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The men who knew too much

Sardines, skills, and the labor process in Jaffa, Israel, 1948–1979

Naor Ben-Yehoyada

This historical anthropology of the rise and fall of Israel's post-1948 sardine purse-seining development project shows what happens when marginalized groups, who are initially excluded as “backward” or “primitive”, enter modernization projects that are based on politics of skillfulness and experts' control over the labor process. By focusing on the role that skills play in the struggle between experts and artisans over the labor process, I show how the dynamics within state-run production apparatuses can make workers and experts face dilemmas about productivity, profit, and effectiveness, leading to such projects' implosion. This mode of analysis exposes the contradictions within projects of governance as well as in their relational intersection with the people they subjugate and exclude.

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Piracy, Protection, and the Anthropology of Law at Sea

Geoffrey Hughes, Naor Ben-Yehoyada, Judith Scheele, and Jatin Dua

Follow the relationship: A note on Jatin Dua’s Captured at Sea: Piracy and Protection in the Western Indian Ocean

Protection recaptured: Reflections on Jatin Dua’s Captured at Sea: Piracy and Protection in the Western Indian Ocean

Protection’s possibility: On histories and geographies of concepts