ASAP’s three panels at the IUAES Inter-Congress in Dubrovnik next May 4 – 9 have been formally accepted. We have a variety of papers in all three panels, but can accommodate a few more. (The IUAES format is a bit more elastic than the AAA.) So if you are interested in any of the three, you can submit a paper on the IUAES site and choose the panel title from the site’s drop down menu of “paper topic.” You may also want to contact the session organizers directly for more information.
Full conference information and paper submission procedures are at: http://iuaes2016.com
Translating Policy in the Semi-Periphery: Cases, Comparisons, and Concepts: There is still a lack of critical work on how policies are written, translated,and performed in the semi-periphery, particularly in Southeastern Europe. The concept of the ‘semi-periphery’ taken from Blagojević (2009), addresses how some regions may become enrolled in a paradox of ‘too much’ and ‘too little’ social change, modernising in perverse conditions, constructed as a ‘semi-Other’ in relation to an imagined ‘West’. Understanding policy as a form of translation and as an assemblage of elements located in unequal power positions (cf. Clarke et al, 2015), is central to a new anthropology of policy. A translation lens includes much more than a study of words and their meanings across space, time and languages, focusing on both the emotional and performative aspects of policy. The panel explores to what extent the everyday life of policy, as it moves, may be qualitatively different in the ‘semi-periphery’ compared to other spaces. Contacts: Paul Stubbs at [email protected] and [email protected]
Universities and the Knowledge Economy: Perspectives from the Anthropology of Policy. The reorganization of universities in the global knowledge economy has been premised on an assemblage of neoliberal ideas and practices that seek to transform universities into autonomous, entrepreneurial ‘knowledge organizations’ by promoting competition, opening up the public sector to private investors, steering educational services so that they contribute more to economic competitiveness, and encouraging individuals to maximize their skills in the global labour market. Under increasing pressure to pursue ‘excellence’, gain higher world rankings, forge links with business, and attract elite, fee-paying students, many universities are struggling to maintain their traditional mission to be ‘inclusive’, to improve social mobility and equality, and to be a critic of society and a source of alternative ideas. This panel examines the effects of these processes and the way universities are engaging with these dilemmas. It looks for ‘spaces of hope’ for developing alternative ideas for organising higher education and academic work. Contacts: Cris Shore at [email protected] and Susan Wright at [email protected]
Cross-Regional Comparison of Migration/Displacement Policy Regimes: East Asia, Europe, and North America. This panel initiates a cross-regional analysis of policies related to international migration and internal displacement in East Asia, Europe, and North America. All three regions share a concern about low wage foreign workers, an often strident defense of national borders, and increasingly equivocal views of the values of newcomers. In all three regions there is also concern with internal rural to urban migration as well as displacement due to land acquisition by the state or corporations for factories, development or infrastructure projects, which blurs the boundaries between “forced/involuntary” and “voluntary” movement. Issues of control of borders and populations as well as of resettlement and rehabilitation are thus central to policy-making and policy implementation. Whereas the nation-state is the main policy actor with respect to migration regimes, displacement and resettlement policies also involve international donors and financial institutions. The role of non-state actors in the policy process remains under-researched. All regions are also involved in lowering the barriers to movement for some mobile groups, whether “highly qualified” professional workers, students, or tourists. The regions’ overlapping interests and disinterests thus provide a useful comparative framework through which to consider how an anthropology of policy can make sense of the multiplicity of actors and mechanisms that channel and constrain mobility, and the way the meanings of borders and boundaries, institutions and mechanisms vary among different kinds of migrants or displaced persons and communities, at different times, and in different places. Contacts: David Haines at [email protected] and Shalini Randeria at [email protected]