Cover image for States of imagination ethnographic explorations of the postcolonial state
States of imagination ethnographic explorations of the postcolonial state
Hansen, Thomas Blom, 1958-
Publication Information:
Durham [N.C.] : Duke University Press, 2001.
Physical Description:
viii, 423 p. ; 24 cm.
Politics, history, and culture

Politics, history, and culture.
"Demonic societies": liberalism, biopolitics, and sovereignty / Mitchell Dean -- Governing population: the integrated child development services program in India / Akhil Gupta -- The battlefield and the prize: ANC's bid to reform the South African State / Steffen Jensen -- Imagining the state as a space: territoriality and the formation of the state in Ecuador / Sarah A. Radcliffe -- The South African Truth and Reconciliation Commission: a technique of nation-state formation / Lars Buur -- Reconstructing national identity and renegotiating memory: the work of the TRC / Aletta J. Norval -- Rethinking citizenship: reforming the law in postwar Guatemala / Rachel Sieder -- Governance and state mythologies in Mumbai / Thomas Blom Hansen -- Before history and prior to politics: time, space, and territory in the modern Peruvian nation-state / David Nugent -- Urbanizing the countryside: armed conflicts, state formation, and the politics of place in contemporary Guatemala / Finn Stepputat -- In the name of the state? Schools and teachers in an Andean province / Fiona Wilson -- The captive state: corruption, intelligence agencies, and ethnicity in Pakistan / Oskar Verkaaik -- Public secrets, conscious amnesia, and the celebration of autonomy for Ladakh / Martijn van Beek.


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eBook ER213339 GN492 .S75 2001 Electronic Resources

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The state has recently been rediscovered as an object of inquiry by a broad range of scholars. Reflecting the new vitality of the field of political anthropology, States of Imagination draws together the best of this recent critical thinking to explore the postcolonial state. Contributors focus on a variety of locations from Guatemala, Pakistan, and Peru to India and Ecuador; they study what the state looks like to those seeing it from the vantage points of rural schools, police departments, small villages, and the inside of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission.
Focusing on the micropolitics of everyday state-making, the contributors examine the mythologies, paradoxes, and inconsistencies of the state through ethnographies of diverse postcolonial practices. They show how the authority of the state is constantly challenged from the local as well as the global and how growing demands to confer rights and recognition to ever more citizens, organizations, and institutions reveal a persistent myth of the state as a source of social order and an embodiment of popular sovereignty. Demonstrating the indispensable value of ethnographic work on the practices and the symbols of the state, States of Imagination showcases a range of studies and methods to provide insight into the diverse forms of the postcolonial state as an arena of both political and cultural struggle.
This collection will interest students and scholars of anthropology, cultural studies, sociology, political science, and history.

Contributors. Lars Buur, Mitchell Dean, Akhil Gupta, Thomas Blom Hansen, Steffen Jensen, Aletta J. Norval, David Nugent, Sarah Radcliffe, Rachel Sieder, Finn Stepputat, Martijn van Beek, Oskar Verkaaik, Fiona Wilson