For Native peoples of California, the abalone found along the state’s coast have remarkably complex significance as food, spirit, narrative symbol, tradable commodity, and material with which to make adornment and sacred regalia. The large mollusks also represent contemporary struggles surrounding cultural identity and political sovereignty. Abalone Tales, a collaborative ethnography, presents different perspectives on the multifaceted material and symbolic relationships between abalone and the Ohlone, Pomo, Karuk, Hupa, and Wiyot peoples of California. The research agenda, analyses, and writing strategies were determined through collaborative relationships between the anthropologist Les W. Field and Native individuals and communities. Several of these individuals contributed written texts or oral stories for inclusion in the book.
Tales about abalone and their historical and contemporary meanings are related by Field and his coauthors, who include the chair and other members of the Muwekma Ohlone Tribe; a Point Arena Pomo elder; the chair of the Wiyot tribe and her sister; several Hupa Indians; and a Karuk scholar, artist, and performer. Reflecting the divergent perspectives of various Native groups and people, the stories and analyses belie any presumption of a single, unified indigenous understanding of abalone. At the same time, they shed light on abalone’s role in cultural revitalization, struggles over territory, tribal appeals for federal recognition, and connections among California’s Native groups. While California’s abalone are in danger of extinction, their symbolic power appears to surpass even the environmental crises affecting the state’s vulnerable coastline.
Against Ecological Sovereignty is a passionate defense of radical ecology that speaks directly to current debates concerning the nature, and dangers, of sovereign power. Engaging the work of Bataille, Arendt, Levinas, Nancy, and Agamben, among others, Mick Smith reconnects the political critique of sovereign power with ecological considerations, arguing that ethical and political responsibilities for the consequences of our actions do not end with those defined as human.
Against Ecological Sovereignty is the first book to turn Agamben’s analysis of sovereignty and biopolitics toward an investigation of ecological concerns. In doing so it exposes limits to that thought, maintaining that the increasingly widespread biopolitical management of human populations has an unrecognized ecological analogue—reducing nature to a “resource” for human projects. Smith contends that a radical ecological politics must resist both the depoliticizing exercise of sovereign power and the pervasive spread of biopolitics in order to reveal new possibilities for creating healthy human and nonhuman communities.
Presenting a stinging critique of human claims to sovereignty over the natural world, Smith proposes an alternative way to conceive of posthumanist ecological communities—one that recognizes the utter singularity of the beings in them.
Archiving Sovereignty shows how courts use fiction in their treatment of sovereign violence. Law's complicity with imperial and neocolonial practices occurs when courts inscribe and repeat the fabulous tales that provide an alibi for archaic sovereign acts that persist in the present. The United Kingdom's depopulation of islands in the Indian Ocean to serve the United States' neoimperial interests, Australia's exile and abandonment of refugees on remote islands, the failure to acknowledge genocidal acts or colonial dispossession, and the memorial work of the South African Constitution after apartheid are all sustained by historical fictions. This history-work of law constitutes an archive where sovereign violence is mediated, dissimulated, and sustained. Stewart Motha extends the concept of the "archive," as site of origin and source of authority, to signifying what law does in preserving and disavowing the past at the same time.
Sovereignty is often cast as a limit-concept, constituent force, determining the boundary of law. Archiving Sovereignty reverses this to explain how judicial pronouncements inscribe and sustain extravagant claims to exceptionality and sovereign solitude. This wide-ranging, critical work distinguishes between myths that sustain neocolonial orders and fictions that generate new forms of political and ethical life.
How do we know when a war ends? For many, the resolution of a conflict comes not with the last traces of smoke left on the battlefield, but with the formal ceremonies of surrender: possession and repossession, the signing of treaties, and the pomp and circumstance that mark them. Historically, most conflicts have ended with such rituals. But, as Robin Wagner-Pacifici reveals in The Art of Surrender, they should not be seen as merely a matter of giving up. They also offer ways of holding back and signal early fault lines that give rise to later undoings and conflicts.
The Art of Surrender explores these ritual concessions as acts of warfare, performances of submission, demonstrations of power, and representations of shifting, unstable worlds. Wagner-Pacifici analyzes three significant military surrenders in the history of warfare—the Thirty Years' War of the seventeenth century, the American Civil War, and World War II—through the use of period documents and forms, maps, literature, witness accounts, photographs, and paintings that were left as proof of victory and defeat. In her analyses of such archival material and iconic works of art, she considers the limits of sovereignty at conflict's end, showing how the ways we concede loss can be as important as the ways we claim victory.
When he died in 2004, Jacques Derrida left behind a vast legacy of unpublished material, much of it in the form of written lectures. With The Beast and the Sovereign, Volume 1, the University of Chicago Press inaugurates an ambitious series, edited by Geoffrey Bennington and Peggy Kamuf, translating these important works into English.
The Beast and the Sovereign, Volume 1 launches the series with Derrida’s exploration of the persistent association of bestiality or animality with sovereignty. In this seminar from 2001–2002, Derrida continues his deconstruction of the traditional determinations of the human. The beast and the sovereign are connected, he contends, because neither animals nor kings are subject to the law—the sovereign stands above it, while the beast falls outside the law from below. He then traces this association through an astonishing array of texts, including La Fontaine’s fable “The Wolf and the Lamb,” Hobbes’s biblical sea monster in Leviathan, D. H. Lawrence’s poem “Snake,” Machiavelli’s Prince with its elaborate comparison of princes and foxes, a historical account of Louis XIV attending an elephant autopsy, and Rousseau’s evocation of werewolves in The Social Contract.
Deleuze, Lacan, and Agamben also come into critical play as Derrida focuses in on questions of force, right, justice, and philosophical interpretations of the limits between man and animal.
Following on from The Beast and the Sovereign, Volume I, this book extends Jacques Derrida’s exploration of the connections between animality and sovereignty. In this second year of the seminar, originally presented in 2002–2003 as the last course he would give before his death, Derrida focuses on two markedly different texts: Heidegger’s 1929–1930 course The Fundamental Concepts of Metaphysics, and Daniel Defoe’s Robinson Crusoe. As he moves back and forth between the two works, Derrida pursuesthe relations between solitude, insularity, world, violence, boredom and death as they supposedly affect humans and animals in different ways.
Hitherto unnoticed or underappreciated aspects of Robinson Crusoe are brought out in strikingly original readings of questions such as Crusoe’s belief in ghosts, his learning to pray, his parrot Poll, and his reinvention of the wheel. Crusoe’s terror of being buried alive or swallowed alive by beasts or cannibals gives rise to a rich and provocative reflection on death, burial, and cremation, in part provoked by a meditation on the death of Derrida’s friend Maurice Blanchot. Throughout, these readings are juxtaposed with interpretations of Heidegger's concepts of world and finitude to produce a distinctively Derridean account that will continue to surprise his readers.
Refinery explosions. Accounting scandals. Bank meltdowns. All of these catastrophes—and many more—might rightfully be blamed on corporations. In response, advocates have suggested reforms ranging from increased government regulation to corporate codes of conduct to stop corporate abuses. Joshua Barkan writes that these reactions, which view law as a limit on corporations, misunderstand the role of law in fostering corporate power.
In Corporate Sovereignty, Barkan argues that corporate power should be rethought as a mode of political sovereignty. Rather than treating the economic power of corporations as a threat to the political sovereignty of states, Barkan shows that the two are ontologically linked. Situating analysis of U.S., British, and international corporate law alongside careful readings in political and social theory, he demonstrates that the Anglo-American corporation and modern political sovereignty are founded in and bound together through a principle of legally sanctioned immunity from law. The problems that corporate-led globalization present for governments result not from regulatory failures as much as from corporate immunity that is being exported across the globe.
