Participatory Local Development Planning in Ghana, 1996 - 2010
Implementing Environmental Protection: States, Private Interests, and Conservation in Brazil
Under what conditions are environmentally protected areas effectively implemented by subnational governments in Brazil? Despite their varying capacities to implement policies, subnational governments in developing countries such as Brazil have assumed greater responsibilities for environmental governance in recent decades. This leads to different rates of implementation in different regions of Brazil and elsewhere, and may reduce the effectiveness of conservation efforts. My study seeks to explain variation across states in Brazil in patterns of implementation of environmentally protected areas. Through a subnational comparative analysis of the adoption of management institutions and procedures to implement protected areas in six Brazilian states, I argue that the interactions between state agencies and non-state interest groups at subnational levels affect if and how these institutions are adopted, and the potential these institutions have to contribute to effective conservation of natural areas. To assess this argument, I will employ data published by the federal Ministry of the Environment and state agencies in Brazil, process tracing data from interviews with key actors and other observations, and original data that I will gather through a survey of protected area managers in all 26 Brazilian states. To carry out the necessary field work, I will live in Brasília from September, 2010, to September, 2011, and travel multiple times to the states of Amazonas, Bahia, Minas Gerais, Pará, Santa Catarina, and São Paulo. Completion of this study will be facilitated by my institutional affiliation with the University of Brasilia and contacts at regional universities.
Dengue Fever and Trash Collection in Brazil: Politics of Responsibility in Favelas of Rio de Janeiro
Dengue fever epidemics in Brazil are worsening, and are driven by entrenched poverty and political abandonment of the urban poor: inadequate trash removal in slums leads to environmental conditions conducive to dengue's spread. Unlike malaria, which is transmitted by mosquitoes that breed in rural freshwater, dengue is a disease of urban trash because its mosquitoes infest discarded bottles, cans and tires that accumulate in urban slums. An emerging dengue control strategy in Brazil promotes civil-state trash collection partnerships to remove container item refuse in poor neighborhoods. Although the poor are often held responsible for dengue in Brazil, and are criticized for resisting insecticide-spraying campaigns and home inspections that local inhabitants view as intrusive, innovative trash collection partnerships involve the urban poor in dengue control projects that structure new possibilities for public health citizenship. This ethnographic study will integrate theory and methods of public health and medical anthropology to investigate the politics of responsibility for dengue in Brazil within overlapping domains of public health and social activism. The study will answer the following three research questions. First, how does the intersection of structural factors and collective agency shape public health citizenship around dengue control in Brazil? Second, what are the cultural assumptions about the causes of dengue and where do they place responsibility for its eradication? Third, what is the relationship between socially marginal groups that participate in civil-state dengue trash collection programs, and groups that occupy existing power structures, such as state health authorities, NGOs, and international policy makers?.
The Consequences of Globalization for Regulatory Policy on Medical Devices: Bridging International and National Levels of Policy-making
Evildoers, Rebels, Anarchists: Armenian Revolutionary Parties and Violence in Oppositional Politics in the late Ottoman Empire
The last quarter of the nineteenth century was marked by the spread of the use of violent methods in oppositional politics throughout the globe. Concepts and ideological terminology made available by the global popularization of anarchism, socialism, and revolutions were adapted by social and political radicals within specific contexts. This dissertation seeks to study the practice of political violence by members of the two major Armenian revolutionary parties in the Ottoman Empire (the Hnchak Party and the Armenian Revolutionary Federation) between 1887 and 1908 within the context of a wider culture of individual and collective violence. The revolutionaries organized individual assassinations, bombings, and organized self-defense units in the countryside as a means to popularize their agenda, and engage with various audiences. Through extensive archival research in the Ottoman state archives in Turkey and the archives of the Foreign Office in the British National Archives, I intend to explore the logics and cultures of political violence as executed by its perpetrators, and as perceived and understood by its spectators. The identification and comparison of various practices of revolutionary violence in different settings as well as the intended and actual audiences of political violence constitutes one of the major goals of the project. The ideologies and practices of policing in Ottoman state institutions vis-a--vis the revolutionaries and Ottoman Armenians at large will also be examined as a constitutive part of the history of the Armenian revolutionary violence in this period. I hope to contribute to the debate on how political cultures and logics of violence are formed and reproduced by individuals and organizations that seek to represent such marginalized groups within society by focusing on an example from a period considered by many scholars as the formative years of modern political violence.
