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How to find and entry

Each entry in the database describes an informal practice, named in the local language (with some exceptions). The entries give the definition and etymology of the practice; its scope and spread and; its implication for politics, economy or society. The entries are cross-referenced with analogous or related practices. The practices are presented with empirical material that makes the ‘informal order’ more visible; refers to the key themes of ambivalence and complexity explored in the volume; weaves into a critical discussion of concepts devised for tackling such practices; illustrates the strengths and weaknesses of discipline-based analysis; points to existing research and new research questions; and reflects on most appropriate methodological tools to research the practices.

We suggest that you begin to familiarise yourself with this database by browsing alphabetically, by relevant theme or by geographical location. If you recognise the name of the practice or are interested in a particular country, you can go straight to the relevant entry and follow the cross-references from there. All entries have an 'infobox' in the top right corner that contains basic information about the entry and the its authors, as well as a list of categories allowing you to find similar practices.

Explore the database

Browse the database

Scroll through the list of practices in alphabetical order
Browse frequently attributed keywords
Browse by country, region or continent of the practice
Browse practices grouped by 'family resemblance'
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Refine your search

Do a full project search
Consult the full index of categories
Find entries that share more than one category
Follow the structure of the Encyclopaedia
Read the entries not included in Volume 1 or Volume 2 of the Encyclopaedia
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Examine the patterns

Essays on theoretical framing are based on the clustering principle of 'family resemblance'
Essays that use comparative analysis group practices by social, economic and political topics rather than historical or geographical aspects