For Barkan, there is a paradox in that corporations, which are legal creations, are given such power that they undermine the sovereignty of states. He notes that while the relationship between states and corporations may appear adversarial, it is in fact a kind of doubling in which state sovereignty and corporate power are both conjoined and in conflict. Our refusal to grapple with the peculiar nature of this doubling means that some of our best efforts to control corporations unwittingly reinvest the sovereign powers they oppose.
This important collection examines deportation as an increasingly global mechanism of state control. Anthropologists, historians, legal scholars, and sociologists consider not only the physical expulsion of noncitizens but also the social discipline and labor subordination resulting from deportability, the threat of forced removal. They explore practices and experiences of deportation in regional and national settings from the U.S.-Mexico border to Israel, and from Somalia to Switzerland. They also address broader questions, including the ontological significance of freedom of movement; the historical antecedents of deportation, such as banishment and exile; and the development, entrenchment, and consequences of organizing sovereign power and framing individual rights by territory.
Whether investigating the power that individual and corporate sponsors have over the fate of foreign laborers in Bahrain, the implications of Germany’s temporary suspension of deportation orders for pregnant and ill migrants, or the significance of the detention camp, the contributors reveal how deportation reflects and reproduces notions about public health, racial purity, and class privilege. They also provide insight into how deportation and deportability are experienced by individuals, including Arabs, South Asians, and Muslims in the United States. One contributor looks at asylum claims in light of an unusual anti-deportation campaign mounted by Algerian refugees in Montreal; others analyze the European Union as an entity specifically dedicated to governing mobility inside and across its official borders. The Deportation Regime addresses urgent issues related to human rights, international migration, and the extensive security measures implemented by nation-states since September 11, 2001.
Contributors: Rutvica Andrijasevic, Aashti Bhartia, Heide Castañeda , Galina Cornelisse , Susan Bibler Coutin, Nicholas De Genova, Andrew M. Gardner, Josiah Heyman, Serhat Karakayali, Sunaina Marr Maira, Guillermina Gina Nuñez, Peter Nyers, Nathalie Peutz, Enrica Rigo, Victor Talavera, William Walters, Hans-Rudolf Wicker, Sarah S. Willen
A fierce critique of productivity and sovereignty in the world of labor and everyday life, Bruno Gullì’s Earthly Plenitudes asks, can labor exist without sovereignty and without capitalism? He introduces the concept of dignity of individuation to prompt a rethinking of categories of political ontology. Dignity of individuation stresses the notion that the dignity of each and any individual being lies in its being individuated as such; dignity is the irreducible and most essential character of any being. Singularity is a more universal quality.
Gullì first reviews approaches to sovereignty by philosophers as varied as Gottfried Leibniz and Georges Bataille, and then looks at concrete examples where the alliance of sovereignty and capital cracks under the potency of living labor. He examines contingent academic labor as an example of the super-exploitation of labor, which has become a global phenomenon, and as such, a clear threat to the sovereign logic of capital. Gullì also looks at disability to assert that a new measure of humanity can only be found outside the schemes of sovereignty, productivity, efficiency, and independence, through care and caring for others, in solidarity and interdependence.
How does the body politic reflect the nature of human embodiment? To pursue this question in a new and productive way, James Mensch employs a methodology consistent with the fact of our embodiment; he uses Merleau-Ponty’s concept of "intertwining"—the presence of one’s self in the world and of the world in one’s self—to understand the ideas that define political life.
Mensch begins his inquiry by developing a philosophical anthropology based on this concept. He then applies the results of his investigation to the relations of power, authority, freedom, and sovereignty in public life. This involves confronting a line of interpretation, stretching from Hobbes to Agamben, which sees violence as both initiating and preserving the social contract. To contest this interpretation, Mensch argues against its presupposition, which is to equate freedom with sovereignty over others. He does so by understanding political freedom in terms of embodiment—in particular, in terms of the finitude and interdependence that our embodiment entails. Freedom, conceived in these terms, is understood as the gift of others. As a function of our dependence on others, it cannot exist apart from them. To show how public space and civil society presuppose this interdependence is the singular accomplishment of Embodiments. It accomplishes a phenomenological grounding for a new type of political philosophy.
In Encounters on Contested Lands, Julie Burelle employs a performance studies lens to examine how instances of Indigenous self-representation in Québec challenge the national and identity discourses of the French Québécois de souche—the French-speaking descendants of white European settlers who understand themselves to be settlers no more but rather colonized and rightfully belonging to the territory of Québec.
Analyzing a wide variety of performances, Burelle brings together the theater of Alexis Martin and the film L'Empreinte, which repositions the French Québécois de souche as métis, with protest marches led by Innu activists; the Indigenous company Ondinnok's theater of repatriation; the films of Yves Sioui Durand, Alanis Obomsawin, and the Wapikoni Mobile project; and the visual work of Nadia Myre. These performances, Burelle argues, challenge received definitions of sovereignty and articulate new ones while proposing to the province and, more specifically, to the French Québécois de souche, that there are alternative ways to imagine Québec's future and remember its past.
The performances insist on Québec's contested nature and reframe it as animated by competing sovereignties. Together they reveal how the "colonial present tense" and "tense colonial present" operate in conjunction as they work to imagine an alternative future predicated on decolonization. Encounters on Contested Lands engages with theater and performance studies while making unique and needed contributions to Québec and Canadian studies, as well as to Indigenous and settler-colonial studies.
Many observers of Kenya’s complicated history see causes for concern, from the use of public office for private gain to a constitutional structure historically lopsided towards the executive branch. Yet efforts from critics and academics to diagnose the country’s problems do not often consider what these fiscal and political issues mean to ordinary Kenyans. How do Kenyans express their own political understanding, make sense of governance, and articulate what they expect from their leaders?
In For Money and Elders, Robert W. Blunt addresses these questions by turning to the political, economic, and religious signs in circulation in Kenya today. He examines how Kenyans attempt to make sense of political instability caused by the uncertainty of authority behind everything from currency to title deeds. When the symbolic order of a society is up for grabs, he shows, violence may seem like an expedient way to enforce the authority of signs. Drawing on fertile concepts of sovereignty, elderhood, counterfeiting, acephaly, and more, Blunt explores phenomena as diverse as the destabilization of ritual “oaths,” public anxieties about Satanism with the advent of democratic reform, and mistrust of official signs. The result is a fascinating glimpse into Kenya’s past and present and a penetrating reflection on meanings of violence in African politics.
In Foreign Intervention in Africa after the Cold War—interdisciplinary in approach and intended for nonspecialists—Elizabeth Schmidt provides a new framework for thinking about foreign political and military intervention in Africa, its purposes, and its consequences. She focuses on the quarter century following the Cold War (1991–2017), when neighboring states and subregional, regional, and global organizations and networks joined extracontinental powers in support of diverse forces in the war-making and peace-building processes. During this period, two rationales were used to justify intervention: a response to instability, with the corollary of responsibility to protect, and the war on terror.
Often overlooked in discussions of poverty and violence in Africa is the fact that many of the challenges facing the continent today are rooted in colonial political and economic practices, in Cold War alliances, and in attempts by outsiders to influence African political and economic systems during the decolonization and postindependence periods. Although conflicts in Africa emerged from local issues, external political and military interventions altered their dynamics and rendered them more lethal. Foreign Intervention in Africa after the Cold War counters oversimplification and distortions and offers a new continentwide perspective, illuminated by trenchant case studies.
Governing Indigenous Territories illuminates a paradox of modern indigenous lives. In recent decades, native peoples from Alaska to Cameroon have sought and gained legal title to significant areas of land, not as individuals or families but as large, collective organizations. Obtaining these collective titles represents an enormous accomplishment; it also creates dramatic changes. Once an indigenous territory is legally established, other governments and organizations expect it to act as a unified political entity, making decisions on behalf of its population and managing those living within its borders. A territorial government must mediate between outsiders and a not-always-united population within a context of constantly shifting global development priorities. The people of Rukullakta, a large indigenous territory in Ecuador, have struggled to enact sovereignty since the late 1960s. Drawing broadly applicable lessons from their experiences of self-rule, Juliet S. Erazo shows how collective titling produces new expectations, obligations, and subjectivities within indigenous territories.
