States of Imagination

Author: Thomas Blom Hansen
Publisher: Duke University Press
ISBN: 0822381273
Format: PDF, Mobi
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The state has recently been rediscovered as an object of inquiry by a broad range of scholars. Reflecting the new vitality of the field of political anthropology, States of Imagination draws together the best of this recent critical thinking to explore the postcolonial state. Contributors focus on a variety of locations from Guatemala, Pakistan, and Peru to India and Ecuador; they study what the state looks like to those seeing it from the vantage points of rural schools, police departments, small villages, and the inside of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission. Focusing on the micropolitics of everyday state-making, the contributors examine the mythologies, paradoxes, and inconsistencies of the state through ethnographies of diverse postcolonial practices. They show how the authority of the state is constantly challenged from the local as well as the global and how growing demands to confer rights and recognition to ever more citizens, organizations, and institutions reveal a persistent myth of the state as a source of social order and an embodiment of popular sovereignty. Demonstrating the indispensable value of ethnographic work on the practices and the symbols of the state, States of Imagination showcases a range of studies and methods to provide insight into the diverse forms of the postcolonial state as an arena of both political and cultural struggle. This collection will interest students and scholars of anthropology, cultural studies, sociology, political science, and history. Contributors. Lars Buur, Mitchell Dean, Akhil Gupta, Thomas Blom Hansen, Steffen Jensen, Aletta J. Norval, David Nugent, Sarah Radcliffe, Rachel Sieder, Finn Stepputat, Martijn van Beek, Oskar Verkaaik, Fiona Wilson

Sovereign Bodies

Author: Thomas Blom Hansen
Publisher: Princeton University Press
ISBN: 9781400826698
Format: PDF, ePub, Mobi
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9/11 and its aftermath have shown that our ideas about what constitutes sovereign power lag dangerously behind the burgeoning claims to rights and recognition within and across national boundaries. New configurations of sovereignty are at the heart of political and cultural transformations globally. Sovereign Bodies shifts the debate on sovereign power away from territoriality and external recognition of state power, toward the shaping of sovereign power through the exercise of violence over human bodies and populations. In this volume, sovereign power, whether exercised by a nation-state or by a local despotic power or community, is understood and scrutinized as something tentative and unstable whose efficacy depends less on formal rules than on repeated acts of violence. Following the editors' introduction are fourteen essays by leading scholars from around the globe that analyze cultural meanings of sovereign power and violence, as well as practices of citizenship and belonging--in South Africa, Peru, India, Mexico, Cyprus, Norway, and also among transnational Chinese and Indian populations. Sovereign Bodies enriches our understanding of power and sovereignty in the postcolonial world and in "the West" while opening new conceptual fields in the anthropology of politics. The contributors are Ana María Alonso, Lars Buur, Partha Chatterjee, Jean Comaroff and John L. Comaroff, Oivind Fuglerud, Thomas Blom Hansen, Barry Hindess, Steffen Jensen, Achille Mbembe, Aihwa Ong, Finn Stepputat, Simon Turner, Peter van der Veer, and Yael Navaro-Yashin.

State culture

Author: George Steinmetz
Publisher: Cornell University Press
ISBN: 9780801485336
Format: PDF
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What impact does culture have on state formation and public policy? How do states affect national and local cultures? The contributors to this volume re-examine the sociology of the state and historical processes of state formation in light of developments in cultural analysis.

Beyond Belief

Author: Srirupa Roy
Publisher: Duke University Press
ISBN: 0822389916
Format: PDF, Mobi
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Beyond Belief is a bold rethinking of the formation and consolidation of nation-state ideologies. Analyzing India during the first two decades following its foundation as a sovereign nation-state in 1947, Srirupa Roy explores how nationalists are turned into nationals, subjects into citizens, and the colonial state into a sovereign nation-state. Roy argues that the postcolonial nation-state is consolidated not, as many have asserted, by efforts to imagine a shared cultural community, but rather by the production of a recognizable and authoritative identity for the state. This project—of making the state the entity identified as the nation’s authoritative representative—emphasizes the natural cultural diversity of the nation and upholds the state as the sole unifier or manager of the “naturally” fragmented nation; the state is unified through diversity. Roy considers several different ways that identification with the Indian nation-state was produced and consolidated during the 1950s and 1960s. She looks at how the Films Division of India, a state-owned documentary and newsreel production agency, allowed national audiences to “see the state”; how the “unity in diversity” formation of nationhood was reinforced in commemorations of India’s annual Republic Day; and how the government produced a policy discourse claiming that scientific development was the ultimate national need and the most pressing priority for the state to address. She also analyzes the fate of the steel towns—industrial townships built to house the workers of nationalized steel plants—which were upheld as the exemplary national spaces of the new India. By prioritizing the role of actual manifestations of and encounters with the state, Roy moves beyond theories of nationalism and state formation based on collective belief.

In the Shadows of the State

Author: Alpa Shah
Publisher: Duke University Press
ISBN: 0822392933
Format: PDF, ePub
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In the Shadows of the State suggests that well-meaning indigenous rights and development claims and interventions may misrepresent and hurt the very people they intend to help. It is a powerful critique based on extensive ethnographic research in Jharkhand, a state in eastern India officially created in 2000. While the realization of an independent Jharkhand was the culmination of many years of local, regional, and transnational activism for the rights of the region’s culturally autonomous indigenous people, Alpa Shah argues that the activism unintentionally further marginalized the region’s poorest people. Drawing on a decade of ethnographic research in Jharkhand, she follows the everyday lives of some of the poorest villagers as they chase away protected wild elephants, try to cut down the forests they allegedly live in harmony with, maintain a healthy skepticism about the revival of the indigenous governance system, and seek to avoid the initial spread of an armed revolution of Maoist guerrillas who claim to represent them. Juxtaposing these experiences with the accounts of the village elites and the rhetoric of the urban indigenous-rights activists, Shah reveals a class dimension to the indigenous-rights movement, one easily lost in the cultural-based identity politics that the movement produces. In the Shadows of the State brings together ethnographic and theoretical analyses to show that the local use of global discourses of indigeneity often reinforces a class system that harms the poorest people.

