Anthropology of Policy

Cris Shore, Susan Wright, series editor
Michelle Lipinski, SUP editor

This series explores policy through anthropological methodologies to better understand how policies work as instruments of political intervention and social change. What new kinds of actors, subjects, and social spaces do policies create, and how are they used to manage populations? Can policy analysis shed light on wider transformations of governance and power? How can ethnography capture critical dimensions of policymaking, and the cultural worlds of policymakers themselves?

These are among the central questions that this series addresses. The Anthropology of Policy series develops a new agenda for anthropology by promoting innovative methodological and theoretical approaches to the study of policy. The series explores policy as an anthropological phenomenon in its sharpest sense: from the way policies are conceptualized and performed and the roles they play in mobilizing actors and institutions and transforming political systems, to the methodological challenges their study poses for anthropology itself.

Books in the series examine comparative and global issues in connection with local and regional processes. They also address themes of wider public debate, from neoliberalism, resource management, welfare reform, and poverty reduction measures, to militarism, global security, the international financial crisis, and the shifting valences of power.

Coming from an anthropological perspective, this series challenges the assumption that policy is a top-down, linear and rational process, and a field of study primarily for policy professionals. It analyses the contradictory nature and effects of policy, including the complex ways in which people engage with policy and the meanings it holds for different local, regional, national, and internationally-based actors. In doing so, the series will advance anthropological understanding of contemporary political issues of policy itself as a site of contestation and negotiation.

Editorial Board: Donald Brenneis, Janine Wedel, Dvora Yanow