Anatoly Khazanov

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Anatoly Khazanov
BornDecember 13, 1937
Residence Flag of the United States.svg United States
Nationality Flag of the United States.svg United States Flag of Israel.svg Israel
Alma mater Moscow State University
Known forcontributions to nomadic studies; ethnicity and nationalism; and post-Soviet studies
Scientific career
Fieldsnomadic studies, sociocultural and historical anthropology
Institutions University of Wisconsin, Madison

Anatoly Mikhailovich Khazanov (Russian: Анато́лий Миха́йлович Хазáнов, born December 13, 1937) is an anthropologist and historian.

An anthropologist is a person engaged in the practice of anthropology. Anthropology is the study of various aspects of humans within past and present societies. Social anthropology, cultural anthropology, and philosophical anthropology study the norms and values of societies. Linguistic anthropology studies how language affects social life, while economic anthropology studies human economic behavior. Biological (physical), forensic, and medical anthropology study the biological development of humans, the application of biological anthropology in a legal setting, and the study of diseases and their impacts on humans over time, respectively.

Historian person who studies and writes about the past

A historian is a person who studies and writes about the past, and is regarded as an authority on it. Historians are concerned with the continuous, methodical narrative and research of past events as relating to the human race; as well as the study of all history in time. If the individual is concerned with events preceding written history, the individual is a historian of prehistory. Some historians are recognized by publications or training and experience. "Historian" became a professional occupation in the late nineteenth century as research universities were emerging in Germany and elsewhere.

Born in Moscow, Khazanov attended Moscow State University, where he received an M.A. in 1960. He earned a Ph.D. degree in 1966 and Dr.Sc. in 1976 from the USSR Academy of Sciences. In 1990, he became Professor of the Department of Anthropology at the University of Wisconsin, Madison; and at the moment he is the Ernest Gellner Professor of Anthropology (Emeritus). He is a Fellow of the British Academy, Corresponding Member of the UNESCO International Institute for the Study of Nomadic Civilizations, and Honorary Member of the Central Asian Studies Society; as well as the recipient of numerous grants and fellowships.

Moscow Capital city of Russia

Moscow is the capital and most populous city of Russia, with 13.2 million residents within the city limits, 17 million within the urban area and 20 million within the metropolitan area. Moscow is one of Russia's federal cities.

Moscow State University university in Moscow, Russia

Moscow State University is a coeducational and public research university located in Moscow, Russia. It was founded on 23 January [O.S. 12 January] 1755 by Mikhail Lomonosov. MSU was renamed after Lomonosov in 1940 and was then known as Lomonosov University. It also houses the tallest educational building in the world. Its current rector is Viktor Sadovnichiy. According to the 2018 QS World University Rankings, it is the highest-ranking Russian educational institution and is widely considered the most prestigious university in the former Soviet Union.

A master's degree is an academic degree awarded by universities or colleges upon completion of a course of study demonstrating mastery or a high-order overview of a specific field of study or area of professional practice. A master's degree normally requires previous study at the bachelor's level, either as a separate degree or as part of an integrated course. Within the area studied, master's graduates are expected to possess advanced knowledge of a specialized body of theoretical and applied topics; high order skills in analysis, critical evaluation, or professional application; and the ability to solve complex problems and think rigorously and independently.

Anatoly M. Khazanov started his professional career as an archaeologist specializing in the nomadic cultures of the Early Iron Age. In the second half of the 1960s he shifted to socio-cultural anthropology. From 1966-1985, his main fields of research were pastoral nomads and the origins of complex societies. His main argument that the nomads were never autarkic and therefore in economic, cultural, and political respects were dependent on their relations with the sedentary world, is shared now by the majority of experts in the field. On the other hand, Khazanov was trying as much as was possible under Soviet censorship, to demonstrate the fallacy of the Soviet Marxist concept of historical process.

The Iron Age is the final epoch of the three-age system, preceded by the Stone Age (Neolithic) and the Bronze Age. It is an archaeological era in the prehistory and protohistory of Europe and the Ancient Near East, and by analogy also used of other parts of the Old World. The three-age system was introduced in the first half of the 19th century for the archaeology of Europe in particular, and by the later 19th century expanded to the archaeology of the Ancient Near East. Its name harks back to the mythological "Ages of Man" of Hesiod. As an archaeological era it was first introduced for Scandinavia by Christian Jürgensen Thomsen in the 1830s. By the 1860s, it was embraced as a useful division of the "earliest history of mankind" in general and began to be applied in Assyriology. The development of the now-conventional periodization in the archaeology of the Ancient Near East was developed in the 1920s to 1930s. As its name suggests, Iron Age technology is characterized by the production of tools and weaponry by ferrous metallurgy (ironworking), more specifically from carbon steel.

After his emigration in 1985 from the Soviet Union, Khazanov continued to study mobile pastoralists, paying particular attention to the role of nomads in world history and to the deficiences and shortcomings of their modernization process. He argued that various modernization projects have failed because they did not provide room for the sustained self-development of the pastoralists and denied their participation in decision-making.

Soviet Union 1922–1991 country in Europe and Asia

The Soviet Union, officially the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR), was a socialist state in Eurasia that existed from 30 December 1922 to 26 December 1991. Nominally a union of multiple national Soviet republics, its government and economy were highly centralized. The country was a one-party state, governed by the Communist Party with Moscow as its capital in its largest republic, the Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic. Other major urban centres were Leningrad, Kiev, Minsk, Alma-Ata, and Novosibirsk.

