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Anthropologies of Extortion

Objective

Extortion had come to occupy a quintessential position in the global imaginary of mafia-type-criminal organizations. Yet it is also increasingly present beyond clandestine criminal networks and is becoming a normalised profitable source of livelihood and governance and a key visible social relation in many parts of the world. Systematic research on and explanatory models for the apparent expansion and rountinisation of extortion in everyday life (including cyber-extortion) are currently lacking. Timely, the project sets up extortion as an object of anthropological inquiry and charts the first comprehensive cross-cultural account of extortion in social life across South and East Asia, the Americas, Africa and Europe. The proposed program of work consists of 5 main components: 1) Primary research on ‘offers that cannot be refused' across different domains of life in and across 22 settings; 2) Analytical and theoretical development in the study of power, consent and organized crime; 3) Methodological innovation by conducting a simultaneous cross-national ethnographic research and adding a South-to-South comparative angle in an area dominated by single case studies and a focus on the Global North; 4) Capability enhancement by forging an international network of scholars in the emerging field of the anthropology of crime and supporting the careers of the project's 5 Post-docs; 5) Policy relevant research in the fields of violence and consent, organized crime, informal economy and development. The study capitalises on previous research and skills of the PI in the cross-cultural study of bossism, politics and kinship and 'mafias' in the global South. Research will be embedded in anthropology but informed by empirical and analytical questions relevant to criminology, political science, economics and development studies.

Call for proposal

ERC-2019-ADG
See other projects for this call

Funding Scheme

ERC-ADG - Advanced Grant

Host institution

UNIVERSITY COLLEGE LONDON
Address
Gower Street
WC1E 6BT London
United Kingdom
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
EU contribution
€ 2 055 718,75

Beneficiaries (5)

UNIVERSITY COLLEGE LONDON
United Kingdom
EU contribution
€ 2 055 718,75
Address
Gower Street
WC1E 6BT London
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
UNIVERSITETET I OSLO
Norway
EU contribution
€ 51 400
Address
Problemveien 5-7
0313 Oslo
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
GOLDSMITHS' COLLEGE
United Kingdom
EU contribution
€ 231 737,50
Address
Lewisham Way
SE14 6NW London
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
THE UNIVERSITY OF READING
United Kingdom
EU contribution
€ 66 251,25
Address
Whiteknights Campus Whiteknights House
RG6 6AH Reading
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
LONDON SCHOOL OF ECONOMICS AND POLITICAL SCIENCE
United Kingdom
EU contribution
€ 90 142,50
Address
Houghton Street 1
WC2A 2AE London
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments