W063
Ethnographies of non-state governance: socialities, orders and expertise

Convenors:
Karel Arnaut (KULeuven)
Christian HĂžjbjerg (Aarhus University)
Location:
Victoria Recital
Start time:
21 September, 2006 at 11:30
Session slots:
2

Short abstract:

This workshop brings governance through ethnography back into the unstable places that no-war-no-peace situations have yielded. It addresses governance in three registers: socio-economic formations, political orders and interrelations of internal/external expertise.

Long abstract:

When less than ten years ago Shore and Wright (1997) addressed the issue of governance and power, they focused mainly on national governments and policies and their technologies of inspection and control, the rationalities of which a forthcoming anthropology of the present would render visible. Although this was duly situated within local-global dynamics, governance appeared to concern relatively large-scale integrated wholes. Since then the anthropological literature has thematised fragmentation and recomposition in its approaches to myriad states of crisis. This workshop intends to bring governance back into the composite states, the unstable places and social reassemblages that long-term conflict and no-war-no-peace situations have yielded all around the globe. The workshop addresses governance in three registers: socio-economic formations, political orders and interrelations of internal/external expertise. The first focus is on social forms in transformation. Special attention is given to new identities/collectivities, and alternative forms of redistribution and social control, as indexes of self-governance. Secondly, it appears that the very forces perpetuating crises also serve as facilitators to emerging political orders. This awareness of conflict-transformation (Richards) invites ethnographic enquiry into military-economic complexes that recombine old and new forms of authority and variously scaled connections (local and global). Thirdly, over the last years, governance has been partly overtaken by governmentality, exposing subtle ways of assessment (knowledge) and direction (power) internalised at lower levels (populations). In response to this, this workshop focuses on forms of autogovernmentality (Appadurai) including self-expertise, fiscal and mercantile organisation and local empowerment. The ultimate question is how ethnographers enter into this equation of governance, gain access and engage in the exchange of glocal knowledge.