The Institute for Social and Economic Research and Policy is now open.  Our office hours are from: 9:00am - 5:00pm, Monday - Friday. Please refer to the COVID-19 Resource Guide for all matters related to the return to campus.  All visitors and vendors must fill out the Columbia University Health Screening Form.  We look forward to seeing you on campus.


Naor Ben-Yehoyada

Assistant Professor of Anthropology



My work examines unauthorized migration, criminal justice, the aftermath of development, and transnational political imaginaries in the central and eastern Mediterranean. My forthcoming monograph, The Mediterranean Incarnate: Transnational Region Formation between Sicily and Tunisia since World War II, offers a historical anthropology of the recent re-emergence of the Mediterranean. I am specifically interested in the processes through which transnational regions form and dissipate. I propose to view such spaces as ever-changing constellations, and I propose to study them from the moving vessels that weave these constellations together and stage their social relations and dynamics in full view.

My new project follows anti-Mafia investigators and the perpetual debate about what the Mafia is. I examine how the debate positions investigators’ anthropological imagination at the heart of the struggle over the relationship between the state and society in Sicily. By studying how doubt, suspicion and surprise shape the performance of legal certainty, I examine the dynamics that shape the meaning and the reach of law, politics and knowledge.


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