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  • Anti-Crisis

    Author(s): Janet Roitman
    Published: 2013
    Pages: 176
  • Paperback: $21.95 - In Stock
    978-0-8223-5527-4
  • Cloth: $74.95 - In Stock
    978-0-8223-5512-0
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  • Acknowledgments  xi
    Introduction. What Is at Stake?  1
    1. Crisis Demands  15
    Judgment Day  
    The Moral Demand  
    The Test  
    2. Crisis Narratives  41
    Bubbles  
    Houses  
    Finance  
    Subjects  
    3. Crisis: Refrain!  71
    Noncrisis Narrations  
    The Crisis that does not Obtain  
    Conclusion: Dreams  91
    Notes  97
    References  133
    Index  153
  • “One of the great strengths of Roitman’s book is that by analysing how we come to view certain events as being indications of a ‘crisis’, she also sheds light on the way we construct our notion of ‘normalcy.’  . . . Anti-Crisis is clearly the product of a serious attempt to think outside the usual academic boxes, and as such it deserves much praise. It is to Roitman’s credit, and to the reader’s benefit, that she largely succeeds in her aim to illuminate the notion of crisis as an object of knowledge.” — Luke McDonagh, LSE Review of Books

    Reviews

  • “One of the great strengths of Roitman’s book is that by analysing how we come to view certain events as being indications of a ‘crisis’, she also sheds light on the way we construct our notion of ‘normalcy.’  . . . Anti-Crisis is clearly the product of a serious attempt to think outside the usual academic boxes, and as such it deserves much praise. It is to Roitman’s credit, and to the reader’s benefit, that she largely succeeds in her aim to illuminate the notion of crisis as an object of knowledge.” — Luke McDonagh, LSE Review of Books

  • "Anti-Crisis incisively illuminates a core blind spot of modern understandings of history: the coupling of critique & crisis. Janet Roitman sunders this couple revealing the ties that have bound us and thereby opens up welcome new horizons for thought and action. Once the complacency of the self-importance of living in a crisis epoch is gone, then prophecy, denunciation and the speaker’s benefit can be bundled with other toxic waste and pawned off on those looking for assurance at bargain rates."—Paul Rabinow, coauthor of Demands of the Day: On the Logic of Anthropological Inquiry

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  • Description

    Crisis is everywhere: in Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria, and the Congo; in housing markets, money markets, financial systems, state budgets, and sovereign currencies. In Anti-Crisis, Janet Roitman steps back from the cycle of crisis production to ask not just why we declare so many crises but also what sort of analytical work the concept of crisis enables. What, she asks, are the stakes of crisis? Taking responses to the so-called subprime mortgage crisis of 2007–2008 as her case in point, Roitman engages with the work of thinkers ranging from Reinhart Koselleck to Michael Lewis, and from Thomas Hobbes to Robert Shiller. In the process, she questions the bases for claims to crisis and shows how crisis functions as a narrative device, or how the invocation of crisis in contemporary accounts of the financial meltdown enables particular narratives, raising certain questions while foreclosing others.

    About The Author(s)

    Janet Roitman is Associate Professor of Anthropology at the New School for Social Research. She is the author of Fiscal Disobedience: An Anthropology of Economic Regulation in Central Africa.

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