Download Neoliberal Frontiers: An Ethnography of Sovereignty in West by Brenda Chalfin PDF

By Brenda Chalfin

In Neoliberal Frontiers, Brenda Chalfin offers an ethnographic exam of the day by day practices of the officers of Ghana’s Customs provider, exploring the effect of neoliberal restructuring and integration into the worldwide economic climate on Ghanaian sovereignty. From the unveiling vantage element of the Customs workplace, Chalfin discovers a desirable inversion of our assumptions approximately neoliberal transformation: bureaucrats and native functionaries, executive places of work, checkpoints, and registries tend to be held to be the ambitions of reform, yet Chalfin reveals that those figures and websites of authority act because the engine for alterations in nation sovereignty. Ghana has served as a version of reform for the neoliberal institution, making it a terrific web site for Chalfin to discover why the restructuring of a country at the international outer edge portends shifts that take place in all corners of the realm. instantly a foray into overseas political economic system, politics, and political anthropology, Neoliberal Frontiers is an cutting edge interdisciplinary breakthrough for ethnographic writing, in addition to an eloquent addition to the literature on postcolonial Africa.

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S. -specific preoccupations, whether global crime pre-9/11, or global security in the post-9/11 context. It bears notice that in Ghana all of these interventions are occurring alongside much more publicized processes of political renewal that make up the official liberal-democratic face of neoliberal reform. The highly trumpeted political agenda is founded on the orthodoxies of democratization via the designation of national executives and legislative representatives through electoral politics.

11 The paired history of Customs in both the colonial and imperial realm make it evident that Customs regimes are an implicit—if not fundamental—feature of the modern state apparatus in the global north as well as global south, both overlooked and sorely undertheorized. The reach and continuity of Customs regimes over time and space point to fiscal administration (territorially based forms of commercial extraction, to use Tilly’s terms) as a key pillar of modern state sovereignty. Combining force and bureaucratic authority, territorial dominion and claims to movable wealth, Customs embodies modern sovereignty’s middle range, standing between the self-regulating subject of late modern governmentality and the dramatis personae of monarchal absolutism.

Whether an attempt to gain critical distance from their own circumstances or the expression of a self-consciousness that comes with the breaking-open of otherwise unspoken truths, this was a complicity that comes at the edge of crisis. But as much as I found this sort of bearing witness professionally expedient, it posed risks to my cooperants. The stakes were very real, with the potential to impact their own access to resources, employment and reputation and that of their coworkers, friends and families.

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