My ethnography of Palestinian refugees in Lebanon (2005–2010) points to a strong disposition towards suspicion associated with refugeeness. This, in turn, highlights politico-moral economies of trust, indexed by honour, that become what I call boundary-maintenance disciplinary practices. The dynamics of suspicion and trust, propelled by social crisis and uprooting, shape all groups, from their social support systems and marriages to collective political, ethnic and religious allegiances. Uprooting tends to be associated with displacement of the subject's social order, bringing about an intensified sense of intra-group bonds and a concomitant suspicion towards those outside this group. This, in turn, heightens a necessity on the part of refugee subjects to reflect and shape networks of trust, expressed in a moral idiom, even when decisions are known to be political. This article analyses some of the dynamic between suspicion and trust in conditions of social crisis and refugeeness.
Fear of Jihadism and the Terrorist Threat in Southern Mali
order. Whereas many interlocutors described suspicions of the “Salafi threat” in Bamako as exaggerated, others expressed the need to defend the nation. This article moves between expressive aspects, rumors, and stories of conspiracies, as well as media
Hans Gross, Mobility, and Crime around 1900
Hans Gross (1847–1915), the founder of Austro-Hungarian criminology, developed an epistemology of suspicion that targeted and profiled individuals as well as social and ethnic groups based mainly on their uprootedness and displacement. The scientific practices of observation and analysis he implemented in criminal investigations were anchored in epistemological assumptions that redefined and questioned both the object of study (namely, the criminal) and the subject (the investigator). By transferring scientific ideas and methods from the natural and social science into police work and judicial processes, Gross’s study of crime merged biological and social perspectives. This meant the categories of deviancy were attached to foreignness and social difference, migration and effects of urban life. His epistemology was underlined by social Darwinism, and his forensics, far from being an objective study, advocated what is today known as racial profiling.
Mockery, Egalitarianism, and Uncertainty in Northeastern Namibia
The trickster has held a prominent place in the study of folklore, as much as it has been central to anthropological understandings of egalitarianism. In both, the trickster embodies an insoluble tension between the repressed, amoral desires of the individual and the moral demands of social life. This tension, so it goes, is visible in the ambiguity of the figure—a protean indeterminate being, neither good nor bad. Among the Jú|’hoànsi of northeastern Namibia, the trickster is similarly ambiguous. The figure conveys not a clash of values, but rather the doubt and uncertainty people feel toward those with whom they share resources, or about different ways of sharing and how they might relate to one another. This article approaches such uncertainty through a focus on the mocking phrase “you’re a trickster” and the moral discourses that accompany it.
The relationship in the course of 2002 between Silvio Berlusconi’s
government and the judges was one of continued and unrelenting
conflict. Few days passed wherein justice was not a central news item.
Accounts of battles between the government and the judiciary carried
titles such as “the duel,” and offered complex descriptions of the
moves and countermoves, in both Parliament and the courts, involving
the government, the opposition, judges, prosecutors, lawyers, and
the accused. Cases of political, administrative, and business corruption
still came to light from different parts of the country, such as
Turin, Milan, Potenza, Salerno, and Agrigento. But the heady days of
Tangentopoli were long over: it was now the judges who were themselves
under attack. For most of the year, Berlusconi and his associates
cast themselves in the role of victims by arguing that they were
being prosecuted and tried by politically and personally biased judges.
The judiciary was made the object of co-ordinated mass media campaigns
that set out in particular to discredit the Milan court and more
generally to show that when judges’ actions were effective, they were
often illegitimate, and that when they were legitimate, they were usually
not effective. Although some of the printed media still gave
unswerving support to the judges, there was little doubt that the initiative
had passed to the government and its parliamentary majority.
Affective States—Entanglements, Suspensions, Suspicions
Mateusz Laszczkowski and Madeleine Reeves
The aim of this special issue is to bring a critical discussion of affect into debate with the anthropology of the state as a way of working toward a more coherent, ethnographically grounded exploration of affect in political life. We consider how the state becomes a 'social subject' in daily life, attending both to the subjective experience of state power and to the affective intensities through which the state is reproduced in the everyday. We argue that the state should be understood not as a 'fiction' to be deconstructed, but as constituted and sustained relationally through the claims, avoidances, and appeals that are made toward it and the emotional registers that these invoke. This article situates these arguments theoretically and introduces the subsequent ethnographic essays.
Ideals, Dreams, and Nightmares
Rochelle Goldberg Ruthchild
, International Communism and the Spanish Civil War: Solidarity and Suspicion , Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2015, xiii, 278 pp., $29.99 (paperback), ISBN: 978-1-131-622690-2. Both these books are important for their emphasis on the quotidian in two
Postmodernism and Myths about Great Artists
a different era: their paradoxical attitude towards myths reflects a contradiction in postmodernism. Linda Hutcheon mentions ‘the paradox of the desire for and the suspicion of narrative mastery – and master narratives’. 11 Postmodernism
Theorizing dispossession and mirroring conspiracy in the Republic of Georgia
Katrine Bendtsen Gotfredsen
continuously the target of public suspicion and conspiracy theories. This article examines how such targeting allowed people, dispossessed of social significance and status in postrevolutionary discourse and practice, to mirror political rhetoric as a means of
Enacting Politics, Reinforcing Divisions
protest actors to engage with. Repeated requests for heroic actions are exhausting human resources on the opposition side as people become affected by repressions, while negotiations with governmental bodies that the activists distrust feed suspicions of