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Anthropology and Political Science
A Convergent Approach
Myron J. Aronoff and Jan Kubik
368 pages, 23 figures & tables, bibliog., index
ISBN 978-0-85745-725-7 $135.00/£99.00 Hb Published (November 2012)
ISBN 978-1-78238-669-8 $34.95/£27.95 Pb Published (November 2014)
eISBN 978-0-85745-726-4 eBook
Myron J. Aronoff
Recipient of the 2013 AIS-Israel Institute Lifetime Achievement Award
"Anthropology and Political Science does the important work of demonstrating fruitful openings in two fields of study. Political scientists have the most to gain by becoming aware of the historical specificity of their models, perhaps developing less American and ethnocentric perspectives that can index alternative futures. But anthropologists might also gain from political science approaches by being more precise and rigorous in their formulation of problems and use of concepts. Aronoff and Kubik do a real service by underscoring the importance of such dialogue." · Perspectives on Politics
“A person encountering the challenge of integrating anthropology and political science for the first time will find the book engaging and informative. It is a book that could profitably be used as an adjunct text in methods classes or theory classes in both anthropology and political science…[It] is a welcome addition to the conversation between these two disciplines.” · Political Science Quarterly
“Theoretically extremely rich…this book ranges over a wide expanse of topics and themes...the authors present an outstanding critical understanding of five different types of ethnography—traditional/positivistic, interpretivist, postmodern, global (multiple research sites) - and paraethnography…For all of its theoretical complexity, the payoff in navigating this outstanding book is well worth the effort.” · Israel Studies Review
“What a welcome book! Myron J. Aronoff and Jan Kubik, two erudite, widely read, and innovative scholars, have provided an insightful and much-needed map that charts the terrain linking politics and culture. This intervention into a long-standing conversation about the boundaries of the ‘political’ will stimulate students for years to come. “ · Ed Schatz, University of Toronto
What can anthropology and political science learn from each other? The authors argue that collaboration, particularly in the area of concepts and methodologies, is tremendously beneficial for both disciplines, though they also deal with some troubling aspects of the relationship. Focusing on the influence of anthropology on political science, the book examines the basic assumptions the practitioners of each discipline make about the nature of social and political reality, compares some of the key concepts each field employs, and provides an extensive review of the basic methods of research that “bridge” both disciplines: ethnography and case study. Through ethnography (participant observation), reliance on extended case studies, and the use of “anthropological” concepts and sensibilities, a greater understanding of some of the most challenging issues of the day can be gained. For example, political anthropology challenges the illusion of the “autonomy of the political” assumed by political science to characterize so-called modern societies. Several chapters include a cross-disciplinary analysis of key concepts and issues: political culture, political ritual, the politics of collective identity, democratization in divided societies, conflict resolution, civil society, and the politics of post-Communist transformations.
Myron J. Aronoff is Professor Emeritus of Political Science, Anthropology, and Jewish Studies at Rutgers University and Visiting Professor Emeritus of Political Science at the University of Michigan. He is the recipient of the 2013 AIS-Isreael Institute Lifetime Achievement Award.
Jan Kubik is Professor of Political Science at Rutgers University and the incoming Director of the School of Slavonic and East European Studies, University College London.
Subject: Theory & Methodology in Anthropology
List of Tables
List of Figures
Chapter 1. Introduction
Chapter 2. Methods: Ethnography and Case Study
Chapter 3. Beyond Political Culture
Chapter 4. Symbolic Dimensions of Politics: Political Ritual and Ceremonial
Chapter 5. The Politics of Collective Identity: Contested Israeli Nationalisms
Chapter 6. Democratization in Deeply Divided Societies: The Netherlands, India, and Israel
Chapter 7. Camp David Rashomon: Contested Interpretations of the Israel/Palestine Peace Process
Chapter 8. What Can Political Scientists Learn About Civil Society From Anthropologists?
Chapter 9. Homo Sovieticus and Vernacular Knowledge
Chapter 10. Conclusions
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