A Companion to the Anthropology of Politics / Edition 1

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This Companion offers an unprecedented overview of anthropology’s unique contribution to the study of politics.

  • Explores the key concepts and issues of our time - from AIDS, globalization, displacement, and militarization, to identity politics and beyond
  • Each chapter reflects on concepts and issues that have shaped the anthropology of politics and concludes with thoughts on and challenges for the way ahead
  • Anthropology’s distinctive genre, ethnography, lies at the heart of this volume
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
A Choice Outstanding Academic Title of the Year

“A magnificent collection. The most engaged and imaginative writing that anthropology has to offer, disclosing the inherently political nature of everyday life.” Michael Burawoy, University of California, Berkeley

“What is impressive about this collection is the way many authors take received ideas from political science, political philosophy, cultural studies, or world systems theory and, by subjecting them to ethnographic scrutiny, transform them in new and powerful ways. Anthropology makes a difference.” Marshall Sahlins, University of Chicago

"The Blackwell Companions to Anthropology, of which this volume is the second to appear, are set fair to blow cobwebs from dormant minds ... this volume is an exemplar of scholarship at its meticulous, dynamic, and demanding best ... we have here an erudite analysis of problems of direct relevance to the lives of every individual person on our planet, and an inspired exploration of “things to come”. This is scholarly, sophisticated, unsparing, courageous political thinking, far removed from the shams, slogans, shibboleths, stupidities, and silliness of much of the political comment and conditioning purveyed by our mass media – even by our elected “representatives” ... This is an admirable work that will fertilise the rugged field of the anthropology of politics for decades to come. All academic libraries need it. It would also be a salutary Christmas present choice for our pet political representative, an earnest hope of a positive revolution in political theory and practice.” Reference Reviews

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Product Details

Meet the Author

David Nugent is Professor of Anthropology, Emory University. He is President-Elect, American Ethnological Society and North American Editor of the journal Critique of Anthropology. He is the author of Modernity at the Edge of Empire: State, Individual, and Nation in the Northern Peruvian Andes (1997), and the editor of Locating Capitalism in Time and Space (2002).

Joan Vincent is Professor of Anthropology Emerita at Barnard College, Columbia University. She is author of numerous books and encyclopedia articles on political anthropology. Her works include Anthropology and Politics (1990, reissued 1995) and The Anthropology of Politics: A Reader in Ethnography, Theory, and Critique (Blackwell, 2002).

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Table of Contents

Synopsis of Contents.


Notes on Contributors.

Introduction. (Joan Vincent).

1. Affective States. (Ann Laura Stoler).

2. After Socialism. (Katherine Verdery).

3. AIDS. (Brooke Grundfest Schoepf).

4. Citizenship. (Aihwa Ong).

5. Cosmopolitanism. (Ulf Hannerz).

6. Development. (Marc Edelman and Angelique).

7. Displacement. (Elizabeth Colson).

8. Feminism. (Malathi de Alwis).

9. Gender, Race, and Class. (Micaela di Leonardo).

10. Genetic Citizenship. (Deborah Heath, Rayna Rapp, and Karen-Sue Taussig).

11. The Global City. (Saskia Sassen).

12. Globalization. (Jonathan Friedman).

13. Governing States. (David Nugent).

14. Hegemony. (Gavin Smith).

15. Human Rights. (Richard Ashby Wilson).

16. Identity. (Arturo Escobar).

17. Imagining Nations. (Akhil Gupta).

18. Infrapolitics. (Steven Gregory).

19. "Mafias". (Jane C. and Peter T. Schneider).

20. Militarization. (Catherine Lutz).

21. Neoliberalism. (John Gledhill).

22. Popular Justice. (Robert Gordon).

23. Postcolonialism. (K. Sivaramakrishnan).

24. Power Topographies. (James Ferguson).

25. Race Technologies. (Thomas Biolsi).

26. Sovereignty. (Caroline Humphrey).

27. Transnational Civil Society. (June Nash).

28. Transnationality. (Nina Glick-Schiller).


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