Click the star to add/remove an item to/from your individual schedule.
You need to be logged in to avail of this functionality, and to see the links to virtual rooms.


Grassroots states: Transformations of statecraft I 
Theodoros Rakopoulos (University of Oslo)
Leandros Fischer
Send message to Convenors
Olga Demetriou (University of Durham)
New Physics Building, Bell Lecture Theatre
Thursday 28 July, -
Time zone: Europe/London

Short Abstract:

This panel traces vernacular statecraft, seen as the performance of practices historically belonging to abstract institutions, by non-state actors we encounter in the field (brokers, experts, "influencers", voters, etc), reviewing grassroots statecraft to understand how interpersonal states work.

Long Abstract:

Who are building the languages of the state in contemporary societies? And how can we engage them ethnographically? The riddle on the state’s presence for anthropologists continues, in an era where we cannot decide whether we are experiencing the neoliberal aftermath of the acclaimed state’s roll back or if we are witnessing a pandemic-induced more interventionist role for the state. This panel calls for reviewing the various ways in which we can trace state functions in the everyday, performed not necessarily by state agents, but by other constituents of what Gramsci defined as “civil society”. Some of these facilitations for the smooth performance of the state can be done by “experts”: Brokers, middlemen, advisors as well as journalists, academics and paramilitaries are one example of such “experts”. An attention to patronage and clientelism covered some of that pre-neoliberal personification of state function, while a current attention to bureaucracy covers yet another. However, other modes of everyday state functions can be built up from below in less “professional” and more arbitrary ways – in the emic lexicon of statism or patronage, or in the vernacular languages of nationalism, race, or gender. We thus aim to trace and analyse this demotic existence of statecraft (the performance of tasks and practices historically belonging to abstract institutions by the non-state functionary people we encounter in the field). Our goal is further to put into dialogue these formations of grassroots statecraft in order to comparatively understand how personal and interpersonal states work in contemporary contexts.

Accepted papers:

Session 1 Thursday 28 July, 2022, -