November 2021

Exchange on the beach. Chandrapadi village, Nagapattinam District, Tamil Nadu, India. June 2008. Photo Credit: used with permission from Sudarshan Rodriguez.

Volume 44, Issue 2

Editorial November 2021

As anthropologists, we owe our knowledge to the many people who have shared their stories, life experiences, hopes, plans, and challenges with us. As we end our three-year term as coeditors, we would like to acknowledge some of this debt by thinking about the editorial as a platform for continued engagement and organizing. We asked some of our recent authors to share a possible course of action for readers to take in order to support the people and communities that have informed their research. They have sent: (1) links to a blog posts that could help readers learn more about or take action regarding an issue in the community with whom our authors engage; (2) links to NGOs or community groups that could use financial support or are interested in other kinds of collaboration; (3) links to information about letter writing, or other kinds of public support on policies that affect the places in which they work. Some of the links below are to organizations in need of financial support. Others offer you a way to learn more about the ongoing work and experiences of organizers on the ground. Still others highlight fellow anthropologists who have dedicated themselves to practitioner work. These suggestions also highlight nonacademic writers you might consider citing in your own research as fellow theorists of social movements. When you finish reading this editorial we invite you to take one action, whatever is within your means and ability, to support or amplify one of these initiatives or a community organization doing work in your own backyard.

Scholarly inquiry can, and indeed must, go hand in hand with other kinds of engagement in the world. Along with our interlocutors, we are all part of multiple but ultimately intersecting communities organizing for a more just world. We were happy to be part of that effort in some small way during our editorial tenure, along with our authors and the APLA community. Finally, we warmly welcome the new coeditors, Georgina Ramsay and Sindiso Weeks, who will introduce themselves and their vision in the next issue. We would like to end with sincere gratitude to the whole PoLAR team:

Managing Editor, Stephanie Custer

Associate Editor of PoLAR Online, Jennifer Curtis

Book Review Editor, Leo Coleman

Book Review Assistant and Social Media Coordinator, Agnes Sohn

Our thanks also go to our Editorial Board, who contributed ideas, support and guidance over these last few years. Finally, thanks to the APLA board, in particular outgoing president Erica Bornstein and incoming president Ilana Gershon.

Jessica R. Greenberg, University of Illinois, and Jessica Winegar, Northwestern University, are Co-Editors-in-Chief of PoLAR: Political and Legal Anthropology Review.

Author Action Recommendations

Barak Kalir:  My paper was primarily about the bureaucrats who illegalize and attempt to deport people in the Netherlands by using compassion. I very consciously chose not to write about the subjects of this oppressive compassion, but in my nonacademic life, I strongly support organizations and movements that work with illegalized migrants to offset state oppression and become part and parcel of the society in which they live. One such grassroots organization is Here To Support ( They collect donations via their website.

Vivian Solana:  I would like to share a link to the campaign “Western Sahara is not for Sale.” The web-site was created by a group of Sahrawi youth working from the hospitable refugee camps, which I wrote my article about, but also from the occupied territories and the diaspora. Its general purpose is to provide international visibility for the ongoing colonization of the Western Sahara. The site also has the specific purpose of seeking signatures from groups and organizations worldwide in support of a manifesto against the illegal, corporate plundering of the Western Sahara’s natural resources and the systematic violation of human rights in the territory:

In addition, please read and consider signing the following open letter. Addressed to concerned scholars and activists, the letter calls upon the USA to rescind former PresidentTrump’s recognition of Moroccan sovereignty over Western Sahara:

Open Letter of Solidarity with Western Sahara: Rescind US Recognition of Moroccan Sovereignty:

Tamar Shirinian:  I would like to share information about Kooyrigs, an organization in Armenia that works to support women through humanitarian work as well as educational projects.They have done some amazing work, especially following and during the 2020 war in Nagorno-Karabagh, to provide critical resources to pregnant women and new mothers.This is an organization to which anyone can donate. They are also open to educational collaborations: .

