Online Book Reviews

In keeping with our commitment to providing readers with timely online content, PoLAR: Political and Legal Anthropology Review makes all book reviews via the Wiley’s early view feature, with accepted versions (pre-proof) available on a rolling basis on this website.

If you are interested in serving as a book reviewer for PoLAR, please consult our guidelines for reviewers. Our lists of books for review can be found here.

List of Books Reviewed by Author

Allen, Lori. The Rise and Fall of Human Rights: Cynicism and Politics in Occupied Palestine. Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press, 2013.

Ansell, Aaron. Zero Hunger: Political Culture and Antipoverty Policy in Northeast Brazil. Chapel Hill, NC: The University of North Carolina Press, 2014.

Appadurai, Arjun. Banking on Words: The Failure of Language in the Age of Derivative FinanceChicago, IL: University of Chicago Press, 2016.

Bakke, Gretchen. The Grid: The Fraying Wires between Americans and Our Energy Future. New York, NY: Bloomsbury USA, 2016.

Baldwin, Peter. The Copyright Wars: Three Centuries of Trans-Atlantic BattlePrinceton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2014.

Barzilai, Maya.  Golem: Modern Wars and Their MonstersNew York, NY: New York University Press, 2016.

Bennion, Janet and Lisa Fishbayne Joffe, Eds. The Polygamy Question. Logan, UT: Utah State University Press, 2016.

Benda-Beckmann, Franz von and Keebet von Benda-Beckmann. Political and Legal Transformations of an Indonesian Polity: The Nagari from Colonisation to Decentralisation. Cambridge University Press, 2013.

Bernal, Victoria. Nation as Network. Diaspora, Cyberspace & CitizenshipChicago, IL: University of Chicago Press, 2014.

Besteman, Catherine. Making Refuge: Somali Bantu Refugees and Lewiston, MaineDurham, NC: Duke University Press, 2016.

Billaud, Julie. Kabul Carnival: Gender Politics in Postwar Afghanistan. Philadelphia, PA: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2015.

Borneman, John. Cruel Attachments: The Ritual Rehab of Child Molesters in GermanyChicago, IL: University of Chicago Press. 2015.

Breglia, Lisa. Living with Oil: Promises, Peaks, and Declines on Mexico’s Gulf CoastAustin, TX: University of Texas Press, 2013.

Büscher, Bram. Transforming the Frontier:  Peace Parks and the Politics of Neoliberal Conservation in Southern AfricaDurham, NC: Duke University Press, 2013.

Cabot, Heath. On the Doorsteps of Europe: Asylum and Citizenship in Greece. Philadelphia, PA: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2014.

Chan, Anita Say. Networked Peripheries: Technological Futures and the Myth of Digital Universalism. MIT Press, 2014.

Cody, Francis. 2013. The Light of Knowledge: Literacy Activism and the Politics of Writing in South IndiaIthaca, NY: Cornell University Press.

Constable, Marianne. Our Word is Our Bond: How Legal Speech ActsStanford, CA: Stanford University Press, 2014.

Constable, Nicole. Born Out of Place: Migrant Mothers and the Politics of International Labor. Berkeley, CA: University of California Press, 2014.

Conley, Robin. Confronting the Death Penalty: How Language Influences Jurors in Capital Cases. Oxford University Press, 2016.

Curtis, Jennifer. Human Rights as War By Other Means. University of Pennsylvania Press, 2014.

De Dardel, Julie. Exporter la prison américaine. Le système carceral colombien à l’ère du tournant punitif. Neuchâtel : Éditions Alphil. Presses universitaires suisses, 2016.

Denyer Willis, Graham. The Killing Consensus: Police, Organized Crime, and the Regulation of Life and Death in Urban Brazil. Berkeley, CA: University of California Press, 2015.

Dietrich, Alexa S. The Drug Company Next Door: Pollution, Jobs, and Community Health in Puerto Rico. New York, NY : New York University Press, 2013.

Dolan, Catherine and Dinah Rajak, eds. The Anthropology of Corporate Social Responsibility. New York: Berghahn Books, 2016.

