Download Bodies of Violence: Theorizing Embodied Subjects in by Lauren B. Wilcox PDF

By Lauren B. Wilcox

Based on traditional diplomacy concept, states or teams make conflict and, in doing so, kill and injure people who different states are charged with keeping. whereas it sees the perpetrators of violence as rational actors, it perspectives those people who are both safe or killed through this violence as mere our bodies: ahistorical people who breathe, undergo and die yet don't have any specific political service provider. In its rationalist versions, IR idea in simple terms sees our bodies as inert items. Constructivist idea argues that matters are shaped via social family, yet leaves the our bodies of matters open air of politics, as "brute facts."

According to Wilcox, such restricted considering our bodies and violence isn't just fallacious, but additionally limits the capability of IR to theorize the which means of political violence. in contrast to rationalist and constructivist idea, feminist concept sees subjectivity and the physique as inextricably associated. This ebook argues that IR must reconsider its method of our bodies as having specific political which means of their personal correct. for instance, our bodies either direct violent acts (violence in drone war, for instance) and are constituted by means of practices that deal with violence (for instance, scrutiny of folks as our bodies via biometric applied sciences and physique scanners). The e-book additionally argues that violence is greater than a strategic motion of rational actors (as in rationalist theories) or a damaging violation of neighborhood legislation and norms (as in liberal and constructivist theories). simply because IR theorizes our bodies as outdoors of politics, it can't see how violence might be understood as an inventive strength for shaping the bounds of ways we comprehend ourselves as political matters, in addition to forming the limits of our political groups.

By enticing with feminist theories of embodiment and violence, Bodies of Violence provides a extra nuanced remedy of the nexus of our bodies, topics and violence than at the moment exists within the box of diplomacy.

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Extra resources for Bodies of Violence: Theorizing Embodied Subjects in International Relations

Sample text

Man” in this sense is the abstract citizen or human, unmarked by sex, whose violence is legitimized by its use against a body marked by race, gender, or civilizational status, on behalf of another population whose bodies are not “neutral” but marked, primarily by gender. As Iris Marion Young puts it, “Their protector position puts us, the citizens and residents who depend on their strength and vigilance for our security, in the position of women and children under the charge of the male protector” (2003, 226– 227).

If security works through biopolitical mechanisms, we must be attentive to bodies in at least two moments. The first is the production of the subject of security as a discrete, separate human body. Foucault locates the individualization of human bodies as a historical production rather than a B o di e s , S u b j e c t s , a n d V i ol e n c e [ 25 ] natural, ontological fact, as liberal discourses suggest. Bodies have become isolated, independent objects subject to intervention as a result of certain medical discourse (Foucault 1994 [1973]).

Such unsexed individuals can deliberate in the public sphere. In liberalism, men and women are equal in their inborn capacities to reason—sexed embodiment is irrelevant to a subject’s rationality, autonomy, and self-awareness as a political subject. Feminists have argued that, contra liberalism’s fears of state violence and oppression, the principal threats to women’s liberty and flourishing belong to the private, rather than public, sphere. Patriarchal norms and internalized, socially constructed gender roles limit women’s choices and agency more than governmental power.

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