International Political Anthropology

Aims & Scope

International Political Anthropology is an international peer-reviewed journal. It aims to provide a forum for interdisciplinary and comparative scholarship, addressing problems and concerns of the contemporary political world through the prism of anthropologically-based approaches. It gives voice to conceptual and methodological creativity, linking the study of politics to perspectives and tools drawn from disciplines, subject areas, and modes of enquiry that were long considered irrelevant to the study of politics proper.  

International Political Anthropology recognises that institutional accounts of politics within the frame of the state and in the relations between states have exhausted their capability to provide meaningful accounts of contemporary events, such as the collapse of communism and the end of the Cold War, the crisis of the nation state, the proliferation of new forms of violence and war, the resurgence of religion as a political force, or the acute and seemingly worldwide crisis of political leadership, all relating to the ongoing globalisation processes. While the contemporary study of politics is predominantly contained within the temporal and mental horizon of the Enlightenment, assuming that modernity can be studied on its own terms, this journal wishes to approach contemporary problems with a genuine sense of expanding horizons to both non-western and pre-modern, even ancient, political societies. It aims to root the understanding of contemporary problems in a range of traditions and streams of thought that encompass antiquity, Renaissance, early modernity, and theoretical attempts in the course of the 20th century that worked towards bringing these threads together. Recognising that many of the greatest figures of political thought lived through periods of crisis or dissolution of order, this journal thus opens up possibilities for experiential as opposed to ‘scholastic’ type of theory building, where experience shapes political consciousness, interpretative judgements, and meaning-formation.
International Political Anthropology invites contributions that link contemporary problems of politics to the comparative analysis of civilisations, mythology, archaeology, history of the longue durée, religion, symbolism, violence, or political spirituality. We also encourage contributions that thematise the pre-political links between human beings and authority in themes such as gift-giving, trust, beauty, truth, and truth-telling. We are similarly interested in submissions that connect analysis of historical crises with the interpretation of meaning as a central aspect of the formation of leaders, political consciousness, or social cohesion.

IPA Affiliation

International Political Anthropology journal is hosted and published by


The International Political Anthropology Association,
Department of Political and Social Sciences (DiSPeS),
Università degli Studi di Trieste,
Piazzale Europa 1 - 34127,
Trieste, Italy
Click here to learn more about the International Political Anthropology Association (IPAA).

Chief Editors

Paul O'Connor, Chief Ed.

Paul O’Connor

Paul O’Connor is Associate Professor of sociology at United Arab Emirates University in Abu Dhabi, having previously completed his PhD at University College Cork, Ireland. His research and writing are centred on the anthropological foundations of home and community, the dynamics of modernity and globalisation, the intersection between society and its physical environment, the emergence and disintegration of structures of meaning, and the mediatisation and virtualisation of contemporary social life. His work has been published in journals including Memory Studies, Mobilities, International Political Anthropology, Irish Journal of Anthropology, and the Dark Mountain Anthology. Home: The Foundations of Belonging (Routledge, 2018) examines the idea of home from an anthropological and historical perspective as a centre around which we organise both everyday routines and experiences, endowing the world with meaning and order. Other published volumes include The Technologisation of the Social: A Political Anthropology of the Digital Machine (Routledge, 2022: co-edited with Marius Bența) and Liminal Politics in the New Age of Disease: Technocratic Mimeticism (Routledge, 2023: co-edited with Agnes Horvath).

Marius Ion Bența, Chief Ed.

Marius Ion Benţa

Marius Ion Benţa is a Research Fellow in the Department of Social and Human Studies at the George Bariţiu History Institute and Guest Lecturer at Babeș-Bolyai University (Cluj, Romania) and was a Junior Research Fellow at the Polish Institute of Advanced Studies in Warsaw. He has co-edited the volumes The Technologisation of the Social: A Political Anthropology of the Digital Machine (Routledge, 2021, with Paul O’Connor) and Walling, Boundaries and Liminality: A Political Anthropology of Transformations (Routledge, 2019, with Agnes Horvath and Joan Davison) and is the author of the research monograph Experiencing Multiple Realities: Alfred Schutz’s Sociology of the Finite Provinces of Meaning (Routledge, 2018).

Giuliana Parotto, Communic. Dir.

