Janet Roitman

Janet Roitman
The New School · Department of Anthropology

Doctor of Philosophy

About

47
Publications
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1,328
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Publications

Publications (47)
Article
We now live in perpetual crisis: ‘an age of crisis’, ‘times of crisis’, ‘chronic crisis’ and so on. These expressions seem to merely describe a state of affairs, but they are foundational claims. The concept of crisis qualifies a world: it determines what gets to count as an event and what gets inscribed as history in the ongoing stream of competin...
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Over the past decade, a tide of economic reports and financial analyses has washed over the African continent. These widely circulated reports are the work of international consultancies, such as McKinsey & Company or Deloitte and Touche. Indeed, the influence of these professional service firms is manifest in their predictions of immense economic...
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Over the past decade, a tide of financial analyses has washed over the African continent. These reports by international consultancy firms predict fundamental economic transformation, or “Africa Rising,” a slogan that signifies an emergent middle class and investment-ready domestic consumer markets. However, in promoting the Africa Rising narrative...
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Africa Rising: Class of Finance? The expression “Africa Rising” refers to an emerging middle class, or the harbinger of a new era for the continent—a claim that is debated. Development economists measure the magnitude of the middle class, while anthropologists and sociologists critique their economism. This debate is locked in opposition: quantitat...
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History in Financial Times sheds light on the historiography of contemporary finance. But there is a tension in the book that is inescapable: between the production of crisis historiography, on the one hand, and the practice of the concept of crisis, on the other. There is, in other words, a barely articulated distinction between crisis as a “metah...
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Sur quels fondements épistémiques l’état de « crise » peut-il être déclaré ? Quel rapport un tel diagnostic entretient-il avec nos représentations de l’histoire, du fonctionnement routinier des organisations et des marchés ? Ces questions sont au coeur des recherches de Janet Roitman, professeure d’anthropologie à laNew School for Social Research d...
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Africa, otherwise Beyond Crisis Although crisis typically refers to a historical conjuncture (war, economic recession, famine) – or to a moment in history, a turning point – it has been taken to be the defining characteristic of teh african continent for some three decades now. Can on speak of a state of enduring crisis? How can one think “think”...
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For Humanity, Janet Roitman, and Ken Harrow interviewed Gregory Mann on some of the major themes of Mann’s book From Empire to NGOs in the West African Sahel: the Road to Nongovernmentality. Key points of debate include NGO activity and foreign Human Rights engagement in West Africa, the meaning of “government” in the region, the nature of African...
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Over the past years, France has been rocked not only by violent demonstrations in the banlieues (city outskirts) but also by raging debates regarding the place of “postcolonial studies” in the French archive and in current scholarship. The dispute over postcolonial studies in this European venue is symptomatic of disagreement about the status of Fr...
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Unregulated Commerce and Road Banditry: A Day's WorkThe Intelligibility of Seizure and TaxPractices of Government on the Margins and in the NormNotes
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This article engages with Jane Guyer's assessment (in Marginal Gains, 2004) of contemporary forms of capitalism from outside the bounds of two opposing logics: the universalization of capitalist arrangements versus the specificity of local forms of economic arrangement. Guyer's rejection of a priori definitions of economic categories leads to ferti...
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Roitman's paper explores the concept of 'economic citizenship' through an examination of practices in the cross-border territories of the Chad Basin. In doing so, Roitman demonstrates the simultaneous existence of regulated and unlicensed economic activities. Her exploration of the discourse surrounding these economic practices, and the civil disob...
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The concept of cultural identity has become for many a convenient explanation for most of the world's political problems. In The Illusion of Cultural Identity Jean-François Bayart offers a sustained critique of this rationalization by dispelling the notion that fixed cultural identities do, in fact, exist. In this highly sophisticated book, Bayart...
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Public Culture 15.2 (2003) 211-237 Jacques-Gilbert Ymbert, L'art de faire des dettes This essay is a reflection on debt. Debt seems to be the flip side of wealth; that is, not having enough. And yet I would like to consider the ways in which debt is plenitude and not simply lack. Perhaps economic debt is not just the constraint of society, the rubb...
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n trajet sur les routes qui relient les différents États-nations du bassin du lac Tchad 1 est une expédition fort hasardeuse. On est sans cesse obligé de faire des embardées et de négocier des virages pour éviter des cratères sur les quelques axes goudronnés, de contourner des ornières et des trous sur les pistes poussiéreuses. Certaines régions so...
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Equatorial Guinea : Be « offshore » to stay « national » With the discovery of oil, Equatorial Guinea has negotiated partnerships with international firms and financial agencies. This article examines the Guinean regime’s efforts to reconstruct itself in the international arena by raising certain questions : Is Equatorial Guinea an offshore entity...
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This text examines the meanings and material effects of the garrison-entrepôt in the Lake Chad Basin. As an historical institution, the garrison-entrepôt is a site where practices and significations which are both military and commercial are concretized. It takes part in the history of conquest and violent modes of violent accumulation (slaving, ra...
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ABSTRACT & RÉSUMÉ & ZUSAMMENFASSUNG: - Even though Peter Geschiere underlines the ambiguity of the conceptual distinction between what is “real” and what is “imaginary” in this domain, it is not the intention of the book to affirm the reality of occult forces. However, it does provide us with a powerful tool to comprehend the meaning and relevance...
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Dans ce texte, on analyse les significations et les conséquences tangibles de la garnison-entrepôt dans le bassin du lac Tchad. La garnison-entrepôt est une institution historique ; c'est un lieu où se concrétisaient des pratiques et des significations qui sont à la fois commerciales et militaires. Son histoire fait partie des conquêtes et pratique...
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This is a study of historical modes of governing the economy in Northern Cameroon. The research was conducted upon the premise that objects of the economy are established as such in the field of the political; the conditions for the production of representations of the economy are in part informed by political vocabularies (e.g. equality, propriety...
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Resume Du capitalisme culturel. — Dans cet article les trois ouvrages analyses offrent, chacun a sa maniere, une critique aigue du capitalisme en termes de categorie universelle. A travers des etudes de cas, les auteurs remettent en question les conceptions qui font de l'histoire du capitalisme a la fois une entreprise globalisante du monde et un p...
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Moi, quad quelque chose me dkpasse, j e ris seulement. DOUALA RESIDENT, August 1993 he following remarks are about subjectivities of "the crisis" and their corol-T lary, the crisis of the subject. The first term refers to the crisis as a constitu-tive site of particular forms of subjectivity. The second term invokes the crisis of the very act of si...
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A partir de deux genres de publications (scientifique et litteraire) de N. Barley, consacrees aux Dowayo du Nord du Cameroun, l'A. analyse les problemes d'interpretation et de causalite, les relations entre le reel / rationnel et l'imaginaire / irrationnel, l'alterite et l'identification.
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The first section briefly outlines and criticises the tendency amongst analysts to examine the ways in which African societies fail to conform to idealised models of the state and market, declaring them to be, in effect, "dysfunctional'. Then examines the extent to which the recent society-centred studies serve as a possible corrective to the stati...
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This article engages with Jane Guyer's assessment (in Marginal Gains, 2004) of contemporary forms of capitalism from outside the bounds of two opposing logics: the universalization of capitalist arrangements versus the specificity of local forms of economic arrangement. Guyer's rejection of a priori definitions of economic categories leads to ferti...

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