As the study of what it means to be human, anthropology has no limits. Ethnography is central to what social anthropologists know. But methodology cannot define the scope of a discipline that strives to transcend ethnocentrism in its analyses and should also, in my view, be socially critical and engaged with all the challenges that confront humanity in the twenty-first century.
My book The New War on the Poor: The Production of Insecurity in Latin America is available in hardback, paperback, and Kindle and ePub ebook formats. It is available directly from its publisher, Zed Books, in the UK and Europe, the University of Chicago Press in the case of the Americas, North and South, or from … Continue reading The New War on the Poor/La nueva guerra contra los pobres
During a recent visit to Buenos Aires, I visited the site of the former Navy School of Mechanics (ESMA), used as a clandestine torture and extermination centre under the last Argentine military dictatorship (1976-1983). The government of Néstor Kirchner turned the ESMA into an educational facility dedicated to the memory of the victims of the … Continue reading Nunca más?
One of the most influential groups in the most reactionary congress in Brazilian history is the Rural Lobby (Bancada Ruralista), which represents the interests of large landowners and commercial farmers. In Brazil large landowner means very large indeed, with some families controlling holdings the size of Wales. But even the more modestly endowed members of … Continue reading Brazilian anthropology under attack
It is now some time since I last reported on developments in the Mexican state of Michoacán, so here is a note on what remains, overall, a less than happy panorama. The new state government that entered office in October 2015, headed by Silvano Aureoles of the PRD, promised to get a firm grip on … Continue reading Michoacán: an update
The interim federal government headed by Michel Temer of the PMDB has now responded to the declaration of a state of financial catastrophe by the heavily indebted state government of Rio de Janeiro, which has been in the hands of the PMDB since 2003. It has provided a 2.9 billion reais emergency cash injection. This … Continue reading The Olympics and Rio’s crisis
Yesterday’s general election in Spain has delivered a very different result to that predicted by the polls, although it is less surprising that it has replicated the indecisive result of last year. The election not only failed to deliver any single party a majority, but once again made the formation of any government dependent on … Continue reading The left fails in Spain
I returned from Brazil to the UK to vote in the referendum, and now find myself observing another crisis. It may well eventually lead to the breakup of the United Kingdom, given the large majority in favour of remaining in Europe in Scotland and the prospect of a second referendum on Scottish independence. Ironically, to … Continue reading Initial reflections on Brexit
I have just got back from the 50th Anniversary Congress of the Latin American Studies Association in New York. Although I’ve been a LASA member for many years, and served as a track chair in the Montreal congress in 2007, other commitments meant that the last LASA congress that I attended was the Rio de … Continue reading LASA 2016
Brazil’s interim president, Michel Temer, has named André Moura, of the Social Christian Party, the government’s leader in the lower house of the Brazilian congress. Those unfamiliar with the Brazilian political process might be puzzled by this choice. The PSC is a tiny, although often scandalously vocal, force on the extreme right of the political … Continue reading Yes it can get worse
During most of this week I have been in Campos, in the state of Rio de Janeiro, participating in a very interesting event organised by Rodrigo Monteiro and his colleagues at the Universidade Federal Fluminense. My talk was given in a final session on “Conflict, Public Space and Securitization”, held in the evening of May … Continue reading The week of the coup
This morning the supreme court judge responsible for overseeing the Lava Jato investigation ordered the suspension of the PMDB’s Eduardo Cunha from his mandate and from his position as president of the chamber of deputies. This decision was ratified in a plenary session later in the day. Cunha, whose patronage powers have won him an … Continue reading The Brazilian STF and Eduardo Cunha