Imagining and Practicing Sovereignty From Below.

  Taking into account the increasingly exceptional political conjuncture in which Europe goes through and inspired by ethnographic approaches to sovereignty and the state, I will embark on an ethnographic investigation of the radical pro-independence assembly movement incarnated by the Committees for the Defence of the Republic in the city of Barcelona. As part of my two-year Research master in Cultural Anthropology in the University of Utrecht, the fieldwork will last 6 months and will be based on participant-observation and in-depth interviews. As such, my intention is to present the first raw data that will be produced during the first two months of the research in relation to my theoretical framework. The explicit aim of the research is to explore how desires of sovereignty, horizontal political practice and ideas on social justice are performed, negotiated and contested within a national and European context that has been marked for over a decade now by severe symptoms of authoritarianism and lack of legitimacy.                                  My presentation will consider the basic contributions of Anthropology to the understanding of sovereignty and the state, issues that are increasingly popular within the discipline. Anthropological perspectives have refreshed sovereignty and state studies –traditionally monopolized by International Relations and Political Science- by introducing notions of performativity, desire and agency resulting into a substantially different and enlarged vision of political organization and political praxis. As such, the latter can be imagined and enacted beyond the state offering new historical alternatives to the question of political organization.          

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