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Sovereign Bodies

Author: Thomas Blom Hansen
Publisher: Princeton University Press
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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.


Local Politics and Contemporary Transformations in the Arab World

Author: M. Bouziane
Publisher: Springer
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The contributors link innovative analytical concepts and ethnographic in-depth case studies from the Arab world. Based on the debates on politics from below and dynamic concepts of state, all the chapters focus on informal institutions, non-elite actors, and the dynamic and contradictory relationship between state and society.


Derailing Democracy in Afghanistan

Author: Noah Coburn
Publisher: Columbia University Press
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Since the invasion of Afghanistan in 2001, researchers, policymakers, and the media have failed to consider the long-term implications of the country's post-conflict elections. Based on fieldwork in provinces across the country and interviews with more than seven hundred candidates, officials, community leaders, and voters, this book builds an in-depth portrait of Afghanistan's recent elections as experienced by individuals and communities, while revealing how the elections have in fact actively contributed to instability, undermining the prospects of democracy in Afghanistan. Merging political science with anthropology, Noah Coburn and Anna Larson document how political leaders, commanders, and the new ruling elite have used elections to further their own interests and deprive local communities of access to political opportunities. They retrace presidential, parliamentary, and provincial council elections over the past decade and expose the role of international actors in promoting the polls as one-off events, detached from the broader political landscape. This approach to elections has allowed existing local powerholders to solidify their grip on resources and opportunities, derailing democratization processes and entrenching a deeper disengagement from central government. Western powers, Coburn and Larson argue, need to reevaluate their most basic assumptions about elections, democracy, and international intervention if they hope to prevent similar outcomes in the future.


Tolerance Democracy and Sufis in Senegal

Author: Mamadou Diouf
Publisher: Columbia University Press
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This collection critically examines "tolerance," "secularism," and respect for religious "diversity" within a social and political system dominated by Sufi brotherhoods. Through a detailed analysis of Senegal's political economy, essays trace the genealogy and dynamic exchange among these concepts while investigating public spaces and political processes and their reciprocal engagement with the state, Sunni reformist and radical groups, and non-religious organizations. The anthology provides a rich and nuanced historical ethnography of the formation of Senegalese democracy, illuminating the complex trajectory of the Senegalese state and reflecting on similar postcolonial societies. Offering rare perspectives on the country's "successes" since liberation, the volume identifies the role of religion, gender, culture, ethnicity, globalization, politics, and migration in the reconfiguration of the state and society, and it makes an important contribution to democratization theory, Islamic studies, and African studies.


Cut Pieces

Author: Lotte Hoek
Publisher: Columbia University Press
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Imagine watching an action film in a small-town cinema hall in Bangladesh, and in between the gun battles and fistfights a short pornographic clip appears. This is known as a cut-piece, a strip of locally made celluloid pornography surreptitiously spliced into the reels of action films in Bangladesh. Exploring the shadowy world of these clips and their place in South Asian film culture, Lotte Hoek builds a rare, detailed portrait of the production, consumption, and cinematic pleasures of stray celluloid. Hoek's innovative ethnography plots the making and reception of Mintu the Murderer (2005, pseud.), a popular, Bangladeshi B-quality action movie and fascinating embodiment of the cut-piece phenomenon. She begins with the early scriptwriting phase and concludes with multiple screenings in remote Bangladeshi cinema halls, following the cut-pieces as they appear and disappear from the film, destabilizing its form, generating controversy, and titillating audiences. Hoek's work shines an unusual light on Bangladesh's state-owned film industry and popular practices of the obscene. She also reframes conceptual approaches to South Asian cinema and film culture, drawing on media anthropology to decode the cultural contradictions of Bangladesh since the 1990s.


Resolving the Cyprus Conflict

Author: M. Michael
Publisher: Springer
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By placing the conflict in its historical, ideological, ethno-political and geostrategic context, the book extends beyond conventional realist approaches and lays bare those less visible dimensions that are often ignored by analysts and policy-makers alike.


A Companion to Border Studies

Author: Thomas M. Wilson
Publisher: John Wiley & Sons
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A Companion to Border Studies introduces an excitingand expanding field of interdisciplinary research, through thewriting of an international array of scholars, from diverseperspectives that include anthropology, development studies,geography, history, political science and sociology. Explores how nations and cultural identities are beingtransformed by their dynamic, shifting borders where mobility issometimes facilitated, other times impeded or prevented Offers an array of international views which together form anauthoritative guide for students, instructors and researchers Reflects recent significant growth in the importance ofunderstanding the distinctive characteristics of borders andfrontiers, including cross-border cooperation, security andcontrols, migration and population displacements, hybridity, andtransnationalism


Times of Security

Author: Martin Holbraad
Publisher: Routledge
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In the current world disorder, security is on everyone’s lips. But what is security from a cross-cultural perspective? How is it imagined and experienced by people on the ground? Crucially, what visions of the future are at stake in people’s potentially divergent concerns with security: what, and when, is the time of security? Exploring diverse notions and experiences of time involved in security practices across the globe, this volume brings together a selection of international scholars who conduct ethnographic research in a broad ambit of securitized contexts – from the experience of Palestinian detainees in Israel or forms of popular violence in Bolivia, to efforts to normalize social relations in post-conflict Yugoslavia and ways of imagining threat in left-radical protest movements in Northern Europe. Interrogating recent debates about the role of "securitization" in contemporary politics, the book paves the way for novel forms of security analysis at the crossroads between anthropology and political science, focusing on the comparative study of the temporalities of securitization in a multi-polar world. Offering a pioneering synthesis, the book will be of interest not only to anthropologists, but also to students and scholars in political science and the growing field of Security Studies in International Relations.


Indian and Chinese Immigrant Communities

Author: Jayati Bhattacharya
Publisher: Anthem Press
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This interdisciplinary collection of essays offers a window onto the overseas Indian and Chinese communities in Asia. Contributors discuss the interactive role of the cultural and religious ‘other’, the diasporic absorption of local beliefs and customs, and the practical business networks and operational mechanisms unique to these communities. Growing out of an international workshop organized by the Institute of Southeast Asian Studies in Singapore and the Centre of Asian Studies at the University of Hong Kong, this volume explores material, cultural and imaginative features of the immigrant communities and brings together these two important communities within a comparative framework.


New Border and Citizenship Politics

Author: H. Schwenken
Publisher: Springer
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This collection examines the intersections and dynamics of bordering processes and citizenship politics in the Global North and Australia. By taking the political agency of migrants into account, it approaches the subject of borders as a genuine political and socially constructed phenomenon and transcends a state-centered perspective.