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Personalizing the State – An Anthropology of Law, Politics, and Welfare in Austerity Britain - Oxford Scholarship Online
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Personalizing the State: An Anthropology of Law, Politics, and Welfare in Austerity Britain

Insa Lee Koch


Liberal democracy appears in crisis. From the rise of ‘law and order’ and ever tougher forms of means-testing under ‘austerity politics’ to the outcome of Britain’s referendum on leaving the EU, commentators have argued over why democracy has taken an illiberal turn. This book shifts the focus from the ‘why’ to the ‘how’ and the ‘what’: to how citizens experience government in the first place and what democracy means to them. Based on long-term ethnographic fieldwork, it takes these questions to Britain's socially abandoned council estates, once built by local authorities to house the working ... More

Keywords: Punishment, law, welfare, housing, austerity, Brexit, the state, liberal democracy, council estates, class, anthropology, social theory, political economy, care

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2018 Print ISBN-13: 9780198807513
Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2019 DOI:10.1093/oso/9780198807513.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Insa Lee Koch, author
Assistant Professor, London School of Economics