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Abortion in Post-revolutionary Tunisia
Politics, Medicine and Morality
After the revolution of 2011, the electoral victory of the Islamist party ‘Ennahdha’ allowed previously silenced religious and conservative ideas about women’s right to abortion to be expressed. This also allowed healthcare providers in the public sector to refuse abortion and contraceptive care. This book explores the changes and continuity in the local discourses and practices related to the body, sexuality, reproduction and gender relationships. It also investigates how the bureaucratic apparatus of government healthcare facilities affects the complex moral world of clinicians and patients.
After the Pink Tide
Corporate State Formation and New Egalitarianisms in Latin America
Gold, M. & Zagato, A. (eds)
The left-wing Pink Tide movement that swept across Latin America seems now to be overturned, as a new wave of free-market thinkers emerge across the continent. This book analyses the emergence of corporate power within Latin America and the response of egalitarian movements across the continent trying to break open the constraints of the state. Through an ethnographically grounded and localized anthropological perspective, this book argues that at a time when the regular structures of political participation have been ruptured, the Latin American context reveals multiple expressions of egalitarian movements that strive (and sometimes momentarily manage) to break through the state’s apparatus.
All or None
Cooperation and Sustainability in Italy's Red Belt
Sánchez Hall, A.
At once a social history and anthropological study of the world’s oldest voluntary collective farms, All or None is a story of how landless laborers joined together in Ravenna, Italy to acquire land, sometimes by occupying private land in what they called a “strike in reverse,” and how they developed sophisticated land use plans, based not only on the goal of profit, but on the human value of providing work where none was available. It addresses the question of the viability of cooperative enterprise as a potential solution for displaced workers, and as a more humane alternative to capitalist agribusiness.
Area: Southern Europe
Beyond the Lens of Conservation
Malagasy and Swiss Imaginations of One Another
The global agenda of Nature conservation has led to the creation of the Masoala National Park in Madagascar and to an exhibit in its support at a Swiss zoo, the centerpiece of which is a mini-rainforest replica. Does such a cooperation also trigger a connection between ordinary people in these two far-flung places? The study investigates how the Malagasy farmers living at the edge of the park perceive the conservation enterprise and what people in Switzerland see when looking towards Madagascar through the lens of the zoo exhibit. It crystallizes that the stories told in either place have almost nothing in common: one focuses on power and history, the other on morality and progress. Thus, instead of building a bridge, Nature conservation widens the gap between people in the North and the South.
Subjects: Anthropology (General) Environmental Studies (General) Development Studies Political and Economic Anthropology
Big Capital in an Unequal World
The Micropolitics of Wealth in Pakistan
Following the hidden lives of the global “1%”, this book examines the networks, social practices, marriages, and machinations of the elite in Pakistan. In doing so, it reveals the daily, even mundane, ways in which elites contribute to and shape the inequality that characterizes the modern world. Operating in a rapidly developing economic environment, the experience of Pakistan’s wealthiest and most powerful members contradicts widely held assumptions that economic growth is leading to increasingly impersonalized and globally standardized economic and political structures.
Blood and Fire
Toward a Global Anthropology of Labor
Kasmir, S. & Carbonella, A. (eds)
Based on long-term fieldwork, six vivid ethnographies from Colombia, India, Poland, Spain and the southern and northern U.S. address the dwindling importance of labor throughout the world. The contributors to this volume highlight the growing disconnect between labor struggles and the advancement of the greater common good, a phenomenon that has grown since the 1980s. The collection illustrates the defeat and unmaking of particular working classes, and it develops a comparative perspective on the uneven consequences of and reactions to this worldwide project. Blood and Fire charts a course within global anthropology to address the widespread precariousness and the prevalence of insecure and informal labor in the twenty-first century.
Brazilian Steel Town
Machines, Land, Money and Commoning in the Making of the Working Class
Volta Redonda is a Brazilian steel town founded in the 1940s by dictator Getúlio Vargas on an ex-coffee valley as a powerful symbol of Brazilian modernization. The city’s economy, and consequently its citizen’s lives, revolves around the Companha Siderurgica Nacional (CSN), the biggest industrial complex in Latin America. Although the glory days of the CSN have long passed, the company still controls life in Volta Redonda today, creating as much dispossession as wealth for the community. Brazilian Steel Town tells the story of the people tied to this ailing giant – of their fears, hopes, and everyday struggles.
Can Academics Change the World?
An Israeli Anthropologist's Testimony on the Rise and Fall of a Protest Movement on Campus
Moshe Shokeid narrates his experiences as a member of AD KAN (NO MORE), a protest movement of Israeli academics at Tel Aviv University, who fought against the Israeli occupation of Palestinian territories, founded during the first Palestinian Intifada (1987-1993). However, since the assassination of Prime Minister Rabin and the later obliteration of the Oslo accord, public manifestations of dissent on Israeli campuses have been remarkably mute. This chronicle of AD KAN is explored in view of the ongoing theoretical discourse on the role of the intellectual in society and is compared with other account of academic involvement in different countries during periods of acute political conflict.
Subjects: Political and Economic Anthropology Jewish Studies Anthropology (General) Educational Studies
Area: Middle East & Israel
Cash Transfers in Context
An Anthropological Perspective
Olivier de Sardan, J.-P. & Piccoli, E. (eds)
Marginal in status a decade ago, cash transfer programs have become the preferred channel for delivering emergency aid or tackling poverty in low- and middle-income countries. While these programs have had positive effects, they are typical of top-down development interventions in that they impose on local contexts standardized norms and procedures regarding conditionality, targeting, and delivery. This book sheds light on the crucial importance of these contexts and the many unpredicted consequences of cash transfer programs worldwide - detailing how the latter are used by actors to pursue their own strategies, and how external norms are reinterpreted, circumvented, and contested by local populations.
