The chapters of this book have benefited from presentations to different audiences and from comments and suggestions of a substantial number of friends and colleagues. Some pointed out missing links in the argument, others provided me with useful information or suggested further reading, while still others helped with critiques, thus encouraging me to sharpen, reconstruct or abandon some of my arguments. My sincerest thanks go to all of them.
Parts of chapter 2 are based on my inaugural lecture as a Privatdozent of the University of Zurich. Various versions have been read at an annual congress of the Swiss Ethnological Society and at the universities of Cologne and Oxford. Helpful comments were received from Kurt Imhof, Verena Tobler Müller, Steve Vertovec, and from the editors as well as from anonymous reviewers of the Kölner Zeitschrift für Soziologie und Sozialpsychologie (48, 3: 401–25), where large parts of the text were published in German. Alisdair Rogers has carefully edited the English version.
Chapter 3 includes sections of papers given at the universities of Neuchâtel and Mannheim, where Hartmut Esser offered a stimulating critique. My talk at the weekly colloquium of the Wissenschaftskolleg zu Berlin was largely based on chapter 3. It was received with fervent and thought-provoking criticism from too many co-fellows to be mentioned here individually. Kurt Imhof provided insightful comments on a German version of the chapter. Parts of it have previously been published in French in the Archives Européennes de Sociologie (37, 1: 163–79), other parts in Tsantsa. Revue de la Société Suisse d'Ethnologie (1: 4–18), and the editors of both journals provided stimulating critiques. Stephen Krasner helped to clarify the ideas put forward in the last section of the chapter.
Chapter 4 has benefited from detailed comments by Daniel Geiger, Elisabeth Hsü, Kurt Imhof, Lorenz G. Löffler, Joanna Pfaff-Czarnecka, Milan Stanek, and from my students at the University of Zurich. Different versions of the chapter were presented at the University of Zurich, at the Congress of German-Speaking Anthropologists in Vienna, and at the