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Sovereignty and the politics of dead bodies
Editor: Finn Stepputat

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.

Open Access (free)
Finn Stepputat

theory (‘between bio- and necropolitics’), the structuralist-functionalist anthropology of burial rituals (‘rites of separation and the sacralisation of authority’) and recent ideas of agency and materiality (‘dead agency’). Despite their differences, the various approaches point towards an excess of meaning and affect relating to dead bodies and human remains, something that evokes the mystical, the sacred, the liminal and the transgressive, which, in the end, escapes explanation. The following nine chapters are organised in two parts. The first, ‘Containment and

in Governing the dead
Mark Doidge, Radosław Kossakowski, and Svenja Mintert

that transgressing mundane everyday acts can have a deep impact on others. More broadly, he observed how transitioning between genders requires a significant amount of learning new bodily behaviours. One does not simply wear new clothes and become a new person; the individual has to learn a new set of behaviours, acts and mannerisms. Through analysis of such performances in the context of the ultras, for example the imagery, banners and choreographies, we can gain an insight into how they see gender and how they envision their members behaving. With rare exceptions

in Ultras
Regnar Kristensen

science and criminology. As the contributions to this volume show, the corpse is not always the end of the story. On the contrary, as we shall see, a corpse still holds the power to stir up more death. The overall argument is that the brutal treatment of corpses transgresses the spheres of national security politics and the simple spread of terror. Corpses are instead seen as a social force that enchants politics and socialises religion. They make the past present 164 Regnar Kristensen and foresee possible futures. Drawing on popular Catholic practices I stumbled

in Governing the dead
Narratives of Ukrainian solo female migrants in Italy
Olena Fedyuk

work’ and an ‘inappropriate transgression’ (see Pine and Haukanes, Chapter 1 , this volume). The chapter aims to maintain the complexity of such encounters by contextualising a wide range of intimate relationships as power relations of uncertain economic situations, dismantling the dichotomy of paid versus unpaid sexual relations and scrutinising the boundaries of care work. Drawing a complex picture of sexual, romantic, and intimate encounters between migrant women and local men with various motivations, degrees of exploitation, and rewards on both sides, I take a

in Intimacy and mobility in an era of hardening borders
Open Access (free)
Theoretical approaches
Finn Stepputat

sight of a corpse is the distance that they put between themselves and violence’ (2006: 44). 14 Finn Stepputat For Bataille (1991) the constant containment or repression of the fear of death and the sentiments that death produces characterises the profane domain of everyday life. This includes in particular the taboo against killing, while its transgression characterises the sacred domain of sovereignty, what Mbembe (2003) calls the domain of death. In Bataille’s interpretation, sovereignty is intrinsically embedded in the body and in life as a biological force

in Governing the dead
Christian Suhr

sovereignties of an earthly origin – thereby aligning oneself with the divine by expressing one's faith in its ultimate and universal application. It may seem odd to suggest that sacrifice should have anything to do with healing, as sacrifice seems to imply some form of violence or transgression. How precisely is this related to the Islamic and psychiatric treatments I studied in Denmark? Trance is a violation of the ego Abu Bilal is sitting on the chair behind Nadia, the Bosnian woman in Scene 5

in Descending with angels
Abstract only
Haldis Haukanes and Frances Pine

Part I Gendered life worlds: migrants’ imaginaries and obligations in contested contexts of intimacy In this section, we present ethnographic and phenomenological discussions of people's changing lives as they cross borders for work, as refugees, as caregivers or dependent kin, or for marriage. The chapters examine not only the gendered dimensions of geo-political borders, but also how, in new environments, people shift, transgress, and reshape moral boundaries of proper gender and kinship behaviour, and moral economies of intimacy and sexuality

in Intimacy and mobility in an era of hardening borders
Open Access (free)
Death, landscape and power among the Duha Tuvinians of northern Mongolia
Benedikte Møller Kristensen

transgression of traditional rules (yos) for proper conduct, such as heavy drinking or fighting, or if the bereaved treated the corpse improperly,2 the burial place may turn into one that is devilish (chötgörtei) and polluted (bohirdoh), materialising the past amoral deed. Drawing on Robert Hertz (1960), death among the Duha may be seen not as ‘a mere destruction but a transition’ (1960: 48), where ‘death is consummated only when decomposition had ended: only then does the deceased cease to belong to this world’ (1960: 47). Among the Duha the advent of death marks the

in Governing the dead
Abstract only
A conclusion
Mark Doidge, Radosław Kossakowski, and Svenja Mintert

certainly health and safety issues related to the use of flares, as the death of Lazio fan Vincenzo Paparelli in 1979 attests. Yet the footballing and State authorities rarely engage with the views of fans. This results in the hypocritical situation where football clubs will use pyrotechnics when welcoming the players onto the pitch, but not allow the regulated use of similar devices by fans. The use of flares and fireworks then becomes a pleasurable, transgressive act that provides status to those who manage to do so without sanction. It is also likely to lead to more

in Ultras