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Contemporary Liminality


About the Series

This series constitutes a forum for works that make use of concepts such as ‘imitation’, ‘trickster’ or ‘schismogenesis’, but which chiefly deploy the notion of ‘liminality’, as the basis of a new, anthropologically-focused paradigm in social theory. With its versatility and range of possible uses rivalling mainstream concepts such as ‘system’, ‘structure’ or ‘institution’, liminality by now is a new master concept that promises to spark a renewal in social thought.

While charges of Eurocentrism are widely discussed in sociology and anthropology, most theoretical tools in the social sciences continue to rely on approaches developed from within the modern Western intellectual tradition, whilst concepts developed on the basis of extensive anthropological evidence and which challenged commonplaces of modernist thinking, have been either marginalised and ignored, or trivialised. By challenging the taken-for-granted foundations of social theory through incorporating ideas from major thinkers, such as Nietzsche, Dilthey, Weber, Elias, Voegelin, Foucault and Koselleck, as well as perspectives gained through modern social and cultural anthropology and the central concerns of classical philosophical anthropology Contemporary Liminality offers a new direction in social thought.

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Inhabiting Liminal Spaces Informalities in Governance, Housing, and Economic Activity in Contemporary Italy

Inhabiting Liminal Spaces: Informalities in Governance, Housing, and Economic Activity in Contemporary Italy

1st Edition

Forthcoming

By Isabella Clough Marinaro
February 10, 2022

This book draws together debates from two burgeoning fields, liminality and informality studies, to analyze how dynamics of rule-bending take shape in Rome today. Adopting a multiscalar and transdisciplinary approach, it unpacks how gaps and contradictions in institutional rulemaking and ...

The Technologisation of the Social A Political Anthropology of the Digital Machine

The Technologisation of the Social: A Political Anthropology of the Digital Machine

1st Edition

Forthcoming

Edited By Paul O'Connor, Marius Ion Benţa
December 31, 2021

In an era of digital revolution, artificial intelligence, big data and augmented reality, technology has shifted from being a tool of communication to a primary medium of experience and sociality. Some of the most basic human capacities are increasingly being outsourced to machines and we ...

Post-Truth Society A Political Anthropology of Trickster Logic

Post-Truth Society: A Political Anthropology of Trickster Logic

1st Edition

By Arpad Szakolczai
November 30, 2021

It is widely asserted that we are now living in a post-truth society. What that means, this book argues, is that the contemporary global world is thoroughly infested not only with trickster figures but an entire and operational trickster logic; or, that we now live in a Trickster Land – an argument...

Political Alchemy: Technology Unbounded

Political Alchemy: Technology Unbounded

1st Edition

By Agnes Horvath
March 22, 2021

This book explores politics as a form of alchemy, understood as the transformation of entities through an alteration of their identities. Identifying this process as a common denominator of many political phenomena, such as EU integration, mediatisation, communism or globalisation, the author ...

Liminality and the Philosophy of Presence A New Direction in Political Theory

Liminality and the Philosophy of Presence: A New Direction in Political Theory

1st Edition

By Franziska Hoppen
March 17, 2021

This book departs from the attempt by political theory to confront the challenges of political life with new concepts, offering instead a mode of thought so far excluded from the canon of political theory: the philosophy of presence. Making the experience of liminality the very centre of thought, ...

Modern Leaders: Between Charisma and Trickery

Modern Leaders: Between Charisma and Trickery

1st Edition

Edited By Agnes Horvath, Arpad Szakolczai, Manussos Marangudakis
July 27, 2020

This book considers the current striking rise of ‘outsider’ political leaders, catapulted, apparently, from nowhere, to take charge of a nation. Arguing that such leaders can be better understood with the help of the anthropologically based concept of ‘the trickster’, it offers studies of ...

The Spectacle of Critique From Philosophy to Cacophony

The Spectacle of Critique: From Philosophy to Cacophony

1st Edition

By Tom Boland
January 14, 2020

Far from being the preserve of a few elite thinkers, critique increasingly dominates public life in modernity, leading to a cacophony of accusation and denunciation around all political issues. The technique of unmasking ‘power’ or ‘hegemony’ or ‘ideology’ has now been adopted across the political ...

Walling, Boundaries and Liminality A Political Anthropology of Transformations

Walling, Boundaries and Liminality: A Political Anthropology of Transformations

1st Edition

Edited By Agnes Horvath, Marius Ion Benţa, Joan Davison
January 14, 2020

Contemporary challenges related to walls, borders and encirclement, such as migration, integration and endemic historical conflicts, can only be understood properly from a long-term perspective. This book seeks to go beyond conventional definitions of the long durée by locating the social practice ...

China at a Threshold Exploring Social Change in Techno-Social Systems

China at a Threshold: Exploring Social Change in Techno-Social Systems

1st Edition

By James B. Cuffe
December 05, 2019

Once the world’s most technologically advanced civilisation, China is poised to yet again take this mantle, having made incredible technological strides over recent decades; but what does this in fact mean? What will this mean for Chinese society, and what ramifications might it have for the future...

The Rise of Consumer Capitalism in America, 1880 - 1930

The Rise of Consumer Capitalism in America, 1880 - 1930

1st Edition

By Cesare Silla
October 17, 2019

This book offers a genealogical account of the rise of consumer capitalism, tracing its origins in America between 1880 and 1930 and explaining how it emerged to become the dominant form of social organization of our time. Asking how it was that we came to be consumers who live in societies that ...

The Political Sociology and Anthropology of Evil: Tricksterology

The Political Sociology and Anthropology of Evil: Tricksterology

1st Edition

By Agnes Horvath, Arpad Szakolczai
October 10, 2019

This book offers a new approach to the problem of evil through an examination of the anthropological figure of the ‘trickster’. A lesser known and much more recent term than evil, the authors use the trickster to facilitate a greater understanding of the return of evil in the modern era. Instead of...

Home: The Foundations of Belonging

Home: The Foundations of Belonging

1st Edition

By Paul O'Connor
April 15, 2019

Questions of home and belonging have never been more topical. Populist politicians in both Europe and America play on anxieties over globalisation by promising to reconstitute the national home, through cutting immigration and ‘taking back control’. Increasing numbers of young people are unable to ...

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