Toward a Relational Anthropology of the State

Berghahn Books Band 4

Tatjana Vetters, Larissa Benda-Beckmann, K. Thelen

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“What is particularly notable in this book is that it narrates the complexities of the state and specificities of the local contexts in an accessible language. It also successfully escapes alienating disciplinary concepts while it does not lose the rigor of the ethnographic approach. The accessibly presented content could, therefore, easily engage in the interdisciplinary dialogue about the issues of the contemporary state.” • Südosteuropa. Journal of Politics and Society

“Stategraphy is an anthology that brings together eight insightful contributions, which are set in the context of a profound introduction. The latter finely sets out the theoretical framework and the core aim of the volume that tends to bridge the analytical gap between state image and state practice…All chapters are based on extensive ethnographic research, and thus offer insightful ethnographic accounts that are finely translated and interpreted within the mentioned analytical framework. The anthology’s analytical approach reaches beyond the anthropological context; hence, it can be useful for those who are interested in the fractured, ever-shifting fields such as the state.” • Anthropological Notebooks

“Drawing on a rich set of case studies conducted across Europe, Stategraphy opens a new line of research in the growing field of the ethnographies of the state. Resolute to bridge the gap between cultural representations and actual practices, and attentive to the relational dimensions of street-level bureaucracies, the authors outline a comparative approach to contemporary states, which will be of interest for both anthropologists and political scientists.” • Didier Fassin, Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton University, co-author of At the Heart of the State: The Moral Life of Institutions

“This collection makes a strong case for a comparative ethnography of the (modern) state. While much of the anthropological work on the state concerns Africa, the contributions in this book draw in an innovative way on examples from Europe and Russia. The contributors/editors rightly advocate for bridging state ideas and state practices, and for taking into account the benevolent side of the state.” • Pierre Oliver de Sardan, Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Science Social and the Centre National de la recherché Scientifique

Keebet von Benda-Beckmann is professor emeritus, former head of the Project Group Legal Pluralism, and currently associate of the Department of Law and Anthropology, Max Planck Institute for Social Anthropology. Recent publications include the coedited Rules of Law and Laws of Ruling: On the Governance of Law (Ashgate, 2009) and the coauthored Political and Legal Transformations of an Indonesian Polity (Cambridge University Press, 2013).


Einband Taschenbuch
Erscheinungsdatum 01.11.2017
Herausgeber Tatjana Thelen, Larissa Vetters, Keebet Benda-Beckmann
Verlag Ingram Publishers Services
Seitenzahl 170
Maße 22.9/15.2/0.9 cm
Gewicht 256 g
Sprache Englisch
ISBN 978-1-78533-700-0

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  • Introduction to Stategraphy: Toward a Relational Anthropology of the State
    Tatjana Thelen, Larissa Vetters, and Keebet von Benda-Beckmann

    Chapter 1. Contingent Statehood: Clientelism and Civic Engagement as Relational Modalities in Contemporary Bosnia and Herzegovina
    Larissa Vetters

    Chapter 2. The State, Legal Rigor, and the Poor: The Daily Practice of Welfare Control
    Vincent Dubois

    Chapter 3. Relationships, Practices, and Images of the Local State in Rural Russia
    Rebecca Kay

    Chapter 4. Acts of Assistance: Navigating the Interstices of the British State with the Help of Non-profit Legal Advisers
    Alice Forbess and Deborah James

    Chapter 5. Images of Care, Boundaries of the State: Volunteering and Civil Society in Czech Health Care
    Rosie Read

    Chapter 6. State Kinning and Kinning the State in Serbian Elder Care Programs
    Tatjana Thelen, Andre Thiemann, and DuSka Roth

    Chapter 7. Workings of the State: Administrative Lists, European Union Food Aid, and the Local Practices of Distribution in Rural Romania
    Stefan Dorondel and Mihai Popa

    Chapter 8. Creating the State Locally through Welfare Provision: Two Mayors, Two Welfare Regimes in Rural Hungary
    Gyöngyi Schwarcz and Alexandra Szoke