Policy Worlds

Policy Worlds : Anthropology and Analysis of Contemporary Power

Edited by Cris Shore , Edited by Susan Wright , Edited by Davide Pero


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There are few areas of society today that remain outside the ambit of policy processes, and likewise policy making has progressively reached into the structure and fabric of everyday life. An instrument of modern government, policy and its processes provide an analytical window into systems of governance themselves, opening up ways to study power and the construction of regimes of truth. This volume argues that policies are not simply coercive, constraining or confined to static texts; rather, they are productive, continually contested and able to create new social and semantic spaces and new sets of relations. Anthropologists do not stand outside or above systems of governance but are themselves subject to the rhetoric and rationalities of policy. The analyses of policy worlds presented by the contributors to this volume open up new possibilities for understanding systems of knowledge and power and the positioning of academics within them.

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  • Paperback | 350 pages
  • 149.86 x 226.06 x 25.4mm | 498.95g
  • 18 Apr 2011
  • Berghahn Books
  • Oxford
  • English
  • black & white illustrations
  • 085745241X
  • 9780857452412
  • 209,915

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Author Information

Cris Shore is Professor of Social Anthropology at the University of Auckland, New Zealand. He has conducted extensive research on Italian politics, EU civil servants, and university reform in Britain and New Zealand. Author of nine books, including Corruption: Anthropological Perspectives (with D. Haller, 2005) he is currently researching the European Commission's External Delegations. Susan Wright is Professor of Educational Anthropology at the Danish School of Education, Aarhus University. She has studied how people engage with large-scale processes of political transformation during university reforms in Denmark and Britain and through the transformation of governance in 1980/90s Britain. Informing all her work are insights gained from studies in Iran before and after the Islamic Revolution. She co-edited with Cris Shore Anthropology of Policy (Routledge, 1997). Davide Pero is Lecturer in Sociology at the University of Nottingham where he convenes the Identity, Citizenship and Migration Centre. Previously he was Researcher at the Centre on Migration, Policy and Society (Institute of Social and Cultural Anthropology, University of Oxford). Davide has conducted ethnographic research on politics and migrants in Britain, Italy and Spain and is now particularly interested in migrants' practices of citizenship and policy change. He is the author of Inclusionary Rhetoric / Exclusionary Practices. Left-wing Politics and Migrants in Italy (Berghahn, 2007).

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Review quote

An outstanding contribution to the anthropological understanding of public policy - A very polished, coherent project, ably edited.A" * Susan Greenhalgh, University of California, Irvine The volume represents an emergent subfield of anthropology coming of age in some ways; it will teach very well indeed and will certainly prove an invaluable book to think with and through - I was consistently impressed by the quality, coherence, and interest of the articles in themselves. Each was substantively fascinating, methodologically thought-provoking, and clearly linked to the others.A" * Don Brenneis, University of California, Santa Cruz

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