Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 3

Search results for: necropolitics

3 Consolidating a Regime of State Terror: A Historical Analysis of Necropolitics and the Evolution of Policing Practices in California as a Former Colony, Frontier, and Late-Modern Settler Society

Authors: Peyton M. Provenzano

Abstract:

This paper draws primarily upon the framework of necropolitics and presents California as itself a former frontier, colony, and late-modern settler society. The convergence of these successive and overlapping regimes of state terror is actualized and traceable through an analysis of historical and contemporary police practices. At the behest of the Spanish Crown and with the assistance of the Spanish military, the Catholic Church led the original expedition to colonize California. The indigenous populations of California were subjected to brutal practices of confinement and enslavement at the missions. After the annex of California by the United States, the western-most territory became an infamous frontier where new settlers established vigilante militias to enact violence against indigenous populations to protect their newly stolen land. Early mining settlements sought to legitimize and fund vigilante violence by wielding the authority of rudimentary democratic structures. White settlers circulated petitions for funding to establish a volunteer company under California’s Militia Law for ‘protection’ against the local indigenous populations. The expansive carceral practices of Los Angelinos at the turn of the 19th century exemplify the way in which California solidified its regime of exclusion as a white settler society. Drawing on recent scholarship that queers the notion of biopower and names police as street-level sovereigns, the police murder of Kayla Moore is understood as the latest manifestation of a carceral regime of exclusion and genocide. Kayla Moore was an African American transgender woman living with a mental health disability that was murdered by Berkeley police responding to a mental health crisis call in 2013. The intersectionality of Kayla’s identity made her hyper-vulnerable to state-sanctioned violence. Kayla was a victim not only of the explicitly racial biopower of police, nor the regulatory state power of necropolitics but of the ‘asphyxia’ that was intended to invisibilize both her life and her murder.

Keywords: asphyxia, biopower, california, carceral state, genocide, necropolitics, police, police violence

Procedia PDF Downloads 44
2 Biopolitics and Race in the Age of a Global Pandemic: Interactions and Transformations

Authors: Aistis ZekevicIus

Abstract:

Biopolitical theory, which was first developed by Michel Foucault, takes into consideration the administration of life by implying a style of government based on the regulation of populations as its subject. The intensification of the #BlackLivesMatter movement and popular outcries against racial discrimination in the US health system have prompted us to reconsider the relationship between biopolitics and race in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic. Based on works by Foucault, Achille Mbembe and Nicholas Mirzoeff that transcend the boundaries of poststructuralism, critical theory and postcolonial studies, the paper suggests that the global pandemic has highlighted new aspects of the interplay between biopower and race by encouraging the search for scapegoats, deepening the structural racial inequality, and thus producing necropolitical regimes of exclusion.

Keywords: biopolitics, biopower, necropolitics, pandemic, race

Procedia PDF Downloads 88
1 Necro-Power, Paramilitarism, and Sovereignty: An Interpretation of Colombian Paramilitarism as Symptom of the Formation Process of the (Neo)Liberal Democratic State

Authors: Julian David Rios Acuna

Abstract:

This paper seeks to argue that the phenomenon of ‘paramilitarism’ in Colombia exhibits the role of violence as constitutive of the political process of state formation in the country. In order to do this, it takes as its point of departure a landmark moment in the long history of private armies known as the ‘paramilitary’ in Colombia. In 2001, paramilitary commanders, politicians, and members of the military and other branches of state power singed what is known as the ‘Pact of Ralito.’ In this pact, the paramilitary appropriated constitutional and legal language. The paper argues that this appropriation shows that the paramilitary and the state express the same claim to sovereign power and therefore have the same foundation. More precisely, paramilitary power shows itself to base its power on the same foundation as the legal order, namely, extreme forms of violence where death is generative of power. In this sense, the paper shows how, by sharing its foundation, Colombian paramilitarism exhibits that state power in Colombia can be characterized as necro-power as Achille Mbembe understands it. The paper argues that paramilitarism shows state power as necro-power by constituting itself as a symptom understood, following Zizek, as that which both shows and overthrows its own foundation. In this way, paramilitarism shows the foundation of the state, thereby reconfiguring this very state. This reconfiguration, explicitly based on necro-power, the paper concludes, transforms the state into a form more appropriate to the political demands of neo-liberalism. By exhibiting its foundation in necro-power through paramilitarism, the Colombian State turns from a liberal into a (neo)liberal democracy.

Keywords: necro-power, necropolitics, paramilitarism in Colombia, state formation, state power, sovereign power

Procedia PDF Downloads 37