Fragile States and Insecure People

Author: Louise Andersen
Publisher: Macmillan
ISBN: 9781403983824
Format: PDF, Docs
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When states collapse, human and global security are threatened. Order and stability must somehow be restored. This book provides a unique account of the pursuit of security at the edge of the global order. It sheds light on reform of state police and armed forces, and analyses the alternative security structures that emerge in the absence of the state. In contrast to other volumes on state failure, this book remains open-minded as to which 'model' for security is better. It thus challenges the current state-building model and the idea of the central state as the only legitimate provider of security.

Culture Power Place

Author: Akhil Gupta
Publisher: Duke University Press
ISBN: 9780822382089
Format: PDF
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Anthropology has traditionally relied on a spatially localized society or culture as its object of study. The essays in Culture, Power, Place demonstrate how in recent years this anthropological convention and its attendant assumptions about identity and cultural difference have undergone a series of important challenges. In light of increasing mass migration and the transnational cultural flows of a late capitalist, postcolonial world, the contributors to this volume examine shifts in anthropological thought regarding issues of identity, place, power, and resistance. This collection of both new and well-known essays begins by critically exploring the concepts of locality and community; first, as they have had an impact on contemporary global understandings of displacement and mobility, and, second, as they have had a part in defining identity and subjectivity itself. With sites of discussion ranging from a democratic Spain to a Puerto Rican barrio in North Philadelphia, from Burundian Hutu refugees in Tanzania to Asian landscapes in rural California, from the silk factories of Hangzhou to the long-sought-after home of the Palestinians, these essays examine the interplay between changing schemes of categorization and the discourses of difference on which these concepts are based. The effect of the placeless mass media on our understanding of place—and the forces that make certain identities viable in the world and others not—are also discussed, as are the intertwining of place-making, identity, and resistance as they interact with the meaning and consumption of signs. Finally, this volume offers a self-reflective look at the social and political location of anthropologists in relation to the questions of culture, power, and place—the effect of their participation in what was once seen as their descriptions of these constructions. Contesting the classical idea of culture as the shared, the agreed upon, and the orderly, Culture, Power, Place is an important intervention in the disciplines of anthropology and cultural studies. Contributors. George E. Bisharat, John Borneman, Rosemary J. Coombe, Mary M. Crain, James Ferguson, Akhil Gupta, Kristin Koptiuch, Karen Leonard, Richard Maddox, Lisa H. Malkki, John Durham Peters, Lisa Rofel

The Post Colonial State in the Era of Capitalist Globalization

Author: Tariq Amin-Khan
Publisher: Routledge
ISBN: 1136461744
Format: PDF, ePub, Docs
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State formation in post-colonial societies differed greatly from the formation of the Western capitalist state. The latter has been extensively studied, while a coherent grasp of the post-colonial state has remained elusive. Amin-Khan provides a critical historical and contemporary understanding of post-colonial state formations in Asia and Africa, and suggests how this process differed from the formation of states in Latin America. In distinguishing between the post-colonial state and the Western capitalist state, the author argues that the unitary colonial state left a strong legacy on the decolonized states of Asia and Africa, reinscribing their subordination vis-à-vis Western states, transnational corporations and multilateral institutions. The indigenous elites' decision at the time of decolonization to retain colonial state structures meant the readaptation of capitalism-imperialism nexus to suit new post-colonial realities, which enabled the formation of clientelist relationships. This post-colonial reality and exploration of the contemporary context provides the basis of analyzing two post-colonial state forms, the capitalist and proto-capitalist varieties, which are examined using the case studies of India and Pakistan.

Grassroots Politics and Oil Culture in Venezuela

Author: Iselin Åsedotter Strønen
Publisher: Springer
ISBN: 3319595075
Format: PDF, ePub, Mobi
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This book is published open access under a CC BY 4.0 license. This book presents an ethnographic study of how grassroots activism in Venezuela during the Chávez presidency can be understood in relation to the country's history as a petro-state. Taking the contested relationship between the popular sectors and the Venezuelan state as a point of departure, Iselin Åsedotter Strønen explores how notions such as class, race, state, bureaucracy, popular politics, capitalism, neoliberalism, consumption, oil wealth, and corruption gained salience in the Bolivarian process. A central argument is that the Bolivarian process was an attempt to challenge the practices, ideas, and values inherited from Venezuela's historical development as an oil-producing state. Drawing on rich ethnographic material from Caracas' shantytowns, state institutions, as well as everyday life and public culture, Strønen explores the complexities and challenges in fostering deep social and political change.

Anthropology in the Margins of the State

Author: Veena Das
Publisher: James Currey Publishers
ISBN: 9781930618411
Format: PDF, ePub, Mobi
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The form and reach of the modern state are changing under the pressure of globalization. This exploration of these transformations develops a methodology and theoretical apparatus to assess perceptions of power in regions where state reform and violence have been dramatic: Africa, Latin America, and South Asia.