Universität Wien

240532 SE Anthropologies of Neoliberal State Transformations (P4) (2016S)

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. 30 participants
Language: English


Classes (iCal) - next class is marked with N

ATTENTION: changed time!

Monday 30.05. 09:45 - 11:15 Seminarraum A, NIG 4. Stock
Wednesday 01.06. 09:45 - 13:00 Seminarraum A, NIG 4. Stock
Thursday 02.06. 09:45 - 11:15 Seminarraum A, NIG 4. Stock


Aims, contents and method of the course

This short seminar examines key approaches in the anthropological study of neoliberal state transformations in view of the students’ own thesis projects. This involves not only an interrogation of changing principles of governance of national states, but also of new governmental arrangements in which these are increasingly enmeshed such as of the role of supranational integration, international institutions, or so-called non-governmental organizations. The seminar discusses different ways of conceptualizing and studying such neoliberal state transformations and the political processes that undergird them. The seminar is intended for students whose work either focuses on the study of the state or involves questions of state policy or politics even though the main focus lies somewhere else.

Aims: Upon completion of the seminar, students
- are aware of the theoretical and methodological implications of different approaches to neoliberal state transformations
- have an understanding of the theoretical and methodological approaches suitable for addressing the questions that inform their own thesis research

Assessment and permitted materials

- attendance and participation in class activities and discussions (20%)
- participation in group work and submission of individual notes (in English or German) on group work discussions (30%)
- final essay of 1500-2000 words (in English or German) that reflects on the student’s research interest through an approach discussed in the seminar (50%) Deadline June 24, 2016.

Minimum requirements and assessment criteria

Examination topics

Reading list

Chalfin, Brenda. 2008. Sovereigns and Citizens in Close Encounter: Airport Anthropology and Customs Regimes in Neoliberal Ghana. American Ethnologist 35 (4): 51938.

Feldman, Gregory. 2011. Illuminating the Apparatus: Steps Toward a Nonlocal Ethnography of Global Governance. In Policy Worlds: Anthropology and the Analysis of Contemporary Power, edited by Cris Shore, Susan Wright, and Davide Pero, 3249. New York: Berghahn.

Ferguson, James, and Akhil Gupta. 2002. Spatializing States: Toward an Ethnography of Neoliberal Governmentality. American Ethnologist 29 (4): 9811002.

Hilgers, Mathieu. 2012. The Historicity of the Neoliberal State. Social Anthropology 20 (1): 8094.

Kalb, Don. 2012.Thinking about Neoliberalism As If the Crisis Was Actually Happening. Social Anthropology 20 (3): 31830.

Ong, Aihwa. 2006. Neoliberalism as Exception: Mutations in Citizenship and Sovereignty. Durham: Duke University Press.

Roitman, Janet. 2004. Power Is Not Sovereign: The Pluralisation of Economic Regulatory Authority in the Chad Basin. In Privatising the State, edited by Béatrice Hibou. London: Hurst & Company.

Sharma, Aradhana. 2008. Logics of Empowerment: Development, Gender, and Governance in Neoliberal India. Minneapolis: University of Michigan Press.

Trouillot, Michel-Rolph. 2001. The Anthropology of the State in the Age of Globalization. Current Anthropology 42 (1): 12538.

Association in the course directory

Last modified: Mo 07.09.2020 15:40