Contemporary politics, this book contends, depend upon the turbulent
struggles and strategies around scale. Confl icts over scale can be seen
as opaque class struggles. Political projects, whether from the ground up
or representing corporate or state interests, continually contest the scale at
which authority is vested. This volume looks at the way global corporations
redefi ne the scale of power and how working- class and other movements
build alliances and cross scales to develop political blocs. What injustices
are perpetrated or, more hopefully, redressed in this process? The book,
consisting of contributions from anthropologists, geographers, and cultural
studies scholars, explores theoretical issues around contested temporal and
spatial scales, and around variations in scale from the body to the global.
Part I focuses on bodies in motion, entangled in battles over new boundaries
and political coalitions, and the ways in which migrants and refugees
are disrupted by intersecting time scales. Part II on the nation- state addresses
the shifting responsibilities assigned by law at diff erent historical moments
and the impact of global energy trade on national austerity policies. Part
III, on rescaling sovereignty, discusses the misleading media discourse on
“Brexit” and reconstructs the class bases of the move to the Right in Eastern
Europe that threaten the EU. Part IV on the histories of changing scales of
movements revisits historical debates on uneven and combined development,
and sets out the transnational labor movements of the eighteenthand
nineteenth- century Atlantic, which prefi gure contemporary struggles of
labor in a world which is still one of uneven and combined capitalist development.
Finally, Part V considers ways in which some social movements are
constrained by scale while others reshape parties and traverse nations in their
eff orts to build class alliances and political blocs.
Table of Contents
1. Introduction – The Tumultuous Politics of Scale: Struggles, Strategies, and Scales in Action [Donald M. Nonini and Ida Susser] Part One. Scales of Domination: Transnational Migration and its Discontents 2. The Making and Un-Making of Border Scales: European Union Migration Control in North and West Africa [Sebastian Cobarrubias] 3. The Temporalities in Migration: Women and Reproduction in the Affective Economies of Late Capitalism [Winnie Lem] Part Two. Problematizing the Nation and the Nation-State 4. Political Violence, Criminal Law and Shifting Scales of Justice [Ruchi Chaturvedi] 5. Networked Flows through a "Porous" State: A Scalar Energo-political Account of the Greek Debt Crisis [Sandy Smith-Nonini] Part Three. Rescaling Sovereignty: The Case of the European Union and Its Outside Insiders 6. Making the Eastern Scale: Class, Contradiction, and the Rise of the ‘illiberal’ Right in Post-socialist Central Europe [Don Kalb] 7. Reimagining Scale, Space and Sovereignty: The United Kingdom and "Brexit" [John Clarke] Part Four. The Longue Durée 8. Interrogating the Agrarian Question Then and Now in Terms of Uneven and Combined Development [Gavin Smith] 9. Dispossession and Emancipation: Reframing Labor’s Political Question for the Neoliberal Era [August Carbonella] Part Five. Social Movements: Reshaping the Domains of Conflict 10. Downscaled "Local Food" Movements from Below and the Corporate Food Movement from Above: What’s at Stake? [Donald M. Nonini] 11. Localism in One Local: Labor and Scale at the Saturn Automobile Factory [Sharryn Kasmir] 12. Social Protest: Rescaling As a Consequence of Nuit Debout/Occupy [Ida Susser]
Donald M. Nonini, Professor of Anthropology, University of North
Carolina, Chapel Hill, has undertaken research in Malaysia, Australia, and the
United States on citizenship in the Chinese diaspora; U.S. local politics; and
on the commons. His latest book is “Getting by”: Class and State Formation
among Chinese in Malaysia (Cornell University Press, 2015).
Ida Susser, Distinguished Professor of Anthropology at Hunter College
and the Graduate Center, City University of New York, has published on
popular mobilizations, social movements, and the urban commons in the
United States, Europe, and Southern Africa. Her books include Norman
Street: Poverty and Politics in an Urban Neighborhood (Oxford University Press,
2012) and the co- edited volumes, Rethinking America (CRC Press, 2009) and
Wounded Cities (Berg, 2003).
This book is a worthy and interesting contribution to the revival of "political-economic anthropology" -- that is to the analysis of ethnographic findings in terms of vastly unequal classes and class struggles. The book’s central question is what it means for anthropologists to return to political economy in the globalized world of today. Overall, the collection of essays makes the case for a new set of interlocutors for the discipline. Jane Schneider, City University of New York