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Journal of Global and Historical Anthropology

Aims & Scope

Visit the new Focaal website here!

Focaal – Journal of Global and Historical Anthropology is a peer-reviewed journal advocating an approach that rests in the simultaneity of ethnography, processual analysis, local insights, and global vision. It is at the heart of debates on the ongoing conjunction of anthropology and history, as well as the incorporation of local research settings in the wider spatial networks of coercion, imagination, and exchange that are often glossed as "globalization" or "empire."

Seeking contributions on all world regions, Focaal is unique among anthropology journals for consistently rejecting the old separations between "at home" and "abroad," "center" and "periphery." The journal therefore strives for the resurrection of an "anthropology at large" that can accommodate issues of the global south, postsocialism, mobility, metropolitan experience, capitalist power, and popular resistance into integrated perspectives.

Introducing: FocaalBlog, which aims to accelerate and intensify anthropological conversations beyond what a regular academic journal can do, and to make them more widely, globally, and swiftly available.

Current Issue

Focaal 78, Summer 2017

Boredom after the global financial crisis: From privilege to precarity

Guest edited by Marguerite van den Berg and Bruce O'Neill

Introduction: Rethinking the class politics of boredom
Marguerite van den Berg and Bruce O'Neill

Joyful pessimism: Marginality, disengagement, and the doing of nothing
Martin Demant Frederiksen

The ethnographic negative: Capturing the impress of boredom and inactivity
Bruce O'Neill

Too much time: Changing conceptions of boredom, progress, and the future among young men in urban Ethiopia, 2003–2015
Daniel Mains


"Because we are the only ones in the community!" Protest and daily life in poor South African neighborhoods
Jérôme Tournadre

"They don't even know how to copy": The discourse on originality in Albania's art world
Sofia Kalo

Can a financial bubble burst if no one hears the pop? Transparency, debt, and the control of price in the Kathmandu land market
Andrew Haxby

Empowering or impoverishing through credit: Small-scale producers and the Plan Contalpa in Tabasco, Mexico
Gisela Lanzas and Mattthew Whittle

Why do drug dealers still live with their moms? Contrasting views from Chicago and Managua
Dennis Rodgers


Meditations on crises and time in Southeastern Europe
Jana Hrckova

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