In The Great Enterprise, Henry H. Em examines how the project of national sovereignty shaped the work of Korean historians and their representations of Korea's past. The goal of Korea attaining validity and equal standing among sovereign nations, Em shows, was foundational to modern Korean politics in that it served a pedagogical function for Japanese and Western imperialisms, as well as for Korean nationalism. Sovereignty thus functioned as police power and political power in shaping Korea's modernity, including anticolonial and postcolonial movements toward a radically democratic politics.
Surveying historical works written over the course of the twentieth century, Em elucidates the influence of Christian missionaries, as well as the role that Japan's colonial policy played in determining the narrative framework for defining Korea's national past. Em goes on to analyze postcolonial works in which South Korean historians promoted national narratives appropriate for South Korea's place in the U.S.-led Cold War system. Throughout, Em highlights equal sovereignty's creative and productive potential to generate oppositional subjectivities and vital political alternatives.
In 1979, Florida Seminoles opened the first tribally operated high-stakes bingo hall in North America. At the time, their annual budget stood at less than $2 million. By 2006, net income from gaming had surpassed $600 million. This dramatic shift from poverty to relative economic security has created tangible benefits for tribal citizens, including employment, universal health insurance, and social services. Renewed political self-governance and economic strength have reversed decades of U.S. settler-state control. At the same time, gaming has brought new dilemmas to reservation communities and triggered outside accusations that Seminoles are sacrificing their culture by embracing capitalism. In High Stakes, Jessica R. Cattelino tells the story of Seminoles’ complex efforts to maintain politically and culturally distinct values in a time of new prosperity.
Cattelino presents a vivid ethnographic account of the history and consequences of Seminole gaming. Drawing on research conducted with tribal permission, she describes casino operations, chronicles the everyday life and history of the Seminole Tribe, and shares the insights of individual Seminoles. At the same time, she unravels the complex connections among cultural difference, economic power, and political rights. Through analyses of Seminole housing, museum and language programs, legal disputes, and everyday activities, she shows how Seminoles use gaming revenue to enact their sovereignty. They do so in part, she argues, through relations of interdependency with others. High Stakes compels rethinking of the conditions of indigeneity, the power of money, and the meaning of sovereignty.
In medieval literature, when humans and animals meet—whether as friends or foes—issues of mastery and submission are often at stake. In the Skin of a Beast shows how the concept of sovereignty comes to the fore in such narratives, reflecting larger concerns about relations of authority and dominion at play in both human-animal and human-human interactions.
Peggy McCracken discusses a range of literary texts and images from medieval France, including romances in which animal skins appear in symbolic displays of power, fictional explorations of the wolf’s desire for human domestication, and tales of women and snakes converging in a representation of territorial claims and noble status. These works reveal that the qualities traditionally used to define sovereignty—lineage and gender among them—are in fact mobile and contingent. In medieval literary texts, as McCracken demonstrates, human dominion over animals is a disputed model for sovereign relations among people: it justifies exploitation even as it mandates protection and care, and it depends on reiterations of human-animal difference that paradoxically expose the tenuous nature of human exceptionalism.
In the most comprehensive and detailed cultural-geographic study ever conducted of the American Indian reservations in the forty-eight contiguous states, Klaus Frantz explores the reservations as living environments rather than historical footnotes. Although this study provides well-researched documentation of the generally deplorable living conditions on the reservations, it also seeks to discover and highlight the many possibilities for positive change.
Informed by both historical research and extensive fieldwork, this book pays special attention to the natural resource base and economic outlook of the reservations, as well as the crucial issue of tribal sovereignty. Chapters also cover the demography of American Indian groups and their socioeconomic status (including standard of living, employment, and education). A new afterword treats some of the developments since the book's initial publication in German, such as the effects of the 1988 Indian gaming law that allowed Indian reservations to operate gambling establishments (with mixed success).
"Provides a good overview of the basic questions and problems facing reservation Indians today."—Peter Bolz, Journal of American History (on the German edition)
In Islands of Sovereignty, anthropologist and legal scholar Jeffrey S. Kahn offers a new interpretation of the transformation of US borders during the late twentieth century and its implications for our understanding of the nation-state as a legal and political form. Kahn takes us on a voyage into the immigration tribunals of South Florida, the Coast Guard vessels patrolling the northern Caribbean, and the camps of Guantánamo Bay—once the world’s largest US-operated migrant detention facility—to explore how litigation concerning the fate of Haitian asylum seekers gave birth to a novel paradigm of offshore oceanic migration policing. Combining ethnography—in Haiti, at Guantánamo, and alongside US migration patrols in the Caribbean—with in-depth archival research, Kahn expounds a nuanced theory of liberal empire’s dynamic tensions and its racialized geographies of securitization. An innovative historical anthropology of the modern legal imagination, Islands of Sovereignty forces us to reconsider the significance of the rise of the current US immigration border and its relation to broader shifts in the legal infrastructure of contemporary nation-states across the globe.
Japan’s Holy War reveals how a radical religious ideology drove the Japanese to imperial expansion and global war. Bringing to light a wealth of new information, Walter A. Skya demonstrates that whatever other motives the Japanese had for waging war in Asia and the Pacific, for many the war was the fulfillment of a religious mandate. In the early twentieth century, a fervent nationalism developed within State Shintō. This ultranationalism gained widespread military and public support and led to rampant terrorism; between 1921 and 1936 three serving and two former prime ministers were assassinated. Shintō ultranationalist societies fomented a discourse calling for the abolition of parliamentary government and unlimited Japanese expansion.
Skya documents a transformation in the ideology of State Shintō in the late nineteenth century and the early twentieth. He shows that within the religion, support for the German-inspired theory of constitutional monarchy that had underpinned the Meiji Constitution gave way to a theory of absolute monarchy advocated by the constitutional scholar Hozumi Yatsuka in the late 1890s. That, in turn, was superseded by a totalitarian ideology centered on the emperor: an ideology advanced by the political theorists Uesugi Shinkichi and Kakehi Katsuhiko in the 1910s and 1920s. Examining the connections between various forms of Shintō nationalism and the state, Skya demonstrates that where the Meiji oligarchs had constructed a quasi-religious, quasi-secular state, Hozumi Yatsuka desired a traditional theocratic state. Uesugi Shinkichi and Kakehi Katsuhiko went further, encouraging radical, militant forms of extreme religious nationalism. Skya suggests that the creeping democracy and secularization of Japan’s political order in the early twentieth century were the principal causes of the terrorism of the 1930s, which ultimately led to a holy war against Western civilization.
Ever-more-frequent calls for the establishment of a rule of law in the developing world have been oddly paralleled by the increasing use of "exceptional" measures to deal with political crises. To untangle this apparent contradiction, The Jurisprudence of Emergency analyzes the historical uses of a range of emergency powers, such as the suspension of habeas corpus and the use of military tribunals. Nasser Hussain focuses on the relationship between "emergency" and the law to develop a subtle new theory of those moments in which the normative rule of law is suspended.
The Jurisprudence of Emergency examines British colonial rule in India from the late eighteenth to the early twentieth century in order to trace tensions between the ideology of liberty and government by law, which was used to justify the British presence, and the colonizing power's concurrent insistence on a regime of conquest. Hussain argues that the interaction of these competing ideologies exemplifies a conflict central to all Western legal systems—between the universal, rational operation of law on the one hand and the absolute sovereignty of the state on the other. The author uses an impressive array of historical evidence to demonstrate how questions of law and emergency shaped colonial rule, which in turn affected the development of Western legality.
