Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 17

Search results for: governmentality

17 An Examination of the Effects of Implantable Technologies on the Practices of Governmentality

Authors: Benn Van Den Ende

Abstract:

Over the last three decades, there has been an exponential increase in developments in implantable technologies such as the cardiac pacemaker, bionic prosthesis, and implantable chips. The effect of these technologies has been well researched in many areas. However, there is a lack of critical research in security studies. This paper will provide preliminary findings to an ongoing research project which aims to examine how implantable technologies effect the practices of governmentality in the context of security. It will do this by looking at the practices and techniques of governmentality along with different implantable technologies which increase, change or otherwise affect governmental practices. The preliminary research demonstrates that implantable technologies have a profound effect on the practices of governmentality, while also paving the way for further research into a potential ‘new’ form of governmentality in relation to these implantable technologies.

Keywords: critical security studies, governmentality, security theory, political theory, Foucault

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16 Governmentality and the Norwegian Knowledge Promotion Reform

Authors: Christin Tønseth

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The Norwegian ‘knowledge promotion reform’ was implemented in elementary schools and upper secondary schools in 2006. The goal of the reform was that all pupils should develop basic skills and competencies in order to take an active part in the knowledge society. This paper discusses how governmentality as a management principle is demonstrated through the Norwegian ‘knowledge promotion reform’. Evaluation reports and political documents are the basis for the discussion. The ‘knowledge promotion reform’ was including quality assurance for schools, teachers, and students and the authorities retained control by using curricula and national tests. The reform promoted several intentions that were not reached. In light of governmentality, it seemed that thoughts and intentions by the authorities differed from those in the world of practice. The quality assurances did not motivate the practitioners to be self-governing. The relationship between the authorities and the implementation actors was weak, and the reform was, therefore, difficult to implement in practice.

Keywords: governance, governmentality, the Norwegian knowledge promotion reform, education, politics

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15 Exploring the Governmentality of Practice in Communication Education in Ghana

Authors: Wincharles Coker

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This study troubles the role the state as the chief sponsor of higher education plays in shaping communication training in Ghana. Using a public university as a case study, it explores how the government of Ghana, through its regimes of control, exercises its authority over the means of production in the academy. Based on Wenger’s community of practice theory and critical theory, the research analyzes the political economy within which higher education in the country operates, focusing on the mandates of two of its bodies: the National Council for Tertiary Education (NCTE) and the National Accreditation Board (NAB). Results show that communication training in Ghana is shaped by three basic strategies of control: developmentalism, bureaucratization, and corporatization. This governmentality, the research reveals nonetheless, largely constrains the agency and practices of the community of communication faculty and administrators, and thus presents a major challenge to the exercise of intellectual freedom, and the self-critical nature of the academy. The study bears implications for further research in the political economy of communication studies, the administration of higher education, and critical/cultural studies in education.

Keywords: communication, developmentalism, educattion, governmentality

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14 Ecological Concerns in Food Systems: An Ethnographical Approach on Vegan Impact in Governmentality

Authors: Jessica Gonzalez

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Veganism, along with different types of vegetarianism, consists in the abstinence of animal products. Far from being only an alimentary regulation, it stands as a political posture against the food industry generating itself a set of beliefs, prohibitions, and attitudes that compel the individual to a reevaluation of his obligations towards the environment. Veganism defends animal rights and at the same time reinforces a different conception of natural resources embodying it in alimentary restrictions. These practices emerge in the context of alimentary modernity, which is characterized by bringing new concerns to the consumer. An increased skepticism towards the government ability to protect food supply; a notable distrust toward the market guaranties on providing safe food with sustainable techniques and the desire to react to the neoliberal forms of exploitation are some of its consequences of this phenomenon. This study aims to approach the concept of governmentality as a coproduced system of legitimized practices and knowledge, formed by the interaction of the different actors that are involved. In a scenario where the State seems to retreat from centralized regulation of food production giving up importance to citizens, dietary consultants, farmers, and stockbreeders, veganism plays its role on the conformation of distinctive forms of environmentalism, nature rights and responses to ecological crisis. The ethnographic method allows observing the mechanisms of interaction of consumers and discourses with the mainstream food system, providing evidence about the means of generation of new conceptions about nature and the environment. The paper focuses on how the dietary restrictions, consumption patterns and public discourses of vegans in Barcelona impact local consumption, demonstrating its relevance as a mechanism that associates particular concerns about food with political economy.

