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State, Power and Unaccountability in “Neo-Capitalist” East Russia: The Case of Nephrite Business (nephrite business)
Date du début: 1 mai 2012, Date de fin: 30 avr. 2014 PROJET  TERMINÉ 

The anthropology of the state is a fast developing field which aims to explore how State power is generated and can be tracked in people’s everyday actions and choices. Cultural groups use their special perspectives on the relationship with the State as instruments in communication with other groups. How are these perspectives obtained and manifested at the micro-levels of interaction? How if at all do they coincide with other features embedded in cultures? This project focuses on the case of indigenous business enterprise, which was established by a group of Evenki of East Russia and on attempts of State representatives to control it in order to obtain taxes and bribes. Evenki have been resisting these efforts for more than 10 years by generating unaccountability of their actions and reports filled with what one can call information noise, which are inappropriate for the reconstruction of the way the business is operating. I hypothesize that the Evenki methods by which this in-transparency is attained correlate with the egalitarian features of their culture. The study of this strategy will provide new insights about the dynamics of State development not only in peripheral territories of Russia, but also in other National States that claim to colonize and integrate egalitarian hunter-gathers. The research is based on several extended fieldworks and will be developed at Cambridge University, which is one of the world’s leading research centers in the field of the anthropology of the state. During the tenure of this project I plan to consult and interact with Prof. Humphrey, Drs. Sneath, Navaro-Yashin and Ssorin-Chaikov. The latter will act as a host supervisor that will assist the researcher to develop his independent career and will coordinate his integration into the international community of anthropologists.