Giuliana Parotto is Professor of Political Philosophy at the Department of Political and Social Sciences (DiSPeS), Università degli Studi di Trieste (Trieste, Italy). she is the author of several books on political theory and political theology, such as: Teoria politica. Un'introduzione condividi (Franco Angeli, 2020); Oltre il corpo del leader. corpo e politica nella società post-secolare (Il Nuovo Melangolo, 2016); Sacra Officina: la simbolica religiosa di Silvio Berlusconi (franco angeli, 2007); La Politica tra storia ed escatologia: un itinerario di Hans Urs von Balthasar (Franco Angeli, 2000); Iustus Ordo: secolarizzazione della ragione e sacralizzazione del principe nella seconda scolastica (Guida Editori, 1993); she is co-editor (with Umberto Lodovici) of Eric Voegelin: vangelo e cultura (Morcelliana, 2022) and has published numerous articles in academic journals.

Editorial Board

Tom Boland, Chair of the Editorial Board

Daniel Gati

Camil Roman

John O'Brien

Janos Mark Szakolczai

Egor Novikov

Click for the Editoarial Board members

Founding Editors

Agnes Horvath

Agnes Horvath

Agnes Horvath is a sociologist and political scientist with an interest in an anthropological understanding of modern society. She has a PhD in social and political sciences from the European University Institute in Florence (2000). She was affiliated visiting scholar at Cambridge University (2011-14), and now is a Visiting Research Fellow at University College, Cork. She is co-founder and chief editor of International Political Anthropology. Her recent books include Liminal Politics in the New Age of Disease: Technocratic Mimetism (London: Routledge, 2022), Modernism and Charisma (Basingstoke: Palgrave, 2013), Breaking Boundaries: Varieties of Liminality (Oxford, Berghahn, 2015, co-editor), Walking into the Void: A Historical Sociology and Political Anthropology of Walking (with Arpad Szakolczai, Routledge, 2018), Divinization and Technology: The Political Anthropology of Subversion (Routledge, 2019, co-editor), and Walling, Boundaries and Liminality: A Political Anthropology of Transformations (Routledge, 2019, co-editor).

Harald Wydra

Harald Wydra is a university lecturer in politics at the University of Cambridge and a fellow of St Catharine's College. His general research interests include political anthropology, symbolic politics, politics of memory, and methodological approaches to the understanding of uncertainty in politics. He is a founding editor of the academic journal International Political Anthropology. Wydra is the author of the 2007 book Communism and the Emergence of Democracy (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press). He is editor with Ágnes Horváth and Bjørn Thomassen for the Breaking Boundaries: Varieties of Liminality (New York: Berghahn, 2015)

Bjørn Thomassen

Bjørn Thomassen holds a Doctoral Degree (Ph.D.) in Political and Social Science at the European University Institute, Department of Political and Social Sciences, Florence; BA and MA Degrees in Anthropology, Institute of Anthropology, Department of Political and Social Science, University of Copenhagen. He has been chair of the Department of International Relations since 2008. Before coming to AUR he taught at the University of Copenhagen, Denmark, and at the University College of Cork, Ireland.


The International Political Anthropology journal was established to provide a new and much needed forum for interdisciplinary and comparative scholarship, addressing problematics and concerns of the contemporary political scene through the prism of anthropologically based approaches.

The main aim that we had in mind for IPA was to give a voice to conceptual and methodological creativity, linking the study of politics to perspectives and tools drawn from disciplines or subject areas that were long considered irrelevant to the study of politics proper.

The IPA Founding Editors: Agnes Horvath, Harald Wydra & Bjørn Thomassen

Subscribe to our Newsletter

International Political Anthropology Summer School (IPASS)

The Summer School brings together advanced research and academic practice from political anthropology in order to teach both theories and skills necessary to operate effectively in academic environment. Participants will be familiarised with the central approaches of political anthropology, focusing on concepts like trickster, liminality, imitation and schismogenesis, and their application to contemporary phenomena, helping to identify the increasing prominence of trickster logic in contemporary life. 


International Political Anthropology journal, Department of Political and Social Sciences, Università degli Studi di Trieste, Piazzale Europa 1, 34127 Trieste, Italy 


IPA Journal ISSN: 2283-9887


You can make a donation to the IPA using the link below.

Any amount to support independent publishing is welcome. Thank you!



Cambridge University, U.K.

Roskilde University, Denmark

University College Cork, Ireland

Waterford Institute of Technology, Ireland