Alternatives: Global, Local, Political

Published by SAGE Publications
Print ISSN: 0304-3754
This paper analyses both the basic assumptions and the results of the better known and widely used global models - specifically, the UN world model, the RIO (Reshaping the International Order) model and the Bariloche model - in relation to basic needs and to North-South interdependence. The rationale of the exercise is that these very assumptions underlie various development strategies and give legitimacy to competing claims on the world's resources. Even if some of the findings of the analysis are critical of the suitability of a particular model for the study of the questions posed, they serve a useful purpose in that they suggest what strategies and structures built into the model do not work. The paper ends by summarizing the conclusions and indicating their implications for policy as well as for further modelling work.
Security has been located either in the political spectacle of public discourses or within the specialized field of security professionals, experts in the management of unease. This article takes issue with these analyses and argues that security practices are also formulated in more heterogeneous locations. Since the early days of the “war on terror,” the insurance industry has had an instrumental role and “underwriting terrorism” has become part of the global governmentality of terrorism. We explore the political implications of the classificatory practices that insurance presupposes and argue that the technologies of insurance foster subjects who are consistent with the logic of capitalism. Insurance entrenches a vision of the social where antagonisms have been displaced or are suspended by an overwhelming concern with the continuity of social and economic processes. These effects of insurance will be discussed as the “temporality,” “subjectivity,” and “alterity” effects.
This article examines ways in which art can help broaden understandings of contemporary security challenges, especially in view of the limits of conventional forms of strategic and policy analysis. The article focuses especially on responses to 9/11 in literature, the visual arts, architecture, and music, and considers some epistemological questions about the status of art as a way of knowing political events, like those of 9/11, that escape state-based forms of security analysis.
Over the last hundred years, we in the more favored parts of the world have been doing all that we could to displace [the] attitude of resignation and feeling of inability to do anything about such circumstances [“poverty and disease and ignorance”]. We sent missionaries throughout the world preaching the gospel of the Fatherhood of God and the brotherhood of man and converting a lot of people in the underdeveloped areas of the world to a conviction that they can in fact work out an improvement of their own lives. In addition to these religious missionaries we sent out trade missionaries, commercial agents, who aroused desires on the part of the people of the underdeveloped areas for conditions of life and physical comforts that are commonplace in the advanced countries of the West. Moreover, during both World Wars, but particularly during the second, we sent our military forces into practically every corner of the world so that at the present time there is no place anywhere on the globe in which any considerable number of peoples live who do not know that it is possible for a human being to live a far better life than is customary for three quarters of the human race.
‘Integrative’ computer modeling, a method for analyzing policy implications, was used to project the international energy situation until 1989. The increasing dependence of the industrialized countries on Third World energy resources indicated a vulnerability to supply interuptions in those countries. Policy changes aimed at reducing this vulnerability were modeled. Alternatives for limiting energy consumption in industrialized countries proved more effective than alternatives for increasing the production of energy in those countries. The analysis centered on North America as the industrialized region which is most rapidly becoming dependent on Third World resources.
This article explores the different ideas of community circulating in the aftermath of the 7 July 2005 bombings in London. Specifically, it compares the idea of a community in unity with a more cosmopolitan, urban idea of community. While these two ideas seem to present sharply different responses, the article questions the extent to which the cosmopolitan model offers an alternative to the nationalist idea of community. Drawing on various discussions about how ideas of community are produced through different understandings of time and origins, the article argues that in this specific case both the national and the cosmopolitan accounts of community worked according to a very similar logic, and therefore risked reproducing similar problems and exclusions. Consequently, the article suggests that the task of exploring alternative conceptions of community must involve greater sensitivity to the politics of time and other approaches to the politics of origins. This challenge is pursued through the motif of the city as a site expressing a different temporality and thus a different idea of community from that expressed in traditions of national belonging.
The author sees the measurement of world welfare as social action because in the course of measurement our ideas of the world change, leading, hopefully, to the initiation of changes in the world itself. She is therefore interested in evolving indicators not for system states but for system processes, of which four form the core: participation (in the process of shaping the conditions of life), production (of food, goods, energy, information, and services), distribution (of all that is produced and the manner in which it is shared by the various sectors of society), and ‘nurturance’ (empathic, altruistic, caring responses that enhance human growth). There is a fifth Process, equally important (because it acts as a multiplier to other processes) but difficult to measure: the process of ‘joying’, which imports the dimension of expansiveness to all human acts.
