Stratagems and Spoils

A Social Anthropology of Politics


F.G. Bailey

First Edition • August 1, 2001 • 270 pages


Print ISBN: 9780813339337 • $42.00 USD$61.50 CAN

Ebook ISBN: 9780786743360 • $25.99 USD$28.99 CAN

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F. G. Bailey’s classic political-anthropology text is reissued here with a Postscript that comments critically on the book’s scope, its reception, and its uses. First published in 1969, Stratagems and Spoils captured the imagination of scholars and students with a revealing examination of principles of political competition that operate alike in “exotic” and “developed” societies. In Bailey’s analysis, Swat Pathan chiefs, cosa nostra gangsters, General de Gaulle, and the Untouchables in a rural Indian village (for example) are shown employing similar strategies, both effective and ineffective, to win and hold followers while eroding the support of their opponents. Provocative and insightful, Stratagems and Spoils provides a conceptual toolkit for analyzing, in any culture, the rules that regulate political contests and determine who will win and who will lose.

F. G. Bailey is professor emeritus of anthropology at the University of California, San Diego. He is the author of fifteen books, the most recent being Treasons, Stratagems, and Spoils (Westview, 2001), a companion volume and sequel to Stratagems and Spoils.

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“One of the most original works of political anthropology has proven to be a classic having survived the vicissitudes of major changes in politics and academic fashion since publication in 1969. Those of us who have used F.G. Bailey’s Stratagems and Spoils in the classroom and in our own research will celebrate the new edition, which includes an important evaluative “Postscript.” This book should be read by everyone interested in politics.”
— Myron Aronoff, Rutgers University

”Stratagems and Spoils is an extremely important work of political and anthropological, thought. It is written with great erudition and scholarship.”
— Jack Weatherford, Macalester College

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