AccueilThe Pillars of Rule

The Pillars of Rule

The Writ of Dynasties and Nation-States in the Middle East and South Asia

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Publié le jeudi 24 janvier 2019 par Céline Guilleux

Résumé

Max Weber famously argued that states lay claim to the monopoly of the legitimate use of violence over certain circumscribed territories. However, historical and anthropological research has challenged his ideal-typical vision by showing how the idea of the unitary state is a fiction that can only be produced through the action of interrelated but partly autonomous agents. States, and the various institutions that constitute them, face the strategic task of identifying and domesticating the social networks that are necessary for them to secure control over particular territories and their populations. Local strongmen and notables can in turn use their own local influence in order to gain recognition from higher-level, more powerful, state institutions. In this international conference, scholars from a variety of disciplines will explore the ways in which dynastic power and/or the rule of the state is asserted, negotiated and contested across both the Middle East and South Asia.

Annonce

Argument

Max Weber famously argued that states lay claim to the monopoly of the legitimate use of violence over certain circumscribed territories. However, historical and anthropological research has challenged his ideal-typical vision by showing how the idea of the unitary state is a fiction that can only be produced through the action of interrelated but partly autonomous agents. States, and the various institutions that constitute them, face the strategic task of identifying and domesticating the social networks that are necessary for them to secure control over particular territories and their populations. Local strongmen and notables can in turn use their own local influence in order to gain recognition from higher-level, more powerful, state institutions. In this international conference, scholars from a variety of disciplines will explore the ways in which dynastic power and/or the rule of the state is asserted, negotiated and contested across both the Middle East and South Asia.

State and dynastic power are asserted and transformed in a number of different ways, and during particular moments. These include key moments of political transition such as during and after independence struggles, national referendums, or when new monarchs claim their new crown. These are moments during which inhabitants and their local power networks reiterate, restructure or transform their allegiances. Dynasties and states may also seek to extend their power in more gradual ways, by for example seeking to undermine the power of local clientelistic networks structured around powerful landed groups, or around powerful religious or knowledge producing institutions. Nowadays, they might also do so through anti-corruption campaigns that promote the power of the judiciary—or other unelected institutions—over and above that of local strongmen or landed notables, or by undermining collective allegiances through the technology of the secret vote and its emphasis on the individual voter. Finally, ordinary citizens and subjects also bargain state power on an everyday basis when they decide on what authority they will resort to in order to solve their problems. People bargain state power when, for example, they decide on whether to resolve a dispute through an informal dispute resolution forum, a formal dispute resolution forum, or perhaps through a combination of the two.

In this international conference, participants will interrogate the social and political implications of these shifting balances of power across both the Middle East and South Asia. We believe that the focus on these two regions will be particularly fruitful because both of them have witnessed the rise of empires and of patterns of decentralized rule, both regions subsequently underwent processes of colonization followed by national state formation, and most recently both regions have undergone processes of structural adjustment that have diminished the reach of the nation state. Thus, opening a dialogue over power broking across history in these two geographical areas promises new insights into the dynamics of power structures,that it, on the very making of rule.

Programme

Day 1 Thursday, January 31, 2019

  • 9:00 – 9:30 Welcoming of the participants, introduction to the conference

09:30 – 12:00 Panel I: The Kingmakers

Chair: James Weaver (University of Zurich)

  • Jo Van Steenbergen (Ghent University) ʿAṣabiyya, Messiness, and ‘Mamlukisation’ in the Sultanate of Cairo (1200s–1500s)
  • Uwe Skoda (Aarhus University) Princely Politics and Ritual Centrality: Transforming Royalty in Odisha / India
  • Stefan Leder (Martin-Luther-University – Halle-Wittenberg) Unruly Relationships: Concepts of Governance, Moral Politics, Assertions of Normativity
  • Milinda Banerjee (Ludwig-Maximilians-University – Munich) The Mortal God: Imagining the Sovereign in Colonial India

Discussant: Ulrich Brandenburg (University of Zurich)

13:30 – 16:00 Panel II: Genealogies of Power, Power of Genealogies

Chair: Thiruni Kelegama (University of Zurich)

  • Arild Ruud & Kenneth Bo Nielsen (University of Oslo) Political Dynasticism at the Regional Level: A Case Study from West Bengal
  • Bettina Dennerlein (University of Zurich) The Synthesis of the King and “his” People: Genealogy,Nationalism, and the Politics of Reform in Morocco since 1999
  • Thomas Hüsken (Bayreuth University) Political Orders in the Making: A Comparative Study of Emerging Forms of Political Organisation from Libya to Northern Mali
  • Lucia Michelutti (University College London) Parivar Raj (the rule by family): The Role of Money and Force in the Making of Dynastic Authority in North India

Discussant: Nicolas Martin (University of Zurich)

16:30 – 18:30 Panel III: Supernatural Powers

Chair: Elisa Ganser (University of Zurich)

  • Zakaria Rhani (Mohammed V University, Rabat) The Power of Healing: Sainthood and Politics in Morocco
  • Sidharthan Maunaguru (National University of Singapore) Sovereign Deities, Militant Movement and Modern State/s:A Comparative Study on Hindu Temples, Tiger Politics and State Practices in the UK and Sri Lanka
  • Hassan Rachik (Hassan II University – Casablanca) Monarchy, Sacrality and Citizenship in Morocco

Discussant: tba

Day 2 Friday, February 1, 2019

09:30 – 12:00 Panel IV: In-between Power

Chair: tba

  • Shruti Kapila (University of Cambridge) 1984 and the Sacred Ends of Sovereignty
  • Aymon Kreil (Ghent University) Unsteady Power in the Ḥāra: A Craftsman’s Changing Realms of Authority in Cairo (2013–2017)
  • Thiruni Kelegama (University of Zurich) Occupying Weli Oya: Frontier Politics and Post-war Sri Lanka
  • Marine Poirier (CEDEJ, Cairo) Stateless Statesmen? Dynamics of Relegation and Mobilizationamong Yemeni Former Ruling Elites Exiled in Cairo
  • Discussant: Daniele Cantini (University of Zurich)

13:30 – 16:00 Panel V: Elections and Electoral Bargains

Chair: Sarah Farag (University of Zurich)

  • Nicolas Martin (University of Zurich) Politics, Capital and Land-Grabs in India
  • Mohamed Fahmy Menza (American University in Cairo) On Elections and sociopolitical agency: The case of post-2013 Egypt
  • Bart Klem (University of Melbourne) ‘No more liberation’: Tamil Politics sans LTTE
  • Amr Hamzawy (Wissenschaftskolleg zu Berlin) Post-2013 Egypt: Law-Making amid an Authoritarian Upsurge

Discussant: tba

16:30 – 18:30 Panel VI: Knowledge Production and the Nation State

Chair: Helena Rust (University of Zurich)

  • Mohammed Bamyeh (University of Pittsburgh) To Judge or to Understand? Vanguards, Scholars, and Arab Mobilizations
  • Nida Kirmani (Lahore University of Management Sciences) Crossing Borders, Shifting Locations: Reflecting on the Role of Power and Politics in the Production of Knowledge
  • Daniele Cantini (University of Zurich) Knowledge, made in Egypt: An Institutional Approach to the Production of Knowledge and Research since 1908

Discussant: Aymon Kreil (Ghent University)

18:30 – 19:00 Conference conclusion; closing remarks

Lieux

  • Asien-Orient-Institut, room RAA G-01 - Rämistr. 59
    Zurich, Confédération Suisse (8001)

Dates

  • jeudi 31 janvier 2019
  • vendredi 01 février 2019

Mots-clés

  • politic, state, power

Contacts

  • Tabea Suter
    courriel : tabea [dot] suter [at] uzh [dot] ch

URLS de référence

Source de l'information

  • Aymon Kreil
    courriel : aymon [dot] kreil [at] ugent [dot] be

Pour citer cette annonce

« The Pillars of Rule », Colloque, Calenda, Publié le jeudi 24 janvier 2019, https://calenda.org/554169

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