Dossa, Parin. Afghanistan Remembers: Gendered Narrations of Violence and Culinary Practices. Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2014.

Dreby, Joanna. Everyday Illegal: When Policies Undermine Immigrant Families. Berkeley, CA: University of California Press, 2015.

Duncan, Christopher R. Violence and Vengeance: Religious Conflict and its Aftermath in Eastern Indonesia. Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 2013.

Erazo, Juliet S. Governing Indigenous Territories: Enacting Sovereignty in the Ecuadorian AmazonDurham, NC: Duke University Press, 2013.

Erlich, Susan, Diana Eades, and Janet Ainsworth. Discursive Constructions of Consent in the Legal Process. New York, NY: Oxford University Press, 2016.

Fehérváry, Krizstina. 2013. Politics in Color and Concrete: Socialist Materialities and the Middle Class in Hungary. Bloomington, IN: Indiana University Press.

Feldman, Allen. Archives of the Insensible: Of War, Photopolitics, and Dead MemoryChicago, IL: University of Chicago Press, 2015.

Fischel, Joseph J. Sex and Harm in the Age of ConsentMinneapolis, MN: University of Minnesota Press, 2016.

Flores, Edward Orozco. God’s Gangs: Barrio Ministry, Masculinity, and Gang RecoveryNew York, NY: New York University Press, 2014.

Friedman, Sara L. and Pardis Mahdavi. Migrant Encounters: Intimate Labor, The State, and Mobility Across Asia. Philadelphia, PA: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2015.

Frois, Catarina. Peripheral Vision: Politics, Technology, and Surveillance.  New York, NY: Berghahn, 2013.

Garrett, Brandon L. Too Big to Jail: How Prosecutors Compromise with Corporations. Cambridge, MA: Belknap Press, 2014.

Glass, Charles. Syria Burning: A Short History of a Catastrophe. London: Verso, 2016.

Godoy, Angelina Snodgrass. Of Medicines and Markets: Intellectual Property and Human Rights in the Free Trade Era. Stanford University Press, 2013.

Goldman, Marcio. How Democracy Works: An Ethnographic Theory of Politics. Sean Kingston Publishing, 2013.

Greenberg, Jessica. 2014. After the Revolution: Youth, Democracy, and the Politics of Disappointment in Serbia. Stanford University Press.

Haugerud, Angelique. No Billionaire Left Behind: Satirical Activism in AmericaStanford, CA: Stanford University Press, 2013.

Hariman, Robert and Ralph Cintron, eds. Culture, Catastrophe, and Rhetoric: The Texture of Political Action. New York: Berghahn Books, 2015.

Hegland, Marie Elaine. Days of Revolution: Political Unrest in an Iranian VillageStanford,CA : Stanford University Press, 2014.

Hellermann, Pauline von. Things Fall Apart? The Political Ecology of Forest Governance in Southern Nigeria.  New York, NY: Berghahn, 2013.

Hindman, Heather. Mediating the Global: Expatria’s Forms and Consequences in Kathmandu. Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press, 2013.

Hirschfeld, Katherine. Gangster States. Organized Crime, Kleptocracy and Political CollapseHampshire, UK: Palgrave Macmillan, 2015.

Hoem, Ingjerd.  Languages of Governance in Conflict: Negotiating Democracy in TokelauJohn Benjamins Publishing, 2015.

Homes-Eber, Paula. Culture in Conflict: Irregular Warfare, Culture Policy and the Marine CorpsStanford, CA: Stanford University Press, 2014.

Holmes, Douglas R. Economy of Words: Communicative Imperatives in Central BanksChicago: University of Chicago Press, 2014.

Holmes, Seth M. Fresh Fruit, Broken Bodies: Migrant Farmworkers in the United States. Berkeley, CA: University of California Press, 2013.

Hromadžić, Azra. Citizens of an Empty Nation: Youth and State-Making in Postwar Bosnia-Herzegovina. Philadelphia, PA: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2015.

