Focaal Volume 2019, Issue 83: The anthropology of austerity

We are pleased to announce that the latest issue of Focaal – Journal of Global and Historical Anthropology has recently published and is available online at

This issue’s theme section—”The Anthropology of Austerity,” guest edited by Theodore Powers and Theodoros Rakopoulos—posits that austerity is an instantiation of structural adjustment programs (SAPs) and thus must be revisited in two ways, involving its historical and geographical rendering. First, anthropological accounts should think of austerity in the long term, providing encompassing genealogies of the concept rather than seeing it as breach to historical continuity. Second, the discipline should employ the comparative approach to bring together analyses of SAPs in the Global South and austerity measures in the Global North, providing a more comprehensive analysis of this phenomenon.

Focaal 83 also includes a regular articles section, which features articles on the precarity of farming in Peru and the promise of education (an it paradox) in Flores, East Indonesia, as well as a free forum section on “The Politics of Affect,” the first part of which can be found here on the FocaalBlog. A review article rounds out the issue.

Volume 2019, Issue 83
The anthropology of austerity

Guest Editors: Theodore Powers and Theodoros Rakopoulos


The anthropology of austerity: An introduction
Theodore Powers and Theodoros Rakopoulos

Echoes of austerity: Policy, temporality, and public health in South Africa
Theodore Powers

Recovered enterprises from the South to the North: Reclaiming labor, conflict, and mutualism in Italy
Giovanni Orlando

Austerity en route, from Lisbon to Luanda
Ruy Llera Blanes

Austerity in Africa: Audit cultures and the weakening of public sector health systems
James Pfeiffer

Commentary: Uneven development, the politics of scale, or global austerity?
Ida Susser

Afterword: Reversing the world—What austerity does to time and place
Theodoros Rakopoulos


Safe milk and risky quinoa: The lottery and precarity of farming in Peru
Astrid B. Stensrud

The promise of education and its paradox in rural Flores, East Indonesia
Thijs Schut


The politics of affect: Perspectives on the rise of the far-right and right-wing populism in the West
Sindre Bangstad, Bjørn Enge Bertelsen, and Heiko Henkel

Review Article

Rethinking land, enclosure, and resistance
Itay Noy

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