MIddle East

Scholarly Communication in Iran: An Overview

Golnessa Galyani-Moghaddam and Esmat Momeni

Scholarly communication is shaped in a social context everywhere; therefore, it may be affected by many factors, and it does not form in the same pattern in all parts of the world. While the primary nature and function of scholarly communication has remained unchanged for centuries, it differs by culture, countries, religion, attitude, and social context. The purpose of the article is to review how scholarly communication is being shaped in Iran. The article highlights the differences between scholarly communication in Iran and in Western countries by considering the relevant historical, religious, cultural, social, and political factors and their impact on scholarly communication.

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A state of health? Constructive dialogue and the rhythms of international youth theatre

Simon Parry

This article examines youth theatre as a mode of promoting public dialogue within situations of political tension or conflict. It reflects on the author’s own experience of trying unsuccessfully to find a framework to evaluate an European Union supported theatre project, youth/art/peace/network, which took place in Austria, Israel and Palestine in the late 1990s. In the context of this reflection and the author’s attempts to address the challenge of finding an evaluative framework and mode of analysis, the article combines a critical account of Habermas’ notion of communicative reason inspired by Iris Marion Young with Lefebvre’s rhythmanalysis. It argues that understanding drama practices in rhythmic terms provides potential for evaluating the complex spatio-temporal relationships the practices might have with everyday life. Through focusing on the presences and absences of particular people and things, such evaluation shows up the risks of performing a misleading or coerced state of health. The article suggests that the problem in this case was underpinned by a restrictive or exclusionary understanding of constructive dialogue at odds with participants’ daily experience. However, the analysis also points more optimistically towards the potential of monologue and particular proxemics of co-presence in finding modes of performance to represent such experience.

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Communicating mega-projects in the face of uncertainties: Israeli mass media treatment of the Dead Sea Water Canal

Itay Fischhendler, Galit Cohen-Blankshtain, Yoav Shuali, Max Boykoff

Given the potential for uncertainties to influence mega-projects, this study examines how mega-projects are deliberated in the public arena. The paper traces the strategies used to promote the Dead Sea Water Canal. Findings show that the Dead Sea mega-project was encumbered by ample uncertainties. Treatment of uncertainties in early coverage was dominated by economics and raised primarily by politicians, while more contemporary media discourses have been dominated by ecological uncertainties voiced by environmental non-governmental organizations. This change in uncertainty type is explained by the changing nature of the project and by shifts in societal values over time. The study also reveals that ‘uncertainty reduction’ and to a lesser degree, ‘project cancellation’, are still the strategies most often used to address uncertainties. Statistical analysis indicates that although uncertainties and strategies are significantly correlated, there may be other intervening variables that affect this correlation. This research also therefore contributes to wider and ongoing considerations of uncertainty in the public arena through various media representational practices.

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