2013 Leeds Prize

The 2013 Leeds Prize is awarded to Daniel M. Goldstein for his book Outlawed: Between Security and Rights in a Bolivian City (Duke University Press 2012). Dr. Goldstein is an associate professor of anthropology at the Rutgers University.

OutlawedThis rich ethnography is based on a long engagement with indigenous residents of Cochabamba, Bolivia. As they struggle to deal with various forms of insecurity, Cochabamba’s indigenous poor frequently find themselves “outlawed” in multiple senses: unprotected by the state, their own efforts to provide security are frequently criminalized. And as the Bolivian state under President Evo Morales seeks to define greater rights for indigenous peoples, Cochabamba’s urban poor find themselves largely outside the new legal and human rights regimes.

Outlawed is a gritty ethnography of the insecurity and ingenuity that result when the state becomes an “active absence” in the lives of urban residents. Dr. Goldstein builds his ethnography on detailed empirical research into both the selectivity of law and rights enforcement and the creativity of popular organizations for survival of the poor in squatter settlements. From beautifully told ethnographic narratives Dr. Goldstein develops a convincing theoretical insight that works at multiple scales. His writing captures and helps his readers to understand the lived experience at the interface between personal/community insecurity. These experiences are in turn located within wider urban and transnational dynamics that make Outlawed an important book for understanding contemporary urban processes well beyond Cochabamba. Set in a region that produced much of the earliest work on post-war urban anthropology, Outlawed nevertheless makes a significant contribution by shifting focus from the dominant themes of urbanization and development. Finally, the Leeds Award recognizes Dr. Goldstein’s careful attention to method in both the fieldwork and writing of Outlawed. His book draws on personal participation and observations in Cochabamba and a series of collaborations between residents and student fieldworkers. The result is a fruitful, critical interrogation of urban insecurity as an object of ethnographic inquiry. In a year that produced a number of excellent examples of urban anthropology, Outlawed stood out for its innovations in both the theory and practice of the anthropology of the city. The committee would like to congratulate Daniel on his remarkable achievement.

(Leeds Committee Citation)

Past Leeds Award Winners