recentpopularlog in

patronage

« earlier   
Painting Over the Dirty Truth (The New Republic, 9/23/2019)
The rich fund museums to launder their reputations. Museums exploit identity politics to distract from the shady money funding them. In the art world, it’s all just business as usual.
museums  wealth  patronage  sackler  sopranos  art  culture 
29 days ago by davidkoren
Security and Governance in the Disputed Territories Under a Fractured GOI: The Case of Northern Diyala | Middle East Centre, Nov 2018
Preliminary interviews highlight the fact that the nature and form of GOI control varies considerably across the disputed territories. The campaign against ISIS has left the federal government with a fragmented military and administrative apparatus. While legally speaking the state-backed Popular Mobilisation Forces (PMFs) have been incorporated into the federal government since 2016, in reality the different factions vary greatly in their command structures, priorities, and loyalty to the GOI. Thus, instead of solely a KRG–GOI conflict, the disputed territories face a varied field of political and military actors vying for control. This fragmentation of public authority impacts not only the security of the disputed territories but also the provision of services and administration. In what follows we provide an overview of these dynamics in one of the most complex of the disputed areas, northern Diyala
Neither the KRG nor the federal administrations were apolitical. Since 2003, both key KRG and GOI functionaries have been staffed by Kurdish actors loyal to political parties, especially the PUK. The GOI reassertion has not fundamentally altered this arrangement, in part due to the PUK’s longstanding ties to Iran as well as Iranian-back actors in Iraq (such as the Badr Organisation, the largest and most powerful Iranian-backed element of the Shia PMFs in Diyala, led by Hadi al-Ameri) which operate in the area. With the events of October 2017 and the assertion of GOI control over the local security apparatus, federal and Badr authorities did not force out all of the existing Kurdish, predominately PUK administration. They permitted the co-presence of KRG and GOI administrations for the provision of public services.

The current distribution of administrative power is by no means equal between the GOI and KRG, however. The centre of political control has shifted towards the federal ministries and the governorate capital of Ba’quba. The mayor’s office and directors now execute their duties with the knowledge that the governorate authorities control the bulk of Khanaqin’s salary distributions. Moreover, federal influence over Khanaqin’s security apparatus allow Ba’quba to hold sway over the administrative reach of certain KRG entities.

Security is shared but is heavily dominated by the federal authorities. Since October 2017, the Federal Army and Badr Organisation forces have allowed Kurdish intelligence & security forces (Asayish) to stand at checkpoints, though they have been stripped of the authority to make arrests. The arrangement, which Badr and the PUK struck under Iranian influence, aimed to appease a large pro-KRG Shia Kurdish population concentrated in the centre of Khanaqin district.

Allowing the Kurdish security apparatus to have more equal footing with Badr and GOI troops through continued PUK–Badr and KRG–GOI talks might help reduce the risk of such threats, or at very least assuage local fears of violence. This perception is not limited to the Kurdish inhabitants of Khanaqin. Interviews conducted in September 2018 with Arab, Turkmen, and Kurdish members of the city’s council confirmed a consensus that security has become more fragile in the post-referendum era.

Our field visits to Jalawla suggest that the Sunni Arab participation in the AAH has by no means put them on equal footing with the Shia Arab leadership. One of our field researchers personally witnessed a heated interaction where a Shia AAH commander aggressively insulted a group of local Sunni Arab AAH members, prompting one of the Sunni Arab recruits to plead, ‘You can’t just treat us as if we’re nothing.’

On the administrative side, neither the governor of Diyala, nor the officials in Baghdad, have challenged the emerging power players in Jalawla. Some local administrative officials claim that this is because the governor and some on the provincial council are beholden to Iranian interests in the province. They simply cannot challenge the presence of groups like AAH. This fragmentation and layering of public authority has resulted in a lack of services and public works, paralysing government institutions.

