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 We present five original papers in this issue.

Chloe Ahmann, in her ethnography of the conspiratorial politics surrounding the construction of a waste incinerator in South Baltimore, asks “What do rumors theorize?” In a late industrial context where corporate powers promote a lethal status quo, rumor-mongering emerges as a  tactical affordance for interscalar change, connecting dots and plots where industrial power would rather insist on keeping them apart.

Shozab Raza explores how peasant revolutionary movements in Balochistan, through the concept of conjugation, attempt to simultaneously connect and transform the vernaculars of political struggle, otherwise construed as particular, into a more universal frame of reference.

Douaa Sheet disrupts common understandings about national reconciliation commissions in Tunisia that celebrate “voice” and the dissemination of information on social media as essential to “healing.”  Instead, we see the importance of strategic silence and “gaps in knowledge” in the forging of empathetic publics and the mediating of reconciliation.

José Ciro Martínez and Omar Sirri illustrate how both bakers in Amman and soldiers in Baghdad are enrolled in bureaucratic assemblages, taming people, and things to make them congenial to the state effect through work that the authors describe as “bureaucraft.”

Zeynep Oguz analyzes how the “absent presence” of oil and “indeterminacy of the underground” intertwine to shape political legacies of post-imperial collapse and nation-state formation in post-Ottoman Turkey.

Cover image by Chloe Ahmann.