Cover of The Encrypted State by David Nugent
The Encrypted State
Delusion and Displacement in the Peruvian Andes
David Nugent


August 2019
320 pages.

Cloth ISBN: 9781503609037



What happens when a seemingly rational state becomes paranoid and delusional?The Encrypted State engages in a close analysis of political disorder to shed new light on the concept of political stability.The book focuses on a crisis of rule in mid-20th-century Peru, a period when officials believed they had lost the ability to govern and communicated in secret code to protect themselves from imaginary subversives.The Encrypted State engages the notion of sacropolitics—the politics of mass group sacrifice—to make sense of state delusion. Nugent interrogates the forces that variously enable or disable organized political subjection, and the role of state structures in this process. Investigating the role of everyday cultural practices and how affect and imagination structure political affairs, Nugent provides a greater understanding of the conditions of state formation, and failure.

About the author

David Nugent is Professor of Anthropology at Emory University. His previous books include Locating Capital in Time and Space (SUP, 2002) and Modernity at the Edge of Empire (SUP, 1997).