These are the latest publications of our staff members.
Zooming in on commercial surrogacy in Russia and Ukraine, Intimate Strangers addresses market expansion into the intimate spheres of life that play out on women's bodies as mothers and workers.Veronika Siegl follows the inner workings of a surrogacy market marked by secrecy, distrust, and anonymous business relationships. She explores intended mothers' anxious struggles for a child in light of stigmatized infertility and the aggressive biopolitics of motherhood; the uncertain but pragmatic pathways in and out of fertility clinics as surrogates navigate harsh economic realities and resist being objectified or morally judged; and the powerful role of agents and doctors who have found a profitable niche in nurturing and facilitating other people's existential hopes. Intimate Strangers discusses these issues against the backdrop of ultra-conservatism and moral governance in Russia, the rising international popularity of the Ukrainian surrogacy market, and the pervasiveness of neo-liberal ideologies and individualized notions of reproductive freedom.
Nothilfelager sind Orte innerstaatlicher Grenzziehungen im europäischen Grenzregime. Sie schließen abgewiesene Geflüchtete ein und damit aus der Gesellschaft aus. Simone Marti analysiert in einer ethnografischen Studie die herrschende »politische Rationalität« von Migrationsbehörden bei der Etablierung und Legitimierung des Nothilfe-Regimes. Im Fokus stehen dabei die Nothilfelager, die sie als totale Institutionen beschreibt. Zentral sind zudem die Bewältigungsstrategien abgewiesener Geflüchteter gegen die Demütigungen und Entwürdigungen, die der institutionellen Logik der Nothilfelager innewohnen.
As the first in the Book Series, Routledge Studies in Anthropology and Museums, Material Culture in Transit Theory and Practice
constellates curators and scholars actively working with material culture within academic and museal institutions through theory and practice. The rich collection of essays critically addresses the multivalent ways in which mobility reshapes the characteristics of artefacts, specifically under prevailing issues of representation and colonial liabilities. The volume attests to material culture as central to understanding the repercussions of problematic histories and proposes novel ways to address them. It offers valuable reading for scholars of anthropology, museum studies, history and others with interest in material culture.
Die Dissertation von Gilles Aubry «Sonic Pluralism. An Artistic Research on Postcolonial Aurality, Embodiment, and Ecological Voices in Morocco” (betreut von Prof. Dr. Michaela Schäuble) ist in Buchform mit dem Titel Sawt, Bodies, Species. Sonic Pluralism in Morocco (open access) erschienen
London: Routledge,Taylor & Francis. Kronenburg Garcia, A. K., Haller, T., van Dijk, H., Samimi, C., & Warner, J. (Eds.). (2022).
This open access edited volume is the result of the EU COST Action Drylands Facing Change that involved Tobias Haller as work package leader. It examines the changes that arise from the entanglement of global interests and narratives with the local struggles that have always existed in the drylands of Africa, the Middle East, and Central Asia/Inner Asia.The chapters discuss global land rush and commons grabbing, historical expansion of northern neoliberal orders, urbanization, the COVID-19 pandemic, and the spread of violent extremism.
This book introduces the emerging, but still little-known, phenomenon of Nollywood-inspired filmmaking by African migrants in Europe. Using the unique example of a performance ethnographic case study in Switzerland, it shows how members of the African diaspora represent themselves through audio-visual media and what influence the post-colonial images of the Nigerian video film industry have on their image production.
Based on ethnographic research after the 2005 earthquake in Pakistan-controlled Azad Kashmir, this article uses ‘disaster citizenship’ as a conceptual lens focusing on how people renegotiated their relationships with the state in the context of political interventions for reconstruction.
is available with 20% off until 1 May, 2022.
The universalist ambition of the 17 Sustainable Development Goal (SDGs) and 169 targets as a global plan of action for people, planet, prosperity and peacebuilding deserves analytical scrutiny from multiple angles. While the SDGs are largely heralded as a paradigm shift compared to their predecessor Millennial Development Goals (MDGs), we argue that four fundamental dynamics undermine or severely hamper SDGs as a game changer to address the deep-running sustainability challenges facing the planet.
