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"Germany has repeatedly relied on temporary labor recruitment as a central means of negotiating the paradoxes of liberal industrial democracy. In order to examine the legacies of this practice," writes Visiting Assistant Professor of Anthropology Jeffery Jurgens, "I place the Federal Republic's two most prominent recruitment measures, the 1955–1973 guest worker program and the 2000–2004 Green Card program, within a larger history of migration, policymaking, and public debate."
My position is that the [German] Federal Republic's repeated reliance on labor recruitment responds to the exigencies of a particular historical conjuncture, but not the one identified by Castles. Rather than locating recruitment within a structuring of the global political economy that is now a thing of the past, I regard the guest worker and Green programs as comparable efforts to negotiate the enduring “liberal paradox” that confronts postwar industrial democracies (Hollifield, 1992; Hollifield, 2004 J. Hollifield). This paradox emerges through the interplay, on the one hand, of global economic forces that impel these states to adopt postures of openness in matters of trade, investment, and migration and, on the other, of those domestic political forces and aspects of the international state system that prompt them to maintain closure. The paradox has a liberal character because it pits classical liberal principles, including free trade and individual rights, against mandates that underpin the international state system, above all state sovereignty and territorial closure. And it arises with particular urgency in relation to migration, which alters the composition of the populace in a manner that can and does provoke anxieties about the social contract on which government legitimacy is based (Walzer, 1983). Viewed from this perspective, the guest worker and Green Card programs constitute attempts to admit workers in pursuit of the state's economic interests without transforming the society over which it governs.
This line of analysis, however, does not entirely explain why the Federal Republic would have favored temporary recruitment as the means to negotiate the paradoxes of liberal statehood. Why not pursue a policy of targeted permanent immigration? (This is, in fact, what Germany did, but only beginning in 2005.) In order to deal with this issue, we need to situate the two programs within the Federal Republic's record of contradictory, ambivalent, but nevertheless restrictionist policymaking in relation to ethnically non-German migrants. On the other hand, the Federal Republic actively encouraged the immigration of ethnic Germans from Eastern Europe and the Soviet Union, although it employed various measures to limit the inflow beginning in 1990 (Joppke, 1999). From the mid 1970s to the late 1990s, this tradition was expressed in the federal government's oft-repeated claim that Germany was “not a country of immigration” (kein Einwanderungsland). To be sure, this official position was and is belied by the millions of immigrants who have settled in the Federal Republic since the 1960s, and successive federal governments have gradually reformulated the country's foreigner and migration policies. On the whole, though, restrictionist impulses have proven remarkably persistent in both policymaking and public debate, and they provide a relevant backdrop for the guest worker and Green Card programs.
page 346 in Jurgens, Jeffery (2010). “The Legacies of Labor Recruitment: The Guest Worker and Green Card Programs in the Federal Republic of Germany.” Policy and Society 29: 345-355.
In 2001, UNICEF initiated a new youth program that began broadcasting on radios throughout Nepal. The program, called Sāthi Sanga Man Kā Kura, or “Chatting with My Best Friend,” was initially started with the objective of preventing drug use and HIV from spreading among Nepali youth. Its broader agenda, as stated on their website, is to provide a “confidential and open platform where anyone can open their heart out on issues deeply related to them” (SSMK 2001). By talking with the radio hosts of this program about intimate matters, the program's designers suggest people will learn to “deal with problems on their own.” Sāthi Sanga Man Kā Kura (henceforth SSMK) seeks to create a person who can speak directly and intimately with strangers on the radio program, friends and family they meet regularly, and most importantly, with themselves. Ultimately, the program envisions that direct speech with others will have profound effects on listener's own self‐perception. Communicating with others in this manner will ostensibly lead to the development of an uninhibited person capable of taking matters into his or her own hands. The program thus aims to create the ideal neoliberal subject implicit in many international aid organizations like UNICEF: a subject who is self‐sufficient and can make his or her own choices, often based on market logic. For such a subject, one's personal life—and most importantly, how one speaks about it—becomes the paradigmatic site of political transformation. In this article, I suggest that the ideology of directness is associated with a linguistic ideology that centers on the idea and powers of the voice.
Kunreuther, Laura. "Transparent media: radio, voice, and ideologies of directness in postdemocratic Nepal." Journal of Linguistic Anthropology 20.2 (2010): 334-351.
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