Widespread rural poverty and a tendency of food production to stagnate are phenomena common to many Third World countries. The meager results of the development efforts of the last quarter century demand the search for new alternatives'. This essay addresses these problems under the premises of a holistic social philosophy which is found useful for understanding the causes of underdevelopment which are not regarded as a heritage of ‘traditions’ but of the interplay between them and a contemporaneous world process of production, and for finding a path of liberating development. It briefly investigates the nature and dynamic of a socioeconomic process based on unequal development between nations, between agricultural and industrial sectors, and between the peasantry and other agrarian groups. It also investigates the performance of land reforms and modernization projects as a means to overcome the conflicts that this process generates in rural areas. Basing itself on a social philosophy affirming the integral unfolding of each real man as the ultimate objective of social life, it proposes a rural way of development, geared to the construction of a socially and sectorally articulated economy. The key elements in this are intermediate organizations, intermediate technologies, integral consciousness, and, finally, cultural action (modernization with conscientization), because a change at the level of consciousness is necessary to subordinate technical and organizational changes to the needs of humankind.
Interviews were conducted with 35 grass roots activists from middle-sized U.S. cities and small towns to learn about their perspectives and activities. No effort was made to obtain a representative sample of activists. The five main approaches to social change encountered were represented by members of the ideological and political left, by community-organizing and neighborhood empowerment groups, and by advocates of lifestyle change, interpersonal transformation (e.g., feminism), and spiritual transformation. Among the findings are the following. There is a strong emphasis on decentralization among grass roots activists. A possible basis for collaboration between localists and globalists is their shared anti-statism. The networks created by local activists tend not to extend beyond the state (nation) boundary. Local activists tend not to be activating, or even informing, local people about suffering on a global basis. Local activists tend to change their lifestyles so that they reflect their beliefs; the globalists do not. The localists rarely have visions of the future, compared to the global future tradition of the globalists. There are a small number of local/global activists. (Author/RM)
"The joint administration or cooperative management (comanagement) of living resources is the potential solution to the contentious divergence between two alternative systems: centralized, state-level versus local-level and community-based systems of resource management. But co-management does not have a simple prescription. There are 'levels' of co-management, from informing and consultation, through degrees of power-sharing between the central government and local resource users." "Studies in the James Bay area indicate that the capability of local-level management or self-management is important not only from a fish and wildlife management point of view. It is also important to the social and economic health of many native communities. Because of the continuing importance of living resources, the economic development of native communities is linked to their ability to manage their own resources. This, in turn, is linked to larger questions of self-government."
Marx and Engels warned that class struggle would result “either in a revolutionary reconstitution of society at large, or in the common ruin of the contending classes.” This essay argues that through the effect of neoliberal networked economy, we have had both a “revolutionary reconstitution of society” and the “common ruin” of both bourgeois and proletarian classes. Their “common ruin” is expressed through their lack of viability as the basis for their respective democratic projects—liberalism and socialism. The revolution in information technologies and the rise of the neoliberal network society has transformed the nature of political power that had been founded upon traditional industrial forms of production and social–political organization. The essay develops a theory of technological change and a subsequent transformation in our relationship with time. By emphasizing the dialectic of technological–temporal change in the nature and quality of political power, we see that the very basis of both power and politics has become transformed in ways that negatively affect the potential of democratic forms of power, liberal, or socialist. The essay ends with a call for a new political approach to time, a “temporal sovereignty” to revive and renew the basis of democracy within a networked society.
This article considers international trauma advocacy and Croatian veteran politics. The article begins by discussing international trauma advocacy and therapeutic state legitimation. International trauma advocacy seeks to promote peace, however unwittingly it has legitimized veteran politics antithetical to its ideals. The second half of the article goes on to consider Croatian state legitimation and privileged veteran pensions. The article suggests that Croatia is developing therapeutic forms of state legitimation. The article highlights the problems of Croatia as a therapeutic state and its recognition of extensive veteran privileges. The article concludes that the veteran privileges represent a political, social, and economic burden which is hindering Croatia’s postconflict development.
The ways that financialization has contributed to the technocratic and antipolitical management of economies have become ever more evident in the wake of the financial crisis that commenced in the autumn of 2007. This bracketing and suspension of politics occurs in various ways but significantly, it does so through the obscuring of work as a moment of economic life. If economics has been complicit in this antipolitics, can an aesthetic approach to financialization shed light on how work is rendered invisible? This article analyzes four short film clips all distributed through YouTube to show not only how their visual and narrative elements organize subjectivities for an antipolitics of finance but also to find in the popular aesthetic a different “distribution of the sensible” that permits moments of suspension or rupture that can politicize financialized subjectivity and begin to recover a politics of work.
