Revisiting Everyday Life: A Contemporary Analysis

This article draws on the theories of everyday life developed by Henry Lefebvre and on elements of analysis proposed by poststructuralists. It suggests the relevance of this approach for analyzing contemporary society. Sociological theory must be built and rebuilt on a continuous connection with reality as reflected in peoples’ everyday lives, and with a sense of its own limits. Instead of attempting to establish a general model, sociologists could contribute to make people more aware of their social world by revealing everyday interactions. The recent crises and social movements in many parts of the world reveal that sociologists must be cautious about definitive claims, and proceed instead by continuous interpretations and re-interpretations. From this perspective, an effective theory of society can best be built on a foundation of empirical interpretations of everyday life. This involves comprehending how ordinary human beings experience, conceive, and imagine their daily interactions. That is, we must decode the social world according to the everyday and address the practices through which the social world per se is constituted.

Globalization, Transnational Issues, and Global Governance: Cooperation or Power Struggle?

Globalization changed the way states and people interact with each other. Many issues that traditionally fall within a state’s domestic jurisdiction transformed into transnational issues. States have to collaborate, create problem-solving and cooperation mechanisms, and constitute an effective global governance system to cope with these issues. In this study, the impact of global cooperation and power struggles among developed and developing countries on the constitution of a global governance system that can address transnational challenges will be analyzed. To this aim, an increasing number of transnational issues that strain state-capacities (such as climate change, terrorism, and global financial crises, and the importance of a global governance system that enhances global cooperation and coordination to solve these issues) will be scrutinized. The impact of political struggle and an international system increasingly divided between developed and developing countries on the constitution of an effective global governance system will be evaluated. It is expected that power struggles among developing and developed countries will slow down the process to reform the global decision-making mechanisms and restructure the international organizations in a way that enhances the effectiveness of the global governance framework. Strong leadership, multilateral action, and collective problem-solving among the developed and developing countries are needed.

The Foreign Policy of LGBT Rights: Russia’s Reaction and Resistance to US Policy

This article examines the LGBT movement in Russia from its first Pride parade in 2006 to the reaction over the Sochi Olympics, as well as the 2011 foreign policy change in the US to promote LGBT rights abroad as part of its broader human rights foreign policy strategy. The comparison highlights a distinct trend between Russia’s treatment of the LGBT community and its attitude toward the West, indicating that LGBT equality is an issue caught in larger geopolitical tensions. While an important moment, the Sochi Olympics is only a part of larger trend toward anti-LGBT sentiments that have been growing in Russia since the late 2000s. More frequently, anti-LGBT sentiments are continually linked to anti-West attitudes. Indeed, some Russian LGBT activists are quickly turning away from Western involvement and aid. Thus this article examines the questions: Is there thus an overarching correlation between the rise of the US promoting LGBT rights internationally and Russia’s increased hostility toward the community? Has US foreign policy been one of the key drivers behind Russia taking up the mantle of anti-LGBT policies? What are some of the short-term effects and potential long-term gains of this policy?