The Power of Presence: Professional Women Leaders and Family Law Reform in Morocco

Charrad, Mounira M. &  Rita Stephan. 2020.  “The Power of Presence: Professional Women Leaders and Family Law Reform in Morocco.” Social Politics, Volume 27, Issue 2: 337–360, doi.org/10.1093/sp/jxz013. The 2004 reforms of Islamic family law in Morocco brought about a long-awaited expansion of women’s rights. The Moroccan women’s movement was a key player in the promulgation of the reforms. We highlight the role of professional women leaders in the movement and show how they developed political capital and the “power of presence” by combining (i) professional attainment, (ii) leadership in women’s organizations, and (iii) active participation or positions in politics and civil society. We suggest that more needs to be understood about the implications of women’s education and professional attainment for legal change, especially in the Middle East.

Local Solidarities: How the Arab Spring Protests Started

Charrad, Mounira M. & Nicholas Reith. 2019. “Local Solidarities: How the Arab Spring Protests Started.” Mounira M. Charrad & Nicholas Reith. Sociological Forum.34: 1174-1196.  doi:10.1111/socf.12543 Coming as a surprise to most observers and following the self‐immolation of a street vendor in a remote town of central Tunisia, the Jasmine Revolution of 2010–2011, the first uprising of the Arab Spring, has often been seen as a success story for digital communication through widespread use of social media. We suggest that this applied to the later phase of the protests in Tunisia but not to the initial phase, which occurred in local areas in impoverished and marginalized regions with highly limited access to the Internet. The initial phase lasted a full 10 days before the protests reached major cities where social media operated. Building on Tilly’s concept of trust network, we offer the concept of local solidarities as key to the beginning of the Arab Spring uprisings and as encompassing spatial proximity, shared marginalized status, and kinship, all of which combined to serve as a basis for trust and collective action.

The 3×1 Program for migrants and vigilante groups in contemporary Mexico

Clarisa Pérez-Armendáriz & Lauren Duquette-Rury. 2019. “The 3×1 Program for migrants and vigilante groups in contemporary Mexico.”Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies DOI: 10.1080/1369183X.2019.1623345

What explains the emergence of armed vigilante groups in Mexico over the past decade? This article links the recent emergence of armed vigilante organisations to United States-Mexico migration. Drawing on an original dataset collected from 2352 Mexican municipalities between 2002 and 2013, we find that a given community’s participation in programmes through which migrant organisations called hometown associations (HTAs) produce public goods in collaboration with sending state authorities is associated with a higher probability of observing an armed vigilante group. More specifically, armed vigilante groups are more likely to operate in those municipalities where HTAs repeatedly participate in the formal co-provision of public goods with government authorities. Contrary to our theoretical expectations, we also find that the presence of vigilante groups does not appear to be driven by HTA’s desire to protect their collective investments. We are not more likely to observe vigilante groups in those communities in which HTAs invest the most money. We argue that the positive relationship between frequent HTA participation in programmes where government authorities and migrants co-produce public goods obtains because the processes that this collaboration entails enable community members to act collectively to provide self-help forms of security and justice for their communities.

Racial Arithmetic: Ethnoracial Politics in a Relational Key

Rodríguez-Muñiz, Michael. 2019. “Racial Arithmetic: Ethnoracial Politics in a Relational Key.” Pp. 278-295 in Relational Formations of Race: Theory, Method and Practice, edited by Natalia Molina, Daniel Martinez HoSang, and Ramón Gutiérrez. Berkeley: University of California Press.

Societies invested in the quantification of race are rarely, if ever, free of racial arithmetic, that is, the practice of using statistics to legitimate and justify political decisions along categories of race and ethnicity. Despite this, scholars have tended to focus on the production rather than the use of ethnoracial statistics. This paper argues that the study of racial arithmetic—an understudied feature of contemporary politics—requires a relational approach. To illustrate the purchase of this approach, this paper presents an analysis of Chicago’s most recent bout of aldermanic redistricting. In this case, racial arithmetic rested on the ubiquitous juxtaposition of “Latino” and “Black” demographics, as captured in the 2010 census. By casting Black and Latinx political power as a zero-sum game, this juxtaposition helped longstanding white overrepresentation on the City Council escape public scrutiny.