The crisis in public authority in Jalawla is unlikely to change without decisive GOI intervention if only because of the sheer amount of money at stake in maintaining the status quo. PMUs, and particularly the AAH, generate enormous cash flows in Jalawla. For instance, the AAH collects money through illegal taxing of trucks carrying trading goods from the KRI to the rest of Iraq. The AAH man checkpoints on commercially strategic roads and impose taxes on vehicles passing through, earning an estimated amount of $300,000 daily through checkpoint fees across Jalawla, according to a government official. This has helped the AAH to widen its networks of patronage in the area. The Shia militia party has used illegal taxation to pay the salaries of its fighters and followers, thus shifting the political marketplace in its favour.
Diyala  Hashd  patronage  KRG  PUK  Iraq  localGovt  corruption  Iran 
5 weeks ago by elizrael
Public Authority and Iraq's Disputed Territories | Middle East Centre, Sep 4, 2018
But in most of the disputed territories, local sentiment does not align with this dichotomy. Residents increasingly care less about the identity of the administration they live under, and more about what – services, security – these governments provide. Ultimately, these populations are looking for local autonomy and local solutions that serve their interests. This shared vision for governance in their territories, and bottom-up approach may provide more fertile ground for reaching a lasting formula than the national ones that have been tried so far.
disputedTerritories  Iraq  KRG  localGovt  patronage 
5 weeks ago by elizrael
The perks of patronage
> They’re there because they weirdly fell in love with what you’re doing, and they want to see you succeed.

​> But we never stopped to think about whether we repeated these behaviors because they were actually good for creators, or because that’s just how Kickstarter did it.

​> Creators sell intimacy to patrons. They sell “stuff” - perks - to customers.
patronage  kickstarter  patreon  newsletter  nadia-eghbal 
6 weeks ago by jasdev
The Man With the $13 Billion Checkbook
July 12, 2019 | The New York Times | By John Leland [John Leland, a Metro reporter, joined The Times in 2000. His most recent book is “Happiness Is a Choice You Make: Lessons From a Year Among the Oldest Old,” based on a Times series. @johnleland]

In the neglected Harlem of the late 1990s, one dynamic player was the Abyssinian Development Corporation, a nonprofit offshoot of the powerful Abyssinian Baptist Church. Harlem then was littered with abandoned buildings that had been repossessed by the city. The development corporation, led by the Rev. Dr. Calvin O. Butts III, leveraged city and private money to restore these shells, then used the profits to acquire and rehab more buildings. Mr. Walker became the organization’s chief operating officer, working out of a basement office to help bring a Pathmark supermarket to 125th Street, the anchor for what would become a thriving commercial corridor in a neighborhood that had been given up for dead.

“Working for Calvin Butts, you saw the power of the black church, the shrewd political instincts of a power player, and the dynamic at the intersection of race, power, geography and culture,” Mr. Walker said. “It gave me tremendous insight into how power at that intersection plays out, and who benefits and who doesn’t benefit.”

Mr. Walker’s time at Abyssinian also taught him what it was like to rely on foundation grants, begging the mighty patron for favors. When he left to join the Rockefeller Foundation and then Ford — and as Abyssinian boomed and busted in a new Harlem — he vowed to change this relationship.
African-Americans  capitalism  Communicating_&_Connecting  contradictions  cultural_institutions  Darren_Walker  Ford_Foundation  Harlem  inequality  museums  patronage  power_brokers  New_York_City  personal_connections  political_power  relationships  tokenism 
july 2019 by jerryking
SYRIA IN CONTEXT Weekly Briefing - ISSUE #55 - WEEK 26/2019
Security in Deir Ezzor: The last week saw continued violent clashes between local National Defense Forces affiliates and Iranian-backed militias in and around the border town of Boukamal in Deir Ezzor. Local activists report running gun battles and assasination attempts between the nominally loyalist factions. On Friday, NDF fighters reportedly raised the Syrian government flag in al-Tayyara Square leading Iranian-backed militias to attack the area to remove the drapeau, leading to clashes that left at least three dead. According to local sources, Iranian-backed groups are apprehensive about the strong representation of the Al-Abed clan, which maintains close relations with relatives serving in the US-backed SDF across the river, within the local NDF. The tribal group had been deputized by the Assad government as most formal military units had been withdrawn in recent weeks to support operations in Idlib and the Syrian interior, where ISIS sleeper cells continue to attack regime positions. Iran maintains an extensive presence between Deir Ezzor and the Iraqi border.

...

Eventually, the Syrian government reneged on most of its promises. The Russian MPs withdrew after a mere four and a half months, allowing Syrian security services to enter the area who immediately commenced impressing and arresting hundreds of locals - reconciled or not. The SNHR documented the government’s arrest of at least 156 individuals, including 17 children and 12 women, from Homs northern suburbs from May 2018 until the end of the year.

Similar to other “reconciled areas” the living situation in Homs barely improved. While traders had better access to markets without an active siege, Syrian security services continued to impose strict limitations on movements for local residents who have to apply for specific permits from local intelligence officials to pass checkpoints surrounding the area. A situation aggravated by the fact that following the departure of most NGO staff and international support funds, local services such as healthcare have all but collapsed as aid efforts directed via Damascus have failed to make up for the withdrawal, forcing residents to commute outside the former pockets for work, health care and other services.

Intercommunal ties have also frayed. Leading Sunni families of the area, once pillars of the regime, are now largely outside the country, disgraced for their support of the opposition, leaving locals without influential intermediaries to intercede with the government on their behalf. Area residents now have poor relations with neighbouring villages, with tit-for-tat conflict-violence spilling into the post-conflict phase as family disputes, communal violence, harassment, legal challenges and kidnappings occur regularly.

Security in Deir Ezzor: The last week saw continued violent clashes between local National Defense Forces affiliates and Iranian-backed militias in and around the border town of Boukamal in Deir Ezzor. Local activists report running gun battles and assasination attempts between the nominally loyalist factions. On Friday, NDF fighters reportedly raised the Syrian government flag in al-Tayyara Square leading Iranian-backed militias to attack the area to remove the drapeau, leading to clashes that left at least three dead. According to local sources, Iranian-backed groups are apprehensive about the strong representation of the Al-Abed clan, which maintains close relations with relatives serving in the US-backed SDF across the river, within the local NDF. The tribal group had been deputized by the Assad government as most formal military units had been withdrawn in recent weeks to support operations in Idlib and the Syrian interior, where ISIS sleeper cells continue to attack regime positions. Iran maintains an extensive presence between Deir Ezzor and the Iraqi border.
SDF  DeirEzZor  Mar15  Homs  Reconciliation  Daraa  Sweida  Assassination  patronage  Russia  FreedomOfMovement  NDF  militia  Iran 
june 2019 by elizrael
The Twitch argument for GitHub Sponsors
> Viewed through this lens, Sponsors can be understood as a first, important stepping stone towards company sponsorships, which seem inevitable for GitHub given the presence of Organization accounts.

​> Their eyes light up when they talk about specific developers. If I ask why, I tend to hear a few common responses: 1) they’re learning a specific skill, and watching that person is helpful, or 2) they’re experienced developers who just love being able to see how “the best” do it.

​> it struck me the other day that open source is a sort of “high-latency streaming”.

​> the relationship between a prominent GitHub developer and their audience, and a prominent Twitch streamer and their audience, is similar: they gain followers because people enjoy watching them do something in public.

​> an additional set of motivations, which is, “I want to watch and learn from you”. A graphic artist or a blogger who’s funded on Patreon doesn’t quite have that same relationship to their audience. In those cases, I think their output – the artifacts they create – takes center stage.

​> there are probably others who just love watching the person who makes it.

