Controversies as method for anti-history: an inquiry into public administration practices

César Tureta, Bruno Luiz Américo, Stewart Clegg

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)


Drawing on Actor-Network Theory and the cartography of controversies, we present a method for ANTi-History research to investigate the implementation of a contract between a labour services company and a public university hospital in Brazil. The research question focuses on how the past is enacted in the present. The method is a general guideline based on five focal points used to organize the fieldwork: identifying controversies; mapping the actor-network; drawing out the translation process; politics of actor-networks and multiple reality/power relations. The proposed method makes two contributions to ANTi-History literature. First, although these focal points have been discussed by ANTi-History scholars, they are scattered throughout the literature. We unite them to offer a guide to doing historically embedded research. Second, we show how controversy analysis can be helpful for mapping the politics of actor-networks and describing multiple realities in the construction of history.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1018-1035
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2021


  • Actor-Network Theory
  • ANTi-History
  • controversies
  • organizational history


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