The pathbreaking insights developed in The Jurisprudence of Emergency reevaluate the place of colonialism in modern law by depicting the colonies as influential agents in the interpretation and delineation of Western ideas and practices. Hussain's interdisciplinary approach and subtly shaded revelations will be of interest to historians as well as scholars of legal and political theory.
For West Papua and its people, the promise of sovereignty has never been realized, despite a long and fraught struggle for independence from Indonesia. In Laughing at Leviathan, Danilyn Rutherford examines this struggle through a series of interlocking essays that drive at the core meaning of sovereignty itself—how it is fueled, formed, and even thwarted by pivotal but often overlooked players: those that make up an audience. Whether these players are citizens, missionaries, competing governmental powers, nongovernmental organizations, or the international community at large, Rutherford shows how a complex interplay of various observers is key to the establishment and understanding of the sovereign nation-state.
Drawing on a wide array of sources, from YouTube videos to Dutch propaganda to her own fieldwork observations, Rutherford draws the history of Indonesia, empire, and postcolonial nation-building into a powerful examination of performance and power. Ultimately she revises Thomas Hobbes, painting a picture of the Leviathan not as a coherent body but a fragmented one distributed across a wide range of both real and imagined spectators. In doing so, she offers an important new approach to the understanding of political struggle.
Americans take for granted that government does not have the right to permanently seize private property without just compensation. Yet for much of American history, such a view constituted the weaker side of an ongoing argument about government sovereignty and individual rights. What brought about this drastic shift in legal and political thought?
Daniel W. Hamilton locates that change in the crucible of the Civil War. In the early days of the war, Congress passed the First and Second Confiscation Acts, authorizing the Union to seize private property in the rebellious states of the Confederacy, and the Confederate Congress responded with the broader Sequestration Act. The competing acts fueled a fierce, sustained debate among legislators and lawyers about the principles underlying alternative ideas of private property and state power, a debate which by 1870 was increasingly dominated by today’s view of more limited government power.
Through its exploration of this little-studied consequence of the debates over confiscation during the Civil War, The Limits of Sovereignty will be essential to an understanding of the place of private property in American law and legal history.
Nationalism, like medieval romance literature, recasts history as a mythologized and seamless image of reality. Living in the Future analyzes how the anachronistic nationalist fantasies in Geoffrey Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales create a false sense of England’s historical continuity that in turn legitimized contemporary political ambitions. This book spells out the legacy of the Tales that still resonates throughout English literature, exploring the idea of England in the medieval literary imagination as well as critiquing more recent centuries’ conceptions of Chaucer’s nationalism.
Chaucer uses two extant national ideals, sovereignty and domesticity, to introduce the concept of an English nation into the contemporary popular imagination and reinvent an idealized England as a hallowed homeland. For nationalist thinkers, sovereignty governs communities with linguistic, historical, cultural, and religious affinities. Chaucerian sovereignty appears primarily in romantic and household contexts that function as microcosms of the nation, reflecting a pseudo-familial love between sovereign and subjects and relying on a sense of shared ownership and judgment. This notion also has deep affinities with popular and political theories flourishing throughout Europe. Chaucer’s internationalism, matched with his artistic use of the vernacular and skillful distortions of both time and space, frames a discrete sovereign English nation within its diverse interconnected world.
As it opens up significant new points of resonance between postcolonial theories and medieval ideas of nationhood, Living in the Future marks an important contribution to medieval literary studies. It will be essential for scholars of Middle English literature, literary history, literary political and postcolonial theory, and literary transnationalism.
Medieval Sovereignty examines the idea of sovereignty in the Middle Ages and asks if it can be considered a fundamental element of medieval constitutional order. Francesco Maiolo analyzes the writings of Marsilius of Padua (1275/80–1342/43) and Bartolous of Saxoferrato (1314–57) and assesses their relative contributions as early proponents of popular sovereignty. Both are credited with having provided the legal justification for medieval popular government. Maiolo’s cogent reconsideration of this primacy is an important addition to current medieval studies.
Sometime in April 1285, five Muslim horsemen crossed from the Islamic kingdom of Granada into the realms of the Christian Crown of Aragon to meet with the king of Aragon, who showered them with gifts, including sumptuous cloth and decorative saddles, for agreeing to enter the Crown’s service.
They were not the first or only Muslim soldiers to do so. Over the course of the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries, the Christian kings of Aragon recruited thousands of foreign Muslim soldiers to serve in their armies and as members of their royal courts. Based on extensive research in Arabic, Latin, and Romance sources, The Mercenary Mediterranean explores this little-known and misunderstood history. Far from marking the triumph of toleration, Hussein Fancy argues, the alliance of Christian kings and Muslim soldiers depended on and reproduced ideas of religious difference. Their shared history represents a unique opportunity to reconsider the relation of medieval religion to politics, and to demonstrate how modern assumptions about this relationship have impeded our understanding of both past and present.
A Nation Rising chronicles the political struggles and grassroots initiatives collectively known as the Hawaiian sovereignty movement. Scholars, community organizers, journalists, and filmmakers contribute essays that explore Native Hawaiian resistance and resurgence from the 1970s to the early 2010s. Photographs and vignettes about particular activists further bring Hawaiian social movements to life. The stories and analyses of efforts to protect land and natural resources, resist community dispossession, and advance claims for sovereignty and self-determination reveal the diverse objectives and strategies, as well as the inevitable tensions, of the broad-tent sovereignty movement. The collection explores the Hawaiian political ethic of ea, which both includes and exceeds dominant notions of state-based sovereignty. A Nation Rising raises issues that resonate far beyond the Hawaiian archipelago, issues such as Indigenous cultural revitalization, environmental justice, and demilitarization.
Contributors. Noa Emmett Aluli, Ibrahim G. Aoudé, Kekuni Blaisdell, Joan Conrow, Noelani Goodyear-Ka'opua, Edward W. Greevy, Ulla Hasager, Pauahi Ho'okano, Micky Huihui, Ikaika Hussey, Manu Ka‘iama, Le‘a Malia Kanehe, J. Kehaulani Kauanui, Anne Keala Kelly, Jacqueline Lasky, Davianna Pomaika'i McGregor, Nalani Minton, Kalamaoka'aina Niheu, Katrina-Ann R. Kapa'anaokalaokeola Nakoa Oliveira, Jonathan Kamakawiwo'ole Osorio, Leon No'eau Peralto, Kekailoa Perry, Puhipau, Noenoe K. Silva, D. Kapua‘ala Sproat, Ty P. Kawika Tengan, Mehana Blaich Vaughan, Kuhio Vogeler, Erin Kahunawaika’ala Wright
The last few decades have given rise to an electrifying movement of Native American activism, scholarship, and creative work challenging five hundred years of U.S. colonization of Native lands. Indigenous communities are envisioning and building their nations and are making decolonial strides toward regaining power from colonial forces.
The Navajo Nation is among the many Native nations in the United States pushing back. In this new book, Diné author Lloyd L. Lee asks fellow Navajo scholars, writers, and community members to envision sovereignty for the Navajo Nation. He asks, (1) what is Navajo sovereignty, (2) how do various Navajo institutions exercise sovereignty, (3) what challenges does Navajo sovereignty face in the coming generations, and (4) how did individual Diné envision sovereignty?
Contributors expand from the questions Lee lays before them to touch on how Navajo sovereignty is understood in Western law, how various institutions of the Navajo Nation exercise sovereignty, what challenges it faces in coming generations, and how individual Diné envision power, authority, and autonomy for the people.
