The Routledge Companion to Actor-Network Theory: 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

The Routledge Companion to Actor-Network Theory

1st Edition

Edited by Anders Blok, Ignacio Farias, Celia Roberts


472 pages | 23 B/W Illus.

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Hardback: 9781138084728
pub: 2019-07-02
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This companion explores ANT as an intellectual practice, tracking its movements and engagements with a wide range of other academic and activist projects. Showcasing the work of a diverse set of ‘second generation’ ANT scholars from around the world, it highlights the exciting depth and breadth of contemporary ANT and its future possibilities.

The companion has 38 chapters, each answering a key question about ANT and its capacities. Early chapters explore ANT as an intellectual practice and highlight ANT’s dialogues with other fields and key theorists. Others open critical, provocative discussions of its limitations. Later sections explore how ANT has been developed in a range of social scientific fields and how it has been used to explore a wide range of scales and sites. Chapters in the final section discuss ANT’s involvement in ‘real world’ endeavours such as disability and environmental activism, and even running a Chilean hospital. Each chapter contains an overview of relevant work and introduces original examples and ideas from the authors’ recent research. The chapters orient readers in rich, complex fields and can be read in any order or combination. Throughout the volume, authors mobilize ANT to explore and account for a range of exciting case studies: from wheelchair activism to parliamentary decision-making; from racial profiling to energy consumption monitoring; from queer sex to Korean cities. A comprehensive introduction by the editors explores the significance of ANT more broadly and provides an overview of the volume.

The Routledge Companion to Actor-Network Theory will be an inspiring and lively companion to academics and advanced undergraduates and postgraduates from across many disciplines across the social sciences including Sociology, Geography, Politics and Urban Studies, Environmental Studies and STS, and anyone wishing to engage with ANT, to understand what it has already been used to do, and to imagine what it might do in the future.

Table of Contents

Lists of figures

List of contributors


Actor-network theory as companion: An inquiry into intellectual practices

Section 1 - ANT as an intellectual practice

  1. Why and how should we distinguish between modes of doing ANT?
  2. Daniel López Gómez

  3. How to make concepts with ANT?
  4. Adrian Mackenzie

  5. Is ANT a critique of capital?
  6. Fabian Muniesa

  7. How to use ANT in inventive ways so that its critique will not run out of steam?
  8. Michael Guggenheim

  9. Is ANT’s radical empiricism ethnographic?
  10. Brit Ross Winthereik

  11. Can ANT compare with anthropology?
  12. Atsuro Morita

  13. How to write after performativity?
  14. José Ossandón


    Section 2 - Engaging dialogues with key intellectual companions

  15. What can ANT still learn from semiotics?
  16. Alvise Mattozzi

  17. What can ANT learn from the anthropology of writing?
  18. Jerome Pontille

  19. What else besides publics could ANT learn from pragmatism?
  20. Noortje Marres

  21. What is the relevance of Stengers to ANT?
  22. Martin Savransky

  23. Would we have been better off if ANT had indeed flagged its Deleuzian roots by being called actant-rhizome ontology?
  24. Casper Bruun Jensen

  25. Why does ANT need Haraway for thinking about (gendered) bodies?
  26. Ericka Johnson

  27. How does thinking with dementing bodies and A.N. Whitehead reassemble central propositions of ANT?
  28. Michael Schillmeier


    Section 3 - Illicit trading zones of ANT – critical provocations

  29. What so often goes wrong when people become interested in the non-human?
  30. Nigel Clark

  31. How to stage a convergence between ANT and Southern Sociologies?
  32. Marcelo C. Rosa

  33. Is ANT capable of tracing spaces of affect?
  34. Derek McCormack

  35. What possibilities would a queer actor-network theory generate?
  36. Kane Race

  37. How can ANT learn from contemporary art?
  38. Francis Halsall

  39. How to care for our accounts?
  40. Sonja Jerak Zuiderent

  41. What might ANT learn about difference from Chinese medicine?
  42. Wen-Yuan Lin


    Section 4 - Translating ANT beyond science and technology

  43. But what about race?
  44. Amade M’charek & Irene Oorschot

  45. What might we learn from ANT for studying health care issues in the majority world, and what might ANT learn in turn?
  46. Uli Beisel

  47. What is the value of ANT research into economic valuation devices?
  48. Liliana Doganova

  49. How does ANT help us rethink the city?
  50. Alexa Färber

  51. Can ANT cope with subjectivity?
  52. Arthuro Arruda Leal Ferreira

  53. Why do maintenance and repair matter?
  54. David Denis

    Section 5 - The sites and scales of ANT

  55. Are parliaments still today privileged sites for studying politics and liberal democracy and at what price?
  56. Endre Danyi

  57. Is ANT equally good in dealing with local, national, and global natures?
  58. Kristin Asdal

  59. What happens to ANT, and its emphasis on the socio-material grounding of the social, in digital sociology?
  60. Carolin Gerlitz & Ester Weltervrede

  61. How do ANT and architectural notions of sites speak to each other?
  62. Albena Yaneva and Brett Mommersteeg

  63. Does the South Korean city of Kyongju make a specific difference to how ANT can think the category of place?
  64. Robert Oppenheim

  65. What is ontologically challenging about Paraguayan soybeans when they enter the courtroom?
  66. Kregg Heatherington


    Section 6 - The uses of ANT for public-professional engagement

  67. Can ANT be a form of activism?
  68. Tomás S. Criado and Israel Rodríguez-Giralt

  69. Has ANT been helpful for public anthropology after the 3.11 disaster in Japan?
  70. Shuhei Kimura & Kohei Inose

  71. How can we to move beyond the dialogism of ‘the parliament of things’ and the ‘hybrid forum’ when rethinking participatory experiments with ANT?
  72. Claire Waterton and Emma Cardwell

  73. How well does ANT equip designers for socio-material speculations?
  74. Alex Wilkie

  75. How to run a hospital with ANT?

Yuri Carvajal Bañados


About the Editors

Anders Blok is Associate Professor of Sociology at the University of Copenhagen. He is co-author (with Torben E. Jensen) of Bruno Latour: Hybrid Thoughts in a Hybrid World (Routledge 2011) and co-editor (with Ignacio Farías) of Urban Cosmopolitics: Agencements, Assemblies, Atmospheres (Routledge 2016).

Ignacio Farías is Professor of Urban Anthropology at the Humboldt University Berlin. He is co-editor of Urban Assemblages. How Actor-Network Theory Changes Urban Studies (Routledge 2009, with Thomas Bender), Technical Democracy as a Challenge for Urban Studies (2016, with Anders Blok) and Studio Studies. Operations, Topologies & Displacements (Routledge 2015, with Alex Wilkie).

Celia Roberts is Professor in the School of Sociology, Australian National University. She is co-author, with Adrian Mackenzie and Maggie Mort, of Living Data: Making sense of health biosensors (2019) and author of Puberty in Crisis: The sociology of early sexual development (2016).

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
SCIENCE / Earth Sciences / Geography
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Sociology / General