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240521 SE Anthropology of Policy (P4) (2018W)

Continuous assessment of course work

Participation at first session is obligatory!


Note: The time of your registration within the registration period has no effect on the allocation of places (no first come, first served).


max. 25 participants
Language: English


Classes (iCal) - next class is marked with N

ATTENTION: changed dates!

Friday 05.10. 13:15 - 14:45 Hörsaal C, NIG 4. Stock
Monday 21.01. 12:00 - 17:00 Hörsaal A, NIG 4.Stock
Wednesday 23.01. 08:00 - 10:00 Übungsraum (A414) NIG 4. Stock
Wednesday 23.01. 15:00 - 18:00 Hörsaal A, NIG 4.Stock
Tuesday 29.01. 12:00 - 16:00 Übungsraum (A414) NIG 4. Stock
Thursday 31.01. 12:00 - 16:00 Hörsaal A, NIG 4.Stock


Aims, contents and method of the course

Description: This course aims to address the emergence and the development of anthropology of policy as a field of study and its theoretical and methodological challenges to anthropology as a discipline. It focuses on how policies ‘work’ as instruments of power, how polices constitute their publics, create different categories of people, mediate and shape the subjectivities of these new categories of people and they govern them; how policies are re-worked as they move: why it is important to focus on practices of policies. Exploring the relationship between policies, power, governmentality policies will be central to the course.
Structure: Seminars will begin with a short lecture by the instructor and will be followed by a presentation/introduction of that week’s topic, in which student(s) responsible for that week will present the readings structured by critical comments and questions (depending on the number of students registered to the course). This introduction will be followed by a discussion. For each session there will be two or three key (required) texts. Those preparing the introduction of the topic could also include the optional (suggested) readings into their presentation, in addition to the key texts. It is inevitable to prepare in advance for the seminars, as there is a strong emphasis on class participation

Learning Outcomes: At the end of the course, the students are expected to: Have an understanding of the emergence of studying policies as a field in anthropology, its development and different perspectives on critical policy studies; understand how policies travel and their transformations; the connections between policies, power and governmentality; and the methodological challenges anthropology of policy poses for ethnographic research.

Assessment and permitted materials

Minimum requirements and assessment criteria

Course requirements and grading: Each student will be assessed through a combination of seminar contribution, oral presentation, and written work (again this scheme depends on the number of students registered to this course).

Oral presentation (40%) There are two components of oral presentations. A) Students are expected to introduce one of the seminars. The written introduction (max. 4 pages double space) is due two days before the class. This assignment should ideally include a succinct summary of the main thesis of the text as well as critical comments and questions about the readings (20%). B) Each student (or group of students depending on the size of the class) will chose and work on an anthropological analysis of a policy in the area of refugees or migrants and present the preliminary findings in class. This exercise will establish the core of the term paper (20%).

Term paper (60%) Approximately 4000 words paper is due by the end of the term. This term paper will be based on the particular policy student have chosen to study in relation to refugees and migrants.

Examination topics

Reading list

Below texts will establish the core of the readings of the course?
Shore, C. and S. Wright (1997) Anthropology of Policy: Perspectives on Governance and Power?
Shore, Chris and Susan Wright, and Davide Però (eds.) (2011) Policy WorldsPOLICY WORLDS
Anthropology and the Analysis of Contemporary Power.

Clarke John, Bainton David, Lendvai Noemi, and Stubbs Paul, Making policy move: Towards a politics of translation and assemblage. Policy Press: Bristol, UK, 2015

Kingfisher Catherine, A policy travelogue: Tracing welfare reform in Aotearoa/New Zealand and Canada. Berghahn Press: New York, USA and Oxford, UK, 2013

Blaustein Jarrett, Speaking truths to power: Policy ethnography and police reform in Bosnia and Herzegovina. Oxford University Press: Oxford, UK, 2015

Peck Jamie and Theodore Nik, Fast policy: Experimental statecraft at the thresholds of neoliberalism. University of Minnesota Press: Minneapolis, USA and London, UK, 2015

Janine R. Wedel, Cris Shore, Gregory Feldman, (2005) 'Toward an Anthropology of Public Policy' Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science, Vol. 600,

Association in the course directory

Last modified: Mo 07.09.2020 15:40