A companion to Diné Perspectives: Revitalizing and Reclaiming Navajo Thought, each chapter offers the contributors’ individual perspectives. The book, which is organized into four parts, discusses Western law’s view of Diné sovereignty, research, activism, creativity, and community, and Navajo sovereignty in traditional education. Above all, Lee and the contributing scholars and community members call for the rethinking of Navajo sovereignty in a way more rooted in Navajo beliefs, culture, and values.
In Neoliberal Frontiers, Brenda Chalfin presents an ethnographic examination of the day-to-day practices of the officials of Ghana’s Customs Service, exploring the impact of neoliberal restructuring and integration into the global economy on Ghanaian sovereignty. From the revealing vantage point of the Customs office, Chalfin discovers a fascinating inversion of our assumptions about neoliberal transformation: bureaucrats and local functionaries, government offices, checkpoints, and registries are typically held to be the targets of reform, but Chalfin finds that these figures and sites of authority act as the engine for changes in state sovereignty. Ghana has served as a model of reform for the neoliberal establishment, making it an ideal site for Chalfin to explore why the restructuring of a state on the global periphery portends shifts that occur in all corners of the world. At once a foray into international political economy, politics, and political anthropology, Neoliberal Frontiers is an innovative interdisciplinary leap forward for ethnographic writing, as well as an eloquent addition to the literature on postcolonial Africa.
Neoliberalism is commonly viewed as an economic doctrine that seeks to limit the scope of government. Some consider it a form of predatory capitalism with adverse effects on the Global South. In this groundbreaking work, Aihwa Ong offers an alternative view of neoliberalism as an extraordinarily malleable technology of governing that is taken up in different ways by different regimes, be they authoritarian, democratic, or communist. Ong shows how East and Southeast Asian states are making exceptions to their usual practices of governing in order to position themselves to compete in the global economy. As she demonstrates, a variety of neoliberal strategies of governing are re-engineering political spaces and populations. Ong’s ethnographic case studies illuminate experiments and developments such as China’s creation of special market zones within its socialist economy; pro-capitalist Islam and women’s rights in Malaysia; Singapore’s repositioning as a hub of scientific expertise; and flexible labor and knowledge regimes that span the Pacific.
Ong traces how these and other neoliberal exceptions to business as usual are reconfiguring relationships between governing and the governed, power and knowledge, and sovereignty and territoriality. She argues that an interactive mode of citizenship is emerging, one that organizes people—and distributes rights and benefits to them—according to their marketable skills rather than according to their membership within nation-states. Those whose knowledge and skills are not assigned significant market value—such as migrant women working as domestic maids in many Asian cities—are denied citizenship. Nevertheless, Ong suggests that as the seam between sovereignty and citizenship is pried apart, a new space is emerging for NGOs to advocate for the human rights of those excluded by neoliberal measures of human worthiness.
From The Birth of Tragedy on, Nietzsche worked to comprehend the
nature of the individual. Richard White shows how Nietzsche was inspired
and guided by the question of personal "sovereignty" and how
through his writings he sought to provoke the very sovereignty he described.
White argues that Nietzsche is a philosopher our contemporary age must
therefore come to understand if we are ever to secure a genuinely meaningful
direction for the future. Profoundly relevant to our era, Nietzsche's
philosophy addresses a version of individuality that allows us to move
beyond the self-dispossession of mass society and the alternative of selfish
individualism--to fully understand how one becomes what one is. A volume in the International Nietzsche Studies series, edited by Richard Schacht
Performed throughout Europe during the 1700s, Italian heroic opera, or opera seria, was the century’s most significant musical art form, profoundly engaging such figures as Handel, Haydn, and Mozart. Opera and Sovereignty is the first book to address this genre as cultural history, arguing that eighteenth-century opera seria must be understood in light of the period’s social and political upheavals.
Taking an anthropological approach to European music that’s as bold as it is unusual, Martha Feldman traces Italian opera’s shift from a mythical assertion of sovereignty, with its festive forms and rituals, to a dramatic vehicle that increasingly questioned absolute ideals. She situates these transformations against the backdrop of eighteenth-century Italian culture to show how opera seria both reflected and affected the struggles of rulers to maintain sovereignty in the face of a growing public sphere. In so doing, Feldman explains why the form had such great international success and how audience experiences of the period differed from ours today. Ambitiously interdisciplinary, Opera and Sovereignty will appeal not only to scholars of music and anthropology, but also to those interested in theater, dance, and the history of the Enlightenment.
In Paradoxes of Hawaiian Sovereignty J. Kēhaulani Kauanui examines contradictions of indigeneity and self-determination in U.S. domestic policy and international law. She theorizes paradoxes in the laws themselves and in nationalist assertions of Hawaiian Kingdom restoration and demands for U.S. deoccupation, which echo colonialist models of governance. Kauanui argues that Hawaiian elites' approaches to reforming and regulating land, gender, and sexuality in the early nineteenth century that paved the way for sovereign recognition of the kingdom complicate contemporary nationalist activism today, which too often includes disavowing the indigeneity of the Kanaka Maoli (Indigenous Hawaiian) people. Problematizing the ways the positing of the Hawaiian Kingdom's continued existence has been accompanied by a denial of U.S. settler colonialism, Kauanui considers possibilities for a decolonial approach to Hawaiian sovereignty that would address the privatization and capitalist development of land and the ongoing legacy of the imposition of heteropatriarchal modes of social relations.
In a story that could only be told by someone who was an insider, this book reveals the background behind major legislative achievements of U.S. Tribal Nations leaders in the 1970s and beyond. American Indian attorney and proud Chippewa Cree Nation citizen Alan R. Parker gives insight into the design and development of the public policy initiatives that led to major changes in the U.S. government’s relationships with Tribal Nations. Here he relates the history of the federal government’s attempts, beginning in 1953 and lasting through 1965, to “terminate” its obligations to tribes that had been written into over 370 Indian treaties in the nineteenth century. When Indian leaders gathered in Chicago in 1961, they developed a common strategy in response to termination that led to a new era of “Indian Self-Determination, not Termination,” as promised by President Nixon in his 1970 message to Congress. Congressional leaders took up Nixon’s challenge and created a new Committee on Indian Affairs. Parker was hired as Chief Counsel to the committee, where he began his work by designing legislation to stop the theft of Indian children from their communities and writing laws to settle long-standing Indian water and land claims based on principles of informed consent to negotiated agreements. A decade later, Parker was called back to the senate to work as staff director to the Committee on Indian Affairs, taking up legislation designed by tribal leaders to wrest control from the Bureau of Indian Affairs over governance on the nation’s 250 Indian reservations and negotiating agreements between the tribes that led to the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act. A valuable educational tool, this text weaves together the ideas and goals of many different American Indian leaders from different tribes and professional backgrounds, and shows how those ideas worked to become the law of the land and transform Indian Country.
In 2010, Jamaican police and military forces entered the West Kingston community of Tivoli Gardens to apprehend Christopher “Dudus” Coke, who had been ordered for extradition to the United States on gun and drug-running charges. By the time Coke was detained, somewhere between seventy-five and two hundred civilians had been killed. In Political Life in the Wake of the Plantation, Deborah A. Thomas uses the incursion as a point of departure for theorizing the roots of contemporary state violence in Jamaica and in post-plantation societies in general. Drawing on visual, oral historical, and colonial archives, Thomas traces the long-term legacies of the plantation system and how its governing logics continue to shape and replicate forms of violence. She places affect at the center of sovereignty to destabilize disembodied narratives of liberalism and progress and to raise questions about recognition, repair, and accountability. In tying theories of politics, colonialism, race, and affect together with Jamaica's history, Thomas presents a robust framework for understanding what it means to be human in the plantation's wake.
Written in the intense political and intellectual tumult of the early years of the Weimar Republic, Political Theology develops the distinctive theory of sovereignty that made Carl Schmitt one of the most significant and controversial political theorists of the twentieth century.
