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Introduction An Anthropology Of Everyday Governance: Collective Service Delivery And Subject-Making

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Chapter Summary

This introductory chapter clarifies the semantic field revolving around the very elusive concept of governance and terms associated with it, such as participation, accountability, legitimacy and, of course, politics. As part of this discussion it introduces Foucault?s concept of governmentality to assess its potential in terms of an empirically grounded anthropology of governance. It then focuses on the delivery of collective services as both an instantiation of everyday governance and a promising fieldwork approach for a renewed political anthropology. The chapter gives a presentation of what could be an ethnography of front-level or interface bureaucracies. It explores the mutually constitutive interaction between collective services, public space and subject-making. Finally, it focuses on the forms of brokerage, mediation and translation that structure the interface between service providers and users and contribute to the production of both practical norms and collective services.

Keywords: brokerage; collective services; everyday governance; Foucault; governmentality; political anthropology; public space; service providers; subject-making



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