P045
Tracing eligibilities: moralities, performances, practices (EASA Network for Anthropology of Law and Rights)

Convenors:
Heike Drotbohm (Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz)
Julia Eckert (University of Bern)
Discussant:
Heath Cabot (College of the Atlantic)
Format:
Panels
Location:
S-238
Start time:
3 August, 2014 at 9:00
Session slots:
3

Short abstract:

The network "anthropology of Law and Rights" calls for papers on eligibility as an ethnographic field, which combines moralities, performances, and social practices.

Long abstract:

The politics of 'eligibility' refer to imaginations of deservingness and vulnerability. In this panel we will bring together papers, which trace moralities, performances and practices of eligibility in different institutional contexts and from different actors' perspectives. The creation (and disolution) of eligibility can be understood as a dialogical moment of collaboration between state bureaucrats, lawyers, medical assessors, aid organizations, witnesses, and the applicants/potential claimants/candidates themselves, in which the credibility of certain stories, the authenticity of persons, and 'truth' is judged. We enquire into the criteria mobilized by different actors for creating eligibility and into the determination of evidence for justifying decisions on eligibility. We are interested in understanding the ways in which different actors come to imagine 'the vulnerable other', in how ideas of eligibility respond to historical shifts, are adapted, and how their relation to ideas of a body politic is assessed from different perspectives. We would also like to understand how apparent non- or misunderstandings as well as failures or refusals are interpreted from different points of view. Last but not least, we ask what kind of dilemmas and methodological challenges do ethnographers face when researching eligibility from different angles? This panel seeks papers drawing from anthropological fieldwork, which trace eligibilities refering to individual (e.g. access to territory/residence/citizenship, access to health/medical care, protection from violence, financial support) or collective bodies (e.g. collective rights, humanitarian aid).