Call for papers (AAA): Dismantling of policies and government institutions

In recent years there have been drastic changes in both formal and informal government policies and practices worldwide. In the specific context of the U.S., the elimination and shifts in laws and regulations have greatly impacted issues affecting climate change, immigrants, healthcare, environmental issues, the nation’s involvement with international organizations and agreements. These sweeping changes are likely to have long lasting effects, both domestically and internationally, adding to the need for an anthropological examination of the removal and alterations of established policies and practices. The current trend in the breakdown and reconstruction of government policies is not limited to the United States. Increased xenophobia has led to the rise of populist sentiment in Europe, resulting in restrictions on immigration and adaptations in the ways in which states manage border control. For example, the fear of migrants from Africa entering Europe contributed to European Union (EU) policies on “border control” in the Mediterranean Sea. Prior operations that focused on the search and rescue of migrants at sea have been dismantled, creating new systems that focus on preventing migrants entering Europe. Additionally, the effects of the vote for the British exit from the EU have yet to be determined; however, this drastic change in policy will likely have profound effects on populations throughout Europe. In some geopolitical regions, the absence of a centralized government has led to the deterioration of migration policies, resulting in the increase of armed militias that “regulate” migration and lead to human rights abuses on migrants in transit. In this respect, failed states such as Libya and Syria provide a specific geopolitical context for the examination of how the collapse of state and local governments affect complex issues such as migration. This panel will contribute to the anthropological scholarship on policy and government by examining instances where policy is deconstructed or ceases to exist.

Reflecting on the theme of “Resistance, Resilience, and Adaption,” this panel seeks to examine how the dismantling of policies and collapse of institutions affects local populations’ abilities to resist or adapt to political change. This panel examines a wide range topics focused on the response to deterioration of local, national, and international policies and government institutions. We invite proposals that consider these topics from a variety of angles to provide a broad understanding of how the unraveling of established policies and institutions impact local populations and how they navigate these changes.

Questions to be considered include:
How do people respond when there is a dismantling of policy? What are the effects of “failed states” and the deterioration of government institutions on local populations? What can anthropologists do when policies and centralized governments deteriorate? How are resistance movements in the U.S. and elsewhere responding to radical right-wing policies and legislation? What are the effects of xenophobic laws and discourses on migrants’ lived experiences?  How does the collapse of government institutions impact migration? How do changes in health care policy impact public health in the U.S.? In what ways do people adapt or resist such changes in policy and government institutions?

Call for Abstracts:

Scholars and practitioners are encouraged to submit abstracts concerning these issues from a variety of areas of focus. Please email abstracts of up to 250 words by March 25, 2018 to Russell Manzano- [email protected]. Those who submit an abstract will be notified about acceptance to the panel by March 30, 2018.

Call for papers (EASA): Policy mobility

Dear all,

ASAP is organising a panel at the 15th EASA Biennial Conference “Staying, Moving, Settling” in Stockholm, 14-17 August, 2018.

Title of Panel P087 – Policy Mobility in a Globalised World: How ideas and practices of governance and management travel, settle and colonise new domains’

This panel explores the idea of policy mobility and its effects. We invite reflection on how ideas and practices associated with governance and management travel, how policies are taken up or get embedded in new contexts, & the new kinds of relations, subjectivities & practices this process create.

Panel Convenors:  Cris Shore (Auckland University & Score/Stockholm) and Susan Wright (Aarhus University)

Long Abstract

It is over 25 years since the project for an Anthropology of Policy was initiated at the EASA conferences in Prague and Oslo. At that time neoliberal experiments in the reinvention of government through structural adjustment programmes, New Public Management and the ‘governance’ turn were at their height in countries such as Britain, the US, Chile, Mexico and New Zealand. In the decades since, the rationalities that drove those process have mutated, diversified and spread rapidly across the globe bringing major changes to the global economy and local societies.

This EASA conference explores the mobility and settlement of people in an increasingly globalised world. However, we might equally ask about the mobility of ideas and concepts and how particular programmes, practices and policies travel, get taken up, or become embedded in new environments.