This article explores the affective structure of precarity and its gendered antinomies. Building on feminist critical engagements that call attention to the elision of reproductive and household labor in emergent theorizations of precarity, it draws on Lauren Berlant’s work on affective attachments to offer a reading of cinematic narratives of precarity in contemporary Japan, a space only tangentially referenced in a largely Euro-American discourse on precarity. Delineating precarity as an affective field of intelligibility, both inimical to yet potentially enabling of a feminist opening, this article offers an analysis of two films: Japan a Story of Love and Hate shows how the affective normalization of women’s precarity privileges the affect of loss for men in precarity, suggesting it is the loss of mastery entailed by the movement of men from once secure to insecure work that mobilizes an affective–political turn under the sign of precarity; in contrast, a reading of Tokyo Sonata as an allegorical treatment of precarity shows how the feminization of men wrought within precarity can open up the possibility for a normative rupture of prevalent gendered hierarchies.
Prime Minister Tony Blair has described Africa as a “scar on the conscience of the world.” This article argues that New Labour's increasing attention to Africa is part of an ongoing securitization of the continent; interactions with Africa are gradually shifting from the category of “development/humanitarianism” toward a category of “risk/fear/threat” in the context of the “war on terrorism.” The securitization of Africa has helped legitimize this “war on terrorism,” but has very little to offer for Africa's development problems.
This paper traces the course of French involvement in Africa since the dismantling, with the declaration of formal independence of its African colonies, of its classical colonial structure. France has nonetheless managed to keep intact its domination over the Francophone states through aid, trade and military support, and has attempted, through them and with the help of close and friendly relations with South Africa, to extend its influence in southern Africa in particular and the rest of the continent in general, in pursuit of its ambition to achieve a big-power status on the world scene. The complex triangular relationship, now further compounded by international politics (including the fierce rivalry between the two superpowers, and not excluding the danger of its escalating into armed confrontation), has given a new twist to the anti-apartheid struggle. Having learnt from experience the enormous cost of war, even on the mini-scale of guerrilla activities, and its failure to make a dent on South Africa's racial policy, even the radical front-line states (including the most radical of them, Angola and Mozambique, both supported by the Soviet Union and defended by Cuba's armed forces) are now receptive to the idea of trying to solve the apartheid problem through negotiation. Mooted by the leaders of Francophone states (most vocally by Houphouet-Boigny of the Ivory Coast) and at first indignantly rejected by the OAU, the idea is now gaining progressively increasing support in Africa, even the OAU having toned down its opposition. Now that world public opinion has bestirred itself against apartheid, the strategy of negotiation promises to be an alternative better able to succeed, and even the sceptical states of Africa may be persuaded to accept it.
The process of militarization in Africa includes not only the actual acquisition of weapons, but also the extension of military values into political and social structures. This has contributed to an expansion in the size and power of the military establishment, to a reliance on repression by authoritarian regimes, to the continuance of internal and external war, and to an ideology that equates national sovereignty with military power. The background of this militarization lies in the domination of Africa by Western imperial interests. As such, Western proposals for disarmament generate suspicion; they are viewed as simply one more means to keep Africa subordinate. The continued militarization of the continent, however, can only help sustain this dependence and deepen the contradictions in African societies.
In this paper the authors examine and assess the likely impact of the various types of economic sanctions against South Africa, and go on to identify the actors who can most effectively apply them. From an examination of statistics relating to general and specific trade, investment, they find that South Africa is trade and credit dependent and is thus vulnerable to selective sanctions which can disrupt the most dynamic and advanced sectors of the economy. They propose concrete steps to be taken by private sector interests such as IBM, Control Data, and Chase Manhattan Bank. They emphasize that foreign policy can be made from the bottom up by various trade unions, churches and action groups through their pressure on nongovernmental actors as well as on governments. They emphasize that sanctions be applied in such a way as to impact the White elite at the top but not the Black majority at the bottom. The use of a measured carrot-and-stick approach is likely to produce peaceful change and accommodation and prevent a relentless drift toward civil war.
At least since the beginning of this century Africa has been an intellectual melting pot. The penetration of external intellectual influences, started earlier, gathered momentum more recently, and assumed most diverse forms in the last seventy to eighty years. Both Islam and Christianity as systems of ideas came to Africa from their earliest days. Ethiopia has been Christian longer than many parts of Europe, including England. And North Africa was substantially Islamized in the first century of Muhammad's religion, which later spread to other parts of the continent. Each had ideas and values which have direct political implications. After examining the role of culture in imperialism, the entry of liberal and capitalist values in Africa, the rise of modern nationalism, the fascination of Marxism among black intellectuals, and the obstinate resilience of many traditional African values, the essay comes to the conclusion that creative eclecticism (implying a genius for selectivity, for synthesizing disparate elements, and for ultimate independent growth in the intellectual field) is the only ideological alternative compatible with African autonomy in modern conditions.
The desire of the nations of Africa to achieve security through the military dynamic - derived partially from the fact that situations created by the developed North increase Africa's military requirements and partially from a desire to acquire prestige as defined by the superpowers in terms of military strength - counter-productively threatens national and human security on that continent in that it drains her of the resources needed to fight her real enemies: hunger, disease, illiteracy, and lack of freedom.
On September 16, 1987, an article entitled ‘Reality and Safeguards for a Secure World’ authored by Secretary General Mikhail Gorbachev was published in the Soviet Press. On the occasion of the 42nd Session of the UN General Assembly, Ambassador Petrovsky presented an aide memoire to the article of the General Secretary. What is noteworthy about the Petrovsky speech at the UN is its comprehensive approach to international peace and security, that is the notion of security as encompassing military, economic, and cultural dimensions of human life—long advocated by peace researchers—is now being formally proposed at the highest levels of political leadership. We publish it here as part of the continuing dialogue on these questions.—Editors.
Although it is important to acknowledge that the virus affects a wide and growing number of people outside our communities, there is no doubt that it has had an unparalleled impact upon our particular attempts at self-help and organization … yet, at the same time, it has stimulated the growth of many more groups, often bringing lesbians and gay men together for the first time in a particular town or country. In some areas, it has meant the growth of identity and self-respect as lesbian, gay, or bisexual groups have demonstrated their ability to provide care and prevention services to fight the epidemic; sometimes it has even meant governmental recognition and funding.
The strength of Roberto Esposito’s immunitary reading of biopolitics lies in its ability to bring together biopolitics and thanatopolitics without fully collapsing them into each other. However, although Esposito has carefully elaborated the thanatopolitical tendency within Nazi biopolitics, the very idea of liberal thanatopolitics appears to be foreign to him. Despite the neglect of such a combination in Esposito’s thought, this article considers precisely this possibility. Befitting Esposito’s theory of immunity, this is done by focusing on the liberal efforts to halt the pandemic caused by the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). We discuss the hypothesis that the liberal insistence on the primacy of personified human life in the face of a dehumanizing pandemic systematically places many HIV-positive people in a zone of indistinguishability between full human existence and merely being alive in a thanatopolitical fashion.
This article analyzes the policing of the protest against the Free Trade Area of the Americas agreement in Miami in November 2003. Specifically, it uses the case to develop a theoretical understanding of the contingencies, weaknesses, and unpredictable consequences of ostensibly repressive applications of power in transnational summit spaces. It then evaluates participants' modes of resistance to critique ongoing assertion among academic and activist circles concerning the unity of activists in alterglobalist space, in favor of a view of power relations as constitutive of complex forms of social identity, and which require greater reflection on the part of activist circles in order to translate the experience of repression into a source of activist commonality.
In September 1973, the Pugwash Movement realigned its sights on international collaboration in scientific and technological research as the surest means of promoting development in the Third World, when at its Twenty-third General Conference at Aulanko, Finland, it came to the conclusion that experience having proved its earlier premises to be false, explorations needed to be made in self-reliance as an alternative strategy. Accordingly, it held a Symposium in June 1975 at Dar-es-Salaam, Tanzania, which was attended by 20 participants from the three developing continents and from North America and Europe. There were also some observers from UN agencies. At its conclusion, the Symposium directed the author, who had acted as the rapporteur of the Symposium, to prepare a report along the ‘outlines’ unanimously approved by the participants. The following essay is the result of his labours. It examines the genesis of the concept of self-reliance, explains the concept itself, outlines the transitional steps, spells out the implications for international organizations as well as developing countries, and gives the guidelines of action by the Pugwash Movement itself.
