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General information

Call for papers

These are turbulent times. As they face war, climate and economic crisis, the lingering effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, and the rising popularity of authoritarian and populist leadership, people across the world reassess the role of the state. Many expect the state to provide solutions to local and global challenges; others turn to conspiracy theories and “post-truth” politics to explain the misery we are in. The workings of the state remain opaque and trust in the politicians at its helm everywhere seems at an all-time low. While the popularity of neoliberal ideologies is on the wane, neoliberal policies and programmes remain the norm. The ensuing disagreement about the role of the state has polarised many an electorate.

This state of affairs presents a rich moment for anthropologists to study how the future of the state is envisioned, and how it is enacted in practice. But it also offers us a tantalising opportunity to engage the state ourselves: how might we contribute to better, more democratic, and more just states? And do we dare to theorise what might come next? Does the state have to signal the end of history, the be-all and end-all of our political imagination – or could there yet be something else? What may be gained from a move away from Eurocentric approaches to the state toward critiques formulated from the margins, by indigenous movements, or through the lens of postcolonial political theory?  

We invite members of the network, and other anthropologists interested in and concerned about the state, to submit paper proposals that address the future of the state and/or explore possible future states.

Important dates

30 March 2023, 23:59 Rīga time

Abstract submission deadline

15 April 2023

Information about abstract acceptance

14 July 2023

Registration deadline

  • Language of the conference: English
  • No participation fee for the delegates
Keynote speech will be delivered by Prof. Rebecca Bryant (Utrecht University).

Abstract submission

Travelling to and around Rīga

The easiest way to travel to Latvia is by plane. There are direct flights to Rīga from most biggest cities in Europe. Rīga International Airport is located just outside the Latvian capital and getting to the city center by bus or taxi is quick and easy. Bus No. 22 runs to and from the airport every 20 minutes (route schedule); the bus ticket costs EUR 2.00 and may be purchased on the bus.

The other option for travelling form the airport to the city center is taxi. The fares are set by taxi carriers; typically, the fare is comprised of the boarding fee, the distance fee and the travel time fee. You can hire a taxi at the airport in the designated area or by using the mobile app. If you choose taxi at the airport, we recommend the services of BalticTaxi.

When in Rīga

To move around Rīga, you can use public transportation - tram, trolleybus and bus. Timetables, fares and purchase information are available in Latvian and English at

You may also opt for the code ticket, which allows you to make payments for the trips via smartphone. In order to use the code ticket, you will have to install a mobile application on their smartphones: download the app of your choice.

Please be aware that all tickets must be registered every time you board the tram, the trolleybus or the bus. Passengers without a valid or unregistered ticket are subject to a fine of 15 to 30 euros.

Getting to the conference venue

Rīga Stradiņš University is located at 16 Dzirciema iela in Pārdaugava, on the left bank of the river Daugava. There is efficient public transportation network with routes directly connecting the University area with the city centre and many other neighbourhoods.

 RouteGet on atGet off at
Tram 1Jugla — ImantaAny stop on Brīvības iela or Barona ielaDzirciema iela
Tram 5Mīlgrāvis — IļģuciemsGrēcinieku iela, 13. janvāra iela, or Nacionālā operaDārza iela
Trolleybus 9Stacijas laukums — IļģuciemsGrēcinieku iela, or 13. janvāra ielaBotāniskais dārzs
Trolleybus 25Brīvības iela — IļģuciemsElizabetes iela or Nacionālais teātrisBotāniskais dārzs
Bus 37 or 41Esplanāde — Imanta 5Nacionālais teātrisBotāniskais dārzs

Accommodation options

We have listed a few hotels based on the location and public transport connection with the venue.

HotelAddress in RīgaAvg. single room price / night (via transport
Riga Islande Hotel2 Ķīpsalas iela~70 EURTrolleybus 25 / Bus 37 or 41
Park Inn by Radisson Riga Valdemara1 Krogus iela~80 EURTram 1 or 5
Bridge Hotel6 Daugavgrīvas iela~50 EURTram 1 or 5
Bellevue Park Hotel Riga1 Slokas iela~100 EURTram 1 or 5
My Hotel OK & Coliving12 Slokas iela~50 EURTram 1 or 5
Primo Hotel62 Nometņu iela~60 EURTrolleybus 9 or 25 / Bus 4, 21, 38, 39 or 46


The conference is co-organised by Anthropologies of State (AnthroState) network of the European Association of Anthropologists and Rīga Stradiņš University.

Scientific Committee

  • Martijn Koster, Radboud University, Nijmegen, Netherlands
  • Mette-Louise Johansen, VIVE, Aarhus, Denmark
  • Keye Tersmette, Harvard University, Cambridge, MA, USA
  • Klāvs Sedlenieks, Rīga Stradiņš University, Latvia

Organising Committee

  • Klāvs Sedlenieks, Rīga Stradiņš University, Latvia
  • Diāna Kiščenko, Rīga Stradiņš University, Latvia
  • Līga Hartpenga, Rīga Stradiņš University, Latvia
  • Edīte Pauna, Rīga Stradiņš University, Latvia
 Please address all inquiries to Edīte Pauna at edite[pnkts]paunaatrsu[pnkts]lv.
Data processing

It should be pointed out that in order to ensure the proper processing of personal data of the conference participants, personal data of the participants may be processed during the conference events, i.e., the photos may be taken, voice or video recordings may be made. Your personal data may be used to ensure RSU's legitimate interests in informing the public and in marketing and communication activities (including the material preparation and publishing on social networks).

Photos may be taken and videos may be recorded during the event; and the event may be live-streamed as well. In such a case, information signs shall be put up at the entrance to the event indicating that photos and videos are taken during the event or the event may be viewed via live-stream. Photos and videos of a person may be posted on RSU website and/or on social networks as well as in mass media.

Your participation in the conference is entirely voluntary. If you have agreed to participate in the conference, you are entitled to suspend your participation at any time. In addition, you have the right to request access to personal data, the right to rectify or delete personal data, and to object to the processing carried out or to request the transfer of personal data.

Rights of the person and the possibility of objecting to the processing of personal data

If you object to such processing of personal data, please notify us of it by e-mail to conferenceatrsu[pnkts]lv or personu[pnkts]datiatrsu[pnkts]lv.

Presentations, speeches and poster presentations submitted for the conference shall be publicly available and downloadable for study and research purposes.

Each conference participant shall assume the responsibility for the compliance with the intellectual property rights of third parties during creation (performance) of the research materials (Copyright work), thereby also ensuring the Contracting Authority against the claims of third parties.