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How Clientelism, Citizenship, and Power Shape Personhood in Bosnia and Herzegovina
208 pages, 2 figures, 1 illus., bibliog., index
ISBN 978-1-78533-414-6 $120.00/£85.00 Hb Published (July 2017)
eISBN 978-1-78533-415-3 eBook
“Beyond academia, the book’s general framework encompassing health and social care will be of interest to a broader public concerned with the states emerging from former Yugoslavia….Ultimately, Managing Ambiguity is an intellectually stimulating ethnographic read, allowing for outsiders to access social phenomena unfamiliar to them and for insiders to be aware of a phenomenon they would otherwise be inured to.” • Issues in Ethnology and Anthropology
“Brković’s book is one of those that adds another piece to the puzzle that recent anthropological research on Bosnia-Herzegovina is creating... But here let me add that Managing Ambiguity is an essential piece to the puzzle since it deals with the topic not easy to research, to understand, and to present. My opinion is that Čarna Brković has done a great job and anyone who wants to understand this aspect of Bosnian society must read this book.” • Anthropology Notebooks
“There is much to love about this book - the choice to address what is extremely rich ethnographic material through three interlocking analytical categories: personhood, citizenship, and power creates the possibilities for an incredibly productive exploration of everyday life, sociality and social welfare.” • Paul Stubbs, Institute for Economics, Zagreb
Why do people turn to personal connections to get things done? Exploring the role of favors in social welfare systems in postwar, postsocialist Bosnia and Herzegovina, this volume provides a new theoretical angle on links between ambiguity and power. It demonstrates that favors were not an instrumental tactic of survival, nor a way to reproduce oneself as a moral person. Instead, favors enabled the insertion of personal compassion into the heart of the organization of welfare.
Managing Ambiguity follows how neoliberal insistence on local community, flexibility, and self-responsibility was translated into clientelist modes of relating and back, and how this fostered a specific mode of power.
Čarna Brković is a Postdoctoral Researcher at the Graduate School for East and Southeast European Studies, Regensburg. She co-edited Negotiating Social Relations in Bosnia and Herzegovina and won the 2015 SIEF Young Scholar Prize.
Subject: General Anthropology Peace & Conflict Studies Postwar History
Area: Southern Europe
Note on transliteration
PART I: PERSONHOOD
Chapter 1. Creating Knowledge about Others: Locating, Knowing “by Sight”, and Ethnography
Chapter 2. Favors Reproduce Social Personhood
PART II: CITIZENSHIP
Chapter 3. Local Community and Ethical Citizenship: Neoliberal Reconfigurations of Social Protection
Chapter 4. Pursuing Favors within a Local Community
PART III: POWER
Chapter 5. Managing Ambiguity in Social Protection
Chapter 6. Navigating Ambiguity: the Moveopticon
Conclusion: Morality, Interest, and Sociality in the Global Postsocialist Condition
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