States of Imagination

Author: Thomas Blom Hansen
Publisher: Duke University Press
ISBN: 9780822381273
Release Date: 2001-11-21
Genre: History

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: 1400826691
Release Date: 2009-01-13
Genre: Social Science

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: 0801485339
Release Date: 1999
Genre: Political Science

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: 9780822389910
Release Date: 2007-05-07
Genre: History

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.

Fragile States and Insecure People

Author: L. Andersen
Publisher: Springer
ISBN: 9780230605572
Release Date: 2007-08-06
Genre: Political Science

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. This book remains open-minded as to which 'model' for security is better.

In the Shadows of the State

Author: Alpa Shah
Publisher: Duke University Press
ISBN: 9780822392934
Release Date: 2010-07-12
Genre: History

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.

Culture Power Place

Author: Akhil Gupta
Publisher: Duke University Press
ISBN: 0822382083
Release Date: 1997-07-03
Genre: Social Science

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: 9781136461743
Release Date: 2012-03-12
Genre: Social Science

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: 9783319595078
Release Date: 2017-09-01
Genre: Social Science

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: 1930618417
Release Date: 2004
Genre: Social Science

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.

Adjudication in Religious Family Laws

Author: Gopika Solanki
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
ISBN: 9781139499279
Release Date: 2011-04-25
Genre: Law

This book argues that the shared adjudication model in which the state splits its adjudicative authority with religious groups and other societal sources in the regulation of marriage can potentially balance cultural rights and gender equality. In this model the civic and religious sources of legal authority construct, transmit and communicate heterogeneous notions of the conjugal family, gender relations and religious membership within the interstices of state and society. In so doing, they fracture the homogenized religious identities grounded in hierarchical gender relations within the conjugal family. The shared adjudication model facilitates diversity as it allows the construction of hybrid religious identities, creates fissures in ossified group boundaries and provides institutional spaces for ongoing intersocietal dialogue. This pluralized legal sphere, governed by ideologically diverse legal actors, can thus increase gender equality and individual and collective legal mobilization by women effects institutional change.

Sexual States

Author: Jyoti Puri
Publisher: Duke University Press
ISBN: 9780822374749
Release Date: 2016-02-26
Genre: Political Science

In Sexual States Jyoti Puri tracks the efforts to decriminalize homosexuality in India to show how the regulation of sexuality is fundamentally tied to the creation and enduring existence of the state. Since 2001 activists have attempted to rewrite Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code, which in addition to outlawing homosexual behavior is often used to prosecute a range of activities and groups that are considered perverse. Having interviewed activists and NGO workers throughout five metropolitan centers, investigated crime statistics and case law, visited various state institutions, and met with the police, Puri found that Section 377 is but one element of how homosexuality is regulated in India. This statute works alongside the large and complex system of laws, practices, policies, and discourses intended to mitigate sexuality's threat to the social order while upholding the state as inevitable, legitimate, and indispensable. By highlighting the various means through which the regulation of sexuality constitutes India's heterogeneous and fragmented "sexual state," Puri provides a conceptual framework to understand the links between sexuality and the state more broadly.

Beyond Belief

Author: Srirupa Roy
Publisher: Duke University Press
ISBN: 0822340011
Release Date: 2007-05-28
Genre: History

DIVExamines the formation of the nation-state in postcolonial India, how it worked to create an identity for itself, to what extent it succeeded, and what may be the prospects for unity in a widely diverse country./div

Mobilizing Public Opinion

Author: Taeku Lee
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
ISBN: 0226470253
Release Date: 2002-05-01
Genre: Political Science

What motivates us to change our opinions during times of political protest and social unrest? To investigate this question, Taeku Lee's smartly argued book looks to the critical struggle over the moral principles, group interests, and racial animosities that defined public support for racial policies during the civil rights movement, from the late 1940s to the mid-1960s. Challenging the conventional view that public opinion is shaped by elites, Lee crafts an alternate account of the geographic, institutional, historical, and issue-specific contexts that form our political views. He finds that grassroots organizations and local protests of ordinary people pushed demands for social change into the consciousness of the general public. From there, Lee argues, these demands entered the policy agendas of political elites. Evidence from multiple sources including survey data, media coverage, historical accounts, and presidential archives animate his argument. Ultimately, Mobilizing Public Opinion is a timely, cautionary tale about how we view public opinion and a compelling testament to the potential power of ordinary citizens.

Wages of Violence

Author: Thomas Blom Hansen
Publisher: Princeton University Press
ISBN: 9780691188621
Release Date: 2018-06-05
Genre: Social Science

When Bombay changed its name to Mumbai in 1995, it was the culmination of a long process that transformed India's primary symbol of modernity and cultural diversity into a site of intense ethnic conflict and violent nationalism. Wages of Violence is a startling account of how the city's atmosphere, dominant public languages, and power structures have changed since the 1960s. The book centers on how Shiv Sena, a militant Hindu movement, has advanced a new, ''plebeian'' political culture and has undermined democratic rule in India's premier city. Drawing on a large body of archival material and conversations with people from all walks of life, Thomas Blom Hansen paints a vivid picture of this dynamic and violent movement. Challenging conventional views of recent trends in Indian politics, Hansen shows that the xenophobic public culture of today's Mumbai has deep roots in the region's history and its contested identities. We are also given revealing insights into the city's Muslim communities and the authorities' understanding and control of the ethno-religious subcultures in the city. Hansen argues cogently that Shiv Sena's success represents the violent possibilities of the ''vernacularization'' of democracy in India. Unfolding at a juncture where the globalization of India's economy is having a deepening impact on the lives of ordinary people, this is a story that resonates with the directions urban growth is taking both elsewhere in India and beyond.