On May 7, 2:00-4:00 p.m., the Centre Norbert Elias, in collaboration with the Maison Méditerranéenne des Sciences de l’Homme, welcomes the anthropologist Anouk de Koning, professor at the University of Amsterdam, who will give a talk about the psychic life of the social state, in discussion with Polina Palash (TELEMMe).

Anouk de Koning

Welfare states embody a number of constitutive contradictions. They join notions of social rights with biopolitical concerns; they are there to help but also monitor and control. All citizens and residents are treated equally, irrespective of background, but some groups are seen as more in need, more problematic and more risky. Welfare states promise decent lives for all but are bound by the parameters of capitalist relations, for which they function as a safety net. These contradictions shape the everyday lives of welfare state institutions, such as Amsterdam’s Parent and Child Teams. Drawing on my research with these Teams, I demonstrate how these contradictions translate into organisational dynamics akin to a psychic life, replete with fantasies and desires, as well as haunting disavowals.

As of June 2024, Anouk de Koning is professor of Power, Politics and the State in the Anthropology Department of the University of Amsterdam. She leads two large research projects that explore the new socio-political worlds brought into being in welfare experiments in Europe.


Contact : Melissa Blanchard – melissa.BLANCHARD@univ-amu.fr
Lieu : Marseille, La Vieille Charité, 3e étage, salle de réunion de la FÉE (MMSH).
Sans inscription.