Peasant Political Culture, Indigenismo and State-Formation in the Southern Peruvian Andes
Traditional Peacebuilding in Nigeria: The Case of the Umuada (Daughters of the Community) in Igboland up to 2010
Traditional Peacebuilding in Nigeria: The Case of the Umuada (Daughters of the Community) in Igboland up to 2010
Echoes of Legal Pasts: Landed Property Relations in the Negev, 1858-1948
My dissertation research aims to explore the interplay of geography and law in a relational way in the Negev, now part of Israel, under two different regimes: the late Ottoman, since the enactment of the Ottoman Land Code (1858-1917), and the British Mandatory (1917-1948). Looking at both the social and the material dimensions of geography and law, this project examines the frequent reconfigurations of land relations in the Negev over the century preceding 1948 and how land rights were defined and reshaped within a unique legal order that evolved through the dynamic interaction of state law and tribal customary law. This dynamic relationship was influenced by fluctuating notions of modernization, sovereignty, authority, as well as ongoing capitalist development, all of which impacted the land regime and had significant social repercussions. Focusing on this region's Bedouin-Arab population, my project draws on Ottoman, British, and Israeli archives, personal papers and interviews, to explore the system and evolution of landed property relations, in the context of a broader analysis of state-society relationships. My dissertation will examine how the shifting understandings and categorizations of specific legal, spatial, and social realities by governmental and social actors (including courts, judges, regional governors, tax and land registry staff, inhabitants, and local leaders) shaped the geographic and legal order in the Negev. My project's focus on land relations in the Negev since 1858 provides an excellent angle from which to investigate the legal orders of imperial, colonial, and post colonial regimes in this particular region, and challenges the neat distinctions often drawn between each political order. Further, the research challenges scholarly tendency to treat the legal history of modern Palestine as if each regime brought with it an entirely distinct legal system.
The Politics of Labor and Environmental Regulation in Argentina: Constructing State-Society Relations for Effective Implementation
WOMEN, PEACE AND SECURITY: A STUDY OF AKAN QUEENMOTHERS AS INTERMEDIARIES IN CONFLICT RESOLUTION.
Phenomenology of Divination and Ethical Action in Karamoja
This study will examine relations between divinatory truths, action and morality among Karimojong, a pastoralist community in north-eastern Uganda. Karimojong highly value cattle and devote immense intellectual interest to them. They raid to increase their herds and use divination to determine the execution of raids. These often deadly raids have led state agents and NGOs to indict Karimojong as "amoral." Also, the 'unreasonableness' of their divinatory revelations and their seeming indifference to moral queries have induced earlier researchers to make comparable conclusions. However, divination and consequent actions are accompanied by a repertoire of poetry, body techniques and other aesthetic expressions. Through preliminary research over the previous year, I deduced that the difficulties of researchers in engaging Karimojong ethico-morals were due to their focus on discursive responses, the instrumentalities of raiding, and their assumption that "form and style [are] secondary" in understanding moral reasoning. I propose that a phenomenological account of aesthetic forms, perceptible in divination and other expressive practices, with particular focus on their connection to raiding, has the potential of contributing to a revision of previous understandings of Karimojong forms-of-life and should help illuminate their ethico-morals in a new way. The project will involve my immersion in concrete situations of performances and interpretations of divinations, processes of sacrifice, poetics of raids, dance, games, and the aesthetics of cattle with my Karimojong interlocutors. With this ethnography, I hope to account for how my interlocutors deliberate on what constitute a good life and truthful actions by attending to the "presentational" rather than "discursive" modes of justifying action.
