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In Economies of Abandonment, Elizabeth A. Povinelli explores how late liberal imaginaries of tense, eventfulness, and ethical substance make the global distribution of life and death, hope and harm, and endurance and exhaustion not merely sensible but just. She presents new ways of conceptualizing formations of power in "late liberalism," the shape that liberal governmentality has taken as it responds to a series of legitimacy crises in the wake of anti-colonial and new social movements and, more recently, the "clash of civilizations" after September 11th. Based on longstanding ethnographic work in Australia and the United States, as well as critical readings of legal, philosophical, and public texts, Povinelli examines how alternative social worlds and projects generate new possibilities of life in the context of ordinary and extraordinary acts of neglect and surveillance. She focuses particularly on social projects that have not yet achieved a concrete existence but persist at the threshold of possible existence. Addressing the question of the endurance, let alone the survival, of alternative forms of life in the force of curtailing social winds opens a set of new ethical and political questions.