We invite papers to reflect on:

1.  How do policies travel?
2.  Who are the actors that drive the mobility and settlement of policies?
3.  In what ways do policies reshape the domains into which they are introduced, and how are those policies themselves changed as a result of their entry into new contexts?
4.  What new systems of governance, social relations and organisational forms do they generate?
5.  How do governments, companies and other organisations use policies to try and engender new kinds of subjects and subjectivities?
6.  How do individuals and groups engage with and contest policy processes?
7.  What new methodological tools and theoretical approaches can we use to analyse policy mobility?

All paper proposals must be made via the EASA online system, and not via email. All the panels have a “Propose a paper” link beneath the long abstract. If approached by email, please direct proposers to the website<>.

Please also see:<>

Questions or comments on this post to: Cris Shore ([email protected])

ASAP graduate paper prize

The Association for the Anthropology of Policy (ASAP) invites submissions for the 2018 Graduate Paper Prize.

ASAP awards a prize of $250 annually for the best graduate student paper on any aspect of the anthropology of policy. A condensed version of the winning paper will be published in the ASAP Anthropology News column and linked on the ASAP website.

Continue reading

Call for papers (AAA): Rare disease interventions

Dear colleagues,

We invite abstracts to the following panel for the 2018 AAA meetings in San Jose, California – November 14-18:

Panel Title:
What Does it Mean to ‘Care for Rare’? Anthropological Interventions and Imagination in Rare Disease

Marlee McGuire, PhD Candidate
CIHR Douglas Kinsella Doctoral Researcher in Bioethics
Department of Anthropology, University of British Columbia, Canada

Małgorzata Rajtar, PhD
Assistant Professor, Department of Ethnology and Cultural Anthropology
Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznań, Poland

Mara Buchbinder, PhD
Associate Professor, Department of Social Medicine
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill


Panel Abstract:

A daily tablespoon of corn starch, a low protein diet, carnitine supplements, Omega 3 fish oil pills, a biologic enzyme replacement therapy that costs $500,000 per year: what links these different substances and practices is that they are all treatments for rare genetic metabolic disease. The conditions that get labeled ‘rare’ or ‘orphan’ constitute a diverse and growing group of up to 8000 genetic conditions that are chronic, disabling, and sometimes fatal. Biomedical care practices in rare disease have been substantially altered in recent years—from a clinical practice of testing and tinkering with different dosages of vitamins and therapeutic diets to one that also includes prescribing and monitoring the use of controversial expensive therapies. Newborn genetic screening programs facilitate earlier treatment of the afflicted, but they equally raise new ethical questions and introduce new inequalities in terms of access and money. In all contexts, patients and their families grapple with being ‘rare,’ particularly as these interventions and technologies open new moral frames for cultural projects of belonging and care.

Following the 1983 United States Orphan Drug Act and similar incentivizing legislations worldwide, recent years have witnessed an expansion of pharmacological, biomedical, and biotechnological interventions in the field of rare diseases. This has infused rare disease care with massive flows of capital and industry funding, making them impossible to ignore. Public and private systems worldwide have responded in variable ways. The Council of the European Union instituted a rare disease policy in 2009 but only some member states have followed through on developing national plans or strategies. In a very different policy direction, Canada has adopted a ‘policy of non-policy’—efforts to develop one stalled by multi-stakeholder negotiations between those who profit from rare diseases and those who pay for them. As higher-income Western states struggle to find a way to reconcile how to ‘care for rare’ within existing political frameworks, private industry actors take the opportunity to profoundly reshape health care systems, regulatory agencies, and resource allocation mechanisms. States not within the global economic core are left to figure out whether and how to integrate these treatments and practices into their own health care systems, amidst other pressing public health concerns.

Against this background of biomedical and political interventions, this panel calls for anthropological attention to sociocultural, institutional, economic, and medical entanglements of rare diseases. Rare disease urges us all to ask deeper theoretical questions about the dichotomies that structure ethics and policy more generally: the few versus the many, equity versus equality, evidence versus hope. Specifically, we ask what tensions the notion of “rarity” presents at the individual/collective and population/global health levels; what ethical theories inform the discourse about rare diseases and structure access to treatment and/or care globally; how power structures are appropriated as well as how biomedical and biotechnological inequalities are handled by different actors in the field of rare diseases. Finally, we are interested in an analysis of care practices employed in the field of rare diseases, broadly defined.

Call for Abstracts:
We invite ethnographically grounded and theoretically inspiring paper abstracts (of up to 250 words) that attend to the above-mentioned issues. Please send your abstracts to both Marlee McGuire (at: [email protected]) and Malgorzata Rajtar (at: [email protected]) by March 31st 2018 at 5pm PST. Decisions about acceptance for this panel will be emailed by April 4th 2018.