Keywords: animal rights, environmentalism, food system, governmentality, veganism

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13 Reproductive Governmentality in Mexico: Production, Control and Regulation of Contraceptive Practices in a Public Hospital

Authors: Ivan Orozco

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Introduction: Forced contraception constitutes part of an effort to control the life and reproductive capacity of women through public health institutions. This phenomenon has affected many Mexican women historically and still persists nowadays. The notion of reproductive governmentality refers to the mechanisms through which different historical configurations of social actors (state institutions, churches, donor agents, NGOs, etc.) use legislative controls, economic incentives, moral mandates, direct coercion, and ethical incitements, to produce, monitor and control reproductive behaviors and practices. This research focuses on the use of these mechanisms by the Mexican State to control women's contraceptive practices in a public hospital. Method: An Institutional Ethnography was carried out, with the objective of knowing women's experiences from their own perspective, as they occur in their daily lives, but at the same time, discovering the structural elements that shape the discourses that promote women's contraception, even against their will. The fieldwork consisted in an observation of the dynamics between different participants within a public hospital and the conduction of interviews with the medical and nursing staff in charge of family planning services, as well as women attending the family planning office. Results: Public health institutions in Mexico are state tools to control and regulate reproduction. There are several strategies that are used for this purpose, for example, health personnel provide insufficient or misleading information to ensure that women agree to use contraceptives; health institutions provide economic incentives to the members of the health staff who reach certain goals in terms of contraceptive placement; young women are forced to go to the family planning service, regardless of the reason they went to the clinic; health campaigns are carried out, consisting of the application of contraceptives outside the health facilities, directly in the communities of people who visit the hospital less frequently. All these mechanisms seek for women to use contraceptives, from the women’s perspective; however, the reception of these discourses is ambiguous. While, for some women, the strategies become coercive mechanisms to use contraceptives against their will, for others, they represent an opportunity to take control over their reproductive lives. Conclusion: Since 1974, the Mexican government has implemented campaigns for the promotion of family planning methods as a means to control population growth. Although it is established in several legislations that the counselling must be carried out with a gender and human rights perspective, always respecting the autonomy of people, these research testify that health personnel uses different strategies to force some women to use contraceptive methods, thereby violating their reproductive rights.

Keywords: feminist research, forced contraception, institutional ethnography, reproductive. governmentality

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12 Risks and Values in Adult Safeguarding: An Examination of How Social Workers Screen Safeguarding Referrals from Residential Homes

Authors: Jeremy Dixon

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Safeguarding adults forms a core part of social work practice. The Government in England and Wales has made efforts to standardise practices through The Care Act 2014. The Act states that local authorities have duties to make inquiries in cases where an adult with care or support needs is experiencing or at risk of abuse and is unable to protect themselves from abuse or neglect. Despite the importance given to safeguarding adults within law there remains little research about how social workers conduct such decisions on the ground. This presentation reports on findings from a pilot research study conducted within two social work teams in a Local Authority in England. The objective of the project was to find out how social workers interpreted safeguarding duties as laid out by The Care Act 2014 with a particular focus on how workers assessed and managed risk. Ethnographic research methods were used throughout the project. This paper focusses specifically on decisions made by workers in the assessment team. The paper reports on qualitative observation and interviews with five workers within this team. Drawing on governmentality theory, this paper analyses the techniques used by workers to manage risk from a distance. A high proportion of safeguarding referrals came from care workers or managers in residential care homes. Social workers conducting safeguarding assessments were aware that they had a duty to work in partnership with these agencies. However, their duty to safeguard adults also meant that they needed to view them as potential abusers. In making judgments about when it was proportionate to refer for a safeguarding assessment workers drew on a number of common beliefs about residential care workers which were then tested in conversations with them. Social workers held the belief that residential homes acted defensively, leading them to report any accident or danger. Social workers therefore encouraged residential workers to consider whether statutory criteria had been met and to use their own procedures to manage risk. In addition social workers carried out an assessment of the workers’ motives; specifically whether they were using safeguarding procedures as a shortcut for avoiding other assessments or as a means of accessing extra resources. Where potential abuse was identified social workers encouraged residential homes to use disciplinary policies as a means of isolating and managing risk. The study has implications for understanding risk within social work practice. It shows that whilst social workers use law to govern individuals, these laws are interpreted against cultural values. Additionally they also draw on assumptions about the culture of others.

