Emptiness

Living capitalism and democracy after postsocialism

Field Reports

Extended extractivism: the production of an operational landscape in Eastern Germany

Authors: Friederike Pank

Types: Concepts, Ethnography, Observations

Location: Germany

Themes: Extractivism, Infrastructure, Postsocialism, Space, The Rural

News & Events

Spheres of migration: a tale of two empires from the Latvian periphery

Publications

Good enough sovereignty, or on land as property and territory in Latvia

Authors: Dace Dzenovska

Location: Latvia

Themes: Capitalism, Geopolitics, Postsocialism, Sovereignty, The Countryside, The Rural

Drawing on ethnographic analysis of the tensions surrounding the Danish presence in the Latvian countryside and on historical analysis of the shifting regimes of ownership and rule since the beginning of the twentieth century, this article traces the emergence of ‘good enough sovereignty’ as a form of political practice aimed at ensuring continued existence of the Latvian state and Latvian farmers.

About

92-year old Milda lives in a village next to a former railway station in the Latvian-Russian borderlands. During the Soviet period, it was a vibrant transportation hub. Residents recall 'wagons of watermelons' that passed through and 'crowds of summer residents' that came from Leningrad. Things have changed since then. This European Research Council-funded project aims to find out what these changes mean for the people who are living them, and what they reveal about forms of capitalism and political authority in postsocialist spaces and beyond.

Collaborate with us

If you would like to find out more about the project or contribute a blog on a resonant aspect of your own research to the Field Reports section of our website, please get in touch by writing to emptiness@anthro.ox.ac.uk.