The essays assembled in this book exemplify the way political anthropologists address a range of problems that deeply affect people throughout the world. The authors draw their inspiration from the work of Canadian anthropologist Richard B. Lee, and, like him, they are concerned with understanding and acting upon issues of “indigenous rights”; the impact of colonialism, postcolonial state formation, and neoliberalism on local communities and cultures; the process of culture change; what the history and politics of egalitarian societies reveal about issues of “human nature” or “social evolution”; and how peoples in southern Africa are affected by and responding to the most recent crisis in their midst, the spread of AIDS. The authors in this volume discuss the state of a range of contemporary debates in the field that in various ways extend the political, theoretical, and empirical issues that have animated Lee’s work. In addition, the book provides readers with important contemporary Kalahari studies, as well as “classic” works on foraging societies.
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