The Anthropology of the State: A Reader / Edition 1

Paperback (Print)
Rent from
(Save 74%)
Est. Return Date: 07/22/2015
Buy Used
Buy Used from
(Save 41%)
Item is in good condition but packaging may have signs of shelf wear/aging or torn packaging.
Condition: Used – Good details
Used and New from Other Sellers
Used and New from Other Sellers
from $25.70
Usually ships in 1-2 business days
(Save 58%)
Other sellers (Paperback)
  • All (16) from $25.70   
  • New (8) from $37.65   
  • Used (8) from $25.70   


This innovative reader brings together classic theoretical texts and cutting-edge ethnographic analyses of specific state institutions, practices, and processes and outlines an anthropological framework for rethinking future study of “the state”.

  • Focuses on the institutions, spaces, ideas, practices, and representations that constitute the “state”.
  • Promotes cultural and transnational approaches to the subject.
  • Helps readers to make anthropological sense of the state as a cultural artifact, in the context of a neoliberalizing, transnational world.
Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"[This) volume's refreshing theoretical approach and range of empirical examples should make it a valuable teaching and reference book for all those concerned with the challenging questions posed by the state." Political Studies Review

“This is a nuanced, original framework for thinking about the state as a highly variable phenomenon of emergent world orders. With its expert selection of readings and comprehensive analysis, this volume is bound to become a standard reference and popular teaching tool.” George Marcus, University of California, Irvine

The Anthropology of the State will be an important resource for teaching and for introducing students to new questions in anthropology. This collection offers a nice balance of historical and contemporary writings and a lucid introduction that advances theoretical claims about the state with the help of ethnographic examples. Contemporary globalization and transnational systems that are redefining the functions of the state make this an opportune moment for a serious reexamination of the processes of governance.” Veena Das, Johns Hopkins University

“One key strength of the volume is its coherence and intertextuality…Recommended.” K. Brown, Brown University

Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781405114684
  • Publisher: Wiley
  • Publication date: 1/31/2006
  • Series: Wiley Blackwell Readers in Anthropology Series, #8
  • Edition description: REV
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 424
  • Sales rank: 1,286,455
  • Product dimensions: 6.76 (w) x 9.70 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

Aradhana Sharma is Assistant Professor of Anthropology and Women’s Studies at Wesleyan University.

Akhil Gupta is Associate Professor of Cultural and Social Anthropology at Stanford University. His previous publications include Anthropological Locations: Boundaries and Grounds of a Field Science (ed. 1997), Culture, Power, Place: Explorations in Critical Anthropology (ed. 1997), Postcolonial Developments: Agriculture in the Making of Modern India (1998), and Caste and Outcast (ed. 2002).

Read More Show Less

Table of Contents


Organization of the Book.

Introduction: Rethinking Theories of the State in an Age of Globalization.

Part I: Theoretical Maps: The “Classics”.

Section Introduction.

1. Ideology and Ideological State Apparatuses (Notes Towards an Investigation): Louis Althusser.

2. Selections from the Prison Notebooks: Antonio Gramsci.

3. Bureaucracy: Max Weber.

4. Notes on the Difficulty of Studying the State: Philip Abrams.

5. Governmentality: Michel Foucault.

6. Governing “Advanced” Liberal Democracies: Nikolas Rose.

Part II: Ethnographic Mappings.

Section I: Bureaucracy/Governmentality.

7. Finding the Man in the State: Wendy Brown.

8. Society, Economy, and the State Effect: Timothy Mitchell.

9. Blurred Boundaries: The Discourse of Corruption, the Culture of Politics, and the Imagined State: Akhil Gupta.

Section II: Development/Planning.

10. Cities, People, and Language: James Scott.

11. The Anti-Politics Machine: Jim Ferguson.

Section III: Welfare/Warfare/Law/Citizenship.

12. The Public/Private Mirage: Mapping Homes and Undomesticating Violence Work in the South Asian Immigrant Community: Ananya Bhattarcharjee.

13. Cultural Logics of Belonging and Movement: Transnationalism, Naturalization, and U.S. Immigration Politics: Susan Bibler Coutin.

14. Making War at Home in the United States: Militarization and the Current Crisis: Catherine Lutz.

Section IV: Popular Culture.

15. Popular Culture and the State: Stuart Hall.

16. The Banality of Power and the Aesthetics of Vulgarity in the Postcolony: Achille Mbembe.


Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Be the first to write a review
( 0 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star


4 Star


3 Star


2 Star


1 Star


Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation


  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously

    If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
    Why is this product inappropriate?
    Comments (optional)