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Further Details on the Anthropology of Policy Series

General Editors
Cris Shore (University of Auckland, New Zealand)
Susan Wright (Aarhus University, Denmark)

Rationale for the Series
Over the past fifteen years anthropologists have become increasingly involved in the study of
policy and policy-related issues. These developments have been inspired by innovative
research directions within anthropology, including the opening up to ethnographic scrutiny of
new fieldwork sites such as government bureaucracies, the modern state and its apparatuses,
international organisations, global commodity supply chains, national elites, transnational
corporations and supranational institutions. Other disciplines associated with policy analysis
have also shown a growing interest in the uses of anthropological knowledge, concepts and
methods. As a result, the anthropology of policy has emerged as a major disciplinary and
multi-disciplinary field of research and scholarship.
The Anthropology of Policy series for Stanford University Press seeks to take advantage of
this growing interest and to give shape and direction to what is currently one of the fastest-
growing and most exciting developments in the discipline. The series aims to examine all
aspects of the work of policy as a socio-cultural and historical phenomenon: the concept of
policy and its role as a mobilising metaphor and instrument of government; the inner worlds
of the policy-makers themselves; and the effects of policies on specific groups and
populations including the ways in which people respond to (or react against) particular
policy regimes and the new kinds of subjectivities and assemblages of technologies that
policies create. The series will focus on comparative and global issues as well as their
connections with specific local and regional policy processes.

This book series takes as its focus one of the most pressing concerns of contemporary socio-
cultural anthropology: namely, how to make sense of a world that has become increasingly
shaped by, and enmeshed within, the rationales and regimes of policy. There are few if any
aspects of contemporary social life that remain outside of the logic or influence of policy.
Whether one is aware of it or not, policies bear down upon the modern individual in all of his
or her doings. From the cradle to the grave, the concepts, processes and technologies of
policy shape peoples lives and subjectivities just as people, in turn, react to or engage with
these processes. In short, policy has become one of the major organising principles of
modernity itself, on a par with kinship and nationalism, yet far less documented or
understood. A key goal of this series is to explore the implications of policy on contemporary
culture and society, including the multiple ways in which policies interact with questions of
agency, identity and governance.
Policy features prominently as an object of study in several disciplines, including political
science, international relations, management studies and public administration. However,
traditional approaches often treat policy as an unproblematic given or as an entity is
transferred between pre-existing units such as institutions or countries. Viewed from an
anthropological perspective, the coherence of policy fragments. What or where is a policy?
Does it reside in the report of a think tank, an election manifesto or a ministerial speech? Is it
found in an act of legislation, a court ruling or in a set of ministerial guidelines? Or is it what
happens in the interactions between street-level bureaucrats and clients? An anthropological
approach to policy also challenges the assumption that policy is a top-down and linear
process that moves from problem identification and policy formulation to policy
implementation and evaluation. Rather, policies are viewed as spaces of ongoing
contestation and negotiation in which multiple actors in different sites are actively and
creatively engaged. Such an approach offers an alternative way to conceptualise what in the
literature is narrowly constructed as policy transfer, policy learning and lesson drawing.
The series will provide in-depth ethnographic accounts and theoretically informed analyses of
specific policies, the socio-economic and political problems they seek to address, and the new
social and semantic worlds they create. In doing to, it will address wider methodological
problems and advance anthropological understanding of contemporary political issues, from
traditional systems of governance to the emergence of new forms of power.


Guiding Questions for the Series

Among the guiding questions that this series will address are the following:
1: Conceptualising policy
What exactly is policy? How can we study policy anthropologically?
How do policies work as instruments of power? How are regimes of truth created
and maintained through policy?
What new kinds of assemblages and political subjects do policies create? How do
political and organisational leaders seek to classify, manage and mobilize populations
through policy?
2: Policy, governance and the modern state
How are policies implicated in State-formation and forms of governance? How might
a focus on policy advance the anthropological study of the State?
How has policy been used as an instrument to advance the processes, discourses and
practices of neoliberalism and globalization?
How have the most salient policy fields of the twenty-first century come into being?
For example, policies around global warming, energy, natural resource management,
migration and asylum, competition, financial regulation, the knowledge economy,
armed conflict, security and human rights? What makes such policies effective (or
ineffective) instruments of national or trans-national governance and power?
3: Methodological and theoretical challenges
How can ethnographic projects capture the critical dimensions of policy making?
What methodological challenges are posed by the anthropology of policy?
How can anthropological approaches to policy engage with and advance
anthropological theory and long-standing quandaries in the discipline?
In what ways does the study of policy contribute to a more publicly engaged and
reflexive anthropology?
How can this series forge links between anthropological analysis and the interpretive
turn in political science and public administration?

Topics for Books in this Series
We recognize that Stanford University Press books reach a broad, largely U.S.-based
audience. Bearing this in mind, many of the major themes that the series hopes to address
will have an explicit U.S. focus (such as militarism, welfare reform, issues around global
governance and security, neoliberalism and financial markets, poverty-reductions
strategies, education policies etc). One of anthropologys distinguishing strengths is
comparison and the series will aim to balance the focus on the USA with studies drawn
from other regions of the world.

