Rebecca Bryant and Madeleine Reeves (eds.), The Everyday Lives of Sovereignty: Political Imagination beyond the State – Cornell University Press, June 2021

Rebecca Bryant and Madeleine Reeves (eds.), The Everyday Lives of Sovereignty: Political Imagination beyond the State – Cornell University Press, June 2021

Around the world, border walls and nationalisms are on the rise as people express the desire to “take back” sovereignty. The contributors to this collection use ethnographic research in disputed and exceptional places to study sovereignty claims from the ground up. While it might immediately seem that citizens desire a stronger state, the cases of compromised, contested, or failed sovereignty in this volume point instead to political imaginations beyond the state form. Examples from Spain to Afghanistan and from Western Sahara to Taiwan show how calls to take back control or to bring back order are best understood as longings for sovereign agency. By paying close ethnographic attention to these desires and their consequences, The Everyday Lives of Sovereigntyoffers a new way to understand why these yearnings have such profound political resonance in a globally interconnected world. 

Contributors: Panos Achniotis, Jens Bartelson, Joyce Dalsheim, Dace Dzenovska, Sara L. Friedman, Azra Hromadžić, Louisa Lombard, Alice Wilson, and Torunn Wimpelmann.

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