation for the democratic consensus is breaking down. Doubts, fears and insecurity have shaken faith in the institutions of governance and the confidence of youth in a better future. Nations are closing their borders, retreating from global cooperation, and casting the blame on minorities and foreigners in a manner reminiscent of an earlier century. Participants in the WAAS Roundtable on the Future of Democracy at Dubrovnik on April 3-5, 2018 recognized that this shift in direction is the result of a complex nexus of forces that have been shaping the future for decades. The group shared valuable insights into our present dilemma while maintaining the diversity of perspective essential for understanding a complex, multidimensional global phenomenon still in the process of unfolding. The discussion identified numerous practical steps that can be taken to moderate extreme aberrations resulting from the misuse of social power. It also recognized that fundamental changes are needed to develop more effective systems of governance capable of fully supporting the aspirations of humanity, maximizing the equity and effectiveness of social institutions and the future evolution of global society.
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    Principles of Sustainable Economy: An anthropologist’s perspective
    Reuter, T (Risk Institute, Trieste- Geneva, 2017)
    Contemporary economies must undergo a transformation to sustainability if we are to avoid a descent into ecological and socio-political crises of ever escalating severity. In order to achieve such a major reform, principles consistent with sustainable ecosystems and social systems need to be identified and applied systematically. What are these principles in their most fundamental form, how can they become widely accepted, and how can they be applied? To answer these three questions, this article draws on the cumulative insights of anthropology, a bridging science dedicated to the holistic study of humanity across the entire span of our evolutionary development (physical anthropology) and across the full breadth of its crosscultural diversity (cultural anthropology). This broad and longitudinal anthropological understanding of human societies will be compared with what we now understand about the characteristics of ecosystem, primarily to show that they are fundamentally similar. An alternative cultural outlook and political procedure is then proposed that—if adopted—would deliver a shared global vision for a socially and ecologically sustainable future and lay firm pathways toward that future in the now.
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    Seeds of Life, Seeds of Hunger: Corporate Agendas, Seed Sovereignty and Agricultural Development (Indonesia, East Timor)
    Reuter, T (Anthropology of Food, 2017)
    In this paper, I briefly look at the equity track record, inherent ecological risks and potential for self-reform of industrial agriculture in general, juxtaposed with emerging alternatives based on the principles of traditional and/or organic farming. A more detailed assessment of how this controversy manifests within the seed industry follows. Therein, the main focus is on the clash between a hybrid and GMO oriented seed industry and farmers calls for ‘seed sovereignty,’ which is a vital element within the wider paradigm of food sovereignty-based sustainable agriculture. I will use examples from my own research in Indonesia and, less so, in Timor Leste (East Timor) to highlight associated equity and environmental concerns.
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    Nature and the Self: Liberal Individualism Is the Problem, Not the Solution
    Reuter, T (ROUTLEDGE JOURNALS, TAYLOR & FRANCIS LTD, 2016-01-01)
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    Political Parties and the Power of Money in Indonesia and Beyond
    Reuter, T (CAMBRIDGE UNIV PRESS, 2015-07-01)
    Abstract Political parties in Indonesia and in other parts of Southeast Asia have become vitally dependent on the financial support of individuals or conglomerates with large private fortunes. A remarkable new development is that some of the billionaires who have long sponsored political parties have decided to out themselves as political leaders, and thus to adopt the style of oligarchs. I define an oligarchy as a society featuring systematic conflation of political and economic power within the same individuals or within small, elite groups of such individuals in a manner that is visible, tolerated and hence legitimated. The gradual shift from clandestine money politics to open oligarchy is a significant challenge for contemporary liberal democracies. Conflicts of interest between the demands of public office and their private interests would seem difficult to avoid for politicians who also run large business empires and own great estates. On the other hand, for billionaire sponsors of political parties to come forward and stand for public office personally also means that their hitherto clandestine influence is becoming more transparent, and their conduct and decisions more subject to public scrutiny and accountability. This article describes how both direct and indirect ways of conducting money politics operate and coexist within different types of political parties in Indonesia today, what the significance of these differences is and what is changing; with special reference to the 2014 parliamentary elections in Indonesia.
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