Faculty in the Media: On Moral Panics, and Ethnic Cleansing in Nagorno-Karabakh

In a roundtable hosted by journalist Moya Lothian-McLean of Novara Media at The World Transformed festival in Liverpool, Barnaby Raine breaks down the social conditions and political opportunism that both incite and exacerbate moral panics. Expanding upon the work of a group of Birmingham cultural studies scholars, including Stuart Hall, Raine traces the origins of these panics to the “transition from the post-war order…to neoliberalism,” when “the orders of race and class are breaking down as the mass factory is being replaced by more precarious work.”

And, writing in Jacobin, Rafael Khachaturian and co writer Richard Antaramian give a harrowing, historically rooted account of the practical consequences of ethnocratic ideas—namely, the Azeri ethnic cleansing of the Armenian enclave currently taking place in the Nagorno-Karabakh region. Khachaturian and Antaramian observe that the tragic pattern of national formation in the wake of the Soviet Union, unfolding in a new iteration in Azerbaijan, “confirms the famous quip made by the American sociologist Charles Tilly that ‘war made the state and the state made war.’”

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