Topics for books in this series could therefore include ethnographically-informed studies

How policies travel including the roles of epistemic communities, international
agencies, think tanks, lobbysts, marketing, public relations agencies and new
categories of expertise.
Ministries, municipal governments and other public-sector organisations that are
undergoing major transformations. This includes analyses of outsourcing,
agentification, public-private partnerships and the contractual state.
The formation of policies and associated new transnational institutions that aim to
address major contemporary problems. Examples include security apparatuses,
agencies for dealing with immigrants and asylum seekers, and strategies to advance
the knowledge economy and promote competition between universities on a global
The policies and pratices of major institutions of global governance, including the
United Nations, UNESCO, the WHO, the World Bank, the OECD, the European
Union, ASEM, NAFTA and the WTO.
Processes of neoliberalisation and peoples engagement with the often contradictory
and contested constructions of the subject as worker, professional, citizen, client,
customer and parent.
Grass-roots activism and collective resistance to policy agendas. This field includes
studies of policies towards indigenous, first nation and Fourth World peoples, their

engagement with development agencies and their use of legal and state apparatuses. It
also includes mobilizations against policy proposals and governments by minority and
majority populations in developed and developing countries. Examples might include
insider analyses of regime change or political transformations in Europe, North
Africa, Asia and elsewhere.
Institutions of good governance, financial regulation and anti-corruption (including
bodies such as Transparency International and international auditing and accountancy
The anthropology of militarism, financial crises, conflicts over resources and
environmental disasters, cultural resource management, the political uses of
information and communication technologies, emerging political regimes, and new
social movements ranging from the Tea Party to the World Social Forum.

Target Authors
We seek to attract superb writers from anthropology and cognate disciplines whose work is
ethnographic and/or informed by anthropological debates. We encourage monographs from
established writers as well as from recently completed PhD students. We also seek well-
conceptualised and integrated edited volumes that examine a particular key theme, explore
interfaces between anthropology and other policy-relevant disciplines, or set out new
developments in and perspectives on this fast moving research field. We welcome unsolicited
proposals from potential authors who are interested in the possibility of publishing in the

Target Audience
We envisage three main audiences. The first is the large and growing number of
anthropologists (including researchers, teachers and students) who focus on policy and who
are interested in contemporary politics and issues of wider public debate. The evidence for
this interest is seen most explicitly in the rapid increase in the membership of IGAPP (the
Interest Group for Anthropology in Public Policy). This body, created only in 2005, has
quickly grown to become the third largest sub-section of the American Anthropological
Association (AAA), with a current membership in excess of 1,300 members. There is similar

interest in British and European social anthropology, as witnessed by the high levels of
attendance at sessions and plenaries addressing the anthropology of policy at meetings of the
European Association of Social Anthropologists (EASA).
The second audience consists of academics from other disciplinary fields who are using
ethnography and anthropological insights in studies of contemporary policy and politics.
This includes academics from other fields of anthropology (physical anthropologists,
archaeologists, ethnomusicologists, linguistic anthropologists) and researchers from cognate
disciplines (Political Science, International Relations, EU Studies, Public Administration,
Health and Development Studies, Organizational Studies, Environmentalism, Management
Studies and Education).
The third main audience consists of policy makers (including practitioners, economists,
regulators, lobbyists and policy analysts). The series will appeal particularly to those
interested in reflecting upon their own practices, those of government, and on the impacts of
policy on the agencies and actors with whom they deal.

Style and Format
Given the intention of the series to attract a readership that goes beyond academia to include
politicians, public administrators, policy analysts, journalists and other media representatives,
the books in this series must be written in a lively and captivating style. The aim is to
showcase anthropologys capacity to produce engrossing yet enlightening studies of the
workings, effects and practices of policy. At the same time, care will be taken to make
explicit to non-anthropologists the methods, approach and theoretical apparatus used.
To facilitate better communication with policy makers and scholars in think tanks, public
administration, public affairs and schools of public policy, we recommend that the last
chapter of each volume should be written in a format that is addressed specifically to these
target audiences; i.e. a stand-alone summary chapter that is devoid of jargon and clearly sets
out the research issues, findings and any recommendations. To enhance the visibility of the
series, we will also seek to organise radio interviews and op ed articles to accompany the
publication of each book.