This paper sees in indigenous biomass and other natural resources such as sun and wind and water, especially in Third World countries (most of which lie in the torrid or semi-torrid zones and a vast majority of whose populations live in rural areas), a potential alternative to non-renewable sources of energy such as oil and nuclear power. Biomass can be transformed into various forms of energy: solids (firewood and charcoal), liquids (alcohol and oil), gases (methane and hydrogen), and electricity. They are at once renewable and non-polluting, viable and inexpensive, decentralized and labour-intensive. The paper also surveys the efforts being made in Third World countries to make use of these energy-producing resources. But it adds that care will have to be taken, using appropriate social measures, to ensure that, unlike oil and nuclear energy, biomass energy is not only decentralized (which it has to be by its nature) but also equitably shared (which mere decentralization does not guarantee) by all sections of the rural population.
This paper analyses the basic assumptions regarding the nature of man underlying economic theory and welfare economics, and examines the philosophical underpinnings of economic theory as well as its value judgements. It goes on to show that the basic problems faced by industrial society - namely, maldistribution of income, pollution and alienation - cannot be overcome unless the notion of man underlying speculations about economic problems and economic welfare is modified. It reviews recent contributions to a re-visioning of man in his relationship to economic activity with a view to piecing together different elements which may be useful in providing a framework for a new integrated approach to man's economic problems.
There is a fundamental difference between the search for an alternative ways of life on the part of certain sections in the rich, industrialized West and on the part of the elites of the poor, underdeveloped Third World. In the West, this search stems from a sensitivity to the pernicious consequences of a material civilization - such as the fragmentation of institutional structure and consequently its incapability to provide a ‘rational’ basis for individual identity formation and control of individual emotions, all leading to alienation. In the Third World countries, the search springs from the belief that the only way of tackling mass poverty and raising the standards of living is rapid industrialization on the Western model. It is not sufficiently realized that even if they are willing to pay the price, the quest for Western affluence would be futile, not only because of resource limitation, but also because of social limits to growth. This is well illustrated by the case of India where, in spite of 25 years of centralized planning, no significant dent has been made on mass poverty, mass illiteracy or communicable diseases. The rational choice - and one likely to be more fruitful - is to seek an alternative model of development and life-style, based, as Gandhi insisted, on minimization of wants and engaging in bread labour, and on self-sufficiency of small communities, with complete decentralization of political and economic power and participation in decision-making process.
The universal dream of a coming Age of Affluence, modern style, has been shattered. Modern expansionism is coming to its predictable and inevitable end. The now apparent failure of its techno-economic system stems directly from a systematic neglect of the truism that Man's greatest resource is man, his initiative, intelligence and creativity. Modern economic thinking takes goods as its point of departure, instead of people. The results are the destruction of the wholesomeness of man's work, deleterious pollution of his natural environment and increasingly threatening resource depletion. Solutions to these problems cannot be found without a fundamental reorientation of technology, so as to make possible the development of a new life-style which means new Patterns of production, new patterns of consumption and new patterns of the geographical distribution of the population (e.g. urbanization). Systematic work in this direction has been carried on by the Intermediate Technology development Group in London since 1965. This work shows beyond reasonable doubt that technological alternatives are possible and can be thoroughly economic. The criteria or guidelines of the Group's work are: smallness, simplicity, capital-cheapness and nonviolence, to afford alternatives to current technological trends which favour giantism, complexity, high capital intensity and violence. As the ‘culture of affluence’ is proving a ruinous aberration, we might do worse than study the possibilities of a ‘culture of poverty’ which would make health, beauty and permanence its central aspirations.
International theorists have long argued over the longevity of American hegemony and whether or not the American-centered international order is currently in crisis. What remains largely missing in many of the analyses of the history and present of American hegemony is an examination of how maintaining global hegemony affects or has affected domestic American political and economic institutions. Looking back at the early 1970s, I examine the nexus between the crisis of American global hegemony in the aftermath of the Vietnam War, the project of neoliberalization in Chile and how the Chilean socioeconomic “laboratory” set an important precedent for the subsequent adoption of neoliberal reforms in the United States under the Reagan Administration. The reassertion of American hegemony was coextensive with a neoliberal project that was initially experimented with in Chile under the authoritarian rule of Augusto Pinochet.
Rather than making any general claims supporting or opposing the “greening” of sovereignty, this article examines the variable discourses through which the ethos of ecosovereignty is reconfigured. The questions that drive this inquiry are (1) through what discursive pathways do conceptions of nature, political community, and governance intersect to constitute exclusionary ethoses of ecosovereignty? and (2) how might alternative articulations challenge such exclusions? These questions are pursued by examining the contemporary American “environmental restrictionist” (immigration-reduction environmentalist) movement, and critical responses to the movement. It traces how nature, political community, and governance are conceptualized and related to one another in efforts to bolster alternative configurations of ecosovereignty. By gaining insight into the various discourses through which iterations of ecosovereignty emerge, scholars and practitioners might better respond to the multiplicity of ways that nature becomes enmeshed in exclusionary social forms.
This essay attempts to discuss the relationships between political culture, functionalist political theory, and anarchical principles within the context of world order and global reform. It focuses upon the cultural element in world political action, emphasizing the significance of moral preferences and fundamental value orientations. It argues for serious consideration of the anarchical stream in world order thinking as discussion about global reform focuses on the formulation of alternative strategies.
Rather than concerning ourselves with “governing trauma” we should instead be concerned with how trauma has come to govern us. Trauma talk now comes naturally, and the article explores what all this trauma talk might be doing, ideologically and politically, especially in the context of the relationship between security and anxiety. The management of trauma and anxiety has become a way of mediating the demands of an endless security war: a war of security, a war for security, a war through security. The article therefore seeks to understand the concept of trauma and the proliferation of discourses of anxiety as ideological mechanisms deployed for the security crisis of endless war; deployed, that is, as a training in resilience. Trauma is less an issue of memory or the past and more a question of building resilience for the future. The language of trauma and anxiety, and the training in resilience that is associated with these terms, weds us to a deeply conservative mode of thinking.
If we live, as we are told, in an urbanizing world, then the problem of contemporary political analysis must be tackled by rethinking politics as practices of urbanizing spaces and subjectivities. This article questions whether relational ontologies of urban spatiotemporality and spatialized inter-subjectivity are sufficient as bases for analyses of the contemporary forms of politics enacted within practices and processes of urbanization. I argue that they are not, and suggest instead that urbanization puts into play multiple, overlapping aporetic boundaries between nature and culture, rural and urban, nature and urban, and ultimately between politics and its limits.
The originary figure of the Western political subject is neither the Aristotelian zōon politikon nor the Agambenian homo sacer but the Socratic erēmos aporos. Like the Agambenian homo sacer, the Socratic erēmos aporos is abandoned by his fellow citizens, not outside the polis but in the polis, being a refugee in his own city. He lives, as Callicles says of Socrates in Gorgias (486c), “in his city as an absolute outcast.” Moreover, like the Agambenian homo sacer, the Socratic erēmos aporos also lives in a state close to death—“in a state as close to death as possible,” as Socrates says of himself in Phaedo (67d). However, there is a decisive difference between the Agambenian homo sacer and the Socratic erēmos aporos. Unlike homo sacer, the Socratic political subject is not abandoned by the sovereign but by himself through his own traumatic self-accusation. Furthermore, although erēmos aporos is also a “living corpse,” he is not thereby at mercy of the sovereign. On the contrary, it is he who has become sovereign, not because he has somehow managed to sublate his condition as abandoned and forlorn subject, but because this condition is the condition of sovereign freedom. In other words, it is neither his biological life in the order of nature (zoē) nor his form of life in the symbolic order of the polis (bios), not even his exposure to the threat of imminent death (homo sacer), but his symbolic suicide that renders him a sovereign individual subjected to no one. By removing the subject from his proper place in the symbolic order of the polis, such a suicide not only discloses subject’s unlimited responsibility but also renders him capable of transcending his limited position as a living being and becoming a thanatopolitical subject of his own biological death. Although such a subject also affirms life, life that is affirmed here is not mere life but sovereign life in the shade of the instinct of death.
This article argues that gender was invented in the 1950s as a new sexual apparatus of biopower. Through a reading of mid-century sexological studies against the background of structural–functionalist and behaviorist theories of social order, it shows how gender was born in the clinic to discipline the reproduction of life in new ways. The truth of sex was no longer found in the genitals or mind, but in the contingent cognitive processes of a behavioral control system. The gender apparatus produced systematized protocols for sex reassignment surgeries for infants with ambiguous genitalia and rendered the family a panoptic institution, all to ensure that children were socialized into normative gender roles guaranteeing the continued reproduction of the life of the species. The violence of this new life-administering technology was crystallized in the pedagogical techniques employed by physicians designed to persuade their child patients to submit themselves to the normalizing care of surgeons and psychiatrists.