Keywords: adult safeguarding, governmentality, risk, risk assessment

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11 A Foucauldian Analysis of Child Play: Case Study of a Preschool in the United States

Authors: Meng Wang

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Historically, young members (children) in the society have been oppressed by adults through direct violent acts. Direct violence was evident in rampant child labor and child maltreatment cases. After acknowledging the rights of children from the United Nations, it is believed in public that children have been protected against direct physical violence. Nevertheless, at present, this paper argues from Foucauldian and disability study standpoints that similar to the old times, children are oppressed objects in the context of child play, which is constructed by adults to substitute direct violence in regulating children. Particularly, this paper suggests that on the one hand, preschool play is a new way that adults adopt to oppress preschoolers and regulate the society as a whole; on the other hand, preschoolers are taught how to play as an acquired skill and master self-regulation through play. There is a line of contemporary research that centers on child play from social constructivism perspective. Yet, current teaching practices pertaining to child play including guided child play and free play, in fact, serve the interest of adults and society at large. By acknowledging and deconstructing the prevalence of 'evidence-based best practice' in early childhood education field within western society, reconstruction of child-adult power relation could be achieved and alternative truth could be found in early childhood education. To support the argument of this paper, an on-going observational case study is conducted in a preschool setting in the United States. Age range of children is 2.5 to 4 years old. Approximately 10 children (5 boys) are participating in this case study. Observation is conducted throughout the weekdays as children follow through the classroom routine with a lead and an assistant teacher. Classroom teachers are interviewed pertaining to their classroom management strategies. Preliminary research finding of this case study suggested that preschool teachers tended to utilize scenarios from preschoolers’ dramatic play to impart core cultural values to young children. These values were pre-determined by adults. In addition, if young children have failed to follow teachers' guidance in terms of playing in a correct way, children ran the risk of being excluded from the play scenario by peers and adults. Furthermore, this study tended to indicate that through child play, preschoolers are obliged to develop an internal violence system, that is self-regulation skill to regulate their own behavior; and if this internal system is unestablished based on various assessments by adults, then potentially there will be consequences of negative labeling and disabling toward young children intended by adults. In conclusion, this paper applies Foucauldian analysis into the context of child play. At present, within preschool, child play is not free as it seems to be. Young children are expected to perform cultural tasks through their play activities designed by adults. Adults utilize child play as technologies of governmentality to further predict and regulate future society at large.

Keywords: child play, developmentally appropriate practice, DAP, poststructuralism, technologies of governmentality

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10 Precarious ID Cards - Studying Documentary Practices in India through the Lens of Internal Migration

Authors: Ambuja Raj

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This research will attempt to understand how documents are materially indispensable civic artifacts for migrants in their encounters with the state. Documents such as ID cards are sites of mediation and bureaucratic manifestation which reveal the inherent dynamics of power between the state and a delocalized people. While ID cards allow the holder to retain a different identity and articulate their demands as a citizen, they at the same time transform subjects into ‘objects’ in the exercise of governmental power. The research is based on the study of internal migrants in India, who are ‘visible’ to the state through its host of ID documents such as the ‘Aadhaar card’, electoral IDs, Ration cards, and a variety of region-specific documents, without the possession of which, not only are they unable to access jobs, public goods and services, and accommodation, but are liable to exploitation from state forces and mediators. Through semi-structured interviews with social actors in the processes of documentation and welfare of migrants, as well as with settlements of migrants themselves located in the state of Kerala in India, the thesis will attempt to understand the salience of documentary practices in the lives of inter-state migrants who move within Indian states in the hope of bettering their economic conditions. The research will trace the material and evolving significance of ID cards in the tenacity of states dealing with these ‘illegible’ populations. It will try to bring theories of governmentality, biopolitics and Weberian bureaucracy into the migrant issue while critically grounding itself on secondary literature by scholars who have worked on South Asian ‘governments of paper’.

