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A World of Insecurity

A World of Insecurity

Thomas Hylland Eriksen | Ellen Bal | Oscar Salemink


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Human security is a key element in the measure of well-being, and a hot topic in anthropology and development studies. A World of Insecurity outlines a new approach to the subject.

The contributors expose a contradiction at the heart of conventional accounts of what constitutes human security, namely that without taking non-material considerations such as religion, ethnicity and gender into account, discussions of human security, academically and in practical terms, are incomplete, inconclusive and deeply flawed. A variety of compelling case studies indicate that, in fact, material security alone cannot adequately explain or fully account for human activity in a range of different settings, and exposed to a variety of different threats.

This forceful book will expand and deepen the entire concept of human security, in the process endowing it with political relevance. It is an essential read for students of development studies and anthropology.

Table of Contents

Section Title Page Action Price
Cover Cover
Contents v
Series Preface vii
1. Human Security and Social Anthropology by Thomas Hylland Eriksen 1
Part I: The Political Economy of Human Security 21
2. Taking Risks for Security’s Sake: Bolivians Resisting their State and its Economic Policies by Ton Salman 23
3. State Formation, Imposition of a Land Market and Silent Resistance among the Berbers of the Middle Atlas by Bernhard Venema, with contributions by Ali Mguild 45
4. Flexible Migrants: Brazilian Gold Miners and their Quest for Human Security in Surinam by Marjo de Theije and Ellen Bal 66
Part II: Security, Identity and Belonging 87
5. ‘Bharat-Wasie or Surinamie?’ Hindustani Notions of Belonging in Surinam and the Netherlands by Ellen Bal and Kathinka Sinha-Kerkhoff 89
6. Cultural Identity as a Key Dimension of Human Security in Western Europe: The Dutch Case by Edien Bartels, Kim Knibbe, Martijn de Koning and Oscar Salemink 116
7. ‘I’d die without the Cybersouk’: Local Experiences in a Dutch Digital Community Centre by Lenie Brouwer 133
8. Religion, Identity and Security among Pomeranian Lutheran Migrants in Espírito Santo, Brazil (1880–2005): A Schema Repertoire Approach by André Droogers 148
Part III: States of (In)security 179
9. Changing Notions of Belonging: Migrants and Natives in an Amsterdam Multicultural Neighbourhood by Marion den Uyl 181
10. Tales from a Captive Audience: Dissident Narratives and the Official History of the Seychelles by Sandra Evers 208
11. Harnessing Ceremonial for Political Security: An Indian Princely State on the Verge of Extinction by Dick Kooiman 241
12. Ritual Efficacy, Spiritual Security and Human Security: Spirit Mediumship In Contemporary Vietnam by Oscar Salemink 262
Notes on Contributors 291
Index 292