[URBANTH-L]CFP: Policy and the Everyday

Angela Jancius acjancius at ysu.edu
Wed Feb 22 11:38:53 EST 2006

From: Milena Marchesi <milena at anthro.umass.edu>

CALL FOR PAPERS: "Policy and the Everyday"

The Graduate Association for the Anthropology of Europe (GAAE) at the
University of Massachusetts-Amherst solicits abstract submissions for an
interdisciplinary conference that explores policy in its social context.

CONFERENCE DATES: May 19 & 20, 2006
LOCATION: University of Massachusetts Amherst
CONTACT: milena at anthro.umass.edu

In /The Anthropology of Policy: Critical Perspectives on Governance and 
Power/ (1997) Cris Shore and Susan Wright argued that: "As neoliberal 
ideas and practices have come to supplant the post-war model of the
welfare state, the ways in which policies are used as an instrument of
power for shaping individuals [is] related.to a more global phenomenon
of changing patterns of governance" (4). Recent events such as the riots
in France, the failure of the European Union Constitution, the Katrina
hurricane disaster, and changes in Medicare benefits have illustrated,
to populations in Europe and the United States alike, the inner workings
and failings of their governments. There is a sense of urgency in the
scholarly community to theoretically situate and critically ground the
emerging phenomena of neoliberalism and the attendant shifts in
governmental (and non-governmental) policy making. While most 
social science tends to abstract policy from its everyday expressions, 
we take policy to be a "total social phenomenon" (Shore and Wright 
1997:7) that encompasses political-economic and social processes,
including issues of class, gender, race, ethnicity, nationality, and

Analysis that engages policy, policy-makers, and its manifestations in
everyday life can shed light on the workings and effects of governance
and power. Research at the levels of quotidian and macro processes can,
as Lyon-Callo and Hyatt posit, "create a space for the realization of
new policies, new subject positions, and the emergence of new political
possibilities beyond what the global economy and its neoliberal 
rationalizations have set for us" (2003:175-6).

At this conference, we are interested in representing scholarship on a 
variety of policies and policy-related issues at the local, national,
regional, and/or global levels of governance. This year we are
interested in expanding our regional focus on Europe (including
postsocialist Eastern Europe) to include parallel research in North
America so as to provide a space for critical dialogue and comparison.
Potential research topics include (but are not limited to): poverty,
race, gender, sexuality, reproduction, migration, language, minorities,
health care, welfare, and urban planning.

Some of the questions we would like to address include (but are not
limited to): What theories are best suited to understanding
neoliberalism and these changes in policy? What new methodologies
(multi-sited studies, ethnography, discourse analysis, for instance)
might be applied to study policy, policymaking communities, and the
effects of policy? What is the role of ethnography in the study of
policy? What unintended political and/or economic effects do policies 
engender? What new subjects are produced? What responses (resistance,
acquiescence, co-optation) to this subjectification are engaged? How
have these policies, and the responses to them, changed or reproduced
the dominant paradigms associated with these social, economic, or
political processes? What would social science in the public interest 

We envision this conference as an opportunity for graduate students and
faculty alike to present their work, including work in progress. We aim
for productive dialogue within and among disciplines including, but not
limited to: anthropology, political science, sociology, education,
economics, history, public policy, communications, labor studies, legal
studies, and women's studies. 

Conference papers will be considered for potential publication.

Individual papers or panel proposals should be submitted to
milena at anthro.umass.edu no later than February 24, 2006. Abstracts of
individual papers should be no longer than 250 words. We strongly
encourage scholars to submit panel proposals with their colleagues. 

Panels should include a 250 word abstract for the panel, a list of
presenters and 250 word abstracts for individual papers. Please include
contact information and affiliations with abstract. Paper and panel
submitters will be notified by March 24, 2006.

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