Civil Society Revisited
Lessons from Poland
Jacobsson, K. & Korolczuk, E. (eds)
In much social scientific literature, Polish civil society has been portrayed as weak and passive. This volume offers a much-needed corrective, challenging this characterization on both theoretical and empirical grounds and suggesting new ways of conceptualizing civil society to better account for events on the ground as well as global trends such as neoliberalism, migration, and the renewal of nationalist ideologies. Focusing on forms of collective action that researchers have tended to overlook, the studies gathered here show how public discourse legitimizes certain claims and political actions as “true” civil society, while others are too often dismissed. Taken together, they critique a model of civil society that is ‘made from above’.
Subjects: Sociology Political and Economic Anthropology
Area: Central/Eastern Europe
Disaster, Development, and the Built Environment
Bender, S. O.
Reviewing current policies and practices, the book assesses the financial, economic and physical risk of building in hazardous areas, and looks at how societies approach economic development while trying to create a more resilient built environment in spite of the dangers. It examines the vulnerability of economic and social infrastructure to natural hazard events, looks at policies which imperil infrastructure, and proposes new development approaches to be undertaken by sovereign states, international development banks, NGOs, and bilateral aid agencies.
Credit and Debt in an Unequal Society
Establishing a Consumer Credit Market in South Africa
South Africa was one of the first countries in the Global South that established a financialized consumer credit market. This market consolidates rather than alleviates the extreme social inequality within a country. This book investigates the political reasons for adopting an allegedly self-regulating market despite its disastrous effects and identifies the colonialist ideas of property rights as a mainstay of the existing social order. The book addresses sociologists, political scientists, anthropologists and legal scholars interested in the interaction of economy and law in contemporary market societies.
A Creole Nation
National Integration in Guinea-Bissau
Despite high degrees of cultural and ethnic diversity as well as prevailing political instability, Guinea-Bissau’s population has developed a strong sense of national belonging. By examining both contemporary and historical perspectives, A Creole Nation explores how creole identity, culture, and political leaders have influenced postcolonial nation-building processes in Guinea-Bissau, and the ways in which the phenomenon of cultural creolization results in the emergence of new identities.
NGOs and the Politics of Aid in Serbia
Tracing the boom of local NGOs since the 1990s in the context of the global political economy of aid, current trends of neoliberal state restructuring, and shifting post-Cold War hegemonies, this book explores the “associational revolution” in post-socialist, post-conflict Serbia. Looking into the country’s “transition” through a global and relational analytical prism, the ethnography unpacks the various forms of dispossession and inequality entailed in the democracy-promotion project.
Area: Central/Eastern Europe
Democratic Eco-Socialism as a Real Utopia
Transitioning to an Alternative World System
Baer, H. A.
As global economic and population growth continues to skyrocket, increasingly strained resources have made one thing clear: the desperate need for an alternative to capitalism. In Democratic Eco-Socialism as a Real Utopia, Hans Baer outlines the urgent need to reevaluate historical definitions of socialism, commit to social equality and justice, and prioritize environmental sustainability. Democatic eco-socialism, as he terms it, is a system capable of mobilizing people around the world, albeit in different ways, to prevent on-going human socio-economic and environmental degradation, and anthropogenic climate change.
Subjects: Environmental Studies (General) Political and Economic Anthropology Anthropology (General)
Neoliberal Paradoxes of Empowerment
With the spread of neoliberal projects, responsibility for the welfare of minority and poor citizens has shifted from states to local communities. Businesses, municipalities, grassroots activists, and state functionaries share in projects meant to help vulnerable populations become self-supportive. Ironically, such projects produce odd discursive blends of justice, solidarity, and wellbeing, and place the languages of feminist and minority rights side by side with the language of apolitical consumerism. Using theoretical concepts of economic citizenship and emotional capitalism, Economic Citizenship exposes the paradoxes that are deep within neoliberal interpretations of citizenship and analyzes the unexpected consequences of applying globally circulating notions to concrete local contexts.
Subjects: Anthropology (General) Gender Studies and Sexuality Sociology Political and Economic Anthropology
Area: Middle East & Israel
Economy for and Against Democracy
Hart, K. (ed)
Political constitutions alone do not guarantee democracy; a degree of economic equality is also essential. Yet contemporary economies, dominated as they are by global finance and political rent-seekers, often block the realization of democracy. The comparative essays and case studies of this volume examine the contradictory relationship between the economy and democracy and highlight the struggles and visions needed to make things more equitable. They explore how our collective aspirations for greater democracy might be informed by serious empirical research on the human economy today. If we want a better world, we must act on existing social realities.
Economy, Crime and Wrong in a Neoliberal Era
Carrier, J. G. (ed)
Corporate scandals since the 1990s have made it clear that economic wrongdoing is more common in Western societies than might be expected. This volume examines the relationship between such wrong-doing and the neoliberal orientations, policies, and practices that have been influential since around 1980, considering whether neoliberalism has affected the likelihood that people and firms will act in ways that many people would consider wrong. It furthermore asks whether ideas of economic right and wrong have become so fragmented and localized that collective judgement has become almost impossible.
Elite Malay Polygamy
Wives, Wealth and Woes in Malaysia
Zeitzen, M. K.
Elite Malay women’s polygamy narratives are multiple and varied, and their sentiments regarding the practice are conflicted, as they are often torn between personal and religious convictions. This volume explores the ways in which this increasingly prominent practice impacts Malay gender relations. As Muslims, elite Malay women may be forced to accept polygamy, but they mostly condemn it as women and wives, as it forces them to manage their lives and loves under the “threat” of polygamy from a husband able to marry another woman without their knowledge or consent; a husband that is married but available.