Racialized Geographies of Violence: Drug Trafficking, Military Urbanism and Contested Sovereignties in two Latin American Cities
The Gender of Healing: Medicine in French Colonial Morocco, 1912-1956
The Curtailed View: Colonial Representation in South Korean Cinema
The Social Life of Water: The Limits of the Commodity and its Neoliberal State
Why is it so difficult to privatize water distribution in India? Through ethnographic research among two water poor communities in Mumbai India, this research will examine why public water works projects proliferate in India even as state policies profess a commitment to neoliberalism. When operationalized in postcolonial states that do not have a history of substantive citizen rights, the effects of neoliberal policies are as yet unknown. Ethnographic attention to how the poor access water in Mumbai complicates the distinctions of the public and private, long central to political economy. Through participant observation among the urban poor, institutional ethnography and archival study, this research seeks to understand the boundaries of citizenship and markets in the neoliberal state. First, by following how the poor access water, I hope to show how formal citizenship articulates with other kinds of political claims among the urban poor. Second, I am interested learning why water is difficult to commoditize when other basic needs (like food) are distributed through market mechanisms. What do these difficulties reveal about commodification itself? An attention to the social life of water could reveal new insights into the contingency of citizenship and the limits of neoliberal projects.
Politics After a Ceasefire: Becoming Tamil Subjects in Diaspora
My project explores how diasporic Sri Lankan Tamils create new modes of belonging and citizenship by engaging with a world of suffering “back home,” through public performances of solidarity with, grief for, and commemoration of, their relatives in Sri Lanka. Over a period of eighteen months, I will carry out ethnographic research among Tamils living in Toronto, Chennai (Madras) and Colombo to track how the circulation of Tamil political and cultural forms, and their embedding in these interconnected, national and urban sites, produces new citizen-subjects in diaspora. Even as Tamil political movements employ a globalizing rhetoric that seeks to transcend particular places, they are oriented and addressed to affective relations, national publics, and state power. My research engages with critical literatures inside and outside anthropology in South Asian studies, diaspora studies, citizenship, and public ritual, in order to trace the formation of new social and political subjects. I suggest that the study of these transnational political practices uniquely articulates 1) how political ritual, understood as a technology of social mediation, binds (and is bound by) subjects into new forms of public belonging and 2) the normative and pragmatic claims of diaspora and its ‘homelands’ in securing rights, obligations, and recognition within pluralist and multicultural states.
A Comparative Analysis of US and Japanese Regulation and Deregulation of the Telecommunications and Software Industries
The Micropolitics of Cultural Difference and Pluralism in Israel's Mental Health System
What can encounters between Israeli mental health care providers and patients tell us what it is like to live in a culturally and ethnoreligiously divided society, where the nature and implications of intercommunal differences are hotly contested? My research question approaches the problem of pluralism and coexistence by investigating the mental health treatment of patients from different cultural communities in Israel. Mental health settings are particularly privileged sites for such an inquiry because clinical encounters and narratives address multiple dimensions of difference, including race, nationality, religion, and ethnicity, in divergent and often contrasting ways. I aim to investigate the interplay between mental health care and pluralism from three distinct but interrelated angles: clinical encounters themselves; clinical narratives; and cultural competence training. In order to explore how differences along the main lines of division – between Israeli Jews and Israeli Arabs, and between secular and religious Jews – may be reinforced, challenged, and temporarily transcended, I will combine participant-observation with semi-structured interviews, discourse analysis, and narrative analysis at five clinical and training sites in Israel. The data will be analyzed to elucidate how clinical knowledge and practice relating to cultural difference both reflect and are produced by conflicts in a heterogeneous society where the meanings of pluralism and tolerance are widely debated. At a larger level, my study can enrich anthropological and social theory by showing how the examination of the multiple lines of difference drawn, contested, and occasionally transcended during clinical encounters can inform our knowledge of the negotiation and perpetuation of difference in the larger sociopolitical arena in which they are embedded.
Life during Wartime: Migrant Labor, Colonialism, and Revolution in Egypt, 1914-1919
The proposed project is a social history of the Egyptian Labor Corps (ELC) and Camel Transport Corps (CTC). These groups of migrant laborers from rural Egypt were organized and attached to allied troops during the First World War, working alongside other so-called "native laborers" from around the world to provide logistical and manpower support for troops in France, Italy, Palestine, and Mesopotamia. My project reconstructs the networks that recruited these laborers from the Egyptian countryside, transported them to the front, sustained them in their service, and returned them home. Finally, It investigates the links between the experience of migrant labor and the forms of nationalist politics in the countryside during the 1919 Egyptian Revolution. Following Charles Tilly's influential conception of how repertoires of contentious politics changed gradually through social interaction in France and Great Britain, my project investigates the transnational relationships forged among migrant laborers--and between laborers, national elites, and the colonial authorities--in order to tease out how these new relationships expanded repertoires of contentious politics for Egyptian peasants and provided the historical context for the establishment of Egyptian nationalism in the countryside. This provides an important case study to test how transnational migration networks more generally entail possibilities for the establishment of novel forms of politics, while providing the first full-length study of the contributions of non-elite Egyptians to the war effort.
