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STANFORD UNIVERSITY PRESS SERIES

Cris Shore + Susan Wright, Series Editors

This series explores policy through anthropological methodologies to better understand how policies work as instruments of political intervention and social change. What new kinds of actors, subjects, and social spaces do policies create, and how are they used to manage populations? Can policy analysis shed light on wider transformations of governance and power? How can ethnography capture critical dimensions of policymaking, and the cultural worlds of policymakers themselves? For more on the series, visit the SUP series website here.

THE GRAY ZONE:

SOVEREIGNTY, HUMAN SMUGGLING, AND UNDERCOVER POLICE INVESTIGATION IN EUROPE

Gregory Feldman, 2019

Based on rare, in-depth fieldwork among an undercover police investigative team working in a southern EU maritime state, Gregory Feldman examines how "taking action" against human smuggling rings requires the team to enter the "gray zone", a space where legal and policy prescriptions do not hold. Feldman asks how this seven-member team makes ethical judgments when they secretly investigate smugglers, traffickers, migrants, lawyers, shopkeepers, and many others. He asks readers to consider that gray zones create opportunities both to degrade subjects of investigations and to take unnecessary risks for them. Moving in either direction largely depends upon bureaucratic conditions and team members' willingness to see situations from a variety of perspectives. Feldman explores their personal experiences and daily work in order to crack open wider issues about sovereignty, action, ethics, and, ultimately, being human. Situated at the intersection of the EU migration apparatus and the global, clandestine networks it identifies as security threats, this book allows Feldman to outline an ethnographically-based theory of sovereign action.

LAW MART:

JUSTICE, ACCESS, AND FOR-PROFIT LAW SCHOOLS

Riaz Tejani, 2017

American law schools are in deep crisis. Enrollment is down, student loan debt is up, and the profession's supply of high-paying jobs is shrinking. Meanwhile, thousands of graduates remain underemployed while the legal needs of low-income communities go substantially unmet. Many blame overregulation and seek a "free" market to solve the problem, but this has already been tested. Seizing on a deregulatory policy shift at the American Bar Association, private equity financiers established the first for-profit law schools in the early 2000s with the stated mission to increase access to justice by "serving the underserved". Pursuing this mission at a feverish rate of growth, they offered the promise of professional upward mobility through high-tech, simplified teaching and learning. In Law Mart, a vivid ethnography of one such environment, Riaz Tejani argues that the rise of for-profit law schools shows the limits of a market-based solution to American access to justice. 

ONE BLUE CHILD: ASTHMA, RESPONSIBILITY, AND THE POLITICS OF GLOBAL HEALTH

Susanna Trnka, 2017

One Blue Child examines the emergence of self-management as a global policy standard, focusing on how healthcare is reshaping our relationships with ourselves and our bodies, our families and our doctors, companies, and the government. Comparing responses to childhood asthma in New Zealand and the Czech Republic, Susanna Trnka traces how ideas about self-management, as well as policies inculcating self-reliance and self-responsibility more broadly, are assumed, reshaped, and ignored altogether by medical professionals, asthma sufferers and parents, environmental activists, and policymakers. By studying nations that share a commitment to the ideals of neoliberalism but approach children's health according to very different cultural, political, and economic priorities, Trnka illuminates how responsibility is reformulated with sometimes surprising results.

THE ORDERLY ENTREPRENEUR:

YOUTH, EDUCATION, AND GOVERNANCE IN RWANDA

Catherine A. Honeyman, 2016

The first generation of children born after Rwanda's 1994 genocide is just now reaching maturity, setting aside their school uniforms to take up adult roles in Rwandan society and the economy. At the same time, Rwanda's post-war government has begun to shrug off international aid as it pursues an increasingly independent path of business-friendly yet strongly state-regulated social and economic development. The Orderly Entrepreneur tells the story of a new Rwanda now at the vanguard among developing countries, emulating the policies of Singapore, Korea, and China, and devoutly committed to entrepreneurship as a beacon for 21st century economic growth.

COERCIVE CONCERN:

NATIONALISM, LIBERALISM, AND THE SCHOOLING OF MUSLIM YOUTH

Reva Jaffe-Walter, 2016

Many liberal-minded Western democracies pride themselves on their commitments to egalitarianism, the fair treatment of immigrants, and the right to education. These environments would seem to provide a best-case scenario for the reception of immigrant youth. But that is not always the case. Coercive Concern explores how stereotypes of Muslim immigrants in Western liberal societies flow through public schools into everyday interactions, informing how Muslim youth are perceived by teachers and peers. Beyond simply identifying the presence of racialized speech in schools, this book uncovers how coercive assimilation is cloaked in benevolent narratives of care and concern.

FRAGILE ELITE:

THE DILEMMAS OF CHINA'S TOP UNIVERSITY STUDENTS

Susanne Bregnæk, 2016

China's One Child Policy and its rigorous national focus on educational testing are well known. But what happens to those "lucky" few at the very top of the pyramid: elite university students in China who grew up under the One Child Policy and now attend the nation's most prestigious universities? How do they feel about having made it to the top of an extremely competitive educational system—as their parents' only child? What pressures do they face, and how do they cope with the expectations associated with being the best? Fragile Elite explores the contradictions and perplexities of being an elite student through immersive ethnographic research conducted at two top universities in China. 

NAVIGATING AUSTERITY:

CURRENTS OF DEBT ALONG A SOUTH ASIAN RIVER

Laura Bear, 2015

Navigating Austerity addresses a key policy question of our era: what happens to society and the environment when austerity dominates political and economic life? To get to the heart of this issue, Laura Bear tells the stories of boatmen, shipyard workers, hydrographers, port bureaucrats and river pilots on the Hooghly River, a tributary of the Ganges that flows into the Bay of Bengal and Indian Ocean. Through their accounts, Bear traces the hidden currents of state debt crises and their often devastating effects.
Taking the reader on a voyage along the river, Bear reveals how bureaucrats, entrepreneurs and workers navigate austerity policies. Their attempts to reverse the decline of ruined public infrastructures, environments and urban spaces lead Bear to argue for a radical rethinking of economics according to a social calculus.

DRUGS, THUGS, AND DIPLOMATS:

U.S. POLICYMAKING IN COLOMBIA

Winifred Tate, 2015

In 2000, the U.S. passed a major aid package that was going to help Colombia do it all: cut drug trafficking, defeat leftist guerrillas, support peace, and build democracy. More than 80% of the assistance, however, was military aid, at a time when the Colombian security forces were linked to abusive, drug-trafficking paramilitary forces. Drugs, Thugs, and Diplomatsexamines the U.S. policymaking process in the design, implementation, and consequences of Plan Colombia, as the aid package came to be known.
Winifred Tate explores the rhetoric and practice of foreign policy by the U.S. State Department, the Pentagon, Congress, and the U.S. military Southern Command. Tate's ethnography uncovers how policymakers' utopian visions and emotional entanglements play a profound role in their efforts to orchestrate and impose social transformation abroad. She argues that U.S. officials' zero tolerance for illegal drugs provided the ideological architecture for the subsequent militarization of domestic drug policy abroad.