Skip to content

Global Assemblages

Aihwa Ong and I edited Global Assemblage (based on an SSRC Workshop) to capture what we saw as a unique perspective on the globalization debates that was emerging at the intersection of geography, anthropology, and sociology. Rather than examining globalization as a marker for a new epoch or as a broad structural transformation, it examined specific technologies, ethical regimes, and administrative systems that articulate contemporary transformations. The contributions to the volume examined the conflicts and controversies at the heart of globalization debates, in areas such as neoliberal reform, the pharmaceutical industry, financial practices, illegal trafficking, and information technology.

I contributed three chapters to the volume, including the Introduction, “Global Assemblages, Anthropological Problems,” co-authored with Aihwa Ong, a chapter drawing on my work in Russia called “Budgets and Biopolitics,”  and a chapter with Andrew Lakoff called “On Regimes of Living,” a revised version of which was published in Anthropological Theory under the title “Ethics and the Anthropology of Modern Reason.”

Table of Contents

Part I: Introduction.

1. Global Assemblages, Anthropological Problems. (Stephen J. Collier and Aihwa Ong).

2. On Regimes of Living. (Stephen J. Collier and Andrew Lakoff).

3. Midst Anthropology’s Problems. (Paul Rabinow).

Part II: Bioscience And Biological Life.

4. Stem Cells R Us: Emergent Life Forms and the Global Biological. (Sarah Franklin).

5. Operability, Bioavailability, and Exception. (Lawrence Cohen).

6. The Iceland Controversy: Reflections on the Transnational Market of Civic Virtue. (Gisli Palsson and Paul Rabinow). Value and Values.

7. Time, Money, and Biodiversity. (Geoffrey Bowker).

8. Antiretroviral Globalism, Biopolitics, and Therapeutic Citizenship. (Vinh-Kim Nguyen).

9. The Last Commodity: Post-Human Ethics and the Global Traffic in “Fresh” Organs. (Nancy Scheper-Hughes).

Part III: Social Technologies And Disciplines. Standards.

10. Standards and Person-Making in East Central Europe. (Elizabeth Dunn).

11. The Private Life of Numbers: Audit Firms and the Government of Expertise in Post-Welfare Argentina. (Andrew Lakoff).

12. Implementing Empirical Knowledge in Anthropology and Islamic Accountancy. (Bill Maurer). Practices of Calculating Selves.

13. Cultures of Expertise and the Management of Globalization. Toward the Re-functioning of Ethnography. (Douglas Holmes and George Marcus).

14. The Discipline of Speculators. (Kate Zaloom).

15. Cultures on the Brink: Re-engineering the Soul of Capitalism – on a Global Scale. (Kris Olds and Nigel Thrift). Managing Uncertainty.

16. Heterarchies of Value: Distributing Intelligence and Organizing Diversity in a New Media Startup. (Monique Girard and David Stark).

17. Failure as an Endpoint. (Hirokazu Miyazaki and Annelise Riles).

Part IV: Governmentality And Politics. Governing Populations.

18. Ecologies of Expertise. Asian Governmentality in the Knowledge Society. (Aihwa Ong).

19. Globalization and Population Governance in China. (Susan Greenhalgh).

20. Budgets and Biopolitics. (Stephen J. Collier). Security, Legitimacy, Justice.

21. State and Urban Space in Brazil: From Modernist Planning to Democratic Interventions. (Theresa Caldeira and Jim Holston).

22. The Garrison-Entrepot: A Mode of Governing in the Chad Basin. (Janet Roitman). Citizenship and Ethics.

23. Biological Citizenship. (Nikolas Rose and Carlos Novas).

24. Robust Knowledge and Fragile Futures. (Marilyn Strathern).