The panel discusses approaches to contemporary leftist activism, movements, and governments around the globe in terms of classical methodological, conceptual, and theoretical tools from anthropology.
Recent years have seen rising anti-austerity activism around the globe and electoral successes of socialist governments across Latin America and elsewhere. Scholarly and public debates speak of a possible new wave of global anti-neoliberal left-wing mobilization. The panel proposes to discuss the issue of the contemporary left from an anthropological perspective - based on in-depth fieldwork and informed by analytical paradigms from the anthropological tradition. Such discussion contributes to wider debates about today's left by focusing on local historicities and issues of emic and etic notions of politics, beliefs and emotions as inherent forces in social organization, and identity politics.
The panel aims to facilitate a dialogue between research traditions on various aspects of the contemporary left (anarchism, social movements, socialist governments) and invites contributions on the following issues:
• the role of classical anthropological tools both in terms of empirical methodology and theoretical approaches to politics that transcend basic political-scientific and movement vocabularies to discuss power, agency, institutionalization, symbolism, etc.
• a critical engagement with the multiple global and vernacular, emic and etic meanings of "leftist.
• the comparison of cases of leftist politics in various global positions and locations in order to understand how transnational processes and symbolic flows relate to local social contexts.
• a critical evidence-based reflection on the role of the researcher as participant, activist, sympathizer, and commentator on the contemporary left, considering the critical stance of the anthropological tradition toward ideologies of global modernity and the present trend toward an activist approach to anthropological work