International Advisory Board

The Advisory Board will play an active role in soliciting and reviewing book proposals, and
is carefully chosen to complement and extend the disciplinary and geographical interests of
the editors. The members are:

Donald Brenneis, University of California, Santa Cruz, USA
J anine Wedel, George Mason University, USA
Dvora Yanow, University of Amsterdam, The Netherlands

About the Editors
Cris Shore is Professor of Social Anthropology at the University of Auckland in New
Zealand where, until recently, he was also Head of Department and Director of the Europe
Institute. Prior to moving to Auckland in 2003 he was Professor of Anthropology and Head
of Anthropology at Goldsmiths College, University of London. During his 13 years at the
University of London (1990-2003) he taught a range of courses from social theory and
anthropological methods to European ethnography and political anthropology. He also served
as an elected representative on the Governing Board of Goldsmiths College. Those
administrative and teaching experiences provided a strong foundation for his subsequent
theoretical work on higher education reform in Britain and the rise of audit culture as a new
socio-cultural phenomenon.
His main research area is political anthropology, particularly the anthropological study of
policy, organisations and power. A Europeanist by training, he has carried out ethnographic
fieldwork on the politics and policies of the Communist Party in Italy, the European
Commission in Brussels, and the external delegations of the European Union in the Asia-
Pacific region. His book Building Europe: The cultural politics of European integration
(London: Routledge 2000) was the first book-length anthropological monograph on the
European Commission (the European Unions supranational civil service), and has become a
key reference work in the field of European Studies. His current research focuses on higher
education in New Zealand as a critical site for examining processes of neoliberalisation and

new forms of governance. Together with Susan Wright and Susan Robertson, he leads a team
of researchers in an EU and New Zealand government-funded study of University Reform,
Globalisation and Europeanisation (URGE).
He is author of eleven books including Italian Communism London: Pluto 1990); The
Anthropology of Europe (with J . Llobera and V. Goddard, Oxford: Berg 1994); The Future of
Anthropology (with Akbar Ahmed, London: Athlone 1995); EliteCultures, (with Stephen
Nugent, Routledge 2002); Corruption: Anthropological Perspectives (with Dieter Haller,
Pluto 2005) and Policy Worlds: Anthropology and the Analysis of Contemporary Power (with
Davide Pero and Susan Wright, Routledge 2011). His most recent book, Anthropologists Up
Close and Personal: Works and lives that are shaping the discipline (edited with Susanna
Trnka) will be published by Berghahn Press.
He has held teaching posts at Oxford Brookes University and at the University of Perugia,
two visiting fellowships at the European University Institute in Fiesole and honorary
professorships in the anthropology departments at the universities of Aarhus, Bristol, Malta
and Harvard. He was founder and editor of the journal Anthropology in Action and currently
serves on the editorial board of three other journals.

Susan Wright is Professor of Educational Anthropology and Director of the research
programme EPOKE (Education, Policy and Organisation in the Knowledge Economy) at
the Danish School of Education, Aarhus University, Denmark. Prior to moving to Denmark
in 2003 she was founding Director of the Higher Education Academys National Centre for
Learning and Teaching in Sociology, Anthropology and Politics a key vantage point from
which to study higher education policies. She was at the same time Senior Lecturer in
Cultural Studies at Birmingham University (1997-2002) and before that Lecturer in Social
Anthropology at Sussex University (1985-1997).
Her research focuses on peoples engagements with large-scale processes of political
transformation. Most recently with a team of researchers she has studied university reform in
Denmark from the multiple perspectives of policy makers, university leaders, academics and
students. Previously, through multi-sited and longitudinal research, she studied the
emergence of neoliberal governance in Britain in the 1980s and 1990s. This included research
on central governments roll back of the state, fieldwork in a local authority resisting these

developments, and participant observation over several years on how people organized
around very different (highly gendered) concepts of the individual and community in a
former mining village. Informing her work are insights gained from her in-depth
ethnographic fieldwork in Iran before and after the Islamic Revolution.
She is author and editor of sixty articles and eight books including Anthropology of Policy
(with Cris Shore, eds, London: Routledge, 1997) and Policy Worlds: Anthropology and the
Analysis of Contemporary Power (with C. Shore and D. Pero eds, Berghahn, 2011). Other
books include Anthropology of Organisations (London: Routledge 1994); Power and
Participatory Development (with N. Nelson eds, London: Intermediate Technology
Publications, 1995); Geographies of Knowledge, Geometries of Power: Framing the Future
of Higher Education (with D. Epstein, R. Boden, R. Deem and F. Rizvi (eds) London:
Routedge, 2007). She has guest edited several journal special issues including Social
Anthropology (issue on Anthropologies of university reform); LATISS (issue on the
Bologna Process), and Anthropology in Action (issue on Universities and the politics of
accountability with Don Brenneis and Cris Shore).
She has held visiting professorships in anthropology at the Universities of Lund,
Copenhagen, Aarhus, Bristol and Stockholm. She was honoured in 2008 as the first
international visiting fellow of CoPAA (Consortium of Programmes in Applied
Anthropology) at the Society for Applied Anthropology. She has been president of the
Anthropology and Archaeology Section of the British Association for the Advancement of
Science, founding coordinator of Anthropology in Action, and chair of the Culture
Committee in the UK-UNESCO National Commission. She is founding co-editor of the
journal Learning and Teaching: International Journal of Higher Education in the Social
Sciences and serves on the editorial boards of four other journals.