Keywords: migration, historiography of documents, anthropology of state, documentary practices

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9 Signs, Signals and Syndromes: Algorithmic Surveillance and Global Health Security in the 21st Century

Authors: Stephen L. Roberts

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This article offers a critical analysis of the rise of syndromic surveillance systems for the advanced detection of pandemic threats within contemporary global health security frameworks. The article traces the iterative evolution and ascendancy of three such novel syndromic surveillance systems for the strengthening of health security initiatives over the past two decades: 1) The Program for Monitoring Emerging Diseases (ProMED-mail); 2) The Global Public Health Intelligence Network (GPHIN); and 3) HealthMap. This article demonstrates how each newly introduced syndromic surveillance system has become increasingly oriented towards the integration of digital algorithms into core surveillance capacities to continually harness and forecast upon infinitely generating sets of digital, open-source data, potentially indicative of forthcoming pandemic threats. This article argues that the increased centrality of the algorithm within these next-generation syndromic surveillance systems produces a new and distinct form of infectious disease surveillance for the governing of emergent pathogenic contingencies. Conceptually, the article also shows how the rise of this algorithmic mode of infectious disease surveillance produces divergences in the governmental rationalities of global health security, leading to the rise of an algorithmic governmentality within contemporary contexts of Big Data and these surveillance systems. Empirically, this article demonstrates how this new form of algorithmic infectious disease surveillance has been rapidly integrated into diplomatic, legal, and political frameworks to strengthen the practice of global health security – producing subtle, yet distinct shifts in the outbreak notification and reporting transparency of states, increasingly scrutinized by the algorithmic gaze of syndromic surveillance.

Keywords: algorithms, global health, pandemic, surveillance

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8 Biopolitical Border Imagery during the European Migrant Crisis: A Comparative Discourse Analysis between Mediterranean Europe and the Balkans

Authors: Mira Kaneva

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The ongoing migration crisis polemic opens up the debate to the ambivalent essence of borders due to both the legality and legitimacy of the displacement of vast masses of people across the European continent. In neoliberal terms, migration is seen as an economic opportunity, or, on the opposite, as a social disparity; in realist terms, it is regarded as a security threat that calls for mobilization; from a critical standpoint, it is a matter of discourse on democratic governance. This paper sets the objective of analyzing borders through the Foucauldian prism of biopolitics. It aims at defining the specifics of the management of the human body by producing both the irregular migrant as a subject (but prevalently as an object in the discourse) and the political subjectivity by exercising state power in repressive practices, including hate speech. The study relies on the conceptual framework of Bigo, Agamben, Huysmans, among others, and applies the methodology of qualitative comparative analysis between the cases of borders (fences, enclaves, camps and other forms of abnormal spatiality) in Italy, Spain, Greece, the Republic of Macedonia, Serbia and Bulgaria. The paper thus tries to throw light on these cross- and intra-regional contexts that share certain similarities and differences. It tries to argue that the governmentality of the masses of refugees and economic immigrants through the speech acts of their exclusion leads to a temporary populist backlash; a tentative finding is that the status-quo in terms of social and economic measures remains relatively balanced, whereas, values such as freedom, openness, and tolerance are consecutively marginalized.

Keywords: Balkans, biopolitical borders, cross- and intra-regional discourse analysis, irregular migration, Mediterranean Europe, securitization vs. humanitarianism

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7 Negotiating Autonomy in Women’s Political Participation: The Case of Elected Women’s Representatives from Jharkhand

