Helene Risør

Helene Risør

Associate Professor

Primary fields of research

Regional specialization: Latin America, especially Chile and Bolivia.

Thematic specialization: political anthropology, urban anthropology, state and citizenship; violence; civil in/security; vigilantism; lynch violence; post-conflict; transitionssamfund; revolution, class, ethnicity and generation.

I am particularly interested in the political and urban anthropology. I am interested in what it means to act politically and my focus is on the processes through which state and citizenship are practiced and take shape on local, national and global scales. In my hitherto research I have focused on the experiences and practices of violence and civil in/security among the urban lower middle class and poor people of Chile and Bolivia with regards to contexts of political transition and major political and social change.

I am currently interested in generational politics and political subjectivity, as well as in (illegal) migration in the Andean region. 

Current research

I currently work on my postdoctoral project: The Becoming of Political Youth: Generation, Citizenship and the Transformation of Civil Society in Bolivia.This project proposes to investigate youth as an emergent political actor and to discuss these processes with regards to understandings of citizenship and the transformation of civil society in Bolivia.
The working hypothesis is that the broader political transformations that Bolivia currently undergoes permit for the becoming of new kinds of political actors, and that the study of these processes will further empirical grounded theorization of citizenship and civil society. Concerned with the transformation of the citizenry, the project will thus focus on youth and generational aspects in a country where the political domain that hitherto has been dominated by issues of class and ethnicity. Hence, by studying political practices through generational lens the project I aim at generating new empirical data on Bolivia and the Latin-American region and for theorizing practices of citizenship and civil society as well as the becoming of political subjectivities in contexts of profound social, cultural and political transformations.

Sapere Aude: Young Researcher's Award
In December 2011 I received a Sapere Aude Young Reseacher’s award from the Danish Council for Independent Research (DFF). Thanks to this grant I will be able to expand my postdoctoral research and carry out comparative ethnography among youth and student organizations with in Bolivia and in Chile.

I will also promote a research network tentatively entitled Political Subjectivities and Indigeneity
before and after the Revolution.
Focusing on ethnographically grounded research in different regional and cultural contexts the network meetings will focus on emergent forms of political subjectivity and their expressions. The network will culminate with a conference in Copenhagen in 2014.

PhD Dissertation
My PhD dissertation Violent Closures and New Openings: Civil insecurity, Citizens and State in El Alto, Bolivia focuses on experiences of civil insecurity with regards to practices of citizenship in the city of El Alto, Bolivia.

ID: 543056