This volume is the outcome of an intense process of international coop-
eration. In September 1997, the Museu Nacional (Federal University of Rio
de Janeiro) hosted the French-Brazilian workshop Social Sciences, State and
Society, organized by the institution’s Postgraduate Program in Social An-
thropology and by the Department of Social Sciences of the École Normale
Supérieure (Paris). Also participating in the event were researchers from the
Centre for the Sociology of Education and Culture and the Contemporary
Brazil Studies Centre, both at the École des Hautes Études en Sciences
Sociales (Paris). In observing a convergence of perspectives in our analyses
of the complex links between the practices of social scientists and other
social practices, we were stimulated to pursue a systematic analysis on the
relations between the construction of anthropological knowledges and the
building of states.
The starting point for this analysis was the application of the same set of
questions to a universe of diverse situations and processes, distributed in
time and space. After the Rio de Janeiro workshop we invited other colleges
to take part in the project so as to widen the scope of the comparison. The
result was the publication of a special issue of the Revue de Synthèse in 2000,
which was titled ‘‘Anthropologies, États et populations.’’ This issue con-
tained six new articles, three essays, and an introduction in which for the
first time we formulated the implications of the systematic comparison
between the analyzed cases.
The present publication is based on this issue of the Revue de Synthèse and
the volume Antropologia, impérios e Estados nacionais, published in Brazil in
2002. Nearly all of the chapters, including the introductory one, have been
revised, with some considerably reworked for this edition, and three new
chapters have been included (on North American anthropology, on Por-
tuguese anthropology, and on British anthropology). An earlier version of
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