A series of conferences on Pierre Clastres

The symposium “The Copernican revolution and the question of the State” was entirely dedicated to Pierre Clastres, French anthropologist and ethnologist. It took place in Room II at UNESCO’s Headquarters in Paris, from 18 to 20 November 2009.

Pierre Clastres is a French anthropologist and ethnologist whose original work merits being rediscovered by many. He dedicated a large part of his life on the study of conceptions of power and the State in so-called “primitive” societies, and notably in Native American societies such as the Guayaki.

In his text Society against the State, whose first edition dates back to 1974, he shows that it is inappropriate to think that these societies have not yet discovered power and the State. To the contrary, these societies have been constructed so as to avoid that the State appears, thus constituting telling examples of other modes of possible organization of societies.

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