Focusing on the relationships among political leadership, the norms of the legal order, and the state of political emergency, Schmitt argues in Political Theology that legal order ultimately rests upon the decisions of the sovereign. According to Schmitt, only the sovereign can meet the needs of an "exceptional" time and transcend legal order so that order can then be reestablished. Convinced that the state is governed by the ever-present possibility of conflict, Schmitt theorizes that the state exists only to maintain its integrity in order to ensure order and stability. Suggesting that all concepts of modern political thought are secularized theological concepts, Schmitt concludes Political Theology with a critique of liberalism and its attempt to depoliticize political thought by avoiding fundamental political decisions.
Most of us think of punishment as an ugly display of power. But punishment also tells us something about the ideals and aspirations of a people and their government. How a state punishes reveals whether or not it is confident in its own legitimacy and sovereignty. Punishment and Political Order examines the questions raised by the state’ s exercise of punitive power— from what it is about human psychology that desires sanction and order to how the state can administer pain while calling for justice. Keally McBride's book demonstrates punishment's place at the core of political administration and the stated ideals of the polity.
"From start to finish this is a terrific, engaging book. McBride offers a fascinating perspective on punishment, calling attention to its utility in understanding political regimes and their ideals. She succeeds in reminding us of the centrality of punishment in political theory and, at the same time, in providing a framework for understanding contemporary events. I know of no other book that does as much to make the subject of punishment so compelling."
— Austin Sarat, Amherst College
"Punishment and Political Order will be welcome reading for anyone interested in understanding law in society, punishment and political spectacle, or governing through crime control. This is a clear, accessible, and persuasive examination of punishment— as rhetoric and reality. Arguing that punishment is a complex product of the social contract, this book demonstrates the ways in which understanding the symbolic power and violence of the law provides analytical tools for examining the ideological function of prison labor today, as well as the crosscutting and contingent connections between language and identity, legitimation and violence, sovereignty and agency more generally."
— Bill Lyons, Director, Center for Conflict Management, University of Akron
"Philosophical explorations of punishment have often stopped with a theory of responsibility. McBride's book moves well beyond this. It shows that the problem of punishment is a central issue for any coherent theory of the state, and thus that punishment is at the heart of political theory. This is a stunning achievement."
— Malcolm M. Feeley, University of California at Berkeley
Keally McBride is Assistant Professor of Politics at the University of San Francisco.
The central question of the Arab Spring—what democracies should look like in the deeply religious countries of the Middle East—has developed into a vigorous debate over these nations’ secular identities. But what, exactly, is secularism? What has the West’s long familiarity with it inevitably obscured? In Questioning Secularism, Hussein Ali Agrama tackles these questions. Focusing on the fatwa councils and family law courts of Egypt just prior to the revolution, he delves deeply into the meaning of secularism itself and the ambiguities that lie at its heart.
Drawing on a precedent-setting case arising from the family law courts —the last courts in Egypt to use Shari‘a law—Agrama shows that secularism is a historical phenomenon that works through a series of paradoxes that it creates. Digging beneath the perceived differences between the West and Middle East, he highlights secularism’s dependence on the law and the problems that arise from it: the necessary involvement of state sovereign power in managing the private spiritual lives of citizens and the irreducible set of legal ambiguities such a relationship creates. Navigating a complex landscape between private and public domains, Questioning Secularism lays important groundwork for understanding the real meaning of secularism as it affects the real freedoms of a citizenry, an understanding of the utmost importance for so many countries that are now urgently facing new political possibilities.
Religious Bodies Politic examines the complex relationship between transnational religion and politics through the lens of one cosmopolitan community in Siberia: Buryats, who live in a semiautonomous republic within Russia with a large Buddhist population. Looking at religious transformation among Buryats across changing political economies, Anya Bernstein argues that under conditions of rapid social change—such as those that accompanied the Russian Revolution, the Cold War, and the fall of the Soviet Union—Buryats have used Buddhist “body politics” to articulate their relationship not only with the Russian state, but also with the larger Buddhist world.
During these periods, Bernstein shows, certain people and their bodies became key sites through which Buryats conformed to and challenged Russian political rule. She presents particular cases of these emblematic bodies—dead bodies of famous monks, temporary bodies of reincarnated lamas, ascetic and celibate bodies of Buddhist monastics, and dismembered bodies of lay disciples given as imaginary gifts to spirits—to investigate the specific ways in which religion and politics have intersected. Contributing to the growing literature on postsocialism and studies of sovereignty that focus on the body, Religious Bodies Politic is a fascinating illustration of how this community employed Buddhism to adapt to key moments of political change.
In the early 1800s, the U.S. government attempted to rid the Southeast of Indians in order to make way for trading networks, American immigration, optimal land use, economic development opportunities, and, ultimately, territorial expansion westward to the Pacific. The difficult removal of the Chickasaw Nation to Indian Territory—later to become part of the state of Oklahoma— was exacerbated by the U.S. government’s unenlightened decision to place the Chickasaws on lands it had previously provided solely for the Choctaw Nation.
This volume deals with the challenges the Chickasaw people had from attacking Texans and Plains Indians, the tribe’s ex-slaves, the influence on the tribe of intermarried white men, and the presence of illegal aliens (U.S. citizens) in their territory. By focusing on the tribal and U.S. government policy conflicts, as well as longstanding attempts of the Chickasaw people to remain culturally unique, St. Jean reveals the successes and failures of the Chickasaw in attaining and maintaining sovereignty as a separate and distinct Chickasaw Nation.
The Republic of Therapy tells the story of the global response to the HIV epidemic from the perspective of community organizers, activists, and people living with HIV in West Africa. Drawing on his experiences as a physician and anthropologist in Burkina Faso and Côte d’Ivoire, Vinh-Kim Nguyen focuses on the period between 1994, when effective antiretroviral treatments for HIV were discovered, and 2000, when the global health community acknowledged a right to treatment, making the drugs more available. During the intervening years, when antiretrovirals were scarce in Africa, triage decisions were made determining who would receive lifesaving treatment. Nguyen explains how those decisions altered social relations in West Africa. In 1994, anxious to “break the silence” and “put a face to the epidemic,” international agencies unwittingly created a market in which stories about being HIV positive could be bartered for access to limited medical resources. Being able to talk about oneself became a matter of life or death. Tracing the cultural and political logic of triage back to colonial classification systems, Nguyen shows how it persists in contemporary attempts to design, fund, and implement mass treatment programs in the developing world. He argues that as an enactment of decisions about who may live, triage constitutes a partial, mobile form of sovereignty: what might be called therapeutic sovereignty.
"The king is dead. Long live the king!" In early modern Europe, the king's body was literally sovereign—and the right to rule was immediately transferrable to the next monarch in line upon the king's death. In The Royal Remains, Eric L. Santner argues that the "carnal" dimension of the structures and dynamics of sovereignty hasn't disappeared from politics. Instead, it migrated to a new location—the life of the people—where something royal continues to linger in the way we obsessively track and measure the vicissitudes of our flesh.
Santner demonstrates the ways in which democratic societies have continued many of the rituals and practices associated with kingship in displaced, distorted, and usually, unrecognizable forms. He proposes that those strange mental activities Freud first lumped under the category of the unconscious—which often manifest themselves in peculiar physical ways—are really the uncanny second life of these "royal remains," now animated in the body politic of modern neurotic subjects. Pairing Freud with Kafka, Carl Schmitt with Hugo von Hofmannsthal,and Ernst Kantorowicz with Rainer Maria Rilke, Santner generates brilliant readings of multiple texts and traditions of thought en route to reconsidering the sovereign imaginary. Ultimately, The Royal Remains locates much of modernity—from biopolitical controversies to modernist literary experiments—in this transition from subjecthood to secular citizenship.