2018 AAA Annual Meeting information:

Thank you and best regards,

Marlee & Malgorzata

Call for input: ASAP column for AN

Call for ideas — brief paragraph only

“Anthropological Futures” is the theme of the Sections Edition of Anthropology News that will be published in July/August 2018, and we are asking for your input.

Last year, we polled ASAP members and pulled together a column on what the anthropology of policy is, to speak to readers across the discipline and give them a better idea of what folks with research and experience in this area have to offer.

This year, we will take a similar approach, and survey members, but with the new theme in mind: Where is the anthropology of policy headed? We would like section members to think about how anthropological perspectives on the policy process give insight into the future of anthropology and the future of the policy worlds in which anthropologists live and work today.

(1) How has anthropological research and experience with policy highlighted emerging trends that have subsequently emerged as central to contemporary sociocultural dynamics?

(2) How does current anthropological research and experience with policy underscore incipient political, economic, and cultural dynamics that may prove influential for future generations of anthropologists and others involved with policy?

(3) How have anthropologists analyzed the visions of the future and the values promoted in future-oriented policies in their research, both conceptually and empirically?

Please email a brief paragraph addressing some of the questions above to [email protected] and [email protected] by Wednesday, February 28.

We will then collate the responses, and circulate a draft of the article among the contributors. We encourage all of you to participate!

Ted Powers & Judi Pajo

Call for papers and sessions: AAA in San Jose

Dear Colleagues,

The 117th Annual Meeting of the American Anthropological Association (AAA) will convene in San Jose, CA November  14 – 18, 2018 with the theme: “Resistance, Resilience, Adaptation.” As Program Co-Chairs, we encourage you to consider selecting The Association for the Anthropology of Policy (ASAP) to review your conference submissions. Below, you will find information to help you prepare for the meeting.

DATES: Abstract submissions for all proposal types opened on February 16, 2018. The deadline for all submissions to the AAA website is 3 PM EDT on Monday, April 16, 2018.

SESSION TYPES: AAA is committed to supporting a variety of session types this year. Conventional paper panels will remain the main format but do consider submitting ideas for other formats, including: poster panels; roundtables; retrospective sessions (intended to highlight career contributions of leading scholars); 5 minute, rapid, ‘flash’ presentations; installations. The full range can be viewed here:

Panel organizers have one hour and forty-five minutes to work with, and there is a lot ASAP members can do to creatively maximize that time. A standard format allows for 4 x  15 minute papers and 10 minutes for discussant comments, but other ways of dividing the time are possible.

If you plan to present your work at the AAA, we encourage you to either organize or co-organize a session yourself or seek out others who are organizing one that relates to your research. (The ASAP listserv is a great forum for this). While we will do our best to organize individually submitted abstracts into sessions based on common themes, organized sessions have a greater success in being accepted, and are usually more coherent.

Invited Sessions are meant to present cutting-edge research and/or issues of interest to our entire section. Please note that ASAP considers all sessions submitted to our section for invited status. However, if you have questions about invited status or would like to draw our attention to your submission as a strong candidate for invited status, we encourage you to email us. We increase the likely number of Invited Sessions if we partner with other sections, so please consider this when putting a prospective panel together. The full list of sections and their interests can be found here:

PARTICIPATION RULES AND POLICIES:  Before you make your plans, please see the Annual Meeting Particpation Rules here:   Note that meeting participation is limited to AAA members (with some exceptions). Also, please note the One-Plus-One rule which means that participants may only: (1) present one paper/poster, or serve as a participant on one roundtable or installation and (2) accept no more than one discussant role elsewhere on the program. An individual may serve as organizer or chair of an unlimited number of sessions. These rules are strictly enforced by the AAA Program Committee.

SUBMISSION PORTAL:  Please remember that the AAA requires all participants to submit abstracts and proposals using the online submission portal which can be found here: Hopefully, this will prove to be less problematic than last year although the advice is to complete your submission as early as possible.

Please visit the AAA Conference Website  here: for more information about attending the meeting and feel free to contact us if you have any questions about the ASAP review process.

