The places and limitations of politics

Researchers in this area consider politics in a broad sense. They analyse representations, practices and organizational devices in very different political contexts.

Starting from case studies, they specifically analyse the modes of distribution of material and immaterial resources envisaged as an attribute of power. These processes are embedded in various territories. The researchers at the Centre Norbert Elias thus approach phenomena observable at the state level (urban areas and rural areas, for example) or at the sub-state level, sometimes from a diachronic perspective (industrialization / deindustrialization). Others approach sites one can describe as more or less institutionalized at other scales (Empires, international assemblies, federation of states, transnational NGOs, exhibition fairs and global trade fairs). In this regard, the research focuses on the conditions of the displacement of politics and the creation of areas of autonomy (protected areas, indigenous territories). It pays particular attention to mobilizations for the control of resources, and to challenges and/or resistance to institutionalized political orders. This research thus feeds in to important thinking on the notion of sovereignty. In this context, some researchers study the various ways of belonging to the different political communities studied, whether they are assigned or actively embraced.

This theme also examines forms of governmentality, whether in early modern or modern times, focusing on grasping the genesis of political mechanisms and their configuration from a comparative perspective. Among the researchers, some are particularly interested in national bureaucracies or the organization and political life of states, with a focus on analysing issues related to croynyism or corruption.

Finally, a series of research projects explores the way in which family, culture, health, the protection of the environment, the production of agricultural goods and the exploitation of natural resources are constituted into political issues by state and non-state actors. Governance arrangements are examined here in the context of different historical periods so as to pose the question of the definition and interactions between the private and public spheres.

Research programmes
ANR VIPOMAR (2014-2018)
ANR POCK 2 (2014-2018)

Seminars and study sessions
La mine, une affaire d’État
Anthropologie des économies : valeurs, pratiques, pouvoirs
Les jeux d’échelle du politique
Les dilemmes de la citoyenneté coloniale et postcoloniale
Économie et histoire. Questions en partage
Marché / Marchés. Approches interdisciplinaires des économies
La vie politique des marchandises : ethnographies des circulations transnationales