This ethnographic study of political life in the department of Yonne, in the Burgundy region, explores a still richly Balzacian provincial world. The author, a French anthropologist, has extensive field experience in Ethiopia. Deploying the insights and methods of social anthropology, drawing on local history, interviews, and participant observation, Abeles describes politicians at every level, from municipal officers to members of parliament and ministers. He provides a clear picture of the process of decentralization initiated by the socialist government in 1982, and undermines the simplistic notion of centralist France. This book, which develops a fresh perspective on political life in France past and present illustrates more generally a new approach to modern political phenomena from the point of view of anthropology.
MORE FROM THIS COLLECTION