Show simple item record

dc.contributor.advisor Rustom, Hakem Abaza, Jihad 2016-09-06T20:07:58Z 2018-09-06T22:00:21Z Spring 2016 en_US 2016-09-06
dc.description.abstract In this thesis, I look at the ways in which statehood comes to be defined, practiced, and performed through Syrian war-time migrants’ “repatriation” in Abkhazia, a small breakaway self-proclaimed state squeezed between Russia and Georgia.1I argue that while separatist states’ desires and aspirations towards statehood grant legitimacy to the modern nation-state system, they at once expose the fragility of its very order. An unrecognized state like Abkhazia still maneuvers within the system that it is locked out of, but the way that Abkhazia, like other unrecognized states, is shunned from the ‘family of nations’ could reveal how constructed and hallucinatory the modern state-order is. In another sense, looking at Abkhazian state performativity, or the fictitious aura that arises from the notion of an Abkhazian nationality, can tell us about the taken-for-granted fictitious characters of other states. While I use the word “fictitious” here, it is important to acknowledge, as Trouillot reminds us, that the “fictitious” has very real, felt consequences in the everyday lives of people.2The point is not to make an anomaly out of Abkhazia because it is an unrecognized state because, ultimately, most administrative practices in that space are not different from other states and their own practices of make-believeness, a term coined by Yael Navaro-Yashin.3 In other words, what can the theatrical and ritualistic practices of Abkhazian statehood around the Syrian war-time migrants tell us about similar practices in other, both unrecognized and recognized, states? From here on, one can conjure questions on what it means for a state to be sovereign within a certain territory, as well as questions that delve deeper into how it is that subjects of states imagine (or feel) the entity and/or notion of the state to begin with. How does this state project manifest itself in the movement of people across (un)recognized borders, in document production, and in the rhetoric of war? My argument therefore also entails the problematization of a variety of taken-for-granted categories, including ethno-national categories, the classification of “the refugee,” the state, the nation, as well as that of war. The idea is that these categories, often considered “problem categories,” stem from and float around the concept of the “state.” Yet, this thesis posits the prospect that the state is the problem category.4My thesis also branches from conceptualizing the corporeal practices of the state to include war-making and document production as nation-building practices. Both such practices also contribute to the generation of “state-less peoples,” or “refugees.” This thesis is split into six parts, each of which I detail with its own abstract immediately below. en_US
dc.format.extent 157 p. en_US
dc.format.medium theses en_US
dc.language.iso en en_US
dc.rights Author retains all rights with regard to copyright. en
dc.subject Anthropology of the State en_US
dc.subject Anthropology of Violence en_US
dc.subject Abkhazia en_US
dc.subject Syria en_US
dc.subject Russia en_US
dc.subject Statehood en_US
dc.subject Recognition en_US
dc.subject Repatriation en_US
dc.subject Citizenship en_US
dc.subject Documents en_US
dc.subject.lcsh Thesis (M.A.)--American University in Cairo en_US
dc.title On becoming citizens of the 'non-existent': violence, document-production and Syrian war-time migration in Abkhazia en_US
dc.type Text en_US
dc.subject.discipline Anthropology en_US
dc.rights.access This item is restricted for 2 years from the date issued en_US
dc.contributor.department American University in Cairo. Dept. of Sociology, Anthropology, Psychology, and Egyptology en_US
dc.description.irb American University in Cairo Institutional Review Board approval has been obtained for this item. en_US
dc.contributor.committeeMember Sabea, Hanan
dc.contributor.committeeMember Khayyat, Munira

Files in this item


This item appears in the following Collection(s)

  • Theses and Dissertations [1704]
    This collection includes theses and dissertations authored by American University in Cairo graduate students.

Show simple item record