Subjects: Anthropology (General) Sociology Gender Studies and Sexuality Political and Economic Anthropology
Emptiness and Fullness
Ethnographies of Lack and Desire in Contemporary China
Bregnbæk, S. & Bunkenborg, M. (eds)
As critical voices question the quality, authenticity, and value of people, goods, and words in post-Mao China, accusations of emptiness render things open to new investments of meaning, substance, and value. Exploring the production of lack and desire through fine-grained ethnography, this volume examines how diagnoses of emptiness operate in a range of very different domains in contemporary China: In the ostensibly meritocratic exam system and the rhetoric of officials, in underground churches, housing bubbles, and nationalist fantasies, in bodies possessed by spirits and evaluations of jade, there is a pervasive concern with states of lack and emptiness and the contributions suggest that this play of emptiness and fullness is crucial to ongoing constructions of quality, value, and subjectivity in China.
Public Policies and Citizen Participation in Chile
Since the end of the Pinochet regime, Chilean public policy has sought to rebuild democratic governance in the country. This book examines the links between the state and civil society in Chile and the ways social policies have sought to ensure the inclusion of the poor in society and democracy. Although Chile has gained political stability and grown economically, the ability of social policies to expand democratic governance and participation has proved limited, and in fact such policies have become subordinate to an elitist model of democracy and resulted in a restrictive form of citizen participation.
Subjects: Sociology Political and Economic Anthropology
Ethnographies of Power
A Political Anthropology of Energy
Loloum, T., Abram, S., & Ortar, N. (eds)
Energy related infrastructures are crucial to political organization. They shape the contours of states and international bodies, as well as corporations and communities, framing their material existence and their fears and idealisations of the future. Ethnographies of Power brings together ethnographic studies of contemporary entanglements of energy and political power. Revisiting classic anthropological notions of power, it asks how changing energy related infrastructures are implicated in the consolidation, extension or subversion of contemporary political regimes and discovers what they tell us about politics today.
Subjects: Anthropology (General) Political and Economic Anthropology Environmental Studies (General)
The Event of Charlie Hebdo
Imaginaries of Freedom and Control
Zagato, A. (ed)
The January 2015 shooting at the headquarters of satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo in Paris and the subsequent attacks that took place in the Île-de-France region were staggeringly violent events. They sparked an enormous discussion among citizens and intellectuals from around Europe and beyond. By analyzing the effects the attacks have had in various spheres of social life, including the political, ideology, collective imaginaries, the media, and education, this collection of essays aims to serve as a contribution as well as a critical response to that discussion. The volume observes that the events being attributed to Charlie Hebdo go beyond sensationalist reports of the mainstream media, transcend the spatial confines of nation states, and lend themselves to an ever-expanding number of mutating discursive formations.
Subjects: Anthropology (General) Cultural Studies (General) Media Studies Political and Economic Anthropology
Explorations in Economic Anthropology
Key Issues and Critical Reflections
Kaneff, D. & Endres, K. W. (eds)
At a time of rising global economic precarity and social inequality, the field of economic anthropology offers solutions through the study of local and contextualized economic practices. This book is made up of an exciting collection of succinct essays authored by leading scholars primarily from the field of economic anthropology, but also featuring contributions from sociology and history. The chapters engage with debates at the cutting edge of research on the topics of Eurasia, the anthropology of postsocialism and the embeddedness of economic practices.
Subjects: Political and Economic Anthropology Sociology
Facing the Crisis
Ethnographies of Work in Italian Industrial Capitalism
D'Aloisio, F. & Ghezzi, S. (eds)
Among the founding nations of the European Union, no nation has experienced a more devastating affect from the 2008 economic crisis than Italy. Although its recovery has recently begun, Italy has fallen even further behind EU economic leaders and the EU average. Looking at how and why this happened, Facing the Crisis brings together ethnographic material from anthropological research projects carried out in various Italian industrial locations. With its wide breadth of locations and industries, the volume looks at all corners of the diverse Italian manufacturing system.
Area: Southern Europe
Fifty Years of Peasant Wars in Latin America
Binford, L., Gill, L., & Striffler, S. (eds)
Informed by Eric Wolf’s Peasant Wars of the Twentieth Century, published in 1969, this book examines selected peasant struggles in seven Latin American countries during the last fifty years and suggests the continuing relevance of Wolf’s approach. The seven case studies are preceded by an Introduction in which the editors assess the continuing relevance of Wolf’s political economy. The book concludes with Gavin Smith’s reflection on reading Eric Wolf as a public intellectual today.
Figurations of the Future
Forms and Temporalities of Left Radical Politics in Northern Europe
Built around key events, from the eviction of a self-managed social centre in Copenhagen in 2007 to the Climate Summit protests in 2009, this book contributes to anthropological literature on contemporary Euro-American politics foreshadowing recent waves of public dissent. Stine Krøijer explores political forms among left radical and anarchist activists in Northern Europe focusing on how forms of action engender time. Drawing on anthropological literature from both Scandinavia and the Amazon, this ethnography recasts theoretical concerns about body politics, political intentionality, aesthetics, and time.
Area: Northern Europe
Hann, C. & Kalb, D. (eds)
Beginning with an original historical vision of financialization in human history, this volume then continues with a rich set of contemporary ethnographic case studies from Europe, Asia and Africa. Authors explore the ways in which finance inserts itself into relationships of class and kinship, how it adapts to non-Western religious traditions, and how it reconfigures legal and ecological dimensions of social organization, and urban social relations in general. Central themes include the indebtedness of individuals and households, the impact of digital technologies, the struggle for housing, financial education, and political contestation.
