Searching for the 'ideal face of the state' in a Lebanese border town

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This article analyses conceptual local understandings of the 'state' in a town that lies in a tense border zone, between Lebanon and Syria. It addresses the experience of historically being controlled by two states with changing relations and the manner in which this predicament translates at the local level in issues relating to everyday life. The article theoretically questions the assumed political 'marginality' of people living at the borders of the nation-state and looks at the town-dwellers as active political agents who try to transcend the local and actively link to national powers in the capital, particularly at a time when a political opportunity presented itself in 2005. Moreover, the article contributes to recent anthropological trends that call for an understanding of the state through an exploration of its physical manifestations and practices. © Royal Anthropological Institute 2010.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)330-346
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of the Royal Anthropological Institute
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2010


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