Authors: Rajeshwari Balasubramanian, Margit Van Wessel, Nandini Deo

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The participation of women in local bodies witnessed a rise after the implementation of 73rd and 74th Amendments to the Indian Constitution which created quotas for women representatives. However, even when participation increased, it did not translate into meaningful contributions by women in local bodies. This led some civil society organisations (CSOs) to begin working with women panchayat representatives in various states to build their capacity for political participation. The focus of this paper is to study capacity building training by CSOs in Jharkhand. The paper maps how the training helps women elected representatives to negotiate their autonomy at multiple levels. The paper describes the capacity building program conducted by an international feminist organisation along with its seven local partners in Jharkhand. The central question that the study asks is: How does capacity building training by CSOs in Jharkhand impact the autonomy of elected women representatives? It uses a qualitative research methodology based on empirical data gathered through field visits in four districts of Jharkhand (Chatra, Hazaribagh, East Singhbum and Ranchi) where the program was implemented for three years. The study found that women elected representatives had to develop strategies to negotiate their choice to move out of their homes and attend the training conducted by CSOs. The ability to participate in the training programs itself was a significant achievement of personal autonomy for many women. The training provided them a platform to voice their opinion and appreciate their own value as panchayat leaders. This realization allowed them to negotiate their presence and a space for themselves in Gram panchayats. A Foucauldian approach to analyze capacity building workshops might lead us to see them as systems in which CSOs impose a form of governmentality on rural elected representatives. Instead, what we see here is a much more complex negotiation of agency in which the CSO creates spaces and practices that allow women to achieve their own forms of autonomy. The study concludes that the impact of the training on the autonomy of these women is based on their everyday negotiations of time, space and mobility. Autonomy for these elected women representatives is also contextual and relative, as they seem to realize it during the training process. The training allows the women to not only negotiate their participation in panchayats but also challenge everyday practices that are rooted in patriarchy.

Keywords: autonomy, feminist organization, local bodies, political participation

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6 Place-Based Practice: A New Zealand Rural Nursing Study

Authors: Jean Ross

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Rural nursing is not an identified professional identity in the UK, unlike the USA, Canada, and Australia which recognizes rural nursing as a specialty scope of practice. In New Zealand rural nursing is an underrepresented aspect of nursing practice, is misunderstood and does not fit easily within the wider nursing profession and policies governing practice. This study situated within the New Zealand context adds to the international studies’ aligned with rural nursing practice. The study addresses a gap in the literature by striving to identify and strengthen the awareness of and increase rural nurses’ understanding and articulation of their changing and adapting identity and furthermore an opportunity to appreciate their contribution to the delivery of rural health care. In addition, this study adds to the growing global rural nursing knowledge and theoretical base. This research is a continuation of the author’s academic involvement and ongoing relationships with the rural nursing sector, national policy analysts and health care planners since the 1990s. These relationships have led to awareness, that despite rural nurses’ efforts to explain the particular nuances which make up their practice, there has been little recognition by profession to establish rural nursing as a specialty. The research explored why nurses’ who practiced in the rural Otago region of New Zealand, between the 1990s and early 2000s moved away from the traditional identity as a district, practice or public health nurse and looked towards a more appropriate identity which reflected their emerging practice. This qualitative research situated within the interpretive paradigm embeds this retrospective study within the discipline of nursing and engages with the concepts of place and governmentality. National key informant and Otago regional rural nurse interviews generated data and were analyzed using thematic analysis. Stemming from the analyses, an analytical diagrammatic matrix was developed demonstrating rural nursing as a ‘place–based practice’ governed both from within and beyond location presenting how the nurse aligns the self in the rural community as a meaningful provider of health care. Promoting this matrix may encourage a focal discussion point within the international spectrum of nursing and likewise between rural and non-rural nurses which it is hoped will generate further debate in relation to the different nuances aligned with rural nursing practice. Further, insights from this paper may capture key aspects and issues related to identity formation in respect to rural nurses, from the UK, New Zealand, Canada, USA, and Australia.

Keywords: matrix, place, nursing, rural

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5 Shaping of World-Class Delhi: Politics of Marginalization and Inclusion

Authors: Aparajita Santra

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In the context of the government's vision of turning Delhi into a green, privatized and slum free city, giving it a world-class image at par with the global cities of the world, this paper investigates into the various processes and politics of things that went behind defining spaces in the city and attributing an aesthetic image to it. The paper will explore two cases that were forged primarily through the forces of one particular type of power relation. One would be to look at the modernist movement adopted by the Nehruvian government post-independence and the next case will look at special periods like Emergency and Commonwealth games. The study of these cases will help understand the ambivalence embedded in the different rationales of the Government and different powerful agencies adopted in order to build world-classness. Through the study, it will be easier to discern how city spaces were reconfigured in the name of 'good governance'. In this process, it also became important to analyze the double nature of law, both as a protector of people’s rights and as a threat to people. What was interesting to note through the study was that in the process of nation building and creating an image for the city, the government’s policies and programs were mostly aimed at the richer sections of the society and the poorer sections and people from lower income groups kept getting marginalized, subdued, and pushed further away (These marginalized people were pushed away even geographically!). The reconfiguration of city space and attributing an aesthetic character to it, led to an alteration not only in the way in which citizens perceived and engaged with these spaces, but also brought about changes in the way they envisioned their place in the city. Ironically, it was found that every attempt to build any kind of facility for the city’s elite in turn led to an inevitable removal of the marginalized sections of the society as a necessary step to achieve a clean, green and world-class city. The paper questions the claim made by the government for creating a just, equitable city and granting rights to all. An argument is put forth that in the politics of redistribution of space, the city that has been designed is meant for the aspirational middle-class and elite only, who are ideally primed to live in world-class cities. Thus, the aim is to study city spaces, urban form, the associated politics and power plays involved within and understand whether segmented cities are being built in the name of creating sensible, inclusive cities.

Keywords: aesthetics, ambivalence, governmentality, power, World-class

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4 The Burmese Exodus of 1942: Towards Evolving Policy Protocols for a Refugee Archive

Authors: Vinod Balakrishnan, Chrisalice Ela Joseph

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The Burmese Exodus of 1942, which left more than 4 lakh as refugees and thousands dead, is one of the worst forced migrations in recorded history. Adding to the woes of the refugees is the lack of credible documentation of their lived experiences, trauma, and stories and their erasure from recorded history. Media reports, national records, and mainstream narratives that have registered the exodus provide sanitized versions which have reduced the refugees to a nameless, faceless mass of travelers and obliterated their lived experiences, trauma, and sufferings. This attitudinal problem compels the need to stem the insensitivity that accompanies institutional memory by making a case for a more humanistically evolved policy that puts in place protocols for the way the humanities would voice the concern for the refugee. A definite step in this direction and a far more relevant project in our times is the need to build a comprehensive refugee archive that can be a repository of the refugee experiences and perspectives. The paper draws on Hannah Arendt’s position on the Jewish refugee crisis, Agamben’s work on statelessness and citizenship, Foucault’s notion of governmentality and biopolitics, Edward Said’s concepts on Exile, Fanon’s work on the dispossessed, Derrida’s work on ‘the foreigner and hospitality’ in order to conceptualize the refugee condition which will form the theoretical framework for the paper. It also refers to the existing scholarship in the field of refugee studies such as Roger Zetter’s work on the ‘refugee label’, Philip Marfleet’s work on ‘refugees and history’, Lisa Malkki’s research on the anthropological discourse of the refugee and refugee studies. The paper is also informed by the work that has been done by the international organizations to address the refugee crisis. The emphasis is on building a strong argument for the establishment of the refugee archive that finds but a passing and a none too convincing reference in refugee studies in order to enable a multi-dimensional understanding of the refugee crisis. Some of the old questions cannot be dismissed as outdated as the continuing travails of the refugees in different parts of the world only remind us that they are still, largely, unanswered. The questions are -What is the nature of a Refugee Archive? How is it different from the existing historical and political archives? What are the implications of the refugee archive? What is its contribution to refugee studies? The paper draws on Diana Taylor’s concept of the archive and the repertoire to theorize the refugee archive as a repository that has the documentary function of the ‘archive’ and the ‘agency’ function of the repertoire. It then reads Ayya’s Accounts- a memoir by Anand Pandian -in the light of Hannah Arendt’s concepts of the ‘refugee as vanguard’ and ‘story telling as political action’- to illustrate how the memoir contributes to the refugee archive that provides the refugee a place and agency in history. The paper argues for a refugee archive that has implications for the formulation of inclusive refugee policies.

Keywords: Ayya’s Accounts, Burmese Exodus, policy protocol, refugee archive

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3 Foucault and Governmentality: International Organizations and State Power

Authors: Sara Dragisic

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Using the theoretical analysis of the birth of biopolitics that Foucault performed through the history of liberalism and neoliberalism, in this paper we will try to show how, precisely through problematizing the role of international institutions, the model of governance differs from previous ways of objectifying body and life. Are the state and its mechanisms still a Leviathan to fight against, or can it be even the driver of resistance against the proponents of modern governance and the biopolitical power? Do paradigmatic examples of biopolitics still appear through sovereignty and (international) law, or is it precisely this sphere that shows a significant dose of incompetence and powerlessness in relation to, not only the economic sphere (Foucault’s critique of neoliberalism) but also the new politics of freedom? Have the struggle for freedom and human rights, as well as the war on terrorism, opened a new spectrum of biopolitical processes, which are manifested precisely through new international institutions and humanitarian discourse? We will try to answer these questions, in the following way. On the one hand, we will show that the views of authors such as Agamben and Hardt and Negri, in whom the state and sovereignty are seen as enemies to be defeated or overcome, fail to see how such attempts could translate into the politicization of life like it is done in many examples through the doctrine of liberal interventionism and humanitarianism. On the other hand, we will point out that it is precisely the humanitarian discourse and the defense of the right to intervention that can be the incentive and basis for the politicization of the category of life and lead to the selective application of human rights. Zizek example of the killing of United Nations workers and doctors in a village during the Vietnam War, who were targeted even before police or soldiers, because they were precisely seen as a powerful instrument of American imperialism (as they were sincerely trying to help the population), will be focus of this part of the analysis. We’ll ask the question whether such interpretation is a kind of liquidation of the extreme left of the political (Laclau) or on this basis can be explained at least in part the need to review the functioning of international organizations, ranging from those dealing with humanitarian aid (and humanitarian military interventions) to those dealing with protection and the security of the population, primarily from growing terrorism. Based on the above examples, we will also explain how the discourse of terrorism itself plays a dual role: it can appear as a tool of liberal biopolitics, although, more superficially, it mostly appears as an enemy that wants to destroy the liberal system and its values. This brings us to the basic problem that this paper will tackle: do the mechanisms of institutional struggle for human rights and freedoms, which is often seen as opposed to the security mechanisms of the state, serve the governance of citizens in such a way that the latter themselves participate in producing biopolitical governmental practices? Is the freedom today "nothing but the correlative development of apparatuses of security" (Foucault)? Or, we can continue this line of Foucault’s argumentation and enhance the interpretation with the important question of what precisely today reflects the change in the rationality of governance in which society is transformed from a passive object into a subject of its own production. Finally, in order to understand the skills of biopolitical governance in modern civil society, it is necessary to pay attention to the status of international organizations, which seem to have become a significant place for the implementation of global governance. In this sense, the power of sovereignty can turn out to be an insufficiently strong power of security policy, which can go hand in hand with freedom policies, through neoliberal governmental techniques.

Keywords: neoliberalism, Foucault, sovereignty, biopolitics, international organizations, NGOs, Agamben, Hardt&Negri, Zizek, security, state power

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2 A Foucauldian Analysis of Postcolonial Hybridity in a Kuwaiti Novel

Authors: Annette Louise Dupont

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Background and Introduction: Broadly defined, hybridity is a condition of racial and cultural ‘cross-pollination’ which arises as a result of contact between colonized and colonizer. It remains a highly contested concept in postcolonial studies as it is implicitly underpinned by colonial notions of ‘racial purity.’ While some postcolonial scholars argue that individuals exercise significant agency in the construction of their hybrid subjectivities, others underscore associated experiences of exclusion, marginalization, and alienation. Kuwait and the Philippines are among the most disparate of contemporary postcolonial states. While oil resources transformed the former British Mandate of Kuwait into one of the world’s richest countries, enduring poverty in the former US colony of the Philippines drives a global diaspora which produces multiple Filipino hybridities. Although more Filipinos work in the Arabian Gulf than in any other region of the world, scholarly and literary accounts of their experiences of hybridization in this region are relatively scarce when compared to those set in North America, Australia, Asia, and Europe. Study Aims and Significance: This paper aims to address this existing lacuna by investigating hybridity and other postcolonial themes in a novel by a Kuwaiti author which vividly portrays the lives of immigrants and citizens in Kuwait and which gives a rare voice and insight into the struggles of an Arab-Filipino and European-Filipina. Specifically, this paper explores the relationships between colonial discourses of ‘black’ and ‘white’ and postcolonial discourses pertaining to ‘brown’ Filipinos and ‘brown’ Arabs, in order to assess their impacts on the protagonists’ hybrid subjectivities. Methodology: Foucault’s notions of discourse not only provide a conceptual basis for analyzing the colonial ideology of Orientalism, but his theories related to the social exclusion of the ‘mad’ also elucidate the mechanisms by which power can operate to marginalize, alienate and subjectify the Other, therefore a Foucauldian lens is applied to the analysis of postcolonial themes and hybrid subjectivities portrayed in the novel. Findings: The study finds that Kuwaiti and Filipino discursive practices mirror those of former white colonialists and colonized black laborers and that these discursive practices combine with a former British colonial system of foreign labor sponsorship to create a form of governmentality in Kuwait which is based on exclusion and control. The novel’s rich social description and the reflections of the key protagonist and narrator suggest that such fiction has a significant role to play in highlighting the historical and cultural specificities of experiences of postcolonial hybridity in under-researched geographic, economic, social, and political settings. Whereas hybridity can appear abstract in scholarly accounts, the significance of literary accounts in which the lived experiences of hybrid protagonists are anchored to specific historical periods, places and discourses, is that contextual particularities are neither obscured nor dehistoricized. Conclusions: The application of Foucauldian theorizations of discourse, disciplinary, and biopower to the analysis of this Kuwaiti literary text serves to extend an understanding of the effects of contextually-specific discourses on hybrid Filipino subjectivities, as well as a knowledge of prevailing social dynamics in a little-researched postcolonial Arabian Gulf state.

