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Toward a political anthropology of the present-day interregnum 
Ingo Schröder (University of Marburg)
Juli Kühl (Martin-Luther University Halle-Wittenberg)
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Thursday 18 July, -, -
Time zone: Europe/Madrid
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Short Abstract:

The panel discusses how political anthropology can come to terms with the political condition of the present-day post-hegemonic times and turbulences.

Long Abstract:

The panel explores the specific challenges posed to political anthropology and our conceptualizations of the political and politics by the present-day multiple crisis. The current interregnum (in Gramscian terms) is characterized by short-term political responses to crises that fail to constitute a coherent strategy. Neoliberalism is still “dominant but dead” (Gavin Smith), having lost much of its hegemonic legitimacy. All kinds of transformative “projects” so far fail to effect substantial changes in society’s political-economic condition but have provoked heated controversies about the direction the transformation will take.

The panel asks how a political anthropology of the present may come to terms with today’s political volatility and how anthropology itself can serve as a resource for transformations in terms of Gramscian praxis: critiquing existing formulations while drawing attention to emancipatory openings.

We invite empirical and theoretical contributions that address current struggles over hegemony, favorably from a critical political-economic perspective, and ask questions such as:

• How are politics from above and from below negotiated vis-à-vis one another at the local level?

• How do politics produce specific – possibly anti-hegemonic – visions of the future?

• How do politics function in terms of short-term projects instead of representing long-term strategies?

• What is the role of emotions and affect in politics today? Are they replacing ideologies, party platforms, or material interests as an impulse for political mobilization?

• Are the roles of the state and the capitalist elite changing in the interregnum?

• How can anthropological knowledge contribute to a philosophy of praxis that engenders self-reflexive actions seeking emancipatory ends?

Accepted papers:

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