Now Avaliable: Anthropologists in the SecurityScape: Ethics, Practice, and Professional Identity

Anthropologists in the SecurityScape
Anthropologists in the SecurityScape

It has landed for all your holiday needs.  I have a chapter in the new book “Anthropologists in the SecurityScape” now available from Amazon.


As the military and intelligence communities re-tool for the 21st century, the long and contentious debate about the role of social scientists in national security environments is dividing the disciplines with renewed passion. Yet, research shows that most scholars have a weak understanding of what today’s security institutions actually are and what working in them entails. This book provides an essential new foundation for the debate, with fine-grained accounts of the complex and varied work of cultural, physical, and linguistic anthropologists and archaeologists doing security-related work in governmental and military organizations, the private sector, and NGOs. In candid and provocative dialogues, leading anthropologists interrogate the dilemmas of ethics in practice and professional identity. Anthropologists in the SecurityScape is essential reading for anyone who wishes to understand or influence the relationship between anthropology and security in the twenty-first century.

Editorial Reviews

“These close studies move us past dogmas to data in discussion of relations between anthropology and the military.”
James Peacock, University of North Carolina

“When their governments wage wars, what can scholars do? For anthropologists in particular, what are the practical, ethical and civic responsibilities that come with scholarly knowledge of other cultures? As the blast radius of 9/11 rolled outward, serving as the pretext for liberations that turned into occupations, the erosion of civil liberties at home, and an explosion of extra-judicial killings abroad, it also fueled heated and adversarial responses among American anthropologists to these urgent questions. This volume expands the debate, presenting the voices of smart, principled scholars and practitioners who explain how and why they work in professional settings that are alien or suspect to most academic anthropologists. Conceived and executed in a spirit of even-tempered, open-minded and empirically-informed conversation, this volume constitutes a vital resource for anyone curious about the diverse roles and locations of ‘security anthropologists.’ It also opens a substantive dialogue around concepts of public engagement, professional vocation and moral complacency which are of pressing concern for the discipline’s future.”
Keith Brown, Associate Professor, Watson Institute for International Studies, Brown University

“A gripping read through a charged yet respectful high-stakes conversation about the position of anthropological work in the security sector. Anthropologists in the SecurityScape is packed with personal stories from anthropologists working in a wide range of roles both in and around the military and other defense and security institutions. The contributors’ distinct voices shine through: teachers and trainers, humanitarian workers and intelligence analysts, religious scholars and cultural resource managers along with many others. They reveal the tensions faced in their encounters with those in the “securityscape” as well as with colleagues in the anthropological community. This book excels in achieving the dialogical potential of anthropological work. It promises to challenge and extend understanding of the motivations and realities of engagement – as well as non-engagement – with the security sector. More broadly, it raises questions relevant to anthropological work with consequential institutions of all kinds. Anyone invested in informing a public anthropology is sure to learn from this book.”
Melissa Cefkin, Author of “Ethnography and the Corporate Encounter

“This engaging and important casebook explores the dynamics of how, when, why and under what conditions and with what risks, anthropologists have engaged with the large and expanding security apparatus of the United States. The collection is broad, interesting and could not be more timely.”
Paul Rabinow, University of California, Berkeley

3 thoughts on “Now Avaliable: Anthropologists in the SecurityScape: Ethics, Practice, and Professional Identity

  1. Mark,
    You are too humble, again. What is your chapter called? is there a thesis of some sort? Is the brilliance you are hiding so well going to be used to remake US military policy in Afghanistan?


  2. Ah, thanks. These book is a series of case studies. My chapter title is “Intelligence Work: The Mundane World of High-Consequence Analysis.” It is a description of what the day to day work of being an intelligence analyst looks like from a first person perspective.

  3. Interesting! Unfortunately amazon, the publisher’s homepage as well as google books don’t allow the potential shopper to have a look at the table of contents. Could you please post the table of contents (or send it to me per e-mail)? That would be very helpful! J

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