Jansen, Stef. 2015.  Yearnings in the Meantime: Normal Lives and the State in a Sarajevo Apartment Complex. New York, NY: Berghahn, 2015.

Kawar, Leila. Contesting Immigration Policy in Court: Legal Activism and Its Radiating Effects in the United States and France. New York: Cambridge University Press, 2015.

Kelly, Tobias. This Side of Silence: Human Rights, Torture, and the Recognition of Cruelty Philadelphia, PA: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2012.

Kingfisher, Catherine. A Policy Travelogue: Tracing Welfare Reform in Aotearoa/New Zealand and Canada. New York, NY: Berghahn Books, 2013.

Knight, Kelly Ray.  Addicted.pregnant.poor. Durham, NC: Duke University Press. 2015.

Kwon, Soo Ah. 2013. Uncivil Youth: Race, Activism and Affirmative GovernmentalityDurham, NC: Duke University Press.

LaChance, Daniel. Executing Freedom: The Cultural Life of Capital Punishment in the United States. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2016.

Larson, Jonathan L. Critical Thinking in Slovakia After Socialism.  New York, NY: Berghahn, 2013.

Lee, Tina. Catching a Case: Inequality and Fear in New York City’s Child Welfare System New Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers University Press, 2016.

LeVine, Mark and Mathias Mossberg, eds. One Land, Two States: Israel and Palestine as Parallel States. Berkeley, CA: University of California Press, 2014.

Li, Fabiana.  Unearthing ConflictDurham, NC: Duke University Press. 2015.

Macías-Rojas, Patrisia.  From Deportation to Prison: The Politics of Immigration Enforcement in Post-Civil Rights America. New York, NY: New York University Press, 2016.

Majic, Samantha. 2013. Sex Work Politics: From Protest to Service ProvisionPhiladelphia, PA: University of Pennsylvania Press.

Menchaca, Martha. The Politics of Dependency: US Reliance on Mexican Oil and Farm Labor. Austin, TX: University of Texas Press, 2016.

Moodie, Megan.  We Were Adivasis: Aspiration in an Indian Scheduled TribeChicago, IL and London,UK: University of Chicago Press, 2015.

Morris, Barry. Protests, Land Rights, and Riots: Postcolonial Struggles in Australia in the 1980s.  New York, NY: Berghahn Books, 2014.

Muehlmann, Shaylih. When I Wear My Alligator Boots: Narco-Culture in the U.S.-Mexico Borderlands. University of California Press, 2014.

Mulla, Sameena. The Violence of Care: Rape Victims, Forensic Nurses, and Sexual Assault InterventionNew York: New York University Press, 2014.

Obarrio, Juan. The Spirit of the Laws in Mozambique. Chicago, IL: The University of Chicago Press, 2014.

Park, Rebekah. The Reappeared: Argentine Former Political Prisoners. New Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers University Press, 2014.

Petric, Boris. Where Are All Our Sheep? Kyrgyzstan, a Global Political ArenaTranslated by Cynthia Schoch. New York: Berghahn, 2015.

Pinkus, Karen. Fuel: A Speculative Dictionary. Minneapolis, MN: University of Minnesota Press, 2016.

Razsa, Maple. Bastards of Utopia: Living Radical Politics after SocialismBloomington and Indianapolis, IN: Indiana University Press, 2015.

Reeves, Madeleine. Border Work: Spatial Lives of the State in Rural Central Asia Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 2014.

Rhode, Deborah L.  Adultery: Infidelity and the Law. Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 2016.

Roche, Sophie. Domesticating Youth: Youth Bulges and their Socio-Political Implications in TajikistanNew York, NY: Berghahn Books, 2014.

Röschenthaler, Ute and Mamadou Diawara, Eds. Copyright Africa: How Intellectual Property, Media and Markets Transform Immaterial Cultural Goods. Canon Pyon: Sean Kingston Publishing, 2016.

Sarat, Austin. Gruesome Spectacles: Botched Executions and America’s Death Penalty. Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press, 2014.

Scott, David. Omens of Adversity: Tragedy, Time, Memory, Justice. Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 2014.

