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Oligarchs and Oligopolies New Formations of Global Power by Bruce Kapferer

Oligarchs and Oligopolies New Formations of Global Power

Part of the Critical Interventions: A Forum for Social Analysis Series


Oligarchs and Oligopolies New Formations of Global Power by Bruce Kapferer

Current configurations of global, imperial, and state power relate to formations of oligarchic control. A major feature of this is the command of political organizations and institutions by close-knit social groups (families or familial dynasties, groups of kin, closed associations, or tightly controlled interlinked networks of persons) for the purpose of the relatively exclusive control of economic resources and their distribution. Moreover, the oppressive powers of state systems (e.g., the denial or constraining of human freedoms, the production of poverty and class inequalities) and the expansion of these in imperial form are a consequence of oligarchic forces. The nation-state, as the essays in this forum, which involve several lines of analysis in different concrete locations (North America, Russia, West Africa, and Australia) show, is giving way to a political-economic formation that has multiple state-like effects and is able to act in ways systemic with deterritorializing global processes.

About the Author

Bruce Kapferer is a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Social Sciences and is currently Professor of social Anthropology at the University of Bergen, Norway. Previously, he was Foundation Professor of Anthropology at the University of Adelaide and at James Cook University, as well as Professor and Chair at University College London.

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Book Info

Publication date

15th August 2005


Bruce Kapferer

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Berghahn Books


122 pages


Constitution: government & the state



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