Brooke Bocast:  I consulted on an AJWS project in the community that I write about in my PoLAR article (they are not the NGO that I discuss in that article) and I was impressed with how the organization operationalized principles of social justice and equity on the ground:

Sarah Smith:  The Chuuk Women’s Council is an excellent organization that brings women’s groups across Chuuk together to take action on issues related to gender, environmental concerns, health issues, and pretty much anything else. It is run by, and for, Chuukese women: are Guåhan is an organization resisting the environmental and human impacts of the imperial, militarized occupation of Guam. They aim “to unite and mobilize our people to protect and defend our resources and our culture”:

Jaime Alves:  The coronavirus pandemic is devastating Black communities around the African Diaspora. In the overcrowded favelas of São Paulo, Brazil, the Black population is disproportionately dying due to the lack of access to healthcare while seeing their living conditions deteriorating even further.[1] In Cali, Colombia, the Black population is struggling with extreme poverty and alarming unemployment.[2] While in Colombia, paramilitary groups take advantage of the quarantine to kill Black and Indigenous social activists.[3] In Brazil, activists are fighting not only the virus but also deadly policing that imposes a permanent zone of exclusion through killings and disappearances.[4] As our grieving communities mourn loved ones and struggle to provide basic means of subsistence to those most in need, we join their effort in an urgent call to protect Black lives. Make your donation to assist Black communities in Brazil and Colombia to purchase food, hygiene products, and cleaning supplies.

To make your contribution to “El Chontaduro” a black grassroots in Cali/Colombia, visit:

Donations can be done also through PayPal (Contact:+57 310 7080254).

To make a contribution to “Uneafro” a Black grassroots organization in São Paulo/Brazil, visit:

Campaign members may be contacted through WhatsApp (+55 11 94759-2723 / Brazil) and (+57 310 7080254 / Colombia).

Claudia Fonseca:  I have no problem in recommending an organization to which people can make donations in the neighborhood where I’ve been doing field research for thirty years: The Coletivo Autônomo do Morro. The group is now an official ONG, but it ́s had a long trajectory: from the days of the participatory budget (of the leftist governments) to the neighborhood association (bringing together left and right) and, recently—during the pandemic—a loose network of present and past community activists. They hold together with episodic donations and subventions from places as diverse as the ILO, the government welfare agencies, the local chamber of commerce, and neighborhood shopkeepers:

The Coletivo is a small-scale, modest organization. It has no downtown offices—just re-furbished rooms in an abandoned storehouse or, more recently, a small, abandoned chapel(no one quite remembers who owned the property). It does have a pedagogical project for fifty children (all ages) who spend their afternoons catching up with homework, doing capoeira, or learning rap. It has workshops to help people get into some sort of job (everything from recovering old computers donated by my university, to styling recycled clothes, to preparing CVs). Nearly all the middle-class professionals are unpaid volunteers. All the teachers and educators drawn from the neighborhood receive some sort of a salary.

One of the central actors in this process is the anthropologist Lucia Scalco. She did her PhD on digital in/exclusion ten years ago (under my supervision). We partnered on many issues because she happened to be doing fieldwork in the same neighborhood where I had established some long-lasting connections. Since then she has hooked up with many, many researchers (some of them from overseas), co-authoring articles with people such as Rosana Pinheiro-Machado (see Hau, 2020). But she has never sought a permanent post in the academic world because she has chosen activism as her priority.

Review Essays

Politics in the Name of Humanity, Revisited
Mark Drury

Book Reviews

There is No More Haiti: Between Life and Death in Port-au-Prince  Beckett, Greg (Oakland: University of California Press, 2019)
Vincent Joos

Deported Americans: Life After Deportation to Mexico  Caldwell, Beth C. (Durham: Duke University Press, 2019)
Laura Cleton

Theory for the World to Come: Speculative Fiction and Apocalyptic Anthropology  Wolf-Meyer, Matthew J. (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2019)
Theodoros Kyriakides

The River Is in Us: Fighting Toxics in a Mohawk Community  Hoover, Elizabeth (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2017)
Samuel W. Rose

Resisting Disappearance: Military Occupation and Women’s Activism in Kashmir  Zia, Ather (Seattle: University of Washington Press, 2019)
Ghazal Asif

Demanding Images: Democracy, Mediation, and the Image-Event in Indonesia  Strassler, Karen (Durham: Duke University Press, 2020)
Megan Brankley Abbas

An Ethnography of Hunger: Politics, Subsistence, and the Unpredictable Grace of the Sun  Phillips, Kristin D. (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 2019)
Omolade Adunbi

Border Brokers: Children of Mexican Immigrants Navigating U.S. Society, Laws, and Politics  Getrich, Christina M. (Tucson: University of Arizona Press, 2019)
Susan Bibler Coutin

Domestic Economies: Women, Work, and the American Dream in Los Angeles  Rosenbaum, Susanna (Durham: Duke University Press, 2017)
Irina Kretser

Feeding the Crisis: Care and Abandonment in America’s Food Safety  Dickinson, Maggie (Oakland: University of California Press, 2020)
Eve Vincent

On Roadways and Other Infrastructures
Rebecca Warne Peters

Illegal Encounters: The Effect of Detention and Deportation on Young People Deborah A. Boehm and Susan J. Terrio, eds. (New York: NYU Press, 2019)
Hilary Parsons Dick

Best Practice: Management Consulting and the Ethics of Financialization in China  Chong, Kimberly. (Durham: Duke University Press, 2018)
Michael M. Prentice

Sentiment, Reason, and Law: Policing in the Republic of China on Taiwan Jeffrey T. Martin (Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 2019)
Maria de Fátima Amante

Divorcing Traditions: Islamic Marriage Law and the Making of Indian Secularism  Lemons, Katherine (Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 2019)
Suchandra Ghosh

Global Forensic Cultures: Making Fact and Justice in the Modern Era Ian Burney and Christopher Hamlin, eds. (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 2019)
Monika Lemke

Killing Your Neighbors: Friendship and Violence in Northern Kenya and Beyond  Holtzman, Jon D. (Oakland: University of California Press, 2016)
Erin K. McFee

Waste Siege: The Life of Infrastructure in Palestine  Stamatopoulou-Robbins, Sophia (Stanford: Stanford University Press, 2020)
Kareem Rabie

Contraband Corridor: Making a Living at the Mexico-Guatemala Border Galemba, Rebecca Berke (Stanford: Stanford University Press, 2018)
Jorge Choy-Gómez

Adventure Capital: Migration and the Making of an African Hub in Paris Kleinman, Julie (Oakland: University of California Press, 2019)
Bruce O’Neill

The Torture Letters: Reckoning with Police Violence Ralph, Laurence (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2020)
James Perez

For the War Yet to Come: Planning Beirut’s Frontiers Akar, Hiba Bou (Stanford: Stanford University Press, 2018)
Alice Stefanelli

Food in Cuba: The Pursuit of a Decent Meal Hanna Garth (Stanford: Stanford University Press, 2020)
Maggie Dickinson

Domestication Gone Wild: Politics and Practices of Multispecies Relations Heather Anne Swanson, Marianne Elisabeth Lien, and Gro B. Ween, Eds. (Durham: Duke University Press, 2018)
Juan Javier Rivera Andía

Mekong Dreaming: Life and Death along a Changing River Johnson, Andrew Alan (Durham: Duke University Press, 2020)
Leo Coleman

Threshold: Emergency Responders on the US-Mexico Border Ieva Jusionyte (Berkeley: University of California Press, 2018)
Rafael Wainer

Paradoxes of the Popular: Crowd Politics in Bangladesh Chowdhury, Nusrat Sabina (Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press, 2019)
Rashmi Sadana

Wild Policy: Indigeneity and the Unruly Logic of Intervention Lea, Tess (Stanford: Stanford University Press, 2020)
Claire Ross, Alexander Howes

After Geoengineering: Climate Tragedy, Repair, and Restoration Buck, Holly Jean (London: Verso, 2019)
Sam Mulopulos

Medical Necessity: Health Care Access and the Politics of Decision Making Skinner, Daniel (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2019)
Elizabeth Durham

School of Europeanness: Tolerance and Other Lessons in Political Liberalism in Latvia Dzenovska, Dace (Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 2018)
Sultan Doughan

Pluriversal Politics: The Real and the Possible Escobar, Arturo (Durham: Duke University Press, 2020)
Alexandra Cotofana

Precarious Hope: Migration and the Limits of Belonging in Turkey Parla, Ayşe (Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press, 2019)
Nikos Christofis

The Sustainability Myth: Environmental Gentrification and the Politics of Justice Checker, Melissa (New York: NYU Press, 2020)
Chloe Ahmann

Queering Legal Pluralism?
Michael W. Yarbrough

Pharmocracy, Bureaucracy, Advocacy: Three Studies of Global Health
Sara L.M. Davis

Change and Continuity in China
Cong Zhang, Vanessa L. Fong

Bordering (and) the Political Economies of (talking about) Risk
Juan Manuel del Nido

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