Since the beginning of the 1990s, Khazanov has also become known for his contribution to the study of ethnicity and nationalism, and transitions from communist rule. He was one of the first to argue that in many countries this transition does not guarantee an emergence of liberal democratic order. He also argued that, contrary to widespread opinion, globalization per se is unable to reduce nationalism and ethnic strife, which will remain a salient phenomenon in the foreseeable future.

Nationalism is a political, social, and economic ideology and movement characterized by the promotion of the interests of a particular nation, especially with the aim of gaining and maintaining the nation's sovereignty (self-governance) over its homeland. Nationalism holds that each nation should govern itself, free from outside interference (self-determination), that a nation is a natural and ideal basis for a polity, and that the nation is the only rightful source of political power. It further aims to build and maintain a single national identity—based on shared social characteristics such as culture, language, religion, politics, and belief in a shared singular history—and to promote national unity or solidarity. Nationalism, therefore, seeks to preserve and foster a nation's traditional culture, and cultural revivals have been associated with nationalist movements. It also encourages pride in national achievements, and is closely linked to patriotism. Nationalism is often combined with other ideologies, such as conservatism or socialism for example.

In the 2000s, Khazanov has also turned to the study of collective memory, collective representation, and other related issues; being particularly interested in their role in defining and redefining national and ethnic identities.

Khazanov has written 6 monographs and around 200 articles. These include Nomads and the Outside World (Cambridge University Press, 1984; 2nd Edition University of Wisconsin Press, 1994), which has been translated into several languages; Soviet Nationality Policy During Perestroika (Delphic, 1991), and After the U.S.S.R.: Ethnicity, Nationalism, and Politics in the Commonwealth of Independent States (University of Wisconsin Press, 1995). He has also edited or co-edited 10 volumes of papers, including Pastoralism in the Levant: Archaeological Materials in the Anthropological Perspective (Prehistory Press, 1992) with Ofer Bar-Yosef, Changing Nomads in a Changing World (Sussex Academic Press, 1998) with Joseph Ginat, Nomads in the Sedentary World (Curzon Press, 2001) with André Wink, Perpetrators, Accomplices, and Victims in Twentieth Century Politics: Reckoning with the Past (Routledge, 2009) with Stanley Payne, and Who Owns the Stock? Collective and Property Rights in Animals (Berghahn, 2012) with Günther Schlee.

Ofer Bar-Yosef Israeli archaeologist

Ofer Bar-Yosef is an Israeli archaeologist and anthropologist whose main field of study is the Palaeolithic period.

Joseph Ginat was an Israeli anthropologist, author, political advisor, and soldier.

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Nomad member of a community of people who live in different locations, moving from one place to another

A nomad is a member of a community of people without fixed habitation who regularly move to and from the same areas, including nomadic hunter-gatherers, pastoral nomads, and tinker or trader nomads. As of 1995, there were an estimated 30–40 million nomads in the world.


Transhumance is a type of pastoralism or nomadism, a seasonal movement of livestock between fixed summer and winter pastures. In montane regions, it implies movement between higher pastures in summer and lower valleys in winter. Herders have a permanent home, typically in valleys. Generally only the herds travel, with a certain number of people necessary to tend them, while the main population stays at the base. In contrast, horizontal transhumance is more susceptible to being disrupted by climatic, economic, or political change.

Pastoralism branch of agriculture concerned with the raising of livestock

Pastoralism is the branch of agriculture concerned with the raising of livestock. It is animal husbandry: the care, tending and use of animals such as cattle, camels, goats, yaks, llamas, reindeers, horses and sheep.

In cultural anthropology, sedentism is the practice of living in one place for a long time. As of 2018, the majority of people belong to sedentary cultures. In evolutionary anthropology and archaeology, sedentism takes on a slightly different sub-meaning, often applying to the transition from nomadic society to a lifestyle that involves remaining in one place permanently. Essentially, sedentism means living in groups permanently in one place.

Eurasian nomads nomadic peoples of the Eurasian Steppe

The Eurasian nomads were a large group of nomadic peoples from the Eurasian Steppe, who often appear in history as invaders of Europe, the Middle East and China.

A global nomad, or glomad, is a person who is living a mobile and international lifestyle. Global nomads aim to live location-independently, seeking detachment from particular geographical locations and the idea of territorial belonging.

Nomadic pastoralism is a form of pastoralism when livestock are herded in order to find fresh pastures on which to graze. Strictly speaking, true nomads follow an irregular pattern of movement, in contrast with transhumance where seasonal pastures are fixed. However this distinction is often not observed and the term nomad used for both—in historical cases the regularity of movements is often unknown in any case. The herded livestock include cattle, yaks, llamas, sheep, goats, reindeer, horses, donkeys or camels, or mixtures of species. Nomadic pastoralism is commonly practised in regions with little arable land, typically in the developing world, especially in the steppe lands north of the agricultural zone of Eurasia. Of the estimated 30–40 million nomadic pastoralists worldwide, most are found in central Asia and the Sahel region of North and West Africa, such as Fulani, and Tauregs, with some also in the Middle East, such as traditionally Bedouins, and in other parts of Africa, such as Nigeria and Somalia. Increasing numbers of stock may lead to overgrazing of the area and desertification if lands are not allowed to fully recover between one grazing period and the next. Increased enclosure and fencing of land has reduced the amount of land available for this practice. There is substantive uncertainty over the extent to which the various causes for degradation affect grassland. Different causes have been identified which include overgrazing, mining, agricultural reclamation, pests and rodents, soil properties, tectonic activity, and climate change. Simultaneously, it is maintained that some, such as overgrazing and overstocking, may be overstated while others, such as climate change, mining and agricultural reclamation, may be under reported. In this context, there is also uncertainty as to the long term effect of human behavior on the grassland as compared to non-biotic factors.

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