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Maddening states, unsettled sovereignties. Doing and undoing with anthropologies of the state 
Aitzpea Leizaola (University of the Basque Country)
Julieta Gaztañaga (CONICET- University of Buenos Aires)
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Yael Navaro (University of Cambridge)
Thursday 18 July, -, -
Time zone: Europe/Madrid
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Short Abstract:

The current upsurge of conflicts related with nation-statism has brought to the fore the need to reflect on the variety of sovereignty dynamics and the contingent yet terrifying power of the State. We encourage contributions that address the doing and undoing of the Anthropologies of the State.

Long Abstract:

The current upsurge of nation-statism has brought to the fore the need to reflect anthropologically ––once and again! –– on sovereign dynamics and the contingent yet terrifying power of state. Between fear and desire, the main experience of the State in daily life ––in encounters and effects on territories, populations and bodies–– seems to be to drive people mad. Departing from this expression by Begoña Aretxaga, we propose to critically reflect on the current state of the Anthropologies of the State. Focusing on some initial key questions, we aim to enhance them with conceptual and ethnographic discussions: To what extent does studying the techniques and tactics of domination separated from the problem of obedience and submission lead to reifying the political role and legal status of the State and of the core elements that substantiate it (territory -real and imaginary-, borders, citizenship, nationality etc.)? Is it decentring ethnographies from State a methodologically relevant shift or have we given ground to considering the articulation between the everyday and the transcendental of sovereign violence? Which approaches are helpful for understanding new state forms ––including quasi- and semi-states–– and the emotions and affects that accompany them? Why some categories and relations of State/sovereignty such as legality and legitimacy are strongly renewed despite shifting contexts, while others remain obscured such as secrecy and confidentiality? How do States state their agendas within unsettled sovereignties, democracies in check, hybrid wars, lawfare, labour crisis, generalised precarity, and ecological collapse beyond divisions such as West/the Rest?

Accepted papers:

Session 1 Thursday 18 July, 2024, -
Session 2 Thursday 18 July, 2024, -