The Everyday Life of the State

A State-in-Society Approach

Edited by Adam White
Foreword by Joel S. Migdal

  • Published: 2013
  • Subject Listing: History; Asian Studies
  • Bibliographic information: 264 pp., 0 tables, 6 x 9 in.
  • Territorial rights: World Rights
  • Published with: Center for Global Studies, Jackson School of International Studies
  • Contents

Today there are more states controlling more people than at any other point in history. We live in a world shaped by the authority of the state. Yet the complexion of state authority is patchy and uneven. While it is almost always possible to trace the formal rules governing human interaction to the statute books of one state or another, in reality the words in these books often have little bearing upon what is happening on the ground. Their meanings are intentionally and unintentionally misrepresented by those who are supposed to enforce them and by those who are supposed to obey them, generating a range of competing authorities, voices, and allegiances. The Everyday Life of the State explores this "everyday" transformation of state authority into multiple scripts, narratives, and political activities. Drawing upon case studies from across the Middle East, North Africa, and Asia, the chapters in this book investigate the many ways in which those subjects traditionally regarded as being weak, passive, and obedient manage not only to resist the authority of state actors but to actively subvert and appropriate it, in the process making, unmaking, and remaking the boundaries between state and society over and over again. Collectively, these chapters make an important contribution to the expanding literature on "everyday politics."

The "state in society" concept used in this volume has been developed by political scientist Joel S. Migdal, the Robert F. Philip Professor of International Studies in the University of Washington's Henry M. Jackson School of International Studies.
Adam White is the author of The Politics of Private Security: Regulation, Reform and Re-Legitimation. The contributors include Senem Aslan, Lauren L. Basson, Ceren Belge, Mary Alice Haddad, Iza Hussin, Arda Ibikoglu, Ahmet T. Kuru, YŁksel Sezgin, Benjamin Smith, Pamela J. Stumpo, Maha El-Taji Daghash, Nicole F. Watts, and Patricia J. Woods.

"The coherence of the collection is outstanding. The state-in-society approach that informs the individual contributions and the volume as a whole provides a strong foundation that holds together analyses that cover a wide geographical scope."
-Resat Kasaba, University of Washington
Joel S. Migdal

Introduction: A State-in-Society Agenda
Adam White

PART ONE The Everyday Life of the Turkish State
1. Seeing the State: Kinship Networks and Kurdish Resistance in Early Republican Turkey
Ceren Belge

2. Rethinking Turkish State-Kurdish Relations
Nicole F. Watts

3. Stat-Society Relations and Religious Freedom: The United States, France, and Turkey
Ahmet T. Kuru

4. Prison as a Space of State-Society Contestation: The Case of Turkish F-Type Prisons
Arda Ibikoglu

PART TWO The Everyday life of the Israeli State

5. Nationalism Complete: The Boundaries of Arab Political Participation in Israel
Maha El-Taji Daghash

6. Nation Building and Regulation of Pluri-legal Jurisdictions: The Case of the Israeli Millet System
Yuksel Sezgin

7. Collaborating with the Image of the State, Resisting Its Practices, or Both? Israeli Jewish Women's Political Activism
Lauren L. Basson

8. The Politics of Fracture: Identity, Difference, and Fissures in the Image of the Singular, Unified Israeli State
Patricia J. Woods

PART THREE The Everyday Life of the State in Asia and North Africa

9. Revelation and Redemption: Colonial Precedents for the Politics of Islam and Malaysia
Iza Hussin

10. (Re)Creating Democracy through Practice: Insights from the Japanese Experience
Mary Alice Haddad

11. Negotiating National Identity: Berber Activism and the Moroccan State
Senem Aslan

12. Challenging the Practice of the State, but Beholden to Its Image: Women's Activists, Academics, and the Public Take on Egypt's Citizenship Laws
Pamela J. Stumpo

Benjamin Smith

Notes on Contributors

"This accessible, lively, and engaging work features 12 essays by American, British, and Canadian political science professors."

"This accessible, lively, and engaging work features 12 essays by American, British, and Canadian political science professors. . . Each essay works individually to illustrate and interrogate the theoretical argument by providing specific examples, and could thus work well as an introduction to this literature for undergraduate or graduate students as well as policy makers. . . .Highly recommended."