political representative from monster to mom at a time of crucial political significance provides an entry point into questions about the role of affective and moral registers in relations between citizens and the state. What affective and moral work was
Humanizing Relations in an Australian NGO Campaign for People Seeking Asylum
Caribbean Activism and the Invention of a National Memory of Slavery in France
Chirac’s 1995 declaration that “oui, la folie criminelle de l’occupant a été secondée par l’état français” 24 marked the state’s official acknowledgment, it followed a lengthy trajectory in which Jewish activists needed to devise an arsenal of ways to
Living in Peace and Conflict in the Chittagong Hill Tracts, Bangladesh
Nasir Uddin and Eva Gerharz
“Peace is perhaps implied by the peace accord, but there is not much peace in our lives. Who will bring peace to us? The state? In our lives we seldom find the Bangladeshi state to be sympathetic. Instead, we experience it in the form of military
Revisiting Abrams in times of crisis in Turkey and EU-Europe
The claimed reality of the state … is the ideological device in terms of which the political institutionalisation of power is legitimated. It is of some importance to understand how that legitimation is achieved. But it is much more important to
Administrative Lists, European Union Food Aid, and the Local Practices of Distribution in Rural Romania
Ştefan Dorondel and Mihai Popa
In this article we analyze local distribution practices within an EU food aid program in Romania. We show that an understanding of this program's implementation can contribute to our understanding of how the state works in present-day Romania and, more generally, to the anthropology of the state. We examine the ways in which local-level bureaucrats gain discretion and exercise it when implementing the program. By securing greater control over a scarce transnational resource, local officials are able to shape national policy according to local distributive models. The described distribution process is conducive to community building, although in very different ways in the two rural settings being studied. We argue for a relational analysis of the workings of the state that explores the embeddedness of local actors and their participation in historically shaped power relations.
Indonesia’s New Order was among the most repressive and violent states of the twentieth century. During Suharto’s period of rule (1966–1998), the state was directly or indirectly responsible for the deaths of as many as a million or more of its own citizens and the incarceration of many more. While the worst of this violence occurred during the pogroms against communists in 1965–1966 and during the long occupation of East Timor, the whole New Order system of rule was constructed on what Benedict Anderson (2001a: 13) has described as a “vast machine of state violence.” This machine left behind a dangerous legacy that must be better understood if it is to be overcome in the years ahead (J. Bertrand 2002; Colombijn and Lindblad 2002).
Human (in)security on an Amazonian frontier
Marc Brightman and Vanessa Grotti
English abstract: Focusing on the region surrounding the Maroni River, which forms the border between Suriname and French Guiana, we examine how relations between different state and non-state social groups are articulated in terms of security. The region is characterised by multiple “borders” and frontiers of various kinds, the state boundary having the features of an interface or contact zone. Several key collectivities meet in this border zone: native Amazonians, tribal Maroon peoples, migrant Brazilian gold prospectors, and metropolitan French state functionaries. We explore the relationships between these different sets of actors and describe how their mutual encounters center on discourses of human and state security, thus challenging the commonly held view of the region as a stateless zone and showing that the “human security” of citizens from the perspective of the state may compete with locally salient ideas or ex- periences of well-being.
Spanish abstract: El artículo examina cómo se articulan las relaciones en términos de seguridad entre grupos estatales y no estatales en la región que rodea el Río Maroni (frontera entre la Guyana francesa y Surinam). La región se caracteriza por múltiples “límites” y tipos de fronteras, teniendo así la frontera Estatal características de una zona de contacto o de una interfaz. Importantes comunidades se encuentran en esta zona de frontera: Nativos del Amazonas, comunidades tribales del Maroni, buscadores de oro brasileños y funcionarios estatales franceses. Los autores exploran las relaciones entre estas diferentes redes de actores, y describen la manera en que sus mutuos encuentros se centran en discursos de seguridad humana y del Estado, desafiando así, el tradicional enfoque que sostiene la región como una zona sin Estado y mostrando que la “seguridad humana” desde la perspectiva del Estado puede competir con importantes ideas locales o con experiencias de bienestar.
French abstract: En se concentrant sur la région entourant le fleuve Maroni, qui forme la frontière entre le Suriname et la Guyane française, nous examinons comment les relations entre les différents groupes sociaux étatiques et non-étatiques sont articulées en termes de sécurité. La région est caractérisée par de multiples «frontières» et les frontières de toutes sortes, la frontière de l'État ayant les caractéristiques d'une interface ou zone de contact. De nombreuses et importantes collectivités se rencontrent dans cette zone frontalière: Indigènes d'Amazonie, la communauté tribale Maroon, les migrants brésiliens à la recherche de l'or et les fonctionnaires d'Etat de la France métropolitaine. Nous explorons les relations entre ces différents groupes d'acteurs, et décrivons la manière dont leurs rencontres mutuelles sont centrées sur les discours relatifs à la sécurité humaine et l'État, remettant ainsi en cause l'idée communément admise de la région en tant zone apatride et montrant par la même que la «sécurité humaine» des citoyens perçue du point de vue de l'État peut rivaliser avec des idées saillantes au niveau local ou des expériences relatives au bien-être.
The Daily Practice of Welfare Control
This article focuses on the means by which the state controls welfare recipients in France. The paradox of these actions, which are made in the name of legal rigor but are characterized by ambivalence and the discretionary power of grassroots agents, reveals the broader functioning of a government over the poor. These actions are based on the combination of a multitude of individual relationships, which, although unevenly coordinated, derive from the structural rationale of the post-welfare era. Individualization and uncertainty signal not so much a disaggregation of the state as a consistent mode of governance in which discretion and leeway accorded to street-level bureaucrats are necessary for the state to exert power over citizens' behaviors.
Experiments in Energy, Capital, and Aluminium
This paper offers an ethnographic perspective on the relationship between resource landscapes and the state in Iceland during a period of financial experimentation. In particular, it analyses a shift from the production of thermal water for local use to the production of electricity for the global aluminium market. This shift, the paper argues, is not merely a technocratic exercise in further resource extraction, it also indexes some of the tenuous connections between resource making and state making. The paper ends by offering a perspective on the recursive relationship between resource instabilities and instabilities within the state.
T.H. Marshall’s Trinity of Rights Revisited
Each one of T.H. Marshall’s trinity of human rights rested on the state as, simultaneously, its birth place, executive manager and guardian. And no wonder. At the time Marshall tied personal, political and social freedoms into a historically determined succession of won/bestowed rights, the boundaries of the sovereign state marked the limits of what humans could contemplate, and what they thought they should jointly do, in order to make their world more user-friendly. The state enclosed territory was the site of private initiatives and public actions, as well as the arena on which private interests and public issues met, clashed and sought reconciliation. In all those respects, the realm of state sovereignty was presumed to be self-contained, selfassertive and self-sufficient.