Policy Worlds

Policy Worlds : Anthropology and the Analysis of Contemporary Power

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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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Product details

  • Paperback | 348 pages
  • 149.86 x 226.06 x 25.4mm | 498.95g
  • Berghahn Books
  • Oxford, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 085745241X
  • 9780857452412
  • 275,527

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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About Cris Shore

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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Table of contents

Introduction Chapter 1. Conceptualising Policy: Technologies of Governance and the Politics of Visibility Cris Shore and Susan Wright Section I: Studying Policy: Methods, Paradigms, Perspectives Introduction Susan Wright Chapter 2. Illuminating the Apparatus: Steps toward a Nonlocal Ethnography of Global Governance Greg Feldman, University of British Columbia Chapter 3. Politics and Ethics: Ethnographies of Expert Knowledge and Professional Identities David Mosse, SOAS, London Chapter 4. Peopling Policy: on Conflicting Subjectivities of Fee-Paying Students Gritt B. Nielsen, Aarhus University Chapter 5. Studying throughA": a Strategy for Studying Political Transformations. Or Sex, Lies and British Politics Susan Wright and Sue Reinhold (North BerkeleyInvestment Partners) Chapter 6. What was Neo-liberalism and what Comes Next? The Transformation of Citizenship in the Law-and-Order State Susan Hyatt, Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis Section II: Studying Governance: Policy as a Window onto the Modern State Introduction Cris Shore Chapter 7. Intimate Knowledge and the Politics of Policy Convergence: The World Bank and Social Security Reform in Mexico Tara Schwegler, University of Chicago Chapter 8. Shadow Governing: What the Neocon Core Reveals About Power and Influence in America Janine Wedel, George Mason University Chapter 9. Espionage, Policy and the Art of Government: The British Secret Services and the War on Iraq Cris Shore Chapter 10. The (Un)making of Policy in the Shadow of the World Bank: Infrastructure Development, Urban Resettlement and the Cunning State in India Shalini Randeria and Ciara Grunder, University of Zurich Chapter 11. Sweden's National Pension System as a Political Technology Anette Nyqvist, Stockholm University Section III: Subjects of Policy: Construction and Contestation Introduction Davide Pero Chapter 12. The Case of Scanzano: Raison d'Etat and the Reasons for Rebellion Dorothy Louise Zinn, Universita degli Studi della Basilicata Chapter 13. Migrants' Practices of Citizenship and Policy Change Davide Pero Chapter 14. Integration Policy and Ethnic Minority Associations Clarissa Kugelberg, Upsala University Chapter 15. The Elephant in the Room. Multi-stakeholder Dialogue on Agricultural Biotechnology in the Food and Agriculture Organisation Birgit Muller, LAIOS-CNRS Paris Afterword Chapter 16. A policy ethnographer's reading of policy anthropology Dvora Yanow, Vrije University Notes on Contributors Ends Index
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