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Bryant, Rebecca (2018) Sovereignty. In: Callan, Hilary, (ed.) International Encyclopedia of Anthropology. Wiley-Blackwell, London, UK. ISBN 9781118924396

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Identification Number: 10.1002/9781118924396.wbiea1868


In political philosophy and in general use, sovereignty refers to supreme political authority within a territory. This meaning is limited to state sovereignty, a usage that emerged with the modern state. Anthropology, however, has historically taken a wider view of sovereignty, in line with the discipline’s more expansive understanding of the political. In line with constructivist political theory that views sovereignty as an everyday performance, recent ethnography has examined the practice and discourse of authority in the making of “stateness.” Ethnographies of sovereignty have, moreover, analyzed sovereignty over food, energy, science, and cultural production. In anthropology, then, we may understand sovereignty to refer to the exercise of authority within regimes of power.

Item Type: Book Section
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2018 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
Divisions: Hellenic Observatory
Subjects: J Political Science > JC Political theory
G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GN Anthropology
Date Deposited: 02 Sep 2016 14:01
Last Modified: 16 May 2024 05:44

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