“In combination with the high theoretical aspirations with which the book concludes, the result is to make this book salutary reading for anthropologists.” • American Anthropologist
“Beyond academia, the book’s general framework encompassing health and social care will be of interest to a broader public concerned with the states emerging from former Yugoslavia….Ultimately, Managing Ambiguity is an intellectually stimulating ethnographic read, allowing for outsiders to access social phenomena unfamiliar to them and for insiders to be aware of a phenomenon they would otherwise be inured to.” • Issues in Ethnology and Anthropology
“Brković’s book is one of those that adds another piece to the puzzle that recent anthropological research on Bosnia-Herzegovina is creating... But here let me add that Managing Ambiguity is an essential piece to the puzzle since it deals with the topic not easy to research, to understand, and to present. My opinion is that Čarna Brković has done a great job and anyone who wants to understand this aspect of Bosnian society must read this book.” • Anthropology Notebooks
“There is much to love about this book - the choice to address what is extremely rich ethnographic material through three interlocking analytical categories: personhood, citizenship, and power creates the possibilities for an incredibly productive exploration of everyday life, sociality and social welfare.” • Paul Stubbs, Institute for Economics, Zagreb
Why do people turn to personal connections to get things done? Exploring the role of favors in social welfare systems in postwar, postsocialist Bosnia and Herzegovina, this volume provides a new theoretical angle on links between ambiguity and power. It demonstrates that favors were not an instrumental tactic of survival, nor a way to reproduce oneself as a moral person. Instead, favors enabled the insertion of personal compassion into the heart of the organization of welfare.
Managing Ambiguity follows how neoliberal insistence on local community, flexibility, and self-responsibility was translated into clientelist modes of relating and back, and how this fostered a specific mode of power.
Čarna Brković is a Postdoctoral Researcher at the Graduate School for East and Southeast European Studies, Regensburg. She co-edited Negotiating Social Relations in Bosnia and Herzegovina and won the 2015 SIEF Young Scholar Prize.
LC: HN639.A8 B76 2017
BL: DRT ELD.DS.161639
BISAC: SOC002010 SOCIAL SCIENCE/Anthropology/Cultural; POL003000 POLITICAL SCIENCE/Civics & Citizenship; POL035010 POLITICAL SCIENCE/Political Freedom & Security/Human Rights
BIC: JHMC Social & cultural anthropology, ethnography; GTJ Peace studies & conflict resolution