International Political Anthropology online conference

(Wo)man is a political being
(Wo)man is a political being


for the International Political Anthropology online conference ‘Liminality,
disease and politics’, 20-21 May 2021

Keynote Speaker: Arpad Szakolczai, Professor Emeritus, UCC, Ireland

Conference Description: The conference addresses a major issue of general theoretical relevance concerning the current pandemic crisis: what is the way in which sudden emergency situations can lead to or bring about permanent changes in politics. To start with, both disease and politics have a well-defined, distinct character. Starting with the first one, the disease has an external, independent position with respect to the socio-political world, it can act without a mover and can move without action. It is incommensurable, is the negation of regularities, is uncaused and unreasoned, it has a pure dynamism of its own, which can quickly lead to the multiplication and amplification of any growth. Infectious or epidemic diseases in particular, but even diseases of the cells like cancer, have the drive to possess the entire body, and thus can easily lead to escalating and multiplicative changes. The second one, politics is on the opposite side, it is concerned with establishing and using commensurability or ratio, having a definite structure, statutes, substance and meaning, laws, and a common understanding of being, in order to secure or striving for betterment. But what happens when in particular situations (as an approximate definition, we shall call it a liminal crisis) a sudden emergency might be taken up and be used to promote a generalizing, universalistic, even eschatological solution. In this regard, the idea that emergencies might be exaggerated, or even purposefully mongered, will also be explored.

Organization: The conference is organized by the IPA, the panels chaired by Marius Ion Bentza (Polish Institute of Advanced Studies,, Paul O’Connor (Sociology – CHSS, and Camil Francisco Roman (John Cabot University, Rome & Università di Roma LUMSA, We invite scholars from all disciplines to submit 250-word abstracts along with a short c.v. to The deadline for the submission of abstracts is extended to 10 March 2021. Please, put “The Political Anthropology Conference” in the email’s subject line.

Agnes Horvath, Chief Editor, International Political Anthropology.