Political Anthropology - 2nd semester


a) Allows student to become familiar with the ways anthropology has studied politics, power, domination and resistance. b) Analyse alternative political systems as a way of showing its diversities as well as the main principles of organization. c) Develop the students intelectual capacities, theoretical and practical, students to understand and explain such contexts and themes, having in mind the use of such knowledge in further studies and/or carriers.

General characterization





Responsible teacher

Margarida Fernandes


Weekly - 4

Total - Available soon

Teaching language





Balandier, G., 1987. Antropología política. Lisboa: Presença. Clastres, P., 1979. A Sociedade contra o Estado. Porto: Afrontamento. Comaroff, J & J. Comaroff, 1986. “Christianity and Colonialism in South Africa”, American Ethnologist 13 (1): 1-22. Evans-Pritchard, E. E., 1981 [1940]. “Os Nuer do Sul do Sudão”, in Sistemas Políticos Africanos. Lisboa: Fundação Calouste Gulbenkian, pp. 469-508. Gledhill, John, 1994. Power and its Disguises: Anthropological Perspectives on Politics. London: Pluto Press. Nash, J., 1981. “Ethnographic Aspects of the World Capitalist System”, Annual Review of Anthropology, 10: 393-423. Stoller, P., 1984. “Horrific Comedy: Cultural Resistance and the Hauka in Niger”, Ethos 12 (2): 258-276. Vincent, J., 1990. Anhropology and Politics: Visions, Traditions and Trends. Tucson: The University of Arizona Press. Wolf, E., 1982. Europe and the People without History. Berkeley: University of California Press, pp. 3-23.

Teaching method

The classes will be mainly carried out by the lecturer but participation is highly encouraged.

Evaluation method

Evaluation includes: a) two exams b) a final group essay

Subject matter

a. locating the political in Anthropology: meta-narrative b. Societas and civitas c. Segmentarity d. structural instability e. Theory of games f. Processualists g. Transactionalism h. The symbolics of power i. Power as symbolic action j. Types of chieftans k. Society againts the State
l. Ethnographies of the world-systems m. Everyday forms of resistance and colonial domination