What can anthropology and political science learn from each other? The authors argue that collaboration, particularly in the area of concepts and methodologies, is tremendously beneficial for both disciplines, though they also deal with some troubling aspects of the relationship. Focusing on the influence of anthropology on political science, the book examines the basic assumptions the practitioners of each discipline make about the nature of social and political reality, compares some of the key concepts each field employs, and provides an extensive review of the basic methods of research that "bridge" both disciplines: ethnography and case study. Through ethnography (participant observation), reliance on extended case studies, and the use of "anthropological" concepts and sensibilities, a greater understanding of some of the most challenging issues of the day can be gained. For example, political anthropology challenges the illusion of the "autonomy of the political" assumed by political science to characterize so-called modern societies.
Several chapters include a cross-disciplinary analysis of key concepts and issues: political culture, political ritual, the politics of collective identity, democratization in divided societies, conflict resolution, civil society, and the politics of post-Communist transformations.
Myron J. Aronoff is Professor Emeritus of Political Science, Anthropology, and Jewish Studies at Rutgers University and Visiting Professor Emeritus of Political Science at the University of Michigan. He is the recipient of the 2013 AIS-Isreael Institute Lifetime Achievement Award. Jan Kubik is Professor of Political Science at Rutgers University and also serves as a Recurring Visiting Professor of Sociology, Center for Social Studies, Polish Academy of Sciences, Warsaw.
Dedication Acknowledgements List of Tables List of Figures Preface Chapter 1. Introduction Chapter 2. Methods: Ethnography and Case Study Chapter 3. Beyond Political Culture Chapter 4. Symbolic Dimensions of Politics: Political Ritual and Ceremonial Chapter 5. The Politics of Collective Identity: Contested Israeli Nationalisms Chapter 6. Democratization in Deeply Divided Societies: The Netherlands, India, and Israel Chapter 7. Camp David Rashomon: Contested Interpretations of the Israel/Palestine Peace Process Chapter 8. What Can Political Scientists Learn About Civil Society From Anthropologists? Chapter 9. Homo Sovieticus and Vernacular Knowledge Chapter 10. Conclusions Bibliography