Call for papers (AAA): Unrecognized states

States of Imagination: Policy and Experience in Unrecognized States (AAA 2018)

Unrecognized states dot a globe that is imagined in terms of bounded states. Some unrecognized states came into being after unilaterally declaring independence, others exist as nation-states in the imaginations of their members. Some of these entities meet recognized criteria for statehood, such as Weber’s definition centering on the monopoly of legitimate violence or the Montevideo Convention on Rights and Duties of States, one of the most widely accepted formulation of the criteria of statehood in international law. It notes that the state as an international person should possess the following qualifications: (a) a permanent population; (b) a defined territory; (c) government; and (d) capacity to enter into relations with other states.  Where unrecognized states are ruled out of play in the global game is often on the final point—they cannot enter into relations with other states because the policies of those states do not imagine them to be states. Such cases include Somaliland, North Cyprus, and Taiwan.

Anthropology’s changing conceptualizations, or imaginings we might say, of culture have also played a role in the recognition or rights of states.  The right to self-determination in many international conventions is based on an earlier primordial model that anthropologists themselves no longer employ. Few scholarly studies have been conducted regarding the socio-political implications of non-recognition: how and why unrecognized states adopt policies and evolve the way they do.

With this session we aim to explore the dynamics of policymaking and evolution—political, social and cultural—in unrecognized states, dynamics of international policy which prevents their recognition, and what roles anthropology has or can play in the recognition of states, the rights of their citizens, and documenting the impact of non-recognition.

We welcome articles from both scholars and practitioners whose work pertains to unrecognized states, including theoretical work regarding the definition of such entities. Interdisciplinary approaches are particularly welcome. Topics may include, but are not limited to:

Defining unrecognized states:

·       The evolution of socio-political and cultural identities under non-recognition;

·       The impact of non-recognition on the development of unrecognized states and/or the conflicts where they are involved;

·       The interplay between culture and state recognition;

·       Evaluation of the statehood capacity of unrecognized states and their potential for earning diplomatic recognition;

·       How unrecognized states have been able to build functioning state institutions and in some cases, democracies;

·       How non-recognition impacts lives.

Co-organizers: Hilmi Ulas (The American University of Cyprus) and Diane O’Rourke (Victoria University of Wellington).  Please send expressions of interest to [email protected] .

Dr. Diane O’Rourke
Anthropology Program
School of Social & Cultural Studies
Victoria University
PO Box 600
Wellington 6140
[email protected]

Call for papers (IUAES): Statelessness

The open panel (OP164) on Statelessness at the IUAES conference in Brazil is still accepting paper abstracts. Your paper proposals must be submitted on line at the IUAES site by 25 March, but please send expressions of interest to Greg Acciaioli ([email protected]) or Diane O’Rourke. ([email protected]).

Panel abstract:

With over 10 million stateless people according to the UNHCR, statelessness has assumed heightened urgency with the intensified flows of refugees in recent years. Parties to the 1954 and 1961 Conventions on Statelessness are concentrated in only certain regions of the world and conspicuously absent in Asia. As exemplified by policies in such states as Myanmar, contemporary state actions are exacerbating rather than mitigating the global dilemmas of statelessness.

This panel evaluates how anthropology as a discipline and anthropologists as engaged actors can contribute to analyzing and ameliorating the condition of statelessness. The panel invites contributions that address any of the contemporary and historical dimensions of statelessness from anthropological perspectives. These might include consideration of such aspects as the drivers – economic, political, legal, social, cultural – causing statelessness, experiences of statelessness and the agency of the stateless in coping strategies, impacts upon livelihood possibilities, case studies of interventions that can reduce vulnerability, and others. We are particularly interested in analyses that relate statelessness to the transformations of the state and their implications for anthropological theories of the state. This panel is co-sponsored by the World Council of Anthropological Associations as part of its initiative focusing upon Mobilities and Immobilities and by the IUAES Commission on Theoretical Anthropology.

For more information, please visit:

Questions or comments on this post to Diane O’Rourke ([email protected]).