Warm greetings,
Paul Stubbs ([email protected]) and Carol MacLennan ([email protected])
ASAP 2018 Program Co-Chairs


Call for papers: AAA – Immigration

Dear ASAP Colleagues: This is a CFP for the AAA conference in San Jose, CA, Nov. 14-18, 2018, for the following panel:
Panel title:
Anti-Immigration, Anti-Gender: Toward an Anthropology of Gender, Sexuality, and Race in Central and Eastern Europe, and Russia.

Agnieszka Kościańska, PhD
Associate Professor, Department of Ethnology and Cultural Anthropology
University of Warsaw, Poland

Joanna Mishtal, PhD
Associate Professor, Department of Anthropology
University of Central Florida, USA 

Panel Abstract:
In less than 30 years after democratic revolutions in Central and Eastern Europe, populist, far right and anti-European Union parties have either won elections or gained significant votes across the region. Anti-immigrant rhetoric and conservative notions of family values contributed greatly to their electoral successes. Populist and far right milieus protest loudly against hosting refugees and immigrants from Middle Eastern and African countries, often claiming that these “foreign” and “racially other” groups may threaten the fabric of the society, including women’s rights and safety, or LGBTQ rights. Some states explicitly warn against “Islamization” and therefore reject non-Christian refugees. Simultaneously, populist groups strongly oppose gender equality and reproductive and sexual rights. For example, conservative nationalist administrations in Poland and Hungary condemn contemporary approaches to understanding gender as sociocultural and political constructs by presenting them as a form of “family demise” and threats to the nation. Moreover, populists in this region tend to portray women’s or sexual rights as imposed by Western and European elites, attempting to destroy local identities based in the traditional gender order. The picture that is therefore emerging in this part of the world is that of growing racisms and (hetero)sexisms, emboldened by election outcomes.

This panel contributes to the anthropology scholarship on anti-immigrant rhetoric and policies, and “anti-genderism.” In recent years, anthropologists and other social scientists have analyzed extensively the region’s contemporary conflicts around migration/race and gender/sexuality, usually approaching them as two separate and distinct topics. This panel seeks to explore these lines of inquiry together.

Inspired by the conference themes of “Resistance, Resilience, and Adaptation,” we invite paper proposals that consider how racist anti-immigrant and anti-gender discourses, policies, and practices overlap, intersect, or interrelate in new populist rhetoric and governance in Central and Eastern Europe, and other post-Soviet regions, including Russia. We are particularity interested in empirically grounded and theoretically informed studies tracing these intersections on variously levels such as policies, media, everyday life, religion, education, healthcare, and civil society. We also welcome analyses of mobilization and movements in favor or against populist causes, including growing racism, (hetero)sexisms, and other forms of exclusion and social justice issues. 

Some of the questions this panel seeks to explore are:
What are the spaces of intersection between gender/sexuality and race/ethnicity in populist rhetoric and policies? How are anti-immigrant and “anti-genderism” discourses produced, maintained, and contested? What are the relationships between actors involved in anti-gender and anti-immigrant mobilization? What is a Central and Eastern European, or post-Soviet and post-socialist specificity, if any, of anti-immigrant rhetoric and anti-genderism? What are their historical, political, or cultural roots? What is the relationship between “traditional” xenophobia and patriarchal gender regimes? What are the new fears and anxieties underpinning and/or emerging from these contexts? What models of biopolitics, national identity, governance, moral economies, and discrimination emerge from the intersection of race, ethnicity, gender, and sexuality from these populist trends? How are these models contested? In what ways could anthropological knowledge contribute to resisting these trends and imagining a shared future?

Call for abstracts:

We invite interested panelists to submit abstracts of up to 250 words by March 15, 2018, via email to Agnieszka Kościańska – [email protected]  and Joanna Mishtal – [email protected]. Decisions about acceptance of abstracts for this panel will be emailed by March 20, 2018.

Please note:

AAA requires that everyone must register before April 16, 2018 for the conference at the time of submitting the panel proposal and presenters’ abstracts. Registration fee is refunded if a presenter is not accepted. Registration fee is lower for AAA members, therefore we recommend becoming a member and then registering. 

ASAP monthly update

ASAP monthly update — February 2018

Notable recently

The most recent ASAP column in Anthropology News has just been published:

“The Neighborhood School Stigma: School Choice, Stratification, and Shame”
By Julia McWilliams
Anthropology News Online (February 15, 2018)
Temporary link is here

Provides an abbreviated version of one of the winners of ASAP’s 2017 graduate student paper prize.

