G02
Towards a universal paradigm in political anthropology (IUAES Commission on Theoretical Anthropology)

Convenors:
Petr Skalník (University of Hradec Králové)
Chair:
Petr Skalník
Discussant:
John Gledhill
Location:
University Place 4.205
Start time:
9 August, 2013 at 14:30
Session slots:
2

Short abstract:

A universal paradigm in political anthropology will emerge out of critical revaluation of Eurocentrist hegemonic approaches. It will be built around hitherto unused and unknown data coming from the the wide spectrum of world anthropologies.

Long abstract:

Epistemologically the theory of political anthropology has thus far resulted from Eurocentrist hegemonism. Equally, the ethnography used in theory building has also been methodologically derived from the same sources. Many misunderstandings and misinterpretations arose from this imbalance. If political anthropology is to offer persuasive and unbiased analyses of various problems of contemporary world but also of the past conflicts and other political conundrums it will have to take into account both theories and ethnographic data which reflect the epistemological pluralism. We have not only a growing number of anthropologies that offer their varied views on the globalized world of today but also the same events, structures and processes of the past acquire new meaning. The aim of the proposed panel is to draw into political anthropology hitherto unknown or unused data from anthropologically less explored areas and eras that originate from often neglected anthropologies. The panelists representing a wide spectrum of political anthropological approaches are expected to challenge received wisdoms and thus contribute to the emergence of an altogether new paradigm that is both a product of the world community of political anthropologists but also makes sense of the wealth of data that until now were left untapped. Obviously within this new paradigm the basic concepts and methods will have to be scrutinized anew just because so many theoretical precepts might or will be found inadequate.