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Humanities Institute

Actuarial States: the everyday life of insurance in Paraguay

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Actuarial States: the everyday life of insurance in Paraguay
April 2, 2018 4:00 pm
April 2, 2018 6:00 pm
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Time: 4:00 PM – 6:00 PM
Location: Andrews Conference Room, Social Sciences and Humanities room 2203

Caroline Schuster
Senior Lecturer, School of Archaeology and Anthropology
Australian National University

Abstract: It is well documented that turbulence in the economy and our ever-more unpredictable climate offers elite actors an opportunity to prospect for new sources of profit. In Paraguay, the state has enlisted the insurance industry itself to mediate risk in an effort to make the distribution of protection and harm more equitable. This is accomplished by subsidizing policies, especially life insurance, for its most vulnerable citizens. This talk explores the effects of insurance: its movement from the Central Bank of Paraguay, to military operations, to the global reinsurance market, to territorial struggles in the Paraguayan countryside, to the debit cards of welfare recipients. As I draw out diverse encounters with risk my focus will be on its persistent “domestication” in the double sense of specific techniques of actuarial governance, but also a wider feminist attention to the domestic and its distributional politics. As insurance cover in Paraguay spreads, the dynamic tension between public provisioning and private profits that animates these mundane acts of risk management also provides a glimpse of more radical, interdependent, and obligated financial futures.

This event is sponsored by Department of Anthropology, Hemispheric Institute on the Americas

For more information please contact: pacordova@ucdavis.edu

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