Turkey’s Predatory Politics

Like the concept of ‘terrorism,’ now notions and strategies of ‘safe zone’ or ‘security zone’ are shaping the colonialist state’s expansionist wishes and international illegitimate actions. Today, powerful nation states, such as the USA against Mexico, India against Kashmir, Europe against North Africa, Saudi Arabia against Yemen, Russia against Ukraine and China against Uygur, continue …

Public Anthropology in Changing Times

Public anthropology, a term initially coined by Robert Borofsky for a book series at the University of California Press, became popular in the late 1990s. Ithas been both endorsed and criticized. Endorsements have emphasized the need for a shift in scholarly attitude toward society at large, while criticism has pointed out the potential overlapping with …

Waiting for the Smuggler: Tales Across the Border

In September 2015, the image of three-year-old Alan Kurdi lying on a beach after drowning while trying to reach Greece from Turkey sent waves of  indignation around the world. A few weeks later, equal moral outrage was generated by the suspicions that Abdullah Kurdi, Alan’s father, could have been one of the smugglers who that …

An Ideal Direction? The Nobel Prize to Peter Handke

Last week, the Nobel Prize for Literature 2019 was awarded to the Austrian Peter Handke for “an influential work that with linguistic ingenuity has explored the periphery and the specificity of human experience.” However, beyond his literary merit, Handke is well-known for his revisionist interpretation of the 1990s conflict in Bosnia-Herzegovina. Against a background of …

Anthropology, Activism, and the Problem of Countering Violent Extremism in Africa

Abstract: Anthropology has an ambivalent history of being involved in social justice activism, and much anthropological work circulates around issues of conflict resolution in cultures throughout the world. After unethically supporting the colonial mandate, in more recent years anthropologists involved themselves in the Civil Rights movement, Native American social justice issues, and most recently social …

No one wants to be the “Global North”? On being a researcher across the North and South

In this blog post I would like to share my personal experiences of carrying out qualitative research in what contemporary scholars call the “Global South” (Lebanon, the United Arab Emirates and Egypt) and the “Global North” (Australia and the United Kingdom). To convey my message clearly, I adopt the classical political geography of “South” and “North” with …

Recentering the side-lines. On the politics of “standing by”

Manifestation 1 I had not planned to encounter three different types of crowds on Saturday 16th March 2019. Ascending from the metro station Château-Rouge in the 18th arrondissement in Paris, I found myself surrounded by people apparently eagerly waiting for something to happen or someone to appear. There was music playing from a truck to …