Sourcing/outsourcing state violence: concealment, legitimacy, sovereignty
Urania Astrinaki (Panteion University)
Staffan Löfving (Karlstad University)
Rania Astrinaki (first session), Staffan Löfving (second session), Allen Feldman (third session)
Callan CS1
Start time:
26 August, 2010 at 11:30
Session slots:


With military commitments abroad and a fractured neoliberal social contract at home, governments are remobilizing force for societal and trans-national disciplinary order. Re-invigorating the state's monopoly of violence entails the multiplication of adversaries, the technologization of violence, a de-politicizing calculabilty of war (cost/benefit/outcomes discourse), and the fusion of humanitarian militarism with moralized civilizational missions. This panel explores the complicity between democracies and violence within and beyond their borders; the pathologization of internal and external political/economic geographies in terms of religion ethnicity, race, noncitizenship, failed states and failed modernities; assertions of sovereign autonomy through the rhetoric of technomilitary efficacy; and the displacement of state accountability through the outsourcing of discipline, detention, torture, intelligence gathering and securitization. Neoliberal force also requires manifestations of power that are not spectacular but instead are hidden through the doubled-violence of bureaucractic and (il)legal concealment of violence through proceduralism, structural deniability, media manipulation, and the informalization of terror. Questions to be addressed include: Where is political violence in the vocabulary of democracy (transparency, good governance, security, rule of law)? What definitions/nondefinitions of violence are employed to determine the illegitimacy of different movements and struggles, within and beyond self-proclaimed democracies? What type of power does the concealment (technical, legal and/or spatial), the moralization and the technologization of violence engender? What theoretical reformulations are needed for an anthropology of neoliberal ideologies/technogies of the calculablity, concealment, deniability, and the depoliticization of statist violence?