Exchange and Ambiguity at Work
Kjaerulff, J. (ed)
Approaching “work” as at heart a practice of exchange, this volume explores sociality in work environments marked by the kind of structural changes that have come to define contemporary “flexible” capitalism. It introduces anthropological exchange theory to a wider readership, and shows how the perspective offers new ways to enquire about the flexible capitalism’s social dimensions. The essays contribute to a trans-disciplinary scholarship on contemporary economic practice and change by documenting how, across diverse settings, “gift-like” socialities proliferate, and even sustain the intensified flexible commoditization that more commonly is touted as tearing social relations apart. By interrogating a keenly debated contemporary work regime through an approach to sociality rooted in a rich and distinct anthropological legacy, the volume also makes a novel contribution to the anthropological literature on work and on exchange.
From Clans to Co-ops
Confiscated Mafia Land in Sicily
From Clans to Co-ops explores the social, political, and economic relations that enable the constitution of cooperatives operating on land confiscated from mafiosi in Sicily, a project that the state hails as arguably the greatest symbolic victory over the mafia in Italian history. Rakopoulos’s ethnographic focus is on access to resources, divisions of labor, ideologies of community and food, and the material changes that cooperatives bring to people’s lives in terms of kinship, work and land management. The book contributes to broader debates about cooperativism, how labor might be salvaged from market fundamentalism, and to emergent discourses about the ‘human’ economy.
Area: Southern Europe
Frontiers of Civil Society
Government and Hegemony in Serbia
In Serbia, as elsewhere in postsocialist Europe, the rise of “civil society” was expected to support a smooth transformation to Western models of liberal democracy and capitalism. More than twenty years after the Yugoslav wars, these expectations appear largely unmet. Frontiers of Civil Society asks why, exploring the roles of multiple civil society forces in a set of government “reforms” of society and individuals in the early 2010s, and examining them in the broader context of social struggles over neoliberal restructuring and transnational integration.
Subjects: Anthropology (General) Political and Economic Anthropology History: 20th Century to Present
Area: Central/Eastern Europe
Romani Livelihoods and Notions of Worth in the 21st Century
Brazzabeni, M., Ivone Cunha, M., & Fotta, M. (eds)
Economic arrangements of Romanies are complexly related to their social position. The authors of this volume explore these complexities, including how economic exchanges forge key social relationships of gender and ethnicity, how economic opportunities are constructed and seized, and how economic success and failure are transformed into attributes of social persons. They explore how, despite — or perhaps because of — their unstable and ambiguous position within the market economy, shared today with a growing number of people facing precarity and informalisation, Roma and Gypsy communities continuously re-create more or less viable economic strategies. The ethnographically based chapters share accounts of socially and economically vulnerable populations that face their situation with self-determination and creativity.
Images from Paradise
The Visual Communication of the European Union's Federalist Utopia
Drawing upon the disciplines of politics, anthropology, psychoanalysis, aesthetics and cinema studies, Salgó presents a new way of looking at the “art of European unification.” The official visual narratives of the European Union constitute the main object of inquiry – the iconography of the new series of euro banknotes and the videos through which the supranational elite seek to generate “collective effervescence,” allow for a European carnival to take place, and prompt citizens to pledge allegiance to the sacred dogma of the “ever closer union,” thereby strengthening the mythical sources of the organization’s legitimacy. The author seeks to illustrate how and why the federalist utopia turned into a political soteriology after the outbreak of the 2008 crisis.
Waste, Value, and the Imagination
Alexander, C. & Sanchez, A. (eds)
What happens to people, places and objects that do not fit the ordering regimes and progressive narratives of modernity? Conventional understandings imply that progress leaves such things behind, and excludes them as though they were valueless waste. This volume uses the concept of indeterminacy to explore how conditions of exclusion and abandonment may give rise to new values, as well as to states of despair and alienation. Drawing upon ethnographic research about a wide variety of contexts, the chapters here explore how indeterminacy is created and experienced in relationship to projects of classification and progress.
Confronting Electoral Communism and Precarious Livelihoods in Post-Reform Kerala
In Kerala, political activists with a background in Communism are now instead asserting political demands on the basis of indigenous identity. Why did a notion of indigenous belonging come to replace the discourse of class in subaltern struggles? Indigenist Mobilization answers this question through a detailed ethnographic study of the dynamics between the Communist party and indigenist activists, and the subtle ways in which global capitalist restructuring leads to a resonance of indigenist visions in the changing everyday working lives of subaltern groups in Kerala.
Industrial Labor on the Margins of Capitalism
Precarity, Class, and the Neoliberal Subject
Hann, C. & Parry, J. (eds)
Bringing together ethnographic case studies of industrial labor from different parts of the world, Industrial Labor on the Margins of Capitalism explores the increasing casualization of workforces and the weakening power of organized labor. This division owes much to state policies and is reflected in local understandings of class. By exploring this relationship, these essays question the claim that neoliberal ideology has become the new ‘commonsense’ of our times and suggest various propositions about the conditions that create employment regimes based on flexible labor.
The Art of Managing Foreign Aid
Using examples from Poland, Elżbieta Drążkiewicz explores the question of why states become donors and individuals decide to share their wealth with others through foreign aid. She comes to the conclusion that the concept of foreign aid requires the establishment of a specific moral economy which links national ideologies and local cultures of charitable giving with broader ideas about the global political economy. It is through these processes that faith in foreign aid interventions as a solution to global issues is generated. The book also explores the relationship linking a state institution with its NGO partners, as well as international players such as the EU or OECD.
Area: Central/Eastern Europe
Intellectuals and (Counter-) Politics
Essays in Historical Realism
Contemporary forms of capitalism and the state require close analytic attention to reveal the conditions of possibility for effective counter-politics. On the other hand the practice of collective politics needs to be studied through historical ethnography if we are to understand what might make people’s actions effective. This book suggests a research agenda designed to maximize the political leverage of ordinary people faced with ever more remote states and technologies that make capitalism increasingly rapacious. Gavin Smith opens and closes this series of interlinked essays by proposing a concise framework for untangling what he calls “the society of capital” and subsequently a potentially controversial way of seeing its contemporary features. This book tackles the political conundrums of our times and asks what roles intellectuals might play therein.
