The ethnographic treatment of "rites de Passage" is discussed with reference to
material relating to religious initiation. It is suggested that the major transitions
engendered through the Tibetan Buddhist Tantric W a n g Kur rituals may be profitably
analyzed not simply as changes in social status but rather as tools for the re-ordering
of phenomenology which are designed to engender long-term alterations in the
initiates' experience of the world. The initiation provides a rationale and instruction
conjunctive with ritual technique which is consciously designed to globally and
permanently alter the consciousness of the practitioner. Suggestions for studies of
rites of passage which take into account this dimension of the ritual control of
experience are offered.
An earlier version of this paper was prepared for a Symposium, Cultural Policies in Regional Integration, sponsored by the Center for the Study of Western Hemispheric Trade and the Mexican Center of the Institute of Latin American Studies, The University of Texas at Austin, February 2, 1998.
Since the early 2000s the Internet has become particularly crucial for the global jihadist movement. Nowhere has the Internet been more important in the movement’s development than in the West. While dynamics differ from case to case, it is fair to state that almost all recent cases of radicalization in the West involve at least some digital footprint. Jihadists, whether structured groups or unaffiliated sympathizers, have long understood the importance of the Internet in general and social media, in particular. Zachary Chesser, one of the individuals studied in this report, fittingly describes social media as “simply the most dynamic and convenient form of media there is.” As the trend is likely to increase, understanding how individuals make the leap to actual militancy is critically important.
This study is based on the analysis of the online activities of seven individuals. They share several key traits. All seven were born or raised in the United States. All seven were active in online and offline jihadist scene around the same time (mid‐ to late 2000s and early 2010s). All seven were either convicted for terrorism‐related offenses (or, in the case of two of the seven, were killed in terrorism‐related incidents.)
The intended usefulness of this study is not in making the case for monitoring online social media for intelligence purpose—an effort for which authorities throughout the West need little encouragement. Rather, the report is meant to provide potentially useful pointers in the field of counter‐radicalization. Over the past ten years many Western countries have devised more or less extensive strategies aimed at preventing individuals from embracing radical ideas or de‐radicalizing (or favoring the disengagement) of committed militants. (Canada is also in the process of establishing its own counter‐radicalization strategy.)
The analysis of official development assistance has always struggled with the contradiction between its more altruistic motivations for global development and its easy adaptation as an instrument for the donor’s pursuit of self-interested foreign policy objectives. In the international system foreign aid may thus become a forum for both cooperative and competitive interactions between donors. This chapter explores the interdependence of aid by reviewing the literature on donor interdependence, with a particular focus on donor competition for influence in recipient states. We then present a simple theoretical framework to examine donor competition, and provide some preliminary empirical testing of resulting hypotheses. We conclude that while the evidence about competition is fixed, the behaviour of some donors is consistent with their pursuit of influence in certain recipient states.
Older Americans, even those who are long retired, have strong willingness to work, especially in jobs with flexible schedules. For many, labor force participation near or after normal retirement age is limited more by a lack of acceptable job opportunities or low expectations about finding them than by unwillingness to work longer. This paper establishes these findings using an approach to identification based on strategic survey questions (SSQs) purpose-designed to complement behavioral data. These findings suggest that demand-side factors are important in explaining late-in-life labor market behavior and may be the most appropriate target for policy aimed at promoting working longer.
This paper introduces the Vanguard Research Initiative (VRI), a new panel survey of wealthholders designed to yield high-quality measurements of a large sample of older Americans who arrive at retirement with significant financial assets. The VRI links survey data with a variety of administrative data from Vanguard. The survey features an account-by-account approach to asset measurement and a real-time feedback and correction mechanism that are shown to be highly successful in eliciting accurate measures of wealth. Specifically, the VRI data reflect unbiased and precise estimates of wealth when compared to administrative account data. The VRI sample has characteristics similar to populations meeting analogous wealth and Internet access eligibility conditions in the Health and Retirement Study (HRS) and Survey of Consumer Finances (SCF). To illustrate the value of the VRI, the paper shows that the relationship between wealth and expected retirement date is very different in the VRI than in the HRS and SCF—mainly because those surveys have so few observations where wealth levels are high enough to finance substantial consumption during retirement.