“In cities like Philadelphia, the maintenance of two parallel educational systems—one charter, the other district—has also strained budgets and contributed to fiscal crises that have further divested traditional district schools of critical resources. How are youth, teachers, and staff in neighborhood schools responding to these conditions . . .”

“This research not only questions how market stratification impacts access to quality public education but also how school choice shapes students’ attachment and belief in their schools as places of hope and promise as the term “neighborhood school” becomes increasingly deployed as a slur.”

The ASAP nominations slate has now been submitted to the AAA. For co-presidents-elect, Bill Beeman and Christina Garsten will be running as a single team. That preserves our intent to have a team that represents both the U.S. and overseas. For officer-at-large, there are three candidates, Bilge Firat, Jennifer Hubbert, and Andrew Tarter. Details will be available with the usual AAA ballot later this spring.

For those of you following the AAA deliberations on dues, the ASAP executive committee is expressing serious reservations about the process to the AAA. If you want to follow that discussion, contact Diane O’Rourke, ASAP secretary/treasurer, at [email protected]  There will likely be multiple rounds of deliberation and discussion. The ASAP executive committee is especially worried that the actual flow of money between the AAA and the sections is not clear, and the plan to include one section membership within AAA dues has the potential to pit high dues and low dues sections against each other.

Coming up

There will be two Anthropology News segments coming up soon that provide annual updates from the section leadership: a general overview of ASAP in review and prospect from the Co-Presidents (David Haines and Cris Shore) and a reflection on ASAP sessions at the Washington, DC AAA meetings from the Co-Presidents-Elect (Carol MacLennan and Paul Stubbs).

Note also that minutes from the ASAP business meeting, along with the financial and communication reports for 2017, are now available online. Just look under “Resources” on the ASAP web page at

Remember that the listserv and web are available to announce potential sessions for the AAA meeting in San Jose–or for any other conferences that may be relevant to the anthropology of policy. Send those to Eric Cheng, the listserv coordinator at [email protected].

As always you can find us . . .
. . . on the web at
. . . on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter as @anthofpolicy

Key contacts
Eric Cheng for the listserv at: [email protected] or [email protected]
David Haines for the web at: [email protected]
Georgia Hartman for Instagram at: [email protected]
Judi Pajo and Ted Powers for ASAP columns in AN at: [email protected] and [email protected]
Jason Scott for Facebook and Twitter at: [email protected]
Paul Stubbs for the ASAP program at the 2018 AAA in San Jose: [email protected]

Positions open in ASAP for 2018

Dear ASAP members,

We hope your 2018 is off to a good start!

At ASAP, we have several positions opening up this year.

In terms of formal elections, we need to fill two positions:

1. An officer-at-large whose duties are not formally prescribed but who has been involved especially in mentoring and awards. The term is for three years.

2. Two co-presidents-elect who have responsibility for most of ASAP activities at the AAA meetings. The term is for two years, followed by two years as co-presidents, and then two years as past-presidents.

If you have a potential interest in any of these, please contact Janine Wedel ([email protected]) who, as past-president, chairs the nominations committee. Note that the co-president-elects work as a team, and the ASAP goal is to match two people who represent different world regions and who have complementary background and skills.

>>>>>  Please contact her by Friday January 26.

We also have several appointed board positions that will also become available this year:

1. A web manager, who can work in tandem with our current Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter managers. The web is maintained in Word Press and you can review it at

2. An overall communications committee chair

3. An education committee chair

If you have interest in any of those, please contact David Haines, co-president, at [email protected]. There is no formal deadline on these positions, but the sooner the better!

We would also be grateful to have additional people involved informally in our committees on media, education, and member outreach. We are particularly interested this year in ways to branch out beyond the AAA. If you have interest in any of those areas, also contact David ([email protected]).

Best regards,

Janine Wedel, Past President
Cris Shore, Co-President
David Haines, Co-President

ASAP/AN column: Preview of ASAP panels at the AAA

The latest ASAP Anthropology News column is now available on line at:

The column is a review by Ted Powers of the ASAP panels that will be held at the annual meeting of the American Anthropological Association in Washington, D.C. Note that a list of the panels is also available as a previous ASAP post, the durable link for which is: