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Whereas Isaiah Berlin argued that positive liberty is not a theory of liberty at all, and that negative liberty is the only true conception of liberty, Dorothy Roberts argues that positive liberty is the only true conception of liberty, and that negative liberty is not a theory of liberty at all but rather a theory of power and privilege. This essay takes up that contrast with specific reference to disability. One could argue that disability takes a negative liberty view, because disabled persons are constrained by physical, legal, and attitudinal barriers from doing many things they want. But this requires a positive liberty gesture of expanding what we mean by “barriers,” such as seeing stairs as a barrier rather than a natural part of building architecture for which nobody is responsible. But this essay carries the positive liberty argument further, drawing on feminist insights about the social construction of desire and subjectivity, to argue that positive liberty is important to a full understanding of freedom for disabled persons.
This chapter provides the framework for the book’s analysis of the ICTR’s archive. First it establishes, theoretically, the link between archives, and the formation of community, as the archive is presented as a site where the themes of law, knowledge and governance coalesce. Second, it looks at other scholarly work on international courts for insights on the interrelationship between law, knowledge and governance and argues that this work has, to date, wrongly treated courts as sites of ‘knowledge deficit’, and further that there is a need to understand how the inner workings of the court contribute to the formation of particular types of community. Finally, drawing on Foucault and Ann Stoler’s work, it shows how the archive can function as an analytical and methodological tool to examine the politics of knowledge production in international courts.
The Introduction presents the argument, theoretical approach, and methods underpinning the study of aid as migration control in Morocco. I argue that aid marks the rise of a substantially different mode of migration containment, one where power works beyond fast violence, and its disciplinary potential is augmented precisely by its elusiveness. I build on Foucault’s analytic of power to develop a framework that explains the coexistence of fast techniques of bordering with emerging instruments of indirect and elusive rule. I then build on Elizabeth Povinelli’s notion of the ‘quasi-event’ to complicate our understanding of ‘benevolence’, ‘malevolence’, and co-optation into borderwork. I emphasise that the elusiveness of aid makes containment less visible and thus more difficult to resist for the actors orbiting around the aid industry. I compound these different threads of analysis into a discussion about power relations in the governance of the border.
The archives produced by international courts have received little empirical, theoretical or methodological attention within international criminal justice (ICJ) or international relations (IR) studies. Yet, as this book argues, these archives both contain a significant record of past violence, and also help to constitute the international community as a particular reality. As such, this book first offers an interdisciplinary reading of archives, integrating new insights from IR, archival science and post-colonial anthropology to establish the link between archives and community formation. It then focuses on the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda's archive, to offer a critical reading of how knowledge is produced in international courts, provides an account of the type of international community that is imagined within these archives, and establishes the importance of the materiality of archives for understanding how knowledge is produced and contested within the international domain.
The European Union's partnership with China has received significant academic attention. Experts have focused on both parties’ economic and political objectives and have made efforts to grasp the dynamics of the institutionalisation of EU-China cooperation. However, little has been said about how this collaboration affects the lives of citizens, especially in China. Adopting a Foucauldian epistemology, this article's key contention is that EU-China cooperation imposes a joint form of post-liberal governmental power on the Chinese population, which socially constructs empowered but not liberal political subjectivities for Chinese citizens. The article first reviews Foucault's approach to governmentality. It then explores Sino-EUropean collaboration after 2013, when the two partners established the ‘EU-China 2020 Strategic Agenda for Cooperation’. We illustrate how the institutionalisation of the partnership has been consistent with a governmentalised political rationality, and how policy implementation has allowed a post-liberal form of governmental power to flow from both EU and Chinese policymakers towards the Chinese population, triggering processes of political subjectivisation.
Chapter 2 lays out the theoretical and methodological approach for the analysis. The study draws on discourse analysis, understanding the category of homosexuality to be a construction built on an ‘external dimension’ (a regime of acts) and an ‘internal dimension’ (identity). Queer theory provides insights into the interplay of this act/identity distinction, which functions as an unstable dichotomy where sometimes one is favoured and sometimes the other. Within this system, the gay person is caught in a delicate situation, faced with contradictory expectations as to their ‘discretion’ and disclosure, while at the same time never in full control of what others know about their sexuality. In terms of methodological approach, the analysis is based on discourse analysis on refugee law doctrine. Unlike a classical doctrinal analysis seeking the right legal answer, this study is interested in the ways in which legal doctrine is constructed. Three case studies add an empirical element from the Common European Asylum System: sexuality-based asylum claims from Germany, France and Spain are submitted to analysis.
Psychiatry has never been without vociferous critics. Anti-psychiatry raised legitimate, albeit irritating, concerns about psychiatric practice. Clinical psychologists in Britain now outnumber psychiatrists, with an enormously expanded clinical remit. Lead psychologists are now as experienced as consultant psychiatrist and vie for leadership. To pretend that all is well in the world of professional mental health practice and relationship is dangerous.
This chapter reassesses characterisations of the long eighteenth century as one devoted to accumulating anatomies and constructing taxonomies. Scholars have traced a broad movement, across the sciences, politics, and wider culture, toward simplification and categorisation – against the threat of ambiguity and complexity. In particular, critics and historians have identified a drive to identify anatomical, physiological explanations for human character and behaviour. Yet, those other eighteenth-century cultural ‘revolutions’ – the culture of sensibility and the emergence of modern selfhood – indicate a growing emphasis on specificity, individuation, and personal identity, which would seem to oppose the trend toward simplification. How do we account, then, for these seemingly contradictory movements towards simplification on the one hand and complexity on the other? I address this question by focusing on the cultural resonances surrounding certain objects, which ‘perform’ identity at the broad and busy intersection of politics, medicine, literature, and visual culture. In doing so, I show how things and words became fused with bodies in the development of anatomical and physiological knowledge throughout the long eighteenth century.
The essay considers a twofold question: Why, until recently, has our field remained so reluctant to engage with racial epistemology, and what higher form of understanding does “race” offer to students of Eurasia? The answer to the first part of the question is located in the divergence between the “imperial” and “modernity” paradigms in Eurasian studies. With regard to the second part of the question, the essay suggests viewing “race” as one of the languages of self-reflection and modernization in the imperial space. It concludes that the discovery of “race” becomes tantamount to the rediscovery of Eurasia as an imperial space—irregularly hierarchical and heterogeneous, characterized by entangled exceptionalism and a constant renegotiation of differences, as well as the realignment of principles of belonging, subjectivities, and networks of solidarity.
Critical trends in psychiatry are abundant today. Their impact on how psychiatry is currently practised is considerable. Yet what deserves close examination is the extent to which these modes of critique (anti-psychiatry, liberation movements, activism, existential, narrative or hermeneutic approaches, theories of values, psychoanalysis) inherently belong to or have become part of the very system that they criticise. Despite their political, social or scientific influence, which is undeniable, their critical power is often limited by their inability to radically challenge the deeper anthropological and philosophical presuppositions on which mainstream psychiatry rests. It can be argued that Foucault offers such a challenge. Implementing his historico-philosophical method, Foucault is sceptical of the anti-psychiatric quest for non-oppressive modes of psychiatric power and the humanist and postmodern efforts to moralise or relativise psychiatric truth. All these modes of critique rest on preconceived notions of nature, power and truth and have been integrated by the pluralism of the psychiatric universe. Yet Foucault's critique seeks precisely the opposite: to explore a new anthropological conception of insanity that has the power to challenge the legal, moral or reductionist constraints under which medical truth currently operates.
This chapter focuses on Rorty’s engagements with Heidegger, Derrida, and Foucault. It argues that, however much he enjoyed these encounters, Rorty’s philosophical views were largely unaffected by them. He tended to endorse what could be assimilated to his own Deweyan pragmatism and reject the rest. In this way, Rorty endorses Heidegger’s diagnosis of the history of European philosophy, while disavowing his criticism of modernity and his nostalgia for an authentic language of Being. He denounces Foucault’s supposed commitment to anarchism and revolution as incompatible with his preferred Deweyan social democratic politics. Only his writings on Derrida provide evidence of deepening understanding of and sympathy with a philosophical project irreducible to his own. Overall, Rorty refuses to accept any philosophical invention on the part of these thinkers. Derrida’s deconstructive argument in favor of an elusive quasi-metaphysics of difference, and Foucault’s genealogies of present institutions and ways of thinking are either ignored or denounced as residues of the tradition they seek to escape. Rorty characterizes each of them as essentially private thinkers, “ascetic priests” who aspire to stand apart from the herd and to be in touch with a reality more profound than the life they share with others.
Chapter 2 is ‘Progress: Ancient Custom in the Modern City’. Here I pursue sociopolitical questions prompted by ballad singing, in an analysis shaped by an understanding of historical time and process whereby the chief tension lay between an early modern conception of order, public space, and neighbourhood, as embodied by the singer, and a self-consciously modern urban programme of improvement and capital, advanced by journalists and the judiciary. I situate debates over ballad singing at the centre of this historical process, the better to understand both issues. I analyse the threats singers were said to represent, in moral and legal writing; the political power accorded to the song by authorities (centring on the endlessly repeated maxim of the early Enlightenment thinker Alexander Fletcher); contemporary medical views on the inflammatory power of music; the vexed question of public space; and the steps taken both to repress and to coerce ballad-singers. I focus on the few documented occasions when a ballad-singer had a demonstrable impact on the actions of a community, from Kennington, to Camden, to Whitechapel market, and I come to see the singer, not as analogous to rough music as such, but as a paradoxical, anachronistic voice of authority within those communities.
This chapter examines the transformation by which, over the final decades of the nineteenth century and the early decades of the twentieth, the urban poor of Iran and especially the “lower depths” among them ceased to be merely a permanent and occasionally troublesome presence in towns and cities, to be tolerated, managed or ignored, becoming instead a collective menace. The chapter discusses both marginality itself and the dialectical dynamic between the marginal and modernism, locating its focus on Iran within wider comparative frameworks. Using especially the work of Michel Foucault, it takes as its key players, on the one side the so-called “dangerous classes” and, on the other, their eternal adversary, the modern state, using examples drawn from Egypt, the Ottoman empire, Algeria, France and Britain to illuminate the Iranian experience. The chapter has, at its centre, narratives of the lives of various representatives of the “dangerous classes,” prostitutes, the criminal in the form of the serial killer, prisoners, the undeserving poor, beggars and paupers, and the quintessentially liminal lutis. But it also argues for the artificiality of this notion of the “dangerous classes” and its deliberate construction by a modernizing elite for whom it functioned as a mirror image, the marginal, the immoral and the criminal a perfect foil for the emerging middle classes. The chapter examines the role allocated to the marginal in the construction of modern regimes of surveillance and discipline, including avowedly “modern” police forces, prisons, judicial systems, red light districts and clinics. The chapter concludes by arguing that, far from disappearing with the triumph of modernity, the dangerous classes themselves, and the environments which supposedly produced and succoured them, are rapidly proliferating in the twenty-first century Middle East and North Africa.
