[URBANTH-L] Second Announcement: CFP for Panel for AAA Meetings in San Jose

pheck at sewanee.edu pheck at sewanee.edu
Tue Feb 28 12:09:11 EST 2006

Dear H-SAE and H-URBANTH readers:

We are reposting our Call For Papers, since we're going to submit our
panel to SAE for consideration as an invited session.  If anyone is
interested in joining us, we will need to receive a paper abstract no
later than next Monday, March 6th.  We have also been contacted by a
publisher expressing an interest in reviewing our panel for publication.

What follows is our original Call for Papers:

Kate Donahue and I are designing a panel on policy for the upcoming AAA
Meetings in San Jose, November 2006.  We envision a panel with input from
North Americanist as well as Europeanist anthropologists, which is why
we’re posting this on the two H-NET sites.  Sue Parman, Cal
State-Fullerton, has graciously agreed to be our discussant.  We are
hoping that a broad examination of recent policy decisions we perceive to
be destructive, both in North America and Europe, might begin a dialogue.
Anthropologists, by focusing on the result of policy decisions at the
local level, should be more involved before, during, and after policies
are designed and implemented.

What follows is a first draft of our abstract.  We will modify it to
reflect other submissions.

For questions, potential contributions, or anything else, we welcome
hearing from you:

Pat Heck
Professor of Anthropology Emerita
The University of the South
Sewanee, TN
pheck at sewanee.edu
(301) 432-2285

Kate Donahue
Professor of Anthropology
Plymouth State University
Plymouth, NH
kdonahue at plymouth.edu

Chaos, Confusion and Collapse:  The Destruction Resulting from Bad Policy

Public policy in Europe and the United State has long been a fertile
research and theoretical area for political scientists, economists, and
sociologists.  Until recently, however, anthropologists have been
underrepresented in policy discussions and debates.  For one thing, most
traditional anthropologists focused  their research and theories on
nonwestern societies.  While a few anthropologists worked in the United
States and Europe prior to World War II, a critical mass of research and
theory from these areas did not appear until much later.

Anthropology can make a significant contribution to policy debates.
Anthropologists have observed policy decisions at the local level, a focus
less common for political scientists and economists.  Often,
anthropologists have worked many years in their research areas, giving a
longitudinal dimension to their analysis.

This panel seeks to combine the work of Europeanists and North
Americanists in evaluating “destructive” policy decisions.  Pat Heck
focuses on the West German decision to dominate the Treuhandanstalt, the
agency established to handle the conversion of East German publicly-owned
industrial and service industries into a market economy.  Her research
discovers a common reaction when bad policy decisions bring about “chaos,
confusion and collapse” –- a combination of ignoring local conditions and
blaming the victims, leading to lasting destruction.  In 2006, 14 years
after West German bureaucrats shut down as many as 90 per cent of local
factories, and despite immense subsidies, unemployment remains at or above
20 per cent.  Thus, those East Germans who can, continue their inexorable
migration to the west.  The theoretical implications from this set of
policy decisions will form the primary focus of her paper.

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