Call for Participants:
Reading the State from the South: Alternative Imaginaries of Belonging
By challenging the binary logic of state/non state assumptions, this panel moves from specific questions about state formation and social movements toward a more critical anthropology of the state. We draw on scholars who have revealed the ongoing processes of state effect and state affect that undermine any notion of state and society as separate and monolithic entities, bringing them together as a set of power relations that are socioculturally and historically grounded (Abrams 1977; Clark 2012; Coronil 1997; Das and Poole 2004; Joseph and Nugent 1994; Mitchell, 1991; Nugent and Krupa 2015; Painter 2006; Sharma 2006). Taking this approach, this panel will address state projects as a diverse sets of assemblages and everyday practices enacted through relationships among individuals, cultural and political practices, multiple sites, and social organizations (Sharma and Gupta 2006). From an off-centered perspective on both the “political fields” in which state-practices and representations may appear, as well as the location of our ethnographic analyses (Nugent and Krupa 2015), this panel aims to critically address the everyday forms of diasporic, racial, and gendered state formation as a complex entanglement of identity politics, institutions and political economic forces (Tilly 1994; Goldberg 2002). This panel aims to offer an opportunity to discuss emergent obstacles, goals, and aspirations of alternative political projects and subjectivities from the Global South.in the midst of current global political transformation, this panel encompasses three interrelated questions: How do state agents and ordinary people navigate and challenge institutional spaces? In what ways do their practices contest liberal principles of equality and hierarchy, to offer alternative ways of occupying the world in relation to/in place of the state? Alternatively, when and how do state agents and ordinary people themselves reproduce the state as a unitary and/or transcendent entity?
We invite ethnographically grounded research that problematizes the national-territorial state by bringing questions of displacement, temporality, racialization, gender and/or imperialism to their analyses of statecraft from the Global South. We encourage ethnographic analyses that focuses on state agents and ordinary people’s everyday experiences and political practices to capture and observe details of forms of political actions and subjective interactions that can reveal how modes of governance and decision making processes are socially constructed and contested by diverse social actors (Forrest 2017; Joseph et al 2007; Schatz 2009).
For those interested in presenting on this panel, please contact Beatriz Juarez Rodríguez (firstname.lastname@example.org) and Abdulla Majeed (email@example.com) with a tentative title and a brief abstract (100-150 words) by Saturday, January 25.