Infrastructures and Social Complexity: A Companion
Contemporary forms of infrastructural development herald alternative futures through their incorporation of digital technologies, mobile capital, international politics and the promises and fears of enhanced connectivity. In tandem with increasing concerns about climate change and the anthropocene, there is further an urgency around contemporary infrastructural provision: a concern about its fragility, and an awareness that these connective, relational systems significantly shape both local and planetary futures in ways that we need to understand more clearly. Offering a rich set of empirically detailed and conceptually sophisticated studies of infrastructural systems and experiments, present and past, contributors to this volume address both the transformative potential of infrastructural systems and their stasis. Covering infrastructural figures; their ontologies, epistemologies, classifications and politics, and spanning development, urban, energy, environmental and information infrastructures, the chapters explore both the promises and failures of infrastructure. Tracing the experimental histories of a wide range of infrastructures and documenting their variable outcomes, the volume offers a unique set of analytical perspectives on contemporary infrastructural complications. These studies bring a systematic empirical and analytical attention to human worlds as they intersect with more-than-human worlds, whether technological or biological.
About the Author
Penny Harvey is Professor of Social Anthropology, University of Manchester, UK Casper Bruun Jensen is Associate Professor/Senior Researcher at Osaka University, Japan Atsuro Morita is Associate Professor in the Department of Anthropology, School of Human Sciences, Osaka University, Japan
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Just who are ‘the Malays’? This provocative study poses the question and considers how and why the answers have changed over time, and from one region to another. Anthony Milner develops a sustained argument about ethnicity and identity in an historical, ‘Malay’ context. The Malays is a comprehensive examination of the origins and development of Malay identity, ethnicity, and consciousness over the past five centuries.
- Covers the political, economic, and cultural development of the Malays
- Explores the Malay presence in Brunei, Singapore, Indonesia, Thailand, Cambodia, Sri Lanka, and South Africa, as well as the modern Malay show-state of Malaysia
- Offers diplomatic speculation about ways Malay ethnicity will develop and be challenged in the future
About the Author
Robert Gottlieb is Henry R. Luce Professor of Urban and Environmental Policy and Director of the Urban and Environmental Policy Institute at Occidental College. Mark Vallianatos is Research Coordinator at the Urban and Environmental Policy Institute at Occidental College. Regina M. Freer is Associate Professor of Politics at Occidental College. Peter Dreier is E. P. Clapp Distinguished Professor of Politics and Director of the Urban and Environmental Policy Program at Occidental College.
In this important new book, High argues that poverty reduction policies are formulated and implemented in fields of desire. Drawing on psychoanalytic understandings of desire, she shows that such programs circulate around the question of what is lacking. Far from rational responses to measures of need, then, the politics of poverty are unconscious, culturally expressed, mutually contradictory, and sometimes contrary to self-interest.
Based on long-term fieldwork in a Lao village that has been the subject of multiple poverty reduction and development programs, High’s account looks at implementation on the ground. While these efforts were laudable in their aims of reducing poverty, they often failed to achieve their objectives. Local people received them with suspicion and disillusionment. Nevertheless, poverty reduction policies continued to be renewed by planners and even desired locally. High relates this to the force of aspirations among rural Lao, ambivalent understandings of power and the “post-rebellious” moment in contemporary Laos.