Focaal Volume 2017, Issue 77: Nonrecording states

focaal_coverWe are pleased to announce that the latest issue of Focaal – Journal of Global and Historical Anthropology has recently published and is available online at its new home,

This issue’s theme section, titled “Nonrecording states” and guest edited by Barak Kalir and Willem van Schendel,  explores why and when states knowingly refrain from recording people and their activities. Presenting case studies from China, Greece, the Netherlands, India, and Romania, the articles show that strategies of nonrecording are flexible, selective, and aimed at certain populations—and that both citizens and noncitizens can be singled out for nonrecording or derecording. The editors’ introduction is available to all readers for free.

Focaal 77 also includes a regular articles section, which features an article on transparency, risk, and good governance in Indonesia, and one on examples of shifting contexts of foreign aid in South Sudan. The forum section by Isak Niehaus, which is available to all readers for free, focuses on difference strategies of anthropological engagement with government and potential funders by considering the diverse nature of Alfred Radcliffe-Brown and Bronislaw Malinowski’s encounters with South African authorities between 1919 and 1934. A book review article rounds out the issue.

Volume 2017, Issue 77: Nonrecording states

Guest Editors: Barak Kali and Willem van Schendel


Introduction: Nonrecording states between legibility and looking away
Barak Kalir and Willem van Schendel

The sanctioning state: Official permissiveness and prohibition in India
Ajay Gandhi

Non- and dedcoumenting citizens in Romania: Nonrecording as a civil boundary
Ioana Vrăbiescu

Nonrecording the “European refugee crisis” in Greece: Navigating through irregular bureaucracy
Katerina Rozakou

“China gives and China takes”: African traders and the nondocumenting states
Shanshan Lan

State desertion and “out-of-procedure” asylum seekers in the Netherlands
Barak Kalir


Interiority and government of the child: Transparency, risk, and good governance in Indonesia
Jan Newberry

Neutrality in foreign aid: Shifting contexts, shifting meanings—examples from South Sudan
Elżbieta Drążkiewicz


Anthropology at the dawn of apartheid: Radcliffe-Brown and Malinowski’s South African engagements, 1919–1934
Isak Niehaus


Race, space, secularism, and the writing of history
Ashley Lebner

Recommend Focaal to your library

As a key researcher in your field, you can recommend Focaal to your library for subscription. A form for this purpose is provided on the Focaal website here.