Keywords: Filipino, Foucault, hybridity, Kuwait

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1 The Politics of Health Education: A Cultural Analysis of Tobacco Control Communication in India

Authors: Ajay Ivan

Abstract:

This paper focuses on the cultural politics of health-promotional and disease-preventive pedagogic practices in the context of the national tobacco control programme in India. Tobacco consumption is typically problematised as a paradox: tobacco poses objective health risks such as cancer and heart disease, but its production, sale and export contribute significantly to state revenue. A blanket ban on tobacco products, therefore, is infeasible though desirable. Instead, initiatives against tobacco use have prioritised awareness creation and behaviour change to reduce its demand. This paper argues that public health communication is not, as commonly assumed, an apolitical and neutral transmission of disease-preventive information. Drawing on Michel Foucault’s concept of governmentality, it examines such campaigns as techniques of disciplining people rather than coercing them to give up tobacco use, which would be both impractical and counter-productive. At the level of the population, these programmes constitute a security mechanism that reduces risks without eliminating them, so as to ensure an optimal level of public health without hampering the economy. Anti-tobacco pedagogy thus aligns with a contemporary paradigm of health that emphasises risk-assessment and lifestyle management as tools of governance, using pedagogic techniques to teach people how to be healthy. The paper analyses the pictorial health warnings on tobacco packets and anti-tobacco advertisements in movie theatres mandated by the state, along with awareness-creation messages circulated by anti-tobacco advocacy groups in India, to show how they discursively construct tobacco and its consumption as a health risk. Smoking is resignified from a pleasurable and sociable practice to a deadly addiction that jeopardises the health of those who smoke and those who passively inhale the smoke. While disseminating information about the health risks of tobacco, these initiatives employ emotional and affective techniques of persuasion to discipline tobacco users. They incite fear of death and of social ostracism to motivate behaviour change, complementing their appeals to reason. Tobacco is portrayed as a grave moral danger to the family and a detriment to the vitality of the nation, such that using it contradicts one’s duties as a parent or citizen. Awareness programmes reproduce prevailing societal assumptions about health and disease, normalcy and deviance, and proper and improper conduct. Pedagogy thus functions as an apparatus of public health governance, recruiting subjects as volunteers in their own regulation and aligning their personal goals and aspirations to the objectives of tobacco control. The paper links this calculated management of subjectivity and the self-responsibilisation of the pedagogic subject to a distinct mode of neoliberal civic governance in contemporary India. Health features prominently in this mode of governance that serves the biopolitical obligation of the state as laid down in Article 39 of the Constitution, which includes a duty to ensure the health of its citizens. Insofar as the health of individuals is concerned, the problem is how to balance this duty of the state with the fundamental right of the citizen to choose how to live. Public health pedagogy, by directing the citizen’s ‘free’ choice without unduly infringing upon it, offers a tactical solution.

Keywords: public health communication, pedagogic power, tobacco control, neoliberal governance

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