Chapter shifts the focus from forms of state control and discipline and zooms in on the ways in which the trainers who ran one of the activation programmes at the Latvian unemployment office understood their work. Conversations with four trainers reveal how they had shaped themselves as entrepreneurial and resilient subjects in the post-1991 neoliberal state, but also how they linked the ideas of ‘willingness to work on oneself’ and of ‘taking responsibility’ to the exercise of freedom that was the promise of the post-1991 Latvian state project. This chapter thus starts developing an alternative analytical language for exploring the concepts of ‘will’, ‘responsibility’, and ‘having a good life’ as they figure in the trainers’ narratives. It explores how they figure in ways that may be disciplinary but also work as an ethical discourse
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.