Rather than thinking of waiting only as a form of discipline, Chapter 3 takes a closer look at the figure of ‘the waiting subject’ by engaging with the narratives of three unemployed Latvians. The informants’ narratives reveal how the bond with the state, made visible through language, is more complex than the rhetoric of waiting recognises. By listening to how ordinary individuals talk about the state and themselves, the analysis probes the kinds of intimate tyrannies that link the subject and the state in the post-Soviet, post-totalitarian context. By examining how these intimate bonds tying individuals to the state become a target of questioning and anxiety, we also gain an insight into the ways in which the austerity state is being legitimised.
This introduction presents an overview of the key concepts discussed in the subsequent chapters of this book. The book shows the undeniable contribution and the limits of the biopower theory in the understanding of dead bodies en masse. It talks about the fact that criminology has for so long ignored mass crime, even though the link between the corpse and the criminal is one of the fundamentals of the discipline. The book addresses the issue of the practical and symbolic treatment of corpses by societies affected by mass violence. It shows how working ideologies along with historical legacy and geographical landscapes determined the disposal of the bodies. The book examines the simultaneously diplomatic and medicolegal nature of the activities of the French Search Commission for Corpses of Deportees in Germany. It also draws on German archives to describe the various modalities of treatment of corpses in Croatia.