This major new work will make a bold and original contribution to discussions of politics, psychoanalysis, and modern art and literature.
In Sacred Violence, the distinguished political and legal theorist Paul W. Kahn investigates the reasons for the resort to violence characteristic of premodern states. In a startling argument, he contends that law will never offer an adequate account of political violence. Instead, we must turn to political theology, which reveals that torture and terror are, essentially, forms of sacrifice. Kahn forces us to acknowledge what we don't want to see: that we remain deeply committed to a violent politics beyond law.
Paul W. Kahn is Robert W. Winner Professor of Law and the Humanities at Yale Law School and Director of the Orville H. Schell, Jr. Center for International Human Rights.
Cover Illustration: "Abu Ghraib 67, 2005" by Fernando Botero. Courtesy of the artist and the American University Museum.
Seeds for economically important crops are big business indeed. As large seed companies continue to improve their product in various ways, they make use of the original gene pools of these plants, often located in tropical and subtropical areas of the world. With increasing recognition that plant germplasm is an important raw material, highly charged international disputes have developed over the exchange and use of this material, adding another point of contention between poor nations and the manufacturing wealthier ones. Twenty experts from several nations, representing both the natural and social sciences, consider the historical background, the issue of patent rights as applied to plant germplasm, the nature of global genetic interdependence, the internationalization of the seed industry, the implications of biotechnology on genetic resources, the Third World attitude toward the debate, and the viewpoints of the International Agricultural Research Centers.
How do groups—be they religious or ethnic—achieve sovereignty in a postnationalist world? In Self-Determination without Nationalism, noted philosopher Omar Dahbour insists that the existing ethics of international relations, dominated by the rival notions of liberal nationalism and political cosmopolitanism, no longer suffice.
Dahbour notes that political communities are an ethically desirable and historically inevitable feature of collective life. The ethical principles that govern them, however—especially self-determination and sovereignty—require reformulation in light of globalization and the economic and environmental challenges of the twenty-first century.
Arguing that nation-states violate the principle of self-determination, Dahbour then develops a detailed new theory of self-determination that he calls "ecosovereignty.” Ecosovereignty defines political community in a way that can protect and further the rights of indigenous peoples as well as the needs of ecological regions for a sustainable form of development and security from environmental destruction.
In the series Global Ethics and Politics, edited by Carol Gould.
Semblances of Sovereignty
Thomas Alexander ALEINIKOFF Harvard University Press, 2002 Library of Congress KF4552.A43 2002 | Dewey Decimal 342.7302
In a set of cases decided at the end of the nineteenth century, the Supreme Court declared that Congress had "plenary power" to regulate immigration, Indian tribes, and newly acquired territories. Not coincidentally, the groups subject to Congress' plenary power were primarily nonwhite and generally perceived as "uncivilized." The Court left Congress free to craft policies of assimilation, exclusion, paternalism, and domination.
Despite dramatic shifts in constitutional law in the twentieth century, the plenary power case decisions remain largely the controlling law. The Warren Court, widely recognized for its dedication to individual rights, focused on ensuring "full and equal citizenship"--an agenda that utterly neglected immigrants, tribes, and residents of the territories. The Rehnquist Court has appropriated the Warren Court's rhetoric of citizenship, but has used it to strike down policies that support diversity and the sovereignty of Indian tribes.
Attuned to the demands of a new century, the author argues for abandonment of the plenary power cases, and for more flexible conceptions of sovereignty and citizenship. The federal government ought to negotiate compacts with Indian tribes and the territories that affirm more durable forms of self-government. Citizenship should be "decentered," understood as a commitment to an intergenerational national project, not a basis for denying rights to immigrants.
Table of Contents:
1. Introduction 2. The Sovereignty Cases and the Pursuit of an American Nation-State 3. The Citizen-State: From the Warren Court to the Rehnqnist Court 4. Commonwealth and the Constitution: The Case of Puerto Rico 5. The Erosion of American Indian Sovereignty 6. Indian Tribal Sovereignty beyond Plenary Power 7. Plenary Power, Immigration Regulation, and Decentered Citizenship 8. Reconceptualizing Sovereignty: Toward a New American Narrative
Reviews of this book: This book not only provides careful analysis of U.S. Supreme Court and congressional relationships but also could lead to novel studies of rights and obligations in American society. Highly recommended. --Steven Puro, Library Journal
Reviews of this book: Aleinikoff examines sovereignty, citizenship, and the broader concept of membership (aliens as well as citizens) in the American nation-state and suggests that American constitutional law needs "understandings of sovereignty and membership that are supple and flexible, open to new arrangements"...Sure to generate heated debate over the extent to which the rules governing immigration, Indian tribes, and American territories should be altered, this book is required reading for constitutional scholars. --R. J. Steamer, Choice
Amid the overflowing scholarship on American constitutional law, little has been written on this cluster of topics, which go to the core of what sovereignty under the Constitution means. Aleinikoff asks not only how we define "ourselves," but exactly who is authorized to place themselves in the category of insiders empowered to set limits excluding others. The book stands out as a novel, intriguing, and interesting analysis against the sea of sameness found in the constitutional literature. --Philip P. Frickey, Law School, University of California, Berkeley
What lends Aleinikoff's work originality and importance is its synthetic range and the new insights that flow from bringing immigration, Indian, and territorial issues together, and taking on such much criticized anomalies as the plenary power doctrine in their full ambit. In my view, he may well make good on his hope of helping to inspire a new field of sovereignty studies. Certainly, the idea of "problematizing" national citizenship and national sovereignty is afoot in the law schools and, far more so, in sociology, political science, and in various interdisciplinary fields like American Studies, regional studies, and global political economiy and cultural studies. To my knowledge, no one has written a synthetic treatment of these issues that compares with Aleinikoff's in its mastery of constitutional law, its working knowledge or adjacent normative, historical and policy studies, and its intellectual clarity, stylistic grace, and morally sensitive but pragmatic political judgments. --William Forbath, University of Texas at Austin Law School
Rebellions broke out in many areas of South Africa shortly after the institution of white rule in the late nineteenth century and continued into the next century. However, distrust of the colonial regime reached a new peak in the mid-twentieth century, when revolts erupted across a wide area of rural South Africa. All these uprisings were rooted in grievances over taxes. Rebels frequently invoked supernatural powers for assistance and accused government officials of using witchcraft to enrich themselves and to harm ordinary people.
As Sean Redding observes in Sorcery and Sovereignty, beliefs in witchcraft and supernatural powers were part of the political rhetoric; the system of taxation—with all its prescribed interactions between ruler and ruled—was intimately connected to these supernatural beliefs.
In this fascinating study, Redding examines how black South Africans' beliefs in supernatural powers, along with both economic and social change in the rural areas, resulted in specific rebellions and how gender relations in black South African rural families changed. Sorcery and Sovereignty explores the intersection of taxation, political attitudes, and supernatural beliefs among black South Africans, shedding light on some of the most significant issues in the history of colonized Africa.
While the sovereign nation-state is considered the world’s political norm, millions of colonial subjects, immigrants, refugees, and native peoples appear to be without sovereignty. What claims have they to sovereignty? If they cannot ever constitute themselves into sovereign nation-states, are they out of the political game? Can a framework like sovereignty—used historically to exploit, dispossess, and even exterminate people—be a part of a struggle for political freedom?
Editor Frances Negrón-Muntaner and the contributors to Sovereign Acts engage in a debate around these questions with surprising results. Moving the idea of sovereignty beyond the narrow confines of the nation-state, beyond the concept of a power that one either has or lacks, this paradigm-shifting work examines the multiple ways that Indigenous nations and U.S. territorial peoples act as sovereign and the possible limits of such sovereign acts within the current globalized context. A valuable contribution to the debate around indigenous and other conceptions of sovereignty, Sovereign Acts goes further than legal frameworks to investigate the relationships among sovereignty, gender, sexuality, representation, and the body.