Balancing the Commons in Switzerland outlines continuity and change in the management of common-pool resources such as pastures and forests in Switzerland.
The book focuses on the differences and similarities between local institutions (rules and regulations) and forms of commoners’ organisations (corporations of citizens and corporations) which have managed common property for several centuries and have shaped the cultural landscapes of Switzerland. At the core of the book are five case studies from the German, French and Italian speaking regions of Switzerland. Beginning in the Late Middle Ages and focusing on the transformative periods in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, it traces the internal and external political, economic and societal changes and examines what impact these changes had on commoners. It goes beyond the work of Robert Netting and Elinor Ostrom, who discussed Swiss commons as a unique case of robustness, by analysing how local commoners reacted to, but also shaped, changes by adapting and transforming common property institutions. Thus, the volume highlights how institutional changes in the management of the commons at the local level are embedded in the public policies of the respective cantons, and the state, which generates a high heterogeneity and an actual laboratory situation. It shows the power relations and very different routes that local collective organisations and their members have followed in order to cope with the loss of value of the commons and the increased workload for maintaining common property management. Providing insightful case studies of commons management, this volume delivers theoretical contributions and lessons to be learned for the commons worldwide.
This book will be of great interest to students and scholars of the commons, natural resource management and agricultural development.
Amidst ongoing wars and insecurities, female fighters, politicians and activists of the Kurdish Freedom Movement are building a new political system that centres gender equality. Since the Rojava Revolution, the international focus has been especially on female fighters, a gaze that has often been essentialising and objectifying, brushing over a much more complex history of violence and resistance. Going beyond Orientalist tropes of the female freedom fighter, and the movement's own narrative of the 'free woman', Isabel Käser looks at personal trajectories and everyday processes of becoming a militant in this movement. Based on in-depth ethnographic research in Turkey and Iraqi Kurdistan, with women politicians, martyr mothers and female fighters, she looks at how norms around gender and sexuality have been rewritten and how new meanings and practices have been assigned to women in the quest for Kurdish self-determination. Her book complicates prevailing notions of gender and war and creates a more nuanced understanding of the everyday embodied epistemologies of violence, conflict and resistance.
This paper engages with the violent conditions deriving from neoliberal trends in European migration and asylum governance. Anna Wyss and Carolin Fischer explore how continuous precarity, in conjunction with an integration imperative, affects the lives of recently arrived Afghan refugees in Germany and Switzerland.
herausgegeben von Thomas Gartmann und Michaela Schäuble. U.a. mit einem Aufsatz von Prof. Heinzpeter Znoj. Open Access!
Development actors in West Africa have been promoting agroecological farming but there is a lack of empirical evidence regarding the actual implementation of such programs and their potential to empower smallholders, especially in the West African region. Informed by decolonial political ecologies, the analysis that instead of fostering the emancipation of smallholders, development actors promote a labor-intensive and unprofitable way of farming that exploits local resources for the sake of green agendas and white markets.
- Merten, S., & Haller, T. (2023). Interwoven Landscapes: Gender and Land in the Kafue Flats, Zambia. Land, 12(9), 1657.
This paper examines changes in formal and informal access rules for common-pool resources (CPRs) for women in the Kafue Flats of southern Zambia and examine how women’s pre-colonial access rights were increasingly disregarded in the wake of new statutory laws. The findings show that women’s customary access rights to land and CPRs must be taken into account in the drafting of formal legislation, as suggested by successful examples of bottom-up institution building in other regions.
Participatory guarantee systems (PGS) are often implemented in the realm of labour-intensive agro-ecological farming, but empirical evidence about their labour implications remains sparse. Drawing on feminist reproduction theory and feminist political ecology, anthropological fieldwork about a PGS in Senegal suggests that the elaboration of the PGS was an elite-driven process. It did not take into account local realities informed by occupational multiplicity and reproductive responsibilities and complicates distributional outcomes on the grounds of class and gender.
- Marfurt, F., Haller, T., & Bottazzi, P. (2023). Participatory guarantee systems in Senegal: shifting labour dynamics in agroecology. The Journal of Peasant Studies, 1-23.
