Call for Papers, American Anthropological Association (AAA) annual meeting in San José, CA from Nov 14 – 18, 2018.
Title: After Neoliberalism?: Revisiting the Processes of Policy-Making
In the last twenty years, a significant number of studies in anthropology have grappled with the question of how to analyze the effects of neoliberalism on social and political life. While anthropologists have contributed greatly to our understanding of neoliberal transformations in various spheres, it is evident by now that neoliberalism is under heavy attacks on many fronts. Starting with the global economic crises, within the last decade shifts in political sentiments to the “right” and increasing authoritarian political tendencies that are apparent at a global scale have undermined the myth of “neoliberal democracies” based on individual rights, primacy of market, entrepreneurship, and the rule of free trade.
Neoliberalism has significantly reordered and rescaled policy-making processes, bringing along new actors, institutions and discourses. On the one hand, the individualization of social problems and related discourses of deservingness along with the stigmatization of certain groups have gained even deeper grounds and created new fields of dispossessions and inequalities. On the other hand, rescaling of policy-making processes have reshuffled the power dynamics between actors at different scales and opened up new possibilities for empowerment, resistance and challenge. But how resilient are these ideas and practices within the current context of political transformations? Are they also seriously challenged or do they remain relatively intact as neoliberalism faces global challenges? How are these political changes at national and global scales negotiated in local policy-making processes? While it appears that the neoliberal logic is gaining further dominance in the way universities are run or health care is being restructured in many countries, it is yet to be further investigated whether and in what ways these more recent global political shifts influence local policies of different spheres.
This panel invites authors to submit papers that examine processes of local policy making in relation to the current crises of neoliberalism and the parallel political and economic shifts. We are particularly interested in the way local policy making and implementation are embedded in the broader political and economic context as well as the conflicts and contradictions between the two. We welcome papers that address such issues through empirical research or that discuss the theoretical challenges of analysing these recent processes from an ethnographic angle.
Deadline for abstract submissions: 11thof April