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Ethnographies of Grey Zones in Eastern Europe

Relations, Borders and Invisibilities

Edited by Ida Harboe Knudsen and Martin Demant Frederiksen

Ethnographies of Grey Zones in Eastern Europe

A riveting exploration that brings forth new conceptualizations of everyday life and uncertainty in Eastern Europe.

Imprint: Anthem Press
ISBN 9781783084128
April 2015 | 212 Pages | 229 x 152mm / 9 x 6
PRICE:  £60.00  /  $99.00  Buy from Amazon.co.uk  Buy from Amazon.com

About This Book

‘This is an excellent contribution for understanding the ambiguities of the ordinary which is otherwise addressed as the informal or transitory. Through using the concept of the grey zone as an analytical and reflexive tool, relations, borders and invisibilities are explored ethnographically. Highly recommended to all scholars of Eastern Europe and beyond.’ —Lale Yalçın-Heckmann, Max Planck Institute for Social Anthropology, Halle (Saale), Germany

‘Comprehensively, timely and audacious. This book offers a cutting-edge analysis of ambiguities in relations, borders and daily existence in Eastern Europe. It shows that liberalization and Europeanization are perennial quests not only for elites but also for the public.’ —Umut Korkut, Glasgow Caledonian University

'The most interesting and original part of the book’s arc is that EU membership (and its future possibility) remains a shadowy and incomplete grey zone—whether this relates to transition to market, law-based, citizenship and property “norms,” or geographical integrity'. — Jeremy Morris, University of Birmingham

Over the last two decades, Eastern Europe has experienced extensive changes in geo-political relocations and relations leading to everyday uncertainty. Attempts to establish liberal democracies, re-orientations from planned to market economics, and a desire to create ‘new states’ and internationally minded ‘new citizens’ has left some in poverty, unemployment and social insecurity, leading them to rely on normative coping and semi-autonomous strategies for security and social guarantees. This anthology explores how grey zones of governance, borders, relations and invisibilities affect contemporary Eastern Europe.

Readership: This book will be of interest to scholars and students of sociology, democracy, borders, migration, informal practices, morality, and East–West relations within a European context.

Author Information

Ida Harboe Knudsen is a Lecturer at the Department of Culture and Society, Aarhus University, Denmark. Martin Demant Frederiksen is Assistant Professor at the Department of Cross-Cultural and Regional Studies, University of Copenhagen.

Table of Contents

1. Introduction: What Is a Grey Zone and Why is Eastern Europe One? (Martin Demant Frederiksen and Ida Harboe Knudsen); 2. Living in the Grey Zones: When Ambiguity and Uncertainty Are the Ordinary (Frances Pine); 3. Between Starvation and Security: Poverty and Food in Rural Moldova (Jennifer R. Cash); 4. Brokering the Grey Zones: Pursuits of Favours in a Bosnian Town (Čarna Brković); 5. Good Neighbours and Bad Fences: Everyday Polish Trading Activities on the EU Border with Belarus (Aimee Joyce); 6. Bosnian Post-Refugee Transnationalism: A Grey Zone of Potentiality (Maja Halilovic-Pastuovic); 7. “Homeland is Where Everything Is for the People”: The Rationale of Belonging and Citizenship in the Context of Social Uncertainty (Kristina Šliavaitė); 8. Invisible Connections: On Uncertainty and the (Re)production of Opaque Politics in the Republic of Georgia (Katrine Bendtsen Gotfredsen); 9. The Lithuanian “Unemployment Agency”: On Bomžai and Informal Working Practices (Ida Harboe Knudsen); 10. The Last Honest Bandit: Transparency and Spectres of Illegality in the Republic of Georgia (Martin Demant Frederiksen); 11. Making Grey Zones at the European Peripheries (Sarah Green); 12. Coda: Reflections on Grey Theory and Grey Zones (Nils Bubandt); Index