Seligman, Linda J. Broken Links, Enduring Ties:  American Adoption Across Race, Class, and Nation. Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press, 2013.

Sending, Ole Jacob. The Politics of Expertise: Competing for Authority in Global Governance. Ann Arbor, MI : University of Michigan Press, 2015.

Shakow, Miriam. 2014. Along the Bolivian Highway: Social Mobility and Political Culture in a New Middle Class. Philadelpha, PA: University of Pennsylvania Press.

Sider, Gerald M. Skin for Skin: Death and Life for Inuit and Innu. Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 2014.

Sider, Gerald M. Race Becomes Tomorrow: North Carolina and the Shadow of Civil Rights. Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 2015.

Simon, Suzanne. Sustaining the Borderlands in the Age of NAFTA:  Development, Politics and Participation on the U.S.-Mexico BorderVanderbilt University Press, 2014.

Simpson, Adam. 2014. Energy, Governance and Security in Thailand and Myanmar (Burma): A Critical Approach to Environmental Politics in the SouthAshgate.

Simpson, Audra Simpson. Mohawk Interruptus: Political Life Across the Borders of Settler StatesDurham, NC: Duke University Press, 2014.

Slyomovics, Susan. How to Accept German Reparations. Philadelphia, PA: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2014.

Sojoyner, Damien.  First Strike: Educational Enclosures in Black Los AngelesMinneapolis, MN: University of Minnesota Press, 2016.

Tambar, Kabir. The Reckoning of Pluralism: Political Belonging and the Demands of History in TurkeyStanford,CA: Stanford University Press, 2014.

Tuğal, Cihan. The Fall of the Turkish Model. London: Verso, 2016.

Valencia, Cristobal. We Are the State! Barrio Activism in Venezuela’s Bolivarian Revolution. Tucson, AZ: University of Arizona Press, 2015.

Vieira, Kate.  American By Paper: How Documents Matter in Immigration LiteracyMinneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2016.

Walker-Said, Charlotte and John D. Kelly, eds. Corporate Social Responsibility?: Human Rights in the New Global EconomyChicago, IL : University of Chicago Press, 2015.

White, Geoffrey M. Memorialization Pearl Harbor: Unfinished Histories and the Work of Remembrance. Durham, NC : Duke University Press, 2016.

White, Michael D. and Henry F. Fradella. Stop and Frisk: The Use and Abuse of a Controversial Policing Tactic. New York, NY: New York University Press, 2016.

Willey, Angela. Undoing Monogamy: The Politics of Science and the Possibilities of Biology Durham,NC: Duke University Press, 2016.

Winegard, Timothy C. The First World Oil WarToronto: University of Toronto Press, 2016.

Young Evrard, Amy. The Moroccan Women’s Rights MovementSyracuse, NY: Syracuse University Press, 2014.


List of Book Review Essays by Author

Canfield, Matthew C. Managing Uncertainty: The Linguistic Transformation of Markets, Governance, and Politics. October 2017.

Coburn, Noah. After the Arab Spring: Four Anthropologies of Political Space in the Middle East. May 2018.

Dewey, Susan.   Anthropologies of the U.S. Criminal Justice System. August 2017.

Günel, Gökçe.  New Perspectives on Energy. May 2018.

Kurtović, Larisa. Post-socialism 2.0: New Ethnographies of Contemporary Balkans. March 2018.

Offit, Anna. Giving Life to the Death Penalty. December 2016.

Omari, Jeffery. Copyright: From Historical Roots to Regulating the Contemporary Complexities of Human Creativity. June 2018.

Peretz, Jason Johnson. Consent in the Era of #MeToo. April 2018.

Souleles, Daniel. Hide Your Kids, Hide Your Wives, Hide Your Beds: Marriage, law, and changing social norms in the United States. August 2017.

Statz, Michele. Papers, Performance, and Making Immigration Matter. August 2017.

Prior to 2016, PoLAR released online book reviews in the form of supplemental issues. Archived editions are available here:

1-Scott-165x1652014 Online Book Review Issue

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14716.jpg2011 Online Book Review Issue

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