Cosmopolitan Imperialism: Obama Does Anthropology in Laos?

“Obama, the cerebral son of an anthropologist”—this is how the Associated Press touted soon to be ex-president Barack Obama on his visit to Laos this week. The AP went even further, declaring Obama’s approach “soft diplomacy”. One has to wonder where all of the “soft diplomacy” was in the seven brutal wars simultaneously fought by […]

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New Release: INDIGENOUS COSMOPOLITANS

Finally, after three years of work, my newest edited volume is out: Indigenous Cosmopolitans Transnational and Transcultural Indigeneity in the Twenty-First Century Reviewers’ comments: “Timely and original, this volume looks at indigenous peoples from the perspective of cosmopolitan theory and at cosmopolitanism from the perspective of the indigenous world. In doing so, it not only […]

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Japan’s 2008 Riots: Rendered invisible?

An Italian news crew, at times offering the kind of principled and socially engaged commentary I applauded earlier, produced a unique document of riots in Osaka, Japan, and they noted that no other journalists were present. The context was the G-8 meeting held there in June, and while we were made barely aware on this […]

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World Crisis, Theory Crisis

At some point in the not so distant past a qualitative change occurred in the perception of the social order, so that it was no longer seen mainly in terms of conflict over the production and distribution of ‘goods’. Rather, it is the production and distribution of ‘bads’ that has come into conflict with the […]

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What do anthropologists care about cosmopolitanism?

On the last day of the [ASA 2006] conference [on cosmopolitanism and anthropology], Keith Hart declared (perhaps a touch harshly), Anthropologists don’t care for cosmopolitanism. It’s just an excuse to come together. We’re not engaging in the world. We don’t talk about Iraq and Iran. Our detached discourse lacks wider relevance. As I have since […]

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Methodological Cosmopolitanism in Anthropology

methodological cosmopolitanism in anthropology, is likely to invigorate the anthropological research agenda for some time. Methodological cosmopolitanism has been used as a critique of methodological nationalism. In anthropology, methodological cosmopolitanism can be a critique of an immoral methodology that treats the other as a specimen, as well as of theoretical provincialism (American anthropologists only quoting […]

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Cosmopolitan Anthropology as Responsibility to the Other

A cosmopolitan research method and agenda would need to reckon with the primordial otherness of the humans we encounter either face-to-face or indirectly. Thereby, it would have to internalize methodologically the ethical constitution of any form of subjectivity. In this perspective, it is unethical to turn the other into an object of knowledge. This means […]

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Ethics and the Other

One way of reconciling [the] project of a cosmopolitan anthropology with an ontology that is mindful of the social nature of the self is to turn the universal figure of Everyone into a someone, in particular into someone else, that is, into an other. The other, who never really can be reduced to an alter […]

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