Antropologia na wojennej ścieżce. Wojny i konflikty etniczne jako wyzwanie dla współczesnego etnologa
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Anthropology on a warpath. Wars and ethnic conflicts as a challenge for a modern ethnologist Anthropology on a warpath is not easy and has nothing to do with the appealing and charming exoticism. Rather than that, it is the immersing into the heart of darkness, which is safely thousands of kilometers away from us. In the last two decades, during their „under fire” research, anthropologists (ethnologists) have exposed many social and cultural aspects of wars, waged for more or less noble causes. As one of few, they managed to focus the world’s attention on the drama of little known ethnic groups, civilians and children, that is being acted out in countries in Africa, Asia or Latin America. The results of this research confirms a thesis, that the actors of modern confl icts are a part of a „new caste”, where people are free from many prohibitions, commands and hierarchy, that used to matter in the past, among traditional societies. However, the research soon became an ethical challenge to the anthropologists. It was not just about the experience gained in field, but most of all the risk created by choosing sides in a conflict. After 9/11, in the world of institutionalized military interventions, the anthropologists had to choose: either participate in research programs sponsored by institutions such as the U.S. Department of Defense or the U.S. Army, or decline that off er. Two latest projects, prepared by the U.S. Government (Human Terrain System and Minerva) were particularly controversial. After they were made well-known by the media, the conflict escalated: the supporters of the academic independence of scientifi c research versus the environment that acknowledges the necessity to engage anthropology in the area of practical intervention, which serves the people wronged by armed conflicts.
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