Inspiring alter-politics: anthropology and critical political thinking (EN-FR)

Riccardo Ciavolella (CNRS/EHESS)
Stefano Boni (Universita´ di Modena e Reggio Emilia)
Keith Hart
Start time:
12 July, 2012 at 11:30
Session slots:

Short abstract:

This panel inquires into how political anthropology inspires radical political thinking. Since the founding influences over Marxism and Anarchism, what is the nexus between anthropological studies on the "politics of others" with contemporary political theories and practices?

Long abstract:

This panel inquires into how political anthropology can inspire radical political thinking. This issue dates back to the influence of "primitive societies" over Marxism and anarchism. This dialogue continued with the use of "primitive economies" to criticise capitalism and with "acephalous societies" inspiring critiques of the modern State, particularly with the Clastres-Deleuze's idea of a "desiring" refusal of encoding forces of modernity. Historical experiences studied by anthropologists have become "heterotopias", epitomizing examples of possible alternatives. Nowadays, this inspiring influence of anthropology is renewed in imagining alternatives to neoliberal globalization. Several of the issues raised by studies concerning forms of subaltern resistance, peasants' mobilisations, indigenous movements and agencies of discriminated subjectivities are also evoked, in theory and practice, by some of the different tendencies within contemporary social movements (neo-primordialism, ecology, post-development and degrowth, post-anarchism and multitude perspectives). We call for papers on this particular nexus between anthropological studies and critical political thinking both in the past and in the present. We strongly encourage contributions with ethnographic examples, as well as more theoretical papers. But we would like contributors to address the critical points raised by this nexus: 1. How to make "other" political experiences meaningful for "our" time and space, or how to avoid the "illusion of an exotic answer to a historical question" (Augé) 2. How to imagine the political articulation and efficacy of localised and dispersed subjectivities 3. How to think the issue of representation in the organisation of political action (post-anarchist vs. gramscian perspectives).