State, law, and relational modalities | Larissa Vetters

State, law, and relational modalities

Larissas’ dissertation focused on processes of external state-building in post-conflict Bosnia and Herzegovina based on the approach of a relational stategraphy developed together with Tatjana Thelen and Keebet von Benda-Beckmann. It provides a fine-grained ethnography of the relational modalities, notions of community, forms of interest articulation as well as ideas and practices of statehood that emerged in interactions between citizens, local bureaucrats and members of the international community in the divided city of Mostar in Dayton Bosnia-Herzegovina. These relational modes of engaging with the state as well as the emerging notions of community and statehood neither correspond to consociational democratic statehood as envisioned by the international community nor to ideas of exclusive ethno-national communities as propagated by political leaders.
More recently Larissa has conducted research on migrants’ encounters with German administrative law. This latter interest has resulted in an ongoing research project on migration and the transformation of German administrative law, as well as a newly established project on the effects of the digitalization of German migration management (together with Olaf Zenker, Martin-Luther University Halle-Wittenberg in the framework of the Collaborative Research Centre 1171 ‘Affective Societies’). In these projects, she continues to integrate and explore the potential of a relational stategraphy for interdisciplinary research at the interface of anthropology, administrative sciences and public law scholarship.
Linking these ethnographic explorations is an underlying interest in how the state as a political community and provider of welfare is relationally reproduced and reconfigured in the face of political, social and technological transformations and how this conversely reconfigures citizenship as a political subjectivity, as a practice of producing significant relations or difference, and as recognition of solidarities or exclusion.

Larissa Vetters

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