This book looks at sovereignty as a particular form of power and politics. It shows that the fate of bodies in the transition from life to death can provide a key to understanding fundamental ways in which sovereignty is claimed and performed. The contributions analyse (post-)conflict as well as non-conflict contexts, which too often are studied in isolation from one another. Focusing on contemporary issues rather than the equally important historical dimensions, they all grapple with the questions of who governs the dead bodies, how, why and with what effects. The book analyses how dead bodies are placed and dealt with in spaces between competing, overlapping and nested sovereign orders, under normal as well as exceptional conditions. It looks at contributions that draw on psychoanalysis, critical theory, the structuralist-functionalist anthropology of burial rituals and recent ideas of agency and materiality. The book first explains the efforts of states to contain and separate out dead bodies in particular sites. It explores the ways in which such efforts of containment are negotiated and contested in struggles between different entities that claim the dead bodies. The book then shows how entities that claim sovereignty produce effects of sovereignty by challenging and transgressing the laws regarding the legitimate use of violence and how dead bodies should be treated with dignity.
as well as other political
and moral communities.
This chapter sets out the theoretical terrain that the authors of
the volume navigate in their analyses, a terrain where dead bodies
and sovereign practice intersect. More specifically it looks at four
different approaches, including psychoanalysis (‘fear of death’), critical theory (‘between bio- and necropolitics’), the anthropology of
rituals (‘sacralisation of authority’) and lastly more recent ideas of
materiality and alterity (‘dead agency’).
Fear of death
The point seems rather banal and commonsensical: the
between guest and host.
I recognise in the phonemes composing the word-sound not Saussure's arbitrary combination but two phonic tesserae seeking reunion, whose integration defines selfhood dyadically as the recognition of difference. Rejected here is the predication of selfhood on self-splitting and its repair and, what follows from this, the ever-present temptation to demonise the other as hostile (not host). As John Cash argues, developing insights of Ashis Nandy, the famously decentred subject of psychoanalysis wants to cling to power in exactly the
that also draws on anthropology, political science, semiotics, psychoanalysis, and philosophy. I have taken this eclectic route to present new ways to think about borders, border crossing, and their social consequentiality in a specific context where the name dispute used to dominate the political and social landscape. While I acknowledge and build on scholarship on the Balkan region that has focused on the collapse of state socialism, subsequent social reforms and neoliberalization, the violent break-up of Yugoslavia and its consequences, and the impact of
. With a broad set of
analytical approaches and geographical contexts, the chapters analyse how dead bodies are placed and dealt with in spaces between
competing, overlapping and nested sovereign orders, under normal
as well as exceptional conditions.
In the following chapter (Chapter 2) I give an overview of the theoretical approaches that the chapter authors draw upon to explore
the terrain where dead bodies and sovereign practice intersect. Here
I look at contributions that draw on psychoanalysis (‘the fear of
Integrative concepts for a criminology of mass violence
, 12 (1985), pp. 221–39.
For example A. Bandura, ‘Selective moral disengagement in the exercise
of moral agency’, Journal of Moral Education, 31:2 (2002), pp. 101–19.
Ibid. See also A. Bandura, ‘Moral disengagement in the perpetration
of inhumanities’, Personality and Social Psychology Review, 3:3 (1999),
S. Maruna, Making Good: How Ex-convicts Reform and Rebuild Their
Lives (Cambridge: American Psychological Association, 2001).
C. Bollas, Being a Character: Psychoanalysis and Self-Experience
(London: Routledge, 1993), cited in Cohen, States of
From colonial to cross-cultural psychiatry in Nigeria
Matthew M. Heaton
infrastructure in Nigeria was therefore local, national and international.
This chapter builds upon recent research in the history of psychiatry that has already begun complicating the use of binary constructions and the notion that international science tends to serve ‘external’ masters in colonial spaces. For example, recent comparative work in the history of psychoanalysis has shown how the construction of a universal self has had significant global impact, but in diverse ways depending on the local context in which it has been employed. Psychoanalytic
-appointed role in this spatio-psychoanalysis was therapeutic: a self-healing, the acquisition of a social identity through the projection of an imagined community where I could conceivably belong, was achieved in a release of mythopoetic energy recovered from the site's creative history and its redirection towards future inventions. The ultimate model was Vichian, invention being a function of imagination in conjunction with memory. But the cultural and professional pressure to normalise the ‘creative template’ procedures as a generalisable method able in the abstract to
with ourselves and with
others, our politics and our ethics in terms of freedom’ (1999: 11). I think Rose
is right about the need to reflect on the costs of freedom, and I will return to this
point later. Here, I wish to note that his analysis is typical of a whole tradition
of scholarly writing. Analyses in this tradition often seek to expose how what we
may think of as objective knowledge or benign expert guidance is in fact a tool of
power, a vector for exercising control (e.g. psychoanalysis, psychology, education,
social policies). For example, in Aihwa Ong
revealed that ‘facts’ are not inscribed on the faces of the objects we encounter, but lie beyond the visible world. Often the ambition of social science has been to provide people with an enlightened vision to liberate them from the invisible forces governing their lives, as in the Marxist struggle to expose ‘false consciousness’ or in the attempt of psychoanalysis to uncover the ‘unconscious’. However, efforts of this sort risk eradicating the essence of the invisible by substituting it with the visibility of pre-established ideas and theories of what it contains