This chapter offers a theoretical analysis of Shi‘a ‘ulama’s conceptions of and engagements with their state in the midst of sectarian violence. My close study of Shi‘a religious journals and fieldwork among the ‘ulama highlights that many clerics view the state as culpable for Shi‘a deaths, not simply despite the state’s claim to an Islamic identity, but in some instances, because of Pakistan’s Sunni Islamic leanings. The chapter then interrogates why the very ‘ulama who critique the state for its complicity in Shi‘a deaths also appeal to the state for protection. By way of answer, I argue that when viewing the state as a configuration of institutions whose negative effects they experience, the ‘ulama rebuke the state for its complicity in anti-Shi‘a violence. However, when viewing the state as an idea, fantasy or image, the ‘ulama understand it as a legitimate authoritative body transcending society and providing security. Drawing on philosophical and anthropological works on the state, I explain that the ‘ulama’s appeals for protection help constitute the state by reproducing the effect of the state idea or fantasy through discourses and bodily practices. I argue that the approach to the state adopted by this chapter can be fruitfully applied to study state–‘ulama relations across the Muslim world.
In this book, Mashal Saif explores how contemporary 'ulama, the guardians of religious knowledge and law, engage with the world's most populated Islamic nation-state: Pakistan. In mapping these engagements, she weds rigorous textual analysis with fieldwork and offers insight into some of the most significant and politically charged issues in recent Pakistani history. These include debates over the rights of women; the country's notorious blasphemy laws; the legitimacy of religiously mandated insurrection against the state; sectarian violence; and the place of Shi'as within the Sunni majority nation. These diverse case studies are knit together by the project's most significant contribution: a theoretical framework that understands the 'ulama's complex engagements with their state as a process of both contestation and cultivation of the Islamic Republic by citizen-subjects. This framework provides a new way of assessing state - 'ulama relations not only in contemporary Pakistan but also across the Muslim world.
This chapter revisits the well-known case involving the death of a child wife in India, Queen-Empress v. Hurree Mohun Mythee. While it is usually assumed that the signs of violence and immaturity found on the corpse of the child wife led to the passage of the Age of Consent Act (1891), this chapter draws on insights from sexuality and science studies to argue that the autopsy served as a technology to construct the child as embodied. It traces the construction of the “child” as a natural category – by medicine, the law, and perhaps more surprisingly, by history – and suggests that the “child” is created by, and serves to obscure, the epistemic contract on age – an implicit agreement that age is a natural measure of legal capacity for all humans, but which can, in fact, be traced to liberal political theory and its dissemination in jurisprudence.
This chapter locates the Child Marriage Restraint Act (1929) in the context of two sets of numbers – the census statistics that were used to measure the scale of the social problem of child marriages and the “digits of age” that were used to define the child in order to mitigate the problem. In doing so, it locates the history of the CMRA in a newly enlarged field of play – in the League of Nation’s transnational humanitarian program of child protection, on the one hand, and raging debates on “population” as a global problem, on the other. It argues that while age-based measurements of legal personhood might appear unremarkable now, age had to be made stable by several technologies of government. It examines how a range of nationalist positions came to be articulated as a choice over the age limits of childhood in interwar India. It scrutinizes how age could – or could not – be proved through forensic technologies and documentary evidence in colonial courtrooms. By taking age as a question of power and not a fact about the body, this chapter traces the juridical construction of the child.
This chapter recalls the author’s earlier visit to a Chinese compulsory drug detention center to explore covert civil society counter-surveillance of a tightly restricted facility under multiple rings of state surveillance, and to reflect on the limits of international regimes of monitoring and accountability. While torture and forced labor were widely reported, the facility’s manager presented it to the author as a model detention center. Ten years later, as senior human rights advisor at the Global Fund, which then invested in HIV programs in similar centers in Viet Nam, the author was tasked with developing a corporate Key Performance Indicator on human rights. The process of putting in place systems of compliance to ensure that aid money was not financing human rights violations became a public challenge. The chapter asks what can be known, from Geneva, about what really happens in places situated within multiple circles of top-down surveillance and display? By engaging in monitoring, civil society and development organizations attempt to engage in their own forms of surveillance and discipline. Sometimes, what they encounter is a Potemkin effect: a sunny display intended to deflect accountability and hide grimmer realities.