Call for papers (AAA): Immigration and mental health

Panel Proposal: Immigration and Mental Health in the Age of Trump

Organizers: Megan Carney (Assistant Professor, University of Arizona) & Thurka Sangaramoorthy (Assistant Professor, University of Maryland)

The rhetoric around Trump’s presidency overlaps with and mimics much of the language that has been historically employed to exclude or deem immigrants unworthy of formal belonging, especially in the United States. Incendiary words and phrases grounded in the notions of “unfit” and “undesirable” that we often associate with poor physical or mental health status of individuals, communities, and entire societies are reminiscent of the language used by nativists and racists in the early 20th century against Eastern and Southern Europeans and Asians.

Accusations of mental instability waged at both the current U.S. presidential administration (e.g., “deranged dotard,” “unfit for office,” “crazy,” “malignant narcissist”) and large segments of the population that it governs (e.g., “savage sicko,” “dangerous,” “wacko,” “unstable”) have engendered moral and material effects about the ways which we collectively perceive and address mental health. Such vernacular highlight broader social concerns about the pervasiveness of negative connotations related to an individual or group’s out-of-the-ordinary behavior or mental state. These modes of expression perpetuate the social stigma that people with mental illness are inferior and unworthy of care and compassion.

Concomitantly, the policies enacted and proposed by this current administration have translated to very real mental distress within the population at large, and especially among individuals with precarious legal status or those who may be targeted by detention and deportation (i.e., immigrants and refugees with temporary legal status, individuals with DACA, unauthorized immigrants, and immigrants from one of the banned countries). In this panel, we seek to explore how this psychosocial distress might be silenced or overlooked given the everyday abstractions of U.S. national politics, the normalization of mental illness as it may undergird the current American political landscape, the medicalization of social response (i.e., anger, anxiety, frustration), and the concurrent sense of immobilization among many.

Please send abstracts (max 250 words) to both Thurka Sangaramoorthy ([email protected]) and Megan Carney ([email protected]) by March 15th.

2018 AAA Annual Meeting information:

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.

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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 papers: Migration and borders

Call for papers: Edited volume by the Committee on Refugees and Immigrants (CORI)

Porous Borders, Invisible Boundaries

The 21st century continues to see an explosion in all forms of migration due to socioeconomic, political, and security factors.  While this suggests that borders are easier to cross, the growing security industry and rising anti-immigrant sentiment in many countries suggests that border crossings remain fraught with difficulties and dangers.  Borders are increasingly becoming difficult to cross as new technology and policy increase surveillance and patrolling of state boundaries.  Migrants’ adjustment in their new homes continues to be challenged by nativists who create difficulties for those trying to establish a new life in host countries.  Nonetheless, many migrants are able to create sustainable communities and establish healthy ties with the vast majority of the population in their new home.  Migration will continue to be a topic that will occupy politicians, activists, and scholars for time to come.

The Society for Urban, National, Transnational/Global Anthropology (SUNTA) welcomes proposals for essays to be included in a 2018 edited Committee on Refugees and Immigrants (CORI) volume.  This volume will address the vulnerability and challenge of being a migrant in today’s world. We invite scholarship that explores the vicissitudes of contemporary migration vis-à-vis a diverse range of topics in various cultural and social settings.  We are interested in papers that address the plight of migrants, as well as the impact of migrants and migration on host countries. Topics could include the opening of grocery stores stocked with Turkish foods in Germany, support for DACA students in the United States, the rise of the UKIP in the United Kingdom, or pro-refugee resettlement programs in Australia and Canada.

If you are interested in participating, please submit an abstract of no more than 300 words for a text (2000-word) or photo (700-word plus up to 6 photos) essay to [email protected] by 19 March 2018.  Authors whose proposals are accepted should plan to submit completed essays, with a 100-word bio, by 1 June 2018.

For a sense of the format for text and photo essays, please refer to the 2017 CORI volume Maintaining Refuge: Anthropological Reflections in Uncertain Times at

Dr. Chima Michael Anyadike-Danes
SUNTA Webmaster

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