Latin America and Refugee Protection
Regimes, Logics, and Challenges
Jubilut, L. L., Vera Espinoza, M., & Mezzanotti, G. (eds)
Looking at refugee protection in Latin America, this landmark edited collection assesses what the region has achieved in recent years. It analyses Latin America’s main documents in refugee protection, evaluates the particular aspects of different regimes, and reviews their emergence, development and effect, to develop understanding of refugee protection in the region. Drawing from multidisciplinary texts from both leading academics and practitioners, this comprehensive, innovative and highly topical book adopts an analytical framework to understand and improve Latin America’s protection of refugees.
Living Under Austerity
Greek Society in Crisis
Doxiadis, E. & Placas, A. (eds)
Since its sovereign debt crisis in 2009, Greece has been living under austerity, with no apparent end in sight. This volume explores the effects of policies pursued by the Greek state since then (under the direction of the Troika), and how Greek society has responded. In addition to charting the actual effects of the Greek crisis on politics, health care, education, media, and other areas, the book both examines and challenges the “crisis” era as the context for changing attitudes and developments within Greek society.
Area: Southern Europe
Trade and Urbanization at the Vietnam-China Border
Endres, K. W.
Based on ethnographic research conducted over several years, Market Frictions examines the tensions and frictions that emerge from the interaction of global market forces, urban planning policies, and small-scale trading activities in the Vietnamese border city of Lào Cai. Here, it is revealed how small-scale traders and market vendors experience the marketplace, reflect upon their trading activities, and negotiate current state policies and regulations. It shows how “traditional” Vietnamese marketplaces have continually been reshaped and adapted to meet the changing political-economic circumstances and civilizational ideals of the time.
Get-Rich-Quick Schemes in Siberia
Multilevel marketing and pyramid schemes promote the idea that participants can easily become rich. These popular economies turn ordinary people into advocates of their interests and missionaries of the American Dream. Marketing Hope looks at how different types of get-rich-quick schemes manifest themselves in a Siberian town. By focusing on their social dynamics, Leonie Schiffauer provides insights into how capitalist logic is learned and negotiated, and how it affects local realities in a post-Soviet environment.
Crisis, Race, and Nation-State in a Postcolonial World
Loftsdóttir, K., Smith, A. L., & Hipfl, B. (eds)
Using the economic crisis as a starting point, Messy Europe offers a critical new look at the issues of race, gender, and national understandings of self and other in contemporary Europe. It highlights and challenges historical associations of Europe with whiteness and modern civilization, and asks how these associations are re-envisioned, re-inscribed, or contested in an era characterized by crises of different kinds. This important collection provides a nuanced exploration of how racialized identities in various European regions are played out in the crisis context, and asks what work “crisis talk” does, considering how it motivates public feelings and shapes bodies, boundaries and communities.
Subjects: Anthropology (General) Sociology Refugee and Migration Studies Political and Economic Anthropology
Money at the Margins
Global Perspectives on Technology, Financial Inclusion, and Design
Maurer, B., Musaraj, S., & Small, I. V. (eds)
Mobile money, e-commerce, cash cards, retail credit cards, and more—as new monetary technologies become increasingly available, the global South has cautiously embraced these mediums as a potential solution to the issue of financial inclusion. How, if at all, do new forms of dematerialized money impact people’s everyday financial lives? In what way do technologies interact with financial repertoires and other socio-cultural institutions? How do these technologies of financial inclusion shape the global politics and geographies of difference and inequality? These questions are at the heart of Money at the Margins, a groundbreaking exploration of the uses and socio-cultural impact of new forms of money and financial services.
Revisiting Economic Calculation
Schmidt, M. & Ross, S. (eds)
Traditionally viewed as an abstraction, the quantitative nature of money is essential in evaluating the relationship between monetary systems and society. Money Counts moves beyond abstraction, exploring the conceptual diversity and everyday enactment of money’s quantity. Drawing from case studies including British jewelers, blood-money payments in Germanic law codes, and the quotidian use of money in cosmopolitical Moscow, a Western Kenyan village, and socialist Havana, the chapters in this volume offer new theoretical and empirical interpretations of money’s quantitative nature as it relates to abstraction, sociality, materiality, freedom, and morality.
Subjects: Sociology Political and Economic Anthropology
Gambling in a Papua New Guinea Town
Pickles, A. J.
Gambling in Papua New Guinea, despite being completely absent prior to the Colonial era, has come to supersede storytelling as the region’s main nighttime activity. Money Games is an ethnographic monograph which reveals the contemporary importance of gambling in urban Papua New Guinea. Rich ethnographic detail is coupled with cross-cultural comparison which span the globe. This anthropological study of everyday economics in Melanesia thereby intersects with theories of money, value, play, informal economy, social change and leadership.
Money in a Human Economy
Hart, K. (eds)
A human economy puts people first in emergent world society. Money is a human universal and now takes the divisive form of capitalism. This book addresses how to think about money (from Aristotle to the daily news and the sexual economy of luxury goods); its contemporary evolution (banking the unbanked and remittances in the South, cross-border investment in China, the payments industry and the politics of bitcoin); and cases from 19th century India and Southern Africa to contemporary Haiti and Argentina. Money is one idea with diverse forms. As national monopoly currencies give way to regional and global federalism, money is a key to achieving economic democracy.
Moral Economy at Work
Ethnographic Investigations in Eurasia
Yalçın-Heckmann, L. (ed)
The idea of a moral economy has been explored and assessed in numerous disciplines. The anthropological studies in this volume provide a new perspective to this idea by showing how the relations of workers, employees and employers, and of firms, families and households are interwoven with local notions of moralities. From concepts of individual autonomy, kinship obligations, to ways of expressing mutuality or creativity, moral values exert an unrealized influence, and these often produce more consent than resistance or outrage.
Subjects: Political and Economic Anthropology Sociology
The Neoliberal Landscape and the Rise of Islamist Capital in Turkey
Balkan, N., Balkan, E. & Öncü, A. (eds)
Islamist capital accumulation has split the Turkish bourgeoisie and polarized Turkish society into secular and religious social groupings, giving rise to conflicts between the state and political Islam. By providing a long-term historical perspective on Turkey's economy and its relationship to Islamism, this volume explores how Islamism as a political ideology has been utilized by the conservative bourgeoisie in Turkey, and elsewhere, to establish hegemony over labor. The contributors analyze the relationship between neoliberalism and the political fortunes of the Islamist Justice and Development Party (AKP), and examine the similarities and differences amongst new factions in the secular and Islamic middle class that have benefited economically, socially, and culturally during the AKP's reign. The articles also investigate the impact of the Gülen Movement and the role of the media in shaping the contours of intra-class struggle within contemporary Turkish political and social life.
Subject: Political and Economic Anthropology
Area: Middle East & Israel
Changing Perspectives on Resilience and Resistance
Dousset, L. & Nayral, M. (eds)
Throughout the Pacific region, people are faced with dramatic changes, often described as processes of “glocalization”; individuals and groups espouse multilayered forms of identity, in which global modes of thinking and doing are embedded in renewed perceptions of local or regional specificities. Consequently, new forms of resistance and resilience – the processes by which communities attempt to regain their original social, political, and economic status and structure after disruption or displacement – emerge. Through case studies from across the Pacific which transcend the conventional “local-global” dichotomy, this volume aims to explore these complex and interwoven phenomena from a new perspective.
The Partial Revolution
Labour, Social Movements and the Invisible Hand of Mao in Western Nepal
Located in the far-western Tarai region of Nepal, Kailali has been the site of dynamic social and political change in recent history. The Partial Revolution examines Kailali in the aftermath of Nepal’s Maoist insurgency, critically examining the ways in which revolutionary political mobilization changes social relations—often unexpectedly clashing with the movement’s ideological goals. Focusing primarily on the end of Kailali’s feudal system of bonded labor, Hoffmann explores the connection between politics, labor, and Mao’s legacy, documenting the impact of changing political contexts on labor relations among former debt-bonded laborers.
People, Money and Power in the Economic Crisis
Perspectives from the Global South
Hart, K. & Sharp, J. (eds)
The Cold War was fought between “state socialism” and “the free market.” That fluctuating relationship between public power and private money continues today, unfolding in new and unforeseen ways during the economic crisis. Nine case studies -- from Southern Africa, South Asia, Brazil, and Atlantic Africa – examine economic life from the perspective of ordinary people in places that are normally marginal to global discourse, covering a range of class positions from the bottom to the top of society. The authors of these case studies examine people’s concrete economic activities and aspirations. By looking at how people insert themselves into the actual, unequal economy, they seek to reflect human unity and diversity more fully than the narrow vision of conventional economics.
Pilgrimage and Political Economy
Translating the Sacred
Coleman, S. & Eade, J. (eds)
Pilgrimage has always had a tendency to follow—and sometimes create—trade routes. This volume explores how wider factors behind transnational and global mobility have impacted on pilgrimage activity across the world, and examines the ways in which pilgrimage relates to migration, diaspora, and political cooperation or conflict across nation-states. Furthermore, it brings together case studies that explore forms of mobility where pilgrimage is juxtaposed, complements, or is in intimate association with other forms of movement.
Punks and Skins United
Identity, Class and the Economics of an Eastern German Subculture
Germany has one of the liveliest and well-developed punk scenes in the world. However, punk in this country is not just a style-based music community. This book provides an anthropological examination of how punk reflects the larger changes and contradictions in post-reunification Germany, such as social segmentation, east-west tensions and local politics. Punk in eastern Germany is a reaction to the marginalization of the working class. As a cultural, social and economic niche, punks create their own controversial “substitute society” to compensate for their low status in mainstream society.
Subjects: Anthropology (General) Sociology Cultural Studies (General) Political and Economic Anthropology
Power, Politics, and Humanitarian Governance
Garnier, A., Jubilut, L. L., & Sandvik, K. B.
Examining resettlement practices worldwide and drawing on contributions from anthropology, law, international relations, social work, political science, and numerous other disciplines, this ground-breaking volume highlights the conflicts between refugees’ needs and state practices, and assesses international, regional and national perspectives on resettlement, as well as the bureaucracies and ideologies involved. It offers a detailed understanding of resettlement, from the selection of refugees to their long-term integration in resettling states, and highlights the relevance of a lifespan approach to resettlement analysis.
Difference and Diversity in a Changing Germany
Bock, J.-J. & Macdonald, S. (eds)
The arrival in 2015 and 2016 of over one million asylum seekers and refugees in Germany had major social consequences and gave rise to extensive debates about the nature of cultural diversity and collective life. This volume examines the responses and implications of what was widely seen as the most significant and contested social change since German reunification in 1990. It combines in-depth studies based on anthropological fieldwork with analyses of the longer trajectories of migration and social change. Its original conclusions have significance not only for Germany but also for the understanding of diversity and difference more widely.
Regimes of Responsibility in Africa
Genealogies, Rationalities and Conflicts
Rubbers, B. & Jedlowski, A. (eds)
Regimes of Responsibility in Africa analyses the transformations that discourses and practices of responsibility have undergone in Africa. By doing so, this collection develops a stronger grasp of the specific political, economic and social transformations taking place today in Africa. At the same time, while focusing on case studies from the African continent, the work enters into a dialogue with the emerging corpus of studies in the field of ethics, adding to it a set of analytical perspectives that can help further enlarge its theoretical and geographical scope.
Rethinking and Unthinking Development
Perspectives on Inequality and Poverty in South Africa and Zimbabwe
Mpofu, B. & Ndlovu-Gatsheni, S. J. (eds)
Development has remained elusive in Africa. Through theoretical contributions and case studies focusing on Southern Africa’s former white settler states, South Africa and Zimbabwe, this volume responds to the current need to rethink (and unthink) development in the region. The authors explore how Africa can adapt Western development models suited to its political, economic, social and cultural circumstances, while rejecting development practices and discourses based on exploitative capitalist and colonial tendencies. Beyond the legacies of colonialism, the volume also explores other factors impacting development, including regional politics, corruption, poor policies on empowerment and indigenization, and socio-economic and cultural barriers.
Revealing the Invisible Mine
Social Complexities of an Undeveloped Mining Project
Skrzypek, E. E.
Exploring the social complexities of the Frieda River Project in Papua New Guinea, this book tells the story of local stakeholder strategies on the eve of industrial development, largely from the perspective of the Paiyamo – one of the project’s so-called ‘impact communities’. Engaging ideas of knowledge, belief and personhood, it explains how fifty years of encounters with exploration companies shaped the Paiyamo’s aspirations, made them revisit and re-examine their past, and develop new strategies to move towards a better, more prosperous future.
The Revolt of the Provinces
Anti-Gypsyism and Right-Wing Politics in Hungary
The first in-depth ethnographic monograph on the New Right in Central and Eastern Europe, The Revolt of the Provinces explores the making of right-wing hegemony in Hungary over the last decade. It explains the spread of racist sensibilities in depressed rural areas, shows how activists, intellectuals and politicians took advantage of popular racism to empower right-wing agendas and examines the new ruling party's success in stabilizing an 'illiberal regime'. To illuminate these important dynamics, the author proposes an innovative multi-scalar and relational framework, focusing on interaction between social antagonisms emerging on the local level and struggles waged within the political public sphere.
Subjects: Political and Economic Anthropology Sociology
Area: Central/Eastern Europe
Reimagining Power and Knowledge
Beck, S. & Ivasiuc, A. (eds)
Exploring contemporary debates and developments in Roma-related research and forms of activism, this volume argues for taking up reflexivity as practice in these fields, and advocates a necessary renewal of research sites, methods, and epistemologies. The contributors gathered here – whose professional trajectories often lie at the confluence between activism, academia, and policy or development interventions – are exceptionally well placed to reflect on mainstream practices in all these fields, and, from their particular positions, envision a reimagining of these practices.
The Roma and Their Struggle for Identity in Contemporary Europe
Baar, H. van & Kóczé, A. (eds)
Thirty years after the collapse of Communism, and at a time of increasing anti-migrant and anti-Roma sentiment, this book analyses how Roma identity is expressed in contemporary Europe. From backgrounds ranging from political theory, postcolonial, cultural and gender studies to art history, feminist critique and anthropology, the contributors reflect on the extent to which a politics of identity regarding historically disadvantaged, racialized minorities such as the Roma can still be legitimately articulated.
Values in Action at the Swedish Tax Agency
Björklund Larsen, L.
How do you make taxpayers comply? This ethnography offers a vivid, yet nuanced account of knowledge making at one of Sweden’s most esteemed bureaucracies – the Swedish Tax Agency. In its aim to collect taxes and minimize tax faults, the Agency mediates the application of tax law to ensure compliance and maintain legitimacy in society. This volume follows one risk assessment project’s passage through the Agency, from its inception, through the research phase, in discussions with management to its final abandonment. With its fiscal anthropological approach, Shaping Taxpayers reveals how diverse knowledge claims – legal, economic, cultural – compete to shape taxpayer behaviour.
Area: Northern Europe
The Southeast Asia Connection
Trade and Polities in the Eurasian World Economy, 500 BC–AD 500
Chew, S. C.
The contribution of Southeast Asia to the world economy (during the late prehistoric and early historic periods) has not received much attention. It has often been viewed as a region of peripheral entrepôts, especially in the early centuries of the current era. Recent archaeological evidence revealed the existence of established and productive polities in Southeast Asia in the early parts of the historic period and earlier. This book recalibrates these interactions of Southeast Asia with other parts of the world economy, and gives the region its due instead of treating it as little more than of marginal interest.
Everyday Challenges to Environmental Governance in Latin America
Sovereignty is a significant force regarding the ownership, use, protection and management of natural resources. By placing an emphasis on the complex intertwined relationship between natural resources and diverse claims to resource sovereignty, this book reveals the backstory of contemporary resource contestations in Latin America and their positioning within a more extensive history of extraction in the region. Exploring cases of resource contestation in Bolivia, Colombia and Guatemala, Sovereign Forces highlights the value of these relationships to the practice of environmental governance and peacebuilding in the region.
Subjects: Environmental Studies (General) Political and Economic Anthropology Peace and Conflict Studies
The State We're In
Reflecting on Democracy's Troubles
Cook, J., Long, N. J., & Moore, H. L. (eds)
What makes people lose faith in democratic statecraft? The question seems an urgent one. In the first decades of the twenty-first century, citizens across the world have grown increasingly disillusioned with what was once a cherished ideal. Setting out an original theoretical model that explores the relations between democracy, subjectivity and sociality, and exploring its relevance to countries ranging from Kenya to Peru, The State We’re In is a must-read for all political theorists, scholars of democracy, and readers concerned for the future of the democratic ideal.
Toward a Relational Anthropology of the State
Thelen, T., Vetters, L., & Benda-Beckmann, K. von (eds)
Stategraphy—the ethnographic exploration of relational modes, boundary work, and forms of embeddedness of actors—offers crucial analytical avenues for researching the state. By exploring interactions and negotiations of local actors in different institutional settings, the contributors explore state transformations in relation to social security in a variety of locations spanning from Russia, Eastern Europe, and the Balkans to the United Kingdom and France. Fusing grounded empirical studies with rigorous theorizing, the volume provides new perspectives to broader related debates in social research and political analysis.
States of Imitation
Mimetic Governmentality and Colonial Rule
Ladwig, P. & Roque, R. (eds)
Late Western colonialism often relied on the practice of imitating indigenous forms of rule in order to maintain power; conversely, indigenous polities could imitate Western sociopolitical forms to their own benefit. Drawing on historical ethnographic studies of colonialism in Asia and Africa, States of Imitation examines how the colonial state attempted to administer, control, and integrate its indigenous subjects through mimetic governmentality, as well the ways indigenous states adopted these imitative practices to establish reciprocal ties with, or to resist the presence of, the colonial state.
Subjects: Sociology Political and Economic Anthropology
Street Vending in the Neoliberal City
A Global Perspective on the Practices and Policies of a Marginalized Economy
Graaff, K. & Ha, N. (eds)
Examining street vending as a global, urban, and informalized practice found both in the Global North and Global South, this volume presents contributions from international scholars working in cities as diverse as Berlin, Dhaka, New York City, Los Angeles, Calcutta, Rio de Janeiro, and Mexico City. The aim of this global approach is to repudiate the assumption that street vending is usually carried out in the Southern hemisphere and to reveal how it also represents an essential—and constantly growing—economic practice in urban centers of the Global North. Although street vending activities vary due to local specificities, this anthology illustrates how these urban practices can also reveal global ties and developments.
Sustaining Russia's Arctic Cities
Resource Politics, Migration, and Climate Change
Orrtung, R. (ed)
Urban areas in Arctic Russia are experiencing unprecedented social and ecological change. This collection outlines the key challenges that city managers will face in navigating this shifting political, economic, social, and environmental terrain. In particular, the volume examines how energy production drives a boom-bust cycle in the Arctic economy, explores how migrants from Muslim cultures are reshaping the social fabric of northern cities, and provides a detailed analysis of climate change and its impact on urban and industrial infrastructure.
Water, Life, and Profit
Fluid Economies and Cultures of Niamey, Niger
Keough, S. B. & Youngstedt, S. M
Water, Life, and Profit offers a holistic analysis of the people, economies, cultural symbolism, and material culture involved in the management, production, distribution, and consumption of drinking water in the urban context of Niamey, Niger. Paying particular attention to two key groups of people who provide water to most of Niamey’s residents - door-to-door water vendors, and those who sell water in one-half-liter plastic bags (sachets) on the street or in small shops – the authors offer new insights into how Niamey’s water economies affect gender, ethnicity, class, and spatial structure today.
Subjects: Anthropology (General) Environmental Studies (General) Political and Economic Anthropology
When Things Become Property
Land Reform, Authority and Value in Postsocialist Europe and Asia
Sikor, T., Dorondel, S., Stahl, J. & Xuan To, P.
Governments have conferred ownership titles to many citizens throughout the world in an effort to turn things into property. Almost all elements of nature have become the target of property laws, from the classic preoccupation with land to more ephemeral material, such as air and genetic resources. When Things Become Property interrogates the mixed outcomes of conferring ownership by examining postsocialist land and forest reforms in Albania, Romania and Vietnam, and finds that property reforms are no longer, if they ever were, miracle tools available to governments for refashioning economies, politics or environments.
Who’s Cashing In?
Contemporary Perspectives on New Monies and Global Cashlessness
Sen, A., Lindquist, J., & Kolling, M. (eds)
Cashless infrastructures are rapidly increasing, as credit cards, cryptocurrencies, online and mobile money, remittances, demonetization, and digitalization process replace coins and currencies around the world. Who’s Cashing In? explores how different modes of cashlessness impact, transform and challenge the everyday lives and livelihoods of local communities. Drawing from a wide range of ethnographic studies, this volume offers a concise look at how social actors and intermediaries respond to this change in the materiality of money throughout multiple regional contexts.
Class Struggles and Urban Commoning
Kalb, D. & Mollona, M. (eds)
The past decades have seen significant urban insurrections worldwide, and this volume analyzes some of them from an anthropological perspective; it argues that transformations of urban class relationships must be approached in a way that is both globally informed and deeply embedded in local and popular histories, and contends that every case of urban mobilization should be understood against its precise context in the global capitalist transformation. The book examines cases of mobilization across the globe, and employs a Marxian class framework, open to the diverse and multi-scalar dynamics of urban politics, especially struggles for spatial justice.
Yearnings in the Meantime
'Normal Lives' and the State in a Sarajevo Apartment Complex
Shortly after the book’s protagonists moved into their apartment complex in Sarajevo, they, like many others, were overcome by the 1992-1995 war and the disintegration of socialist Yugoslavia More than a decade later, in post-war Bosnia and Herzegovina, they felt they were collectively stuck in a time warp where nothing seemed to be as it should be. Starting from everyday concerns, this book paints a compassionate yet critical portrait of people’s sense that they were in limbo, trapped in a seemingly endless “Meantime.” Ethnographically investigating yearnings for “normal lives” in the European semi-periphery, it proposes fresh analytical tools to explore how the time and place in which we are caught shape our hopes and fears.
Area: Central/Eastern Europe