Modes of UncertaintyAnthropological Cases

Modes of UncertaintyAnthropological Cases

Limor Samimian-Darash and Paul Rabinow

Print publication date: 2016

ISBN: 9780226257075

Publisher: University of Chicago Press


Modes of Uncertainty: Anthropological Cases argues that today it is vital to distinguish danger, risk, and uncertainty analytically and anthropologically. In order to do so, it presents a series of concepts and cases that clarify emergent problem spaces as well as to the way these domains are currently addressed—or not addressed—by relevant scholarship. It argues that the scholarly fields previously understood as covering risk are inadequate in part because the world is increasingly being populated by forms, practices and events of uncertainty that cannot be reduced to risk. It makes the case that the study of uncertainty should not focus solely on the appearance of new risks and dangers in the world which no doubt abound, but also on how uncertainty itself should be defined as a problem; and the forms of governing and experience that are emerging in relation to it. The studies in this book, with contributions from various anthropological domains (economics and entrepreneurialism, security and humanitarianism, health and environment), enable consideration of the forms of knowledge and technologies applied to the problem of managing uncertainty, as well as differing modes of subjectivity appropriate to forms of action currently developing beyond risk assessment. The volume brings together recent thinkers whose work, while not ignoring previous scholarship on risk, nevertheless provides ground-breaking attention to the domain of uncertainty providing analytic tools and case studies necessary for understanding that domain.

Table of Contents

Front Matter


Limor Samimian-Darash and Paul Rabinow

Part One Economics and Entrepreneurialism

Part Two Security and Humanitarianism

Part Three Environment and Health