Controversy still surrounds the Charter of Economic Rights and Duties of States, adopted by the UN General Assembly on 12 December, 1974 with the overwhelming affirmative votes of the developing countries, supported by the countries with planned economies, the industrialized capitalist countries either opposing or abstaining. The idea of economic rights and duties was first mooted by the President of Mexico, Luis Echeverria Alvarez, at the UNCTAD meeting m Santiago, Chile, on 19 April, 1972. Subsequently, the series of international meetings that were held to prepare a draft brought out the fundamental divergencies between the viewpoints of the industrialized capitalist northwest and the rest of the world. This paper analyzes one of those meetings, the one held at Quito, Ecuador, in March 1973 under the auspices of the United Nations Economic Commission for Latin America. It then goes on to examine some historical considerations that shed light on the viewpoint of the Latin American spokespersons in global councils.
This article examines the government of trauma by examining the rebuilding of Ground Zero as a practice of folding the traumatic event, of capturing the traumatic event by containing it within the forms of what can be said and what can be seen. Something always goes missing in this process: the ungraspable and inexpressible dimension of trauma, which ultimately resists capture. On this basis, it considers different architectural designs and proposals as expressions of different strategies of folding the traumatic event. One strategy seeks to capture and contain the traumatic event through the production of specific forms of seeing and speaking in the social field. A second strategy points to our inability to capture the traumatic event through folding. The conclusion considers how these two strategies can be used to analyze the political significance of architecture in the discourses of the war on terror.
This article addresses the problem of military dominance in the Third World from the perspective of historical and structural linkages with the West. The author argues that military trends can be traced to the Cold War period when the U.S. poured military aid into newly emergent states willing to join the anti-communist campaign. This stimulated the development of large and sophisticated militaries within otherwise underdeveloped states, severely burdening local economies. As internal conditions worsened, hard-pressed Third World states employed the philosophy of total war built into Cold War diplomacy to shift their image of “the enemy” from external actors exclusively, to domestic social groups, using the military to maintain social control. Today, “security and development” is a prominent Third World slogan but it is a goal frustrated by three interrelated factors: globalization of the East/West conflict which is epitomized by interventions and regional arms races; reduction in foreign military aid; and consequent subordination of development needs to the demands of military preparedness. Rather than experiencing development, Third World states face chronic balance of payments problems and unemployment, largely because they are sectorally linked with the world market in a spiral of military-related economic relationships. Attempts to counter this trend must take into account the complex dynamic of the new international military order by planning for alternative security arrangements as well as alternative economic policies. To this end, the author suggests that a system of taxation of arms or military spending would be useful; it would provide incentives to convert arms industries into more socially productive enterprises without forcing the Third World to abandon all arms purchases.
Arms transfers are a tool of foreign policy and as such help shape the structure of the international system. Their tendency to consolidate the bi-polar power alliance structure has the effect of suppressing social and economic change in Third World countries, increasing their dependence on the developed world and of raising the potential for violent conflict resolution of regional disputes. The author also examines the emerging arms industries in the more developed Third World countries, and concludes that domestic arms production tends to distort the economic, technological and social development of the country, because it almost invariably relies on foreign technology and expertise.
The question of value comes to the fore in early modernity with the delineation of the distinct discursive fields of economics, ethics, and aesthetics, and their respective development into the self-sufficient practical forms of economic rationality, private morality, and modern art. Lying as it does at the intersection of the modern subject's internal world of needs and desires and the external world of the sources of their gratification or deferral, value begins to assume a considerable importance. Although the three realms of value co-emerge as differentiated with the inauguration of modernity, and each has been accompanied by a discourse concerned to elaborate its own autonomy and self-referentiality, they nevertheless stand in a complex relation to one another to define themselves mutually in a crisscrossing network of relations.
This article is offered as a small demonstration of what art has to say about terror and violence. It focuses on the German artist Gerhard Richter and his cycle of paintings on the life and death of the homegrown terrorists of the Baader-Meinhof group, October 18, 1977 (1988). Following Richter, it explores whether atrocity is “paintable.” It investigates the encounter between the artist and the terrorist and proposes that Richter's is a profound exploration of terror and counterterror in the contemporary world.
