To see our publications on parliaments and people, go to the GRNPP library and search under our authors. Over the coming years we will produce books and articles but also podcasts, digital media and visual outputs in collaborative with creative enterprises.
In our first major publication within this programme – Emma Crewe’s book on the Anthropology of Parliament: entanglements in democratic politics – is an overview of global anthropological research on parliaments over the last fifty years. The point of this work is to deepen understanding of the complexity of political institutions. She writes about how elected politicians navigate relationships by forging alliances and thwarting opponents; how parliamentary buildings are constructed as sites of work, debate and the nation in miniature; and how politicians and officials cope with hierarchies, continuity and change.
This book also contains a proposal about how to study parliaments through an anthropological lens while in conversation with other disciplines. The dive into ethnographies from 34 countries across Africa, the Americas, Asia, Europe, the Middle East and the Pacific Region demolishes hackneyed geo-political categories and culminates in a new comparative theory about the contradictions in everyday political work. It reveals the tracking of riffs, rhythms and rituals in parliament as a systematic way to study patterns of interaction. It is available free as an e-book.
According to reviewers:
“With characteristic wit and imagination, Emma Crewe casts her anthropological eye across the spectrum of parliamentary politics. This book is the product of those enquiries – it is sparklingly fresh, insightful, and as ever with this author, more interested in illumination than condemnation.” Jonathan Spencer, University of Edinburgh, UK.
“This is a pioneering anthropological exploration of parliaments from the UK to East Africa and South Asia, through a rigorous, imaginative and productive crossing of disciplinary boundaries. Emma Crewe’s study of the sociality of parliaments – elections, representation and scrutiny – is complemented by a fascinating account of the culture of parliaments – their rhythms, riffs and rituals – both drawing on a formidable volume of primary research, from the constituency-level to every imaginable aspect of parliamentary practice.” Niraja Gopal Jayal, Jawaharlal Nehru University, India.