Notes towards an Anthropology of Political Revolutions

  title={Notes towards an Anthropology of Political Revolutions},
  author={Bj{\o}rn Thomassen},
  journal={Comparative Studies in Society and History},
  pages={679 - 706}
  • B. Thomassen
  • Published 1 July 2012
  • Sociology
  • Comparative Studies in Society and History
Abstract While resistance and rebellion have remained core themes in anthropology at least since the 1960s, anthropologists have paid much less attention to the study of political revolutions as real historical events. Yet there are compelling real-world reasons why they should orient their analytical apparatus and ethnographic efforts towards revolutionary events. This article advances a series of reasons why anthropology can enrich and supplement existing political science and history… 
Poems of the Revolution
Ethnopoetry statement: I have taken to heart the observation by Bjørn Thomassen (2012) in his essay ‘‘Notes Towards an Anthropology of Political Revolutions’’ that ‘‘the study of political
Revolutions encompass political mobilizations that attempt rapid transformations of both the nature of political authority and wider social, political, and economic structures. Although early
Anthropologies of Revolution: Forging Time, People, and Worlds
What can anthropological thinking contribute to the study of revolutions? The first book-length anthropological approach to revolutions, Anthropologies of Revolution proposes that revolutions should
Anthropology and social theory
This article argues that anthropology may represent untapped perspectives of relevance to social theory. The article starts by critically reviewing how anthropology has come to serve as the ‘Other’
The Tunisian Revolution “The free, youth revolution” from an anthropological perspective
In this paper I focus on the anthropological aspects of the Tunisian Revolution of 2011 showing how anthropology could offer several angles of insight into the study of this revolution, which
Political crimes in the transition to modernity: Anthropological perspectives
We live in a period heavily, and perhaps uniquely, characterised by a popular and political focus on crime. In taking up the invitation to contribute to this special issue, this article is intended
Within and Beyond the “Fourth Generation” of Revolutionary Theory
Recent years have seen renewed interest in the study of revolutions. Yet the burgeoning interest in revolutionary events has not been matched by a comparable interest in the development of
The revolutionary and Napoleonic wars in the Prussian political imaginary: a politico-anthropological genealogy of the ‘special’ German–French relations
This paper captures the processes by which the French revolutionary and Napoleonic wars redefined enduringly the logics of interaction between Prussia/Germany and France. It explains transformations
The Trickster in Egypt's January 25th Revolution
  • W. Armbrust
  • Political Science
    Comparative Studies in Society and History
  • 2013
Abstract The term “counter-revolution” evokes a straightforward contestation of political claims in a revolutionary situation. But contestation is not a zero-sum game: this side wins; the other side
Endnotes: Wandering in the Wilderness or Entering the Promised Land?
Abstract This article argues that one can analyze revolutions as ritual passages, as spatial and temporal liminality. In most Arab countries that experienced radical upheavals and revolutionary


Anthropology and its many modernities: when concepts matter
This article provides a critical review of the multiple modernities paradigm used in anthropology today. The article also indicates how the work of anthropologists intersects with social theory and
Spent Cartridges of Revolution: An Anthropological History of Namiquipa, Chihuahua
What happens to a revolutionary town after the revolution? This apparently simple question frames "Spent Cartridges of Revolution", an anthropological history of Namiquipa, Chihuahua, Mexico.
Schism and Continuity in an African Society: A Study of Ndembu Village Life
With a new foreword by Bruce Kapferer, Professor of Anthropology, James Cook University* A reprint of the seminal anthropological work of the 1960s. Originally published by Manchester University
Critics Against Culture: Anthropological Observers of Mass Society
"Critics against Culture: Anthropological Observers of Mass Society" - a collection of essays on the history of anthropology focused on Benedict, Boas, Sapir, and modernist thought by one of American
The Social in Question: New Bearings in History and the Social Sciences.
With postmodernism has come the questioning of the very idea of 'the social'. Thinkers form across the social sciences and humanities now agree that this one foundational concept can no longer be
Violence and the Sacred
The figure of Vjazeslav Ivanov as a poet’s poet and the magus of Symbolism in Russia has eclipsed his figure as author of two brilliant studies of the cult of Dionysus, the first of which is The
Anthropology as Performance
Several years ago I saw Peter Sellers in the movie Being There. In a most convincing manner he personified a gardener tending the garden of a huge mansion. His only contact with the world outside was
Reflexive Historical Sociology
This paper attempts to reassess the standard sociological canon and sketch the outlines of a new approach by bringing together a series of thinkers whose works so far have remained disconnected.
The dialectics of modernity on a South African frontier
In the second of a proposed three-volume study, Jean and John Comaroff continue their exploration of colonial evangelism and modernity in South Africa. Moving beyond the opening moments of the
A Revolution in the Theory of Revolutions?
The events of 1989 in the East-Central European belt of satel lite communist regimes was a most fitting finale for the twentieth century, bound to be recorded in history as the age of revolutions.