Discussed are the impact of technologies on the regenerative capacity of natural ecosystems and on human health, the impact on human societies and non-human species of modifying habitats for settlements or other uses, and what society chooses to do about these issues. (BB)
This paper attempts to bring the consideration of some new ideas and new research in the area of psychology and politics into a perspective helpful in our quest for a better world order. The notion of value relativism, for which it pleads, is relatively new within intellectual history, and the notion of value relativism based upon differentiated human personalities is much newer still. The idea of moving beyond a passive tolerance of different peoples toward an active consideration of the role of differentiated contribution, a kind of psychological interfunctionality within the organic whole of man, should now be able to make a contribution to world order. Just as the element of human psychology has become increasingly relevant to so many intellectual considerations, so too in the quest for a more justly ordered world there is need to explore the psychological dimension in the context of the principal balances of human society. The principles of value relativism, along with an understanding of the full range of the authoritarian model, should be helpful in this quest.
Part of a series of working papers intended to stimulate research, education, dialogue, and political action in favor of a more just world order, this monograph relates technology to four major global issues--energy, environment, employment, and equity. The objective is to determine the kinds of technological choices that can be made regarding social change in these four areas to diminish structural and other forms of violence against humanity and the biosphere. Six assumptions underlie the premise that technology can influence developments in these global issue areas: (1) obvious inequalities exist between developed and developing nations in areas of energy consumption, income distribution, material deprivation, economic and political power, and science-based problem-solving capacity; (2) developing nations are becoming increasingly dependent on developed nations; (3) technology is emerging as a major instrument for domination; (4) technology facilitates social change; (5) indigenous technologies in developing nations should be nurtured; and (6) depletion of natural resources cannot continue indefinitely. Some propositions are made to accelerate the transition away from exploitation and oppression of developing nations and toward equality of all peoples, including creating autonomous Third World structures for economic and technological intelligence, revitalizing indigenous technologies in the Third World, and encouraging ecologically sound productive processes (such as solar energy) in the industrialized nations. The conclusion is that technology should be recognized as an extremely potent force which should be judged in terms of its harmony with social and physical environments. (DB)
The author, fearing that the three ideals of autonomy, equality, and participation may be interpreted too simply, proposes refinements in their meanings. In his view, autonomy in the complex global existence can seldom exist in a pure form but is involved in interdependence, including both dependence and independence (autonomy). He therefore proposes idealizing improved interdependence as itself a primary value. Similarly, he argues for equality to be understood in ways that respect individuals' uniquenesses and differences from others as well as their samenesses with others. As for participation by citizens in higher-level decision-making processes, it becomes increasingly impractical as populations increase and as problems become increasingly so intricate that specialized knowledge is needed for intelligent decisions. The ideals should accordingly recognize both the increasing limitations on the possibilities and the need for more expert participation.
Presents some general observations about the current historical context and the autonomy of contemporary scientific enterprises and then assesses the actual extent of such autonomy, using as an example an environmental research institute. (Author/BB)
This essay questions assumptions about agency expressed in prevailing concepts of freedom understood as autonomy. It also turns to contexts of bondedness, where one endures and negotiates one’s embeddedness in relations of power and thick webs of sociality, to explore alternative modes of agency, of response-ability. The theoretical analysis engages two sites of communal agency, particularly women’s: first, I draw from Saba Mahmood’s study of the women’s mosque movement in contemporary Egypt; and second, I look closely at Hồ Xuân Hương folk poetry in eighteenth-century Confucian-dominated Việt Nam. One can be conceived as a politics of piety, whereas the other can be aptly called a politics of impiety. Both offer glimpses into alternative ways of being and acting in the world. Together they challenge the prevalence of a freedom-centered approach in international relations and political theory.
This article discusses Barry Hindess' strangely neglected Philosophy and Methodology in the Social Sciences and, in particular, his critical engagement there with Karl Popper. It argues that while there are some minor flaws in his interpretation, Hindess raises an issue of the greatest importance. This concerns how it can be coherent to test theories on the basis of reports on observations which are taken to have theoretical content. Shearmur suggests that a response can, indeed, be offered from a “Popperian” theory of knowledge which rejects the idea that knowledge claims can be justified, and he reports briefly on what such an approach might look like.
Top-cited authors
Didier Bigo
  • King's College London
Simon Dalby
  • Wilfrid Laurier University
Barry Hindess
  • Australian National University
Fiona Robinson
  • Carleton University
Jef Huysmans
  • Queen Mary, University of London