​> With companies, open source developers are selling a product. With individuals, they’re selling themselves.
nadia-eghbal  github  open-source  funding  patreon  patronage  streaming  twitch  education 
may 2019 by jasdev
@Pseudoplotinus [Replying to @Dyrnwyn @RbnLake and 11 others] I think that's a microcosm of the patronage vs populism dynamic. / When it appears to people that public services are failing in their responsibilities, populist backlash is the result. / Popul
@Pseudoplotinus [Replying to @Dyrnwyn @RbnLake and 11 others]

I think that's a microcosm of the patronage vs populism dynamic.

When it appears to people that public services are failing in their responsibilities, populist backlash is the result.

Populism gives rise to incoherent policy, driving the patronage party support to double down.
Populism  Patronage 
april 2019 by cbearden
Nadia Eghbal | The perks of patronage
I started a newsletter a few years ago. I added it as an afterthought to one of my blog posts, with the message: “Sign up here to get updates when I post something new”. That blog post happened to blow up, so I found myself with a solid audience within a few days. via Pocket
IFTTT  Pocket  kickstarter  mentors  patronage  rewards 
april 2019 by ChristopherA
Iran Moves to Cement Its Influence in Syria - WSJ
Along with the charity come offers to join the ranks of the Iranian militia and convert to the Shiite sect of the Islamic faith, he said. In return for enlisting, the men are promised a guard corps ID card—allowing them to cross checkpoints without hassle—and $200 a month. “From every family you find one or two people who have become Shiite,” he said. “They say they do it so they can find jobs or they become Shiite so they can walk and no one bothers them.”

To incentivize Arab tribesmen in areas formerly controlled by Islamic State to convert to Shiism, Iran is granting cash subsidies, providing public services and free education, according to residents, a U.S. official and a person familiar with U.S. intelligence operations in the region.

In cities and villages across the country’s east and in parts of central Syria, the Iranian militia has taken over mosques and is sounding the Shiite call to prayer from the minarets. They set up shrines in places with religious historical significance, bought real estate under a contested property law and opened Persian-language schools.

“If you’re a student, they offer a scholarship. If you’re poor, they give you aid,” said an aid worker in Qamishli, in northeast Syria, whose friend was offered a chance to study in Iran. “Whatever your need is they fill it, just so you become Shiite.”

“Just like ISIS gave religious lessons to children after prayers, they are doing the same thing,” said a father of two school-aged children, who said his village is now under control of Iranian militias.

“Just like ISIS gave religious lessons to children after prayers, they are doing the same thing,” said a father of two school-aged children, who said his village is now under control of Iranian militias.

Tehran’s push for converts and loyalists has encountered some resistance from residents who objected to mosques being changed from Sunni to Shiite. In some cases, the call to prayer has reverted back to the Sunni script. Followers of the two sects have some differing religious beliefs and use somewhat different prayers and rituals.

As Mr. Assad’s regime struggles to provide basic services in areas it has recaptured, the Iranians and their affiliated militias and charities have filled the void. The Hussein Organization, an Iranian charity, has brought in generators and water pumps and distributed food and school supplies in cities and villages in Deir Ezzour, said a security analyst consulting with the U.S. government on eastern Syria.
https://justpaste.it/1x7rs
Iran  mar15  aid  Shia  patronage  recruitment  Hizbollah 
march 2019 by elizrael
SYRIA IN CONTEXT Weekly Briefing ISSUE #42 - WEEK 12/2019
a regional breakdown of allocation shows the extraordinary inequities at the heart of the Syrian government structure. For example, heavily-loyalist Latakia and Tartous provinces receive as much as a combined quarter of all public funds, despite hosting barely 10% of Syria’s population. The skew is likely due to the disproportionate patronage bestowed on loyalist communities via public sector jobs and investments (a 2013 decree forces preferential treatment for families of those who died fighting for the Syrian government - overwhelmingly members of loyalist minority communities). Given the government’s fiscal limitations, it is unclear how the Assad regime could re-broaden its patronage to non-loyalist communities without corresponding cuts - meaning layoffs - undermining its own power base.
budget  Mar15  Lattakia  patronage  aid  subsidies 
march 2019 by elizrael

Copy this bookmark:





to read