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International intervention and the failure of the West
Author: Philip Cunliffe

Liberal cosmopolitanism promised a humane and progressive vision of global reform and improvement, in contrast to the terrible utopian projects of the twentieth century. Yet the efforts to globalise human rights and democracy through force have subverted the liberal international order and produced a new type of cosmopolitan dystopia, in the form of permanent war, jihadist insurrection and a new paternalism embodied in transnational protectorates and the paradigm of ‘sovereignty as responsibility’. Cosmopolitan Dystopia explains how this came about through the rise of humanitarian exceptionalism. The book argues that humanitarian exceptionalism saw humanitarian emergencies as opportunities to develop deeper forms of human solidarity that went beyond nation states, thereby necessitating military responses to each new crisis. This in turn helped to normalise permanent war. As the norm and exception have collapsed into each other, the rules-based order envisioned in traditional liberal internationalism has corroded away. Efforts to embed humanitarian exceptionalism into the international order have undermined the classical liberal ideal of self-determination, with the spread of protectorates and a new paternalist legitimisation of state power in the ‘sovereignty as responsibility’ paradigm.

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Patricia McManus

Introduction In his introduction to Capitalist Realism (2009), Mark Fisher discusses how carefully Alfonso Cuarón’s cinematic translation of Children of Men (2006) differentiated itself from the novel by P.D. James (1992). Whereas James follows the older model of a classic dystopia, an anti-democratic regime ruling over a bewildered and fearful populace confronted, finally, with a resistance which crystallises in some realisation of the responsibilities of individuality, Cuarón mutes the estrangement

in Critical theory and dystopia

Critical Theory and Dystopia tracks dystopia as a genre of fiction which occupies the spaces of literature and of politics simultaneously. Using Theodor Adorno’s critique of the situation of writing in the twentieth century, this volume uses the notion of a ‘negative commitment’ to situate the potential and the limits of dystopia. Examining classic dystopias by Aldous Huxley and George Orwell, McManus follows the mutation of the genre in dystopias by Margaret Atwood, J.G. Ballard and William Gibson in the 1980s. A sample of twenty-first-century dystopias are then read for their efforts to break with the politics of the present, and their inability to realise those breaks. Tracing lines of continuity and of discontinuity within the genre, McManus ends by exploring the dystopias of Michel Houellebecq, Lionel Shriver and Gary Shteyngart.

Patricia McManus

, almost good-natured expression Kristallnacht , designating the pogrom of November 1938, attests to this inclination. 3 It is possible to see the English-language dystopias of the first part of the twentieth century as part of one such ‘hollow space’ in so far as they make it impossible to think of either the past and present of the British Empire, or of slavery in the United States, or of the systems which needed both. This is a claim about the genre, about the forgetting it has to structurally

in Critical theory and dystopia
Patricia McManus

Introduction I want to use this chapter to read George Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty-Four (1949) as an example of the ‘classic dystopia’, a central form in the genre’s history, the one against which or with which other variations work. As a classic dystopia, perhaps the most influential of them all so far, Nineteen Eighty-Four belongs in this book both because of its trace presence in later dystopian fictions and because of its wider presence in the reception and interpretation not only of dystopias but of

in Critical theory and dystopia
Andrekos Varnava

of time and colonial spaces? Related to El Dorados are utopias and dystopias. Utopias, as distinct from El Dorados, relate to finding a space that can be converted into a paradise for its inhabitants (for both settlers and indigenous peoples). Dystopias are what results when such expectations go horribly wrong. Crucially, utopias do not promise immediate benefits; rather, their supporters acknowledge

in Imperial expectations and realities
Patricia McManus

past – it would be the chance at a second life, with very little connection to the old one. I would have nothing to mourn. ( S , p. 250) 5 Where is dystopia? The question ‘where is dystopia?’ is not one to put to the novel’s geography. Its own sense of Europe’s ‘suicide’, its ‘putrid decomposition’ in the multiculturalism and the ‘soft humanism’ of social democracies corroding from the inside, is clear: there is the West and there is the rest. This

in Critical theory and dystopia
Eurimages and the Funding of Dystopia
Aidan Power

Since its inception by the Council of Europe in 1989, Eurimages has been to the fore in financing European co-productions with the aim of fostering integration and cooperation in artistic and industry circles and has helped finance over 1,600 feature films, animations and documentaries. Taking as its thesis the idea that the CoE seeks to perpetuate Europes utopian ideals, despite the dystopian realities that frequently undermine both the EU and the continent at large, this article analyses select Eurimages-funded dystopian films from industrial, aesthetic and socio-cultural standpoints with a view toward decoding institutionally embedded critiques of the European project.

Film Studies
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Swimming ... Floating ... Sinking ... Drowning
Dick Hebdige

The body in the swimming pool as metonym for trouble in paradise is a recurrent motif bordering on cliché in Hollywood/West Coast sunshine noir. Through an intermedial survey of film, TV and literary fiction, photography, design and architectural history, crime and environmental, reportage, public health and safety documents this article examines the domestic swimming pools ambiguous status as a symbol of realised utopia within the Californian mythos from the boom years of the backyard oasis in the wake of the Second World War to the era of mass foreclosures, restricted water usage and ambient dread inaugurated by 9/11, the global recession and the severest drought in the states recorded rainfall history.

Film Studies
Abstract only
Patricia McManus

Dystopia This is a book about a subgenre 1 of fiction which has come to be known as dystopian fiction. This is a type of fiction differentiated from others not so much because it is about oppression or about suffering but because it is about the organisation of oppression and suffering, the planned or designed production of suffering, or, in those instances where suffering is dramatised as absent, the planned production of subjects incapable of suffering. 2 The dystopia imagines a future inhabited by

in Critical theory and dystopia