Celebrity, Violence, and the Mystic Arts in Postwar Sierra Leone
This cross-disciplinary study explores and critiques the tactics of cultural entrepreneurs appropriating militaristic mystic arts for the cultural and spiritual reconstruction of post-conflict Sierra Leone. The 1991-2002 civil war brought a decade of chaos that challenged many vital local spiritual practices, whether through desecration of sacred space, criminal acts perpetrated in the name of secret societies, or fatalities of ritually protected combatants. Hassan Jalloh, former military commander and devout Muslim, has emerged as an unlikely champion of religious and cultural heritage by rehabilitating his troops as performers of mystic arts. Channeling fame won in war, Jalloh now commands audiences through spectacles that blend messages of peace with both the titillation and the trauma of past violence. Using ethnography, critical videography, and archival research, this project illuminates how these performances mediate local religious practice, international war crimes law, a burgeoning media infrastructure, and the country’s painful memories.
Domesticating the Médersa: Muslim Mediators, Education, and Law in French Colonial Northwest Africa, 1850-1960
I examine the French colonial médersa as a "domesticated" institution. French colonizers in Algeria and, later, in French West Africa adapted the older Islamic educational institution of the madrasa as a way to train Muslim intermediaries. These mediators were employed in many ways upon graduating from the French médersas, but their training was particularly focused on the pluralist colonial legal system. By centering on the process of "domestication," my dissertation seeks to illuminate the processes behind the development of colonial theory and practice by examining the relationships between colonized Muslims and colonizing Europeans in northwest Africa. I situate the médersas at the center of three interrelated themes. First, I examine the "juridico-religious" curriculum of the médersas in relation to France's "civilizing mission" that emphasized education to mold republican subjects. Second, I examine the médersas' students as colonial intermediaries whose privileged educations empowered them to act in ways other colonized people could not. This question relates to the large literature on legal pluralism, revealing ways in which colonized people used legal institutions to their advantage. Third, I examine the inter-colonial circulation of the médersa as an institution and of its students. A "Saharan divide" characterizes current understandings of northwest Africa, despite evidence of longstanding cultural, religious, and economic connections among peoples of this region. What impact did the trans-Saharan institution of the French médersa, which fostered multidirectional movements across the desert, have on northwest African connections during the colonial period? Using oral and archival sources in northwest Africa and Europe, I examine the extent to which the French médersa was "domesticated." In so doing, I highlight the impact of Islamic education and law in colonial northwest Africa, and the roles of Muslim intermediaries in shaping the colonial system.
In-Visible Colonies: Modern Architecture and Its Representation in Colonial Eritrea, 1897-1941
Environmentalists with Guns: Conservation and Counterinsurgency in the Petén, Guatemala, 1960-1996
My dissertation examines the development of environmental conservation in northern Guatemala as a strategy of counterinsurgency during its long civil war, which lasted from 1960 to 1996. The research on which it is based unfolds across three levels of analysis: the institution of the army, which directly governed the region and established conservation policies with enduring legacies; the discourses of conservation and development generated by the army, environmental NGOs, and development agencies; and the practices of conservation on the ground as enacted by actual people in their daily lives as subjects to and enforcers of environmental law. The counterinsurgency priorities that guided conservation policy in northern Guatemala during the civil war weighed heavily on the postwar legacy of environmental protection and the demands for justice that came out of the Peace Accords in 1996, yet debates about conservation in Guatemala regularly ignore this violent past. Grafting together the methods of political ecology with those of social, cultural, and institutional history, I attempt to show how the conservation landscapes of northern Guatemala are both the product of a bloody counterinsurgent war and the continuation of it by other means. My evidence is drawn from national, municipal, and private documentary sources, as well as oral testimony, collected from sites in Guatemala, Mexico, and the United States. The implications for this project speak to both academic and policy debates on conservation in the underdeveloped world, challenging scholars and practitioners to grasp the social problems at the heart of conservation.