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International Political Anthropology

The journal publishes articles in the categories such as research articles and Book reviews. Since 2008, It published ten issues related to sociology, philosophy and anthropology. These articles, reflection pieces and book reviews test the limits of the mainstream social sciences that take for granted a conceptual framework anchored in the self-understanding of the Enlightenment and modernity. The pool of theorists that have contributed important analytical insights to political anthropology incorporate figures such as Marcel Mauss, Rene Girard, Victor Turner, van Gennep, or Gregory Bateson; approaches that, perhaps paradoxically, through incorporating non-modern and non-European perspectives in their analysis of crises (liminality) also end up returning to some of the central ideas of Plato, who also lived through a major period of dissolution of order.


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Breaking Boundaries: Varieties of Liminality

Edited by Agnes Horvath, Bjørn Thomassen, and Harald Wydra.

Berghahn Books, Oxford

264 pages, 7 illus., 1 table, bibliog., index


Liminality has the potential to be a leading paradigm for understanding transformation in a globalizing world. As a fundamental human experience, liminality transmits cultural practices, codes, rituals, and meanings in situations that fall between defined structures and have uncertain outcomes. Based on case studies of some of the most important crises in history, society, and politics, this volume explores the methodological range and applicability of the concept to a variety of concrete social and political problems.


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Breaking Boundaries


Liminality and the Modern. Living Through the In-Between

Written by Bjørn Thomassen, Roskilde University, Denmark

Ashgate Publishing, August 2014

262 pages, 3 illus.


This book provides the history and genealogy of an increasingly important subject: liminality. Coming to the fore in recent years in social and political theory and extending beyond is original use as developed within anthropology, liminality has come to denote spaces and moments in which the taken-for-granted order of the world ceases to exist and novel forms emerge, often in unpredictable ways.
Liminality and the Modern offers a comprehensive introduction to this concept, discussing its development and laying out a conceptual and experiential framework for thinking about change in terms of liminality. Applying this framework to questions surrounding the implosion of 'non-spaces', the analysis of major historical periods and the study of political revolution, the book also explores its possible uses in social science research and its implications for our understanding of the uncertainty and contingency of the liquid structures of modern society.
Shedding new light on a concept central to social thought, as well as its capacity for pushing social and political theory in new directions, this book will be of interest to scholars across the social sciences and philosophy working in fields such as social, political and anthropological theory, cultural studies, social and cultural geography, and historical anthropology and sociology.


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Liminality and the Modern


Modernism and Charisma

Written by Agnes Horvath

Palgrave Macmillan, February 2013

Hardcover, 208 pages


Politics in the modern world is not simply based on the rational pursuit of objective interests; but rather that emotional and spiritual forces are to be found at the heart of political revolutions, totalitarian systems, and media power. The study of this spiritual aspect of modern, democratic politics requires the incorporation of broader anthropological based perspectives, moving beyond the narrow, rationalistic foundations of modern politics, that can be traced back to Hobbes and Kant.
Looking at the relationship between modernity, modernism and the rise of charismatic leaders, Agnes Horvath uses real-world 'threshold' situations - in particular the world wars - to trace the conditions out of which political regimes developed. The excessive focus on rationalism and structure has led to a systematic neglect of uncertain liminal moments, which gave new direction to entire societies and cultures.


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Modernism and Charisma


Politics and the Sacred

Written by Harald Wydra

Cambridge University Press

Hardback, 276 pages


This path-breaking book argues that practices of the sacred are constitutive of modern secular politics. Following a tradition of enquiry in anthropology and political theory, it examines how limit situations shape the political imagination and collective identity. As an experiential and cultural fact, the sacred emerges within, and simultaneously transcends, transgressive dynamics such as revolutions, wars or globalisation. Rather than conceive the sacred as a religious doctrine or a metaphysical belief, Wydra examines its adaptive functions as origins, truths and order which are historically contingent across time and transformative of political aspirations. He suggests that the brokenness of political reality is a permanent condition of humanity, which will continue to produce quests for the sacred, and transcendental political frames. Working in the spirit of the genealogical mode of enquiry, this book examines the secular sources of political theologies, the democratic sacred, the communist imagination, European political identity, the sources of human rights and the relationship of victimhood to new wars.


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Politics and the Sacred


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