Swagat Pani

Grant Type

Dissertation Fieldwork Grant

Institutional Affiliation

Michigan, Ann Arbor, U. of

Grant number

Gr. 10531

Approve Date

April 6, 2023

Project Title

Pani, Swagat (Michigan, Ann Arbor, U. of) "Financial Sieges and Financial Tunnels: A Multi-sited Ethnography and History of Financial Sanctions in the Persian Gulf With a Focus on Financial Infrastructures and Brokerages"

My proposed research is an anthropology and history of financial sanctions in the Persian Gulf. Broadly I ask how financial sanctions emerge as a regime of governance, what fiscal subjects does it create and govern, and how do such subjects navigate sanctions compliance? More specifically, my proposed research explores how the US dollar and the US correspondence banking system act as chokepoints for modulating and governing global financial flows? In retarding and blocking such flows how do money, standardized financial language and payment infrastructures function as infrastructures of sieges and embargoes enacting financial sanctions and inflicting individual and collective punishment? Asking such questions necessitates rethinking anthropological theories of money. I propose through a multi-sited ethnography to explore the financial sanctions geography of San Francisco, New York, Washington D.C and Dubai that often feature in sanctions cases in courts. Across these sites diverse actors play a role in emergence of the regime of financial sanctions including designers of sanctions compliance software, international diplomats at the UN, prosecutors of sanctions evasion cases in the district court of Southern District of New York in Manhattan, think tank and geoeconomics experts, as well as bankers and financial brokers in New York and Dubai.