W076
Anxious sovereignties

Convenors:
Rebecca Bryant (Utrecht University)
Jakob Rigi (Cental European University)
Stream:
Workshops
Location:
V307
Start time:
13 July, 2012 at 11:30
Session slots:
2

Short abstract:

This panel will investigate the everyday anxieties produced by perceived threats to state sovereignty in a global order. The analytical focus will be 'sovereignty practices,' or ways in which states and their citizens construct and project sovereignty in everyday life.

Long abstract:

Much recent theorizing of the nation-state has described its withering as an effective political space in an era of global capital and transnational legal mechanisms. In the past decade, however, increased security concerns have led to more protective and insular nationalisms, manifest, for instance, in the proliferation of walls and security fences at nation-state borders. Under the title 'Anxious Sovereignties', this panel will investigate the everyday anxieties produced by perceived threats to state sovereignty in a global order. The analytical focus will be 'sovereignty practices,' or ways in which states and their citizens construct and project sovereignty in everyday life. Drawing upon an important recent literature that has questioned the reification of sovereignty, we will examine the sovereign state as a social construct produced through discursive claims and practices, both domestic and international, which simultaneously 'perform' sovereignty and create it. Globalization makes apparent the socially constructed, performative, and contingent nature of sovereignty, creating both anxiety and opportunity. The focus on everyday life allows us to ask not only how states respond to such perceived threats through changing technologies of governance, but also how citizens use transnational legal and political mechanisms, global human rights movements, and technologies such as the Internet to bolster or reconfigure state sovereignty.