E-mail: annika.rabo@socant.su.se

Annika Rabo is professor emeritus. In 2008 she became professor in Social Anthropology at Stockholm University after having worked as an associate professor at Linköping University, as a researcher at the Swedish Research Council, and at the Centre for Research in International Migration and Ethnic relations – CEIFO – at Stockholm University. Annika Rabo received her Ph.D. in Social Anthropology in 1986 after completing a thesis on the political and social effects of a gigantic irrigation scheme along the Euphrates in northeast Syria. After her first anthropological field work she has, since the late 1970s, worked on a number of research projects in Syria, but also in Lebanon, Jordan and Sweden. One individual project in the late 1980s focused on perceptions of development in Jordan and Syria, and – from the late 1990s – focused on traders in Aleppo, and between 2005 and 2009, one project focused on Syrian debates about family law reform, and another on family and family law among transnational Syrians. Between 2005 and 2009 she was in charge of a multidisciplinary project on teacher education in Sweden. Between 2011 and 2013 she led a project on future citizens in educational texts and in policies, with cases studies from Lebanon, Sweden and Turkey with researchers from these three countries. In the same years she collaborated with professor Erik Olsson in a project on service and welfare in transnational space focusing on Assyrians/Syriacs in Sweden and on Swedes in southern Spain.

Analyses of categorizations and systems of classification, and analyses of the state, bureaucracies and policies as well as state-citizen relationships have been central in her work. She is also interested in analyses of language and power.


Ongoing research

Together with physical geographer Ulrik Mårtensson and agronomist Lazhar Gammoudi, Annika Rabo works in the Formas-supported (2017-2018) project “Time and development in Sidi Bouzid, Tunisia.”  They investigate traces and memories of a development and land reclamation project in central Tunisia, where Swedish and Tunisian young researchers, and Tunisian agronomists and rural development agents were engaged in collaborative work between 1982 and 1993.

Annika Rabo is also engaged in COMPACT, a multidisciplinary European network with more than a hundred members researching conspiracy theories. The network is financed by COST from spring 2016 to 2020. Annika Rabo is chairperson of one of the three working groups.

The prolonged crisis in Syria has made Annika Rabo return to questions of agriculture and subsistence. Together with professor Bengt Karlsson at the Department of Social Anthropology she is editing a book about the entanglement and interrelationship between human and seeds. She is also following traces of Syrian seeds to Lebanon and Morocco.


Selected publications

  • Cultural expertise in Sweden. A history of its use, Laws, 2019, 8, 22, pp. 1-13.
  • Formal education systems as arenas of inclusion and exclusion. Comparative cases studies from Lebanon and Syria. In Sites of Pluralism. Community Politics in the Middle East. Ed. Firat Oruc. London: Hurst & Company, pp 43-61 (2019)
  • Law. Modern family law. Syria 1800 to present (with Esther van Eijk).In  Encyclopedia of Women and Islamic Cultures, General editor Suad Joseph, first published online: 2019.
  • Anthropological methods and an analysis of memory. Migration, past and present in Raqqa province, Syria, Middle East Journal of Refugee Studies, 2017 2 (1), pp 51-71.
  • “Without our church we will disappear”. Syrian Orthodox Christians in diaspora and the family law of the church. In Family, Religion and Law. Cultural Encounters in Europe. Eds. Prakash Shah with Marie-Claire Foblets & Mathias Rohe, Farnham: Ashgate, pp.181-194 (2014).
  • “It has all been planned”. Talking about Us and powerful others in contemporary Syria. In Conspiracy Theories in the United States and the Middle East. A Comparative Perspective. Eds. Michael Butter & Maurus Reinkowski, Berlin: Walter de Gruyter, pp. 212-227 (2014).
  • Multiculturalism Swedish Style: shifts and sediments in educational policies and textbooks (with Sabine Gruber). Policy Futures in Education, 12(1), pp. 56-66 (2014). http://dx.doi.org/10.2304/pfie.2014.12.1.56
  • History: Europe (312 Kb) (312 Kb) Encyclopedia of Women and Islamic Cultures, Disciplinary Paradigms and Approaches. Anniversary volume. Brill pp. 123-146 (2013).
  • Parochial education in a global world? Teaching history and civics in Lebanon (with Rima Bahous, Mona Nabhani). Nordidactica: Journal of Humanities and Social Science Education, no 1, pp. 57-59 (2013)
  • Conviviality and conflict in contemporary Aleppo. In Religious Minorities in the Middle East. Domination, Self-Empowerment, Accommodation. Eds. Anh Nga Longva and Anne Sofie Roald, Leiden: Brill, pp 123-147 (2011).
  • Legal pluralism and family law in Syria. In The Governance of Legal Pluralism. Empirical Studies from Africa and Beyond. Eds. Werner Zips & Markus Weilenmann, Münster: Lit Verlag, pp 213-234 (2011).
  • Syrian transnational families and family law. In From Transnational Relations to Transnational Laws. Eds. Anne Hellum, Anne Griffiths & Shaheen Ali, Farnham: Ashgate, pp 29-49 (2011).
  • A Shop of One's Own Independence and Reputation among Traders in Aleppo (4130 Kb)