This book presents some arguments for why a political anthropological perspective can be particularly helpful for understanding the connected political and cultural challenges and opportunities posed by the situation of ethnic and religious minorities. The first chapter shortly introduces the major anthropological concepts used, including liminality, trickster, imitation and schismogenesis; concepts that are used together with approaches of historical sociology and genealogy, especially concerning the rise and fall of empires, and their lasting impact. The conceptual framework suggested here is particularly helpful for understanding how marginal places can become liminal, appearing suddenly at the center of political attention. The introduction also shows the manner in which minority existence can problematize the depersonalizing tendencies of modern globalization. Subsequent chapters demonstrate how the described political anthropological conceptual framework can be used in certain European regions, and in the case of certain ethnic and religious minority, and each illustrates that instead of charismatic leaders, trickster politicians are emerging and increasingly dominate, through the "public sphere", the space of modern politics emptied of real presence.
The chapters in this book were originally published as a special issue of Nationalism and Ethnic Politics.
1. Individualization as Depersonalization: Minority Studies and Political Anthropology 2. Trickster Logics in the Hungarian Dual-Citizenship Offer 3. "Liminal" Orthodoxies on the Margins of Empire: Twentieth-Century "Home-Grown" Religious Movements in the Republic of Moldova 4. Fluid Identity, Fluid Citizenship: The Problem of Ethnicity in Postcommunist Romania 5. Central Marginality: Minorities, Images, and Victimhood in Central-Eastern Europe 6. Defending the Nation from her Nationalism(s) 7. Reconciliation and After in Northern Ireland: The Search for a Political Order in an Ethnically Divided Society 8. "In the Margins of Europe": Cypriot Nationalism, Liminality, and the Moral Economy of the Financial Crisis