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Article

Sociopolitics

Reviews in Anthropology. 2015. Vol. 41. No. 1. P. 5-27.

Sociopolitics refer to ways in which politics and relations of

power are constituted through an authoritative discourse on the

social. This concept echoes Foucault’s biopolitics. ‘‘Society’’ and

the ‘‘social’’ are devices, as well as categorical foundations, for

the political. As with ‘‘bio’’ in biopolitics, ‘‘socio’’ gives a particular

form to power that it articulates and constitutes. This review

essay uses this concept to discuss recent work of James Scott and

David Graeber, and the English-language translation of a 1980

collection of essays by Pierre Clastres. I argue that this anarchist

anthropology articulates a clear break within anarchist theory.

This break is in the ways the social and the political are related

as means and ends in ethnography and in conceptualization of

anarchist practice.