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8: America at the Choice Point

James Garrison Berrett-Koehler Publishers ePub

IT IS AGAINST THE BACKGROUND of the history of empire and the greatness of Rome that it must be noted that the decisions being made by the Bush administration are almost all with specific reference to a very finite event: the trauma of September 11, 2001. Both the attack and the subsequent war on terrorism characterize the present American moment and predominant focus of the U.S. government. Historical legacies and global complexities are being viewed through the very narrow lens provided by a single experience.

Is there any way that this occasion can be a gateway to the larger issues? This is a difficult task because the wounds of September 11 continue to be quite raw, particularly in the American psyche. The initial American response, still with us, has been bewilderment and hurt that anyone would want to do such a thing to the United States. These notions were combined with the demand for vengeance. The U.S. government marched onto the world stage, overthrew the Taliban in Afghanistan with international support, and then invaded Iraq without it. Few acknowledged that the nation was in the grip of a Jacksonian act of vengeance or that it might be affected by a form of post-traumatic stress disorder. 151

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Medium 9780253009685

6. Beyond Ghannouchi: Islamism and Social Change in Tunisia

David McMurray Indiana University Press ePub


On October 23, 2011, for the first time since independence in 1956, Tunisians were called to the polls in free and transparent elections. They were to choose 217 members of a Constituent Assembly that for a year would play a double role: drafting a new constitution and governing the country.

For many Tunisians, as well as foreigners, the results were something of a surprise. First, the turnout was lower than expected, hovering just over 53 percent, despite serious efforts by the Electoral Commission to get out the vote. Many ordinary Tunisians, it appears, are skeptical of the political transformation in the country since the ouster of Zine El Abidine Ben Ali. Second, the victory of the Islamist party al-Nahda was much larger than anticipated. Opinion surveys taken beforehand had predicted the party’s first-place finish, but with a vote oscillating between 20 and 28 percent of the total. In the end, al-Nahda obtained 41.7 percent of the vote and, more significantly, won eighty-nine seats in the Constituent Assembly, by far the largest bloc. Third, secular, and leftist parties put in a solid performance (though not up to expectations), but their divisions split the secular electorate. No party except al-Nahda, therefore, garnered more than 8 percent of the ballot.

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Medium 9780253356772

2 Obligations to Dogs

Harri Englund Indiana University Press ePub

Walking the dog was never a task Joseph Chisale cherished. Tending the garden of his European master, who was the only doctor at the nearby rural clinic, was a far more agreeable pursuit, and even cooking for the master involved skills and responsibilities that made the occupational category of “houseboy” a source of some respect in the village. Twice a day the master’s Alsatian, the dog that had traveled with him from Europe, had to be taken for a walk, each time Chisale wondering whether the master’s residence in his own village was such a blessing after all. Insolent children would run around him during the promenade, the cheekiest of them trying to provoke barking from the exotic creature. Adults would maintain a polite façade, their smiles and greetings, Chisale often felt, concealing their commiseration over the humiliation brought by a lack of opportunities in the village. Chisale suspected that the master would not have had the courage to face the commotion his outings with the dog would have caused in the village. The master’s residence there had done nothing to change his status as a stranger, or to improve his communication skills in Chicheŵa.

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Medium 9781576753972

Nine: Managing Expression Inside the Workplace

Bruce Barry Berrett-Koehler Publishers ePub

People have an obligation to dissent in this company…. I mean, I sit up here on the 50th floor, in the library. I have no idea what’s going on down there, so if you’ve got a problem with it, speak up. And if you don’t speak up, that’s not good.

—Jeffrey Skilling, former CEO of Enron1

CORPORATE EXECUTIVES ARE ACCOMPLISHED PRACTITIONERS of the art of talking the talk of openness, free speech, and dissent in the workplace. Fortunately for the rest of us, journalists are accomplished at the sort of petard-hoisting that results when quotations like this are dredged up. Enron, to be sure, isn’t a representative example of workplace culture or, for that matter, workplace anything. Its swift financial collapse, organizational implosion, and managerial fall from grace set it apart from anything we might regard as the typical corporate experience. But if Enron isn’t typical, Jeffrey Skilling’s comment about free speech and dissent is: a familiar if hollow genuflection to principles of openness and heterodoxy.

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Medium 9781855759909

CHAPTER TWO. Motivation of the leader in the context of the team

Lionel F. Stapley Karnac Books ePub

Why do people do difficult things for little reward? Why does a child, once having learned to walk, continue to walk? Why are we motivated to do anything? What is motivation? By human motivation we mean the drive, the energy, or degree of activity that an individual displays. What we are essentially concerned with is why one person works hard at many different tasks and persists in the face of difficulty, while another is rather lazy at work, has few interests and tends to quit in the face of frustration. These are the central issues to questions that I shall seek to address in this chapter, but it may help to set the scene if I first briefly consider the central object of this study; namely, the self. Who are the individuals that call themselves team manager, team leader or team member? What is the basis for them to claim such an identity?

The self

The question ‘Who am IT has probably tormented people since the dawn of civilisation and remains a vexing question today. I shall first try to answer the question by taking a very pragmatic, basic process which occurs when a person asks, and then answers, ‘Who am I? What is my real me? What is my fundamental identity?’ When someone asks, ‘Who are you?’ and you proceed to give a reasonable, honest, and more or less detailed answer, what in fact are you doing? What goes on in your head as you do this? In one sense you are describing your self as you have come to know it, including in your description most of the pertinent facts, both good and bad, that you understand as fundamental to your identity. You might, for example, think that you are a unique individual, a person endowed with certain potentials; I am kind but sometimes cruel, loving but sometimes hostile; I am a husband and a consultant, I enjoy music and football. And so your list of feelings and thoughts might proceed.

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