Michaela. Schäuble. 2023. “Afronauts: visions of extra-terrestrial colonization”, Alive. More than human worlds, edited by Ursula Regehr and Rosine Vuille. Museum der Kulturen
Basel. Hatje Cantz Verlag , pp. 165-168.
Special Issue: In/civility in peace and conflict
co-edited by Pascale Schild and Martina Santschi
In: Borders of desire. Gender and sexuality at the Eastern borders of Europe, edited by Elissa Helms and Tuija Pulkkinen, Manchester University Press 2023
Im Rahmen unseres SNF Projektes haben wir in Zusammenarbeit mit humanrights.ch (eine NGO mit Sitz in Bern) einen Bericht zu zivilem Ungehorsam und Klimaprozessen in der Schweiz veröffentlicht.
Drawing on ethnographic research among peace workers and their local partners, this article traces the politics of civil society peacebuilding for Kashmir at a time when both state violence in Kashmir and local and transnational resistance and activism for Kashmiris’ right to political self-determination have intensified. It uses ‘civility’ as an analytical lens focusing on the ambivalence of claims about taking a restrained and ‘non-political’ stance in the violent conflicts over territorial sovereignty in Kashmir. While ‘non-political’ peacebuilding brings people together across social and political divides and makes it possible to imagine alternatives for Kashmir’s future beyond territorial sovereignty, it is also deeply entrenched in conflictual processes of exclusion. The claims to civility draw moral and political boundaries that incite violence and radical disagreement among people and groups – as civil society and political activists or militants.
Revisiting Ratzelian and other fin de siècle theorizations of Lebensraum, Jevgeniy Bluwstein, Connor Cavanagh and Rob Fletcher show how contemporary efforts to reformulate conservation governance at the planetary scale risk amounting to a what they call “conservation Lebensraum”, or a globally-significant “struggle for conservation space”.
Analysing the implications of conservation Lebensraum through a conceptual framework at the intersection of conservation biopolitics, geopolitics, and ontopolitics, the article highlights how global biodiversity conservation initiatives seek to respond to multiple socio-ecological crises in the so-called Anthropocene.
This paper comparatively analyses three case studies in Mali, Senegal and Tanzania regarding institutions for forest commons, their grabbing during colonial and post-colonial times and local reactions. It shows how local new bottom-up institutions were build and how integrating gender and marginal groups dimensions could work in the constitutionality framework. In the cases of Mali and Senegal these constitutionality processes for managing the forest resources reduced conflicts, while in Tanzania, women had largely been left out in land deal negotiations and institution-building about the acquired land. The paper fills the gap on gender and intersectionality in constitutionality studies.
SAGW Bulletin 3/22: Geld: seine Werte, seine Wandlungen
Strasser, S. (2022). Ambivalences of Un/Deservingness: Tracing Vulnerability in the EU Border Regime. In J. Tošić & A. Streinzer (Eds.), Deservingness – Reassessing the Moral Dimensions of Inequality (Vol. 45, pp. 251-277). New York, Oxford: Berghahn.
"Knowing Women: Same-sex Intimacy, Gender, and Identity in Postcolonial Ghana" (Cambridge UP, 2021) is a study of same-sex desire in West Africa, which explores the lives and friendships of working-class women in southern Ghana who are intimately involved with each other. Based on in-depth research of the life histories of women in the region, Serena O. Dankwa highlights the vibrancy of everyday same-sex intimacies that have not been captured in a globally pervasive language of sexual identity.
Podcast with Pascale Schild and Sandhya Fuchs, moderated by Ian M. Cook
Kim Kessler studied at our Institute from 2011 - 2015 and wrote his Bachelor's thesis on the history of anthropology at the University of the South Pacific during an exchange year in Fiji. It explores the paradox that the Pacific Island region has great significance for anthropology through research works by Margaret Mead, Raymond Firth and Derek Freeman, among others, but at the same time the discipline of anthropology has a niche existence in this region. After completing his Master's degree at the University of the South Pacific, Kim developed his Bachelor's thesis into a publication. He is now a PhD student at the University of Otago, NZ.