From activist style and choreography to the politics of recognition, the scholars and artists featured in this unique volume map out how people disrupt modern notions of sovereignty, attempt to redefine what being sovereign means, or seek alternative political vocabularies. Sovereignty is not only, after all, a kingdom and a crown.
Michael Lujan Bevacqua
Jennifer Nez Denetdale
Adriana María Garriga-López
Jessica A. F. Harkins
Davianna Pomaika‘i McGregor
Stephanie Nohelani Teves
Fa‘anofo Lisaclaire Uperesa
Sovereign Acts explores how artists, activists, and audiences performed and interpreted sovereignty struggles in the Panama Canal Zone, from the Canal Zone’s inception in 1903 to its dissolution in 1999. In popular entertainments and patriotic pageants, opera concerts and national theatre, white U.S. citizens, West Indian laborers, and Panamanian artists and activists used performance as a way to assert their right to the Canal Zone and challenge the Zone’s sovereignty, laying claim to the Zone’s physical space and imagined terrain.
By demonstrating the place of performance in the U.S. Empire’s legal landscape, Katherine A. Zien transforms our understanding of U.S. imperialism and its aftermath in the Panama Canal Zone and the larger U.S.-Caribbean world.
Sovereigns, Quasi Sovereigns, and Africans was first published in 1996. Minnesota Archive Editions uses digital technology to make long-unavailable books once again accessible, and are published unaltered from the original University of Minnesota Press editions.
In this trenchant critique, Siba N'Zatioula Grovogui demonstrates the failure of international law to address adequately the issues surrounding African self-determination during decolonization. Challenging the view that the only requirement for decolonization is the elimination of the legal instruments that provided for direct foreign rule, Sovereigns, Quasi Sovereigns, and Africans probes the universal claims of international law.
Grovogui begins by documenting the creation of the "image of Africa" in European popular culture, examining its construction by conquerors and explorers, scientists and social scientists, and the Catholic Church. Using the case of Namibia to illuminate the general context of Africa, he demonstrates that the principles and rules recognized in international law today are not universal, but instead reflect relations of power and the historical dominance of specific European states.
Grovogui argues that two important factors have undermined the universal applicability of international law: its dependence on Western culture and the way that international law has been structured to preserve Western hegemony in the international order. This dependence on Europeandominated models and legal apparatus has resulted in the paradox that only rights sanctioned by the former colonial powers have been accorded to the colonized, regardless of the latter's needs. In the case of Namibia, Grovogui focuses on the discursive strategies used by the West and their southern African allies to control the legal debate, as well as the tactics used by the colonized to recast the terms of the discussion.
Grovogui blends critical legal theory, historical research, political economy, and cultural studies with profound knowledge of contemporary Africa in general and Namibia in particular. Sovereigns, Quasi Sovereigns, and Africans represents the very best of the new scholarship, moving beyond narrow disciplinary boundaries to illuminate issues of decolonization in Africa.
Siba N'Zatioula Grovogui is assistant professor of political science at Johns Hopkins University. He previously practiced law in his native Guinea.
Sovereignty: A Play
Mary Kathryn Nagle Northwestern University Press, 2020 Library of Congress PS3614.A465S68 2020 | Dewey Decimal 812.6
Sovereignty unfolds over two parallel timelines. In present-day Oklahoma, a young Cherokee lawyer, Sarah Ridge Polson, and her colleague Jim Ross defend the inherent jurisdiction of Cherokee Nation in the U.S. Supreme Court when a non-Indian defendant challenges the Nation’s authority to prosecute non-Indian perpetrators of domestic violence. Their collaboration is juxtaposed with scenes from 1835, when Cherokee Nation was eight hundred miles to the east in the southern Appalachians. That year, Sarah’s and Jim’s ancestors, historic Cherokee rivals, were bitterly divided over a proposed treaty with the administration of Andrew Jackson, the Treaty of New Echota, which led to the nation’s removal to Oklahoma on the infamous Trail of Tears.
A direct descendant of nineteenth-century Cherokee leaders John Ridge and Major Ridge, Mary Kathryn Nagle has penned a play that twists and turns from violent outbursts to healing monologues, illuminating a provocative double meaning for the sovereignty of both tribal territory and women’s bodies. Taking as its point of departure the story of one lawyer’s passionate defense of the rights of her people to prosecute non-natives who commit crimes on reservations, Sovereignty opens up into an expansive exploration of the circular continuity of history, human memory, and the power of human relationships.
In 2011, the United Nations Security Council adopted Resolution 1973, authorizing its member states to take measures to protect Libyan civilians from Muammar Gadhafi’s forces. In invoking the “responsibility to protect,” the resolution draws on the principle that sovereign states are responsible and accountable to the international community for the protection of their populations and that the international community can act to protect populations when national authorities fail to do so. The idea that sovereignty includes the responsibility to protect is often seen as a departure from the classic definition, but it actually has deep historical roots.
In Sovereignty and the Responsibility to Protect, Luke Glanville argues that this responsibility extends back to the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, and that states have since been accountable for this responsibility to God, the people, and the international community. Over time, the right to national self-governance came to take priority over the protection of individual liberties, but the noninterventionist understanding of sovereignty was only firmly established in the twentieth century, and it remained for only a few decades before it was challenged by renewed claims that sovereigns are responsible for protection.
Glanville traces the relationship between sovereignty and responsibility from the early modern period to the present day, and offers a new history with profound implications for the present.
Sovereignty and the Sacred challenges contemporary models of polity and economy through a two-step engagement with the history of religions. Beginning with the recognition of the convergence in the history of European political theology between the sacred and the sovereign as creating “states of exception”—that is, moments of rupture in the normative order that, by transcending this order, are capable of re-founding or remaking it—Robert A. Yelle identifies our secular, capitalist system as an attempt to exclude such moments by subordinating them to the calculability of laws and markets. The second step marshals evidence from history and anthropology that helps us to recognize the contribution of such states of exception to ethical life, as a means of release from the legal or economic order. Yelle draws on evidence from the Hebrew Bible to English deism, and from the Aztecs to ancient India, to develop a theory of polity that finds a place and a purpose for those aspects of religion that are often marginalized and dismissed as irrational by Enlightenment liberalism and utilitarianism.
Developing this close analogy between two elemental domains of society, Sovereignty and the Sacred offers a new theory of religion while suggesting alternative ways of organizing our political and economic life. By rethinking the transcendent foundations and liberating potential of both religion and politics, Yelle points to more hopeful and ethical modes of collective life based on egalitarianism and popular sovereignty. Deliberately countering the narrowness of currently dominant economic, political, and legal theories, he demonstrates the potential of a revived history of religions to contribute to a rethinking of the foundations of our political and social order.
Featuring essays by some of the most prominent names in contemporary political and cultural theory, Sovereignty in Ruins presents a form of critique grounded in the conviction that political thought is itself an agent of crisis. Aiming to develop a political vocabulary capable of critiquing and transforming contemporary political frameworks, the contributors advance a politics of crisis that collapses the false dichotomies between sovereignty and governmentality and between critique and crisis. Their essays address a wide range of topics, such as the role history plays in the development of a politics of crisis; Arendt's controversial judgment of Adolf Eichmann; Strauss's and Badiou's readings of Plato's Laws; the acceptance of the unacceptable; the human and nonhuman; and flesh as a biopolitical category representative of the ongoing crisis of modernity. Altering the terms through which political action may take place, the contributors think through new notions of the political that advance countermodels of biopolitics, radical democracy, and humanity.
Contributors. Judith Butler, George Edmondson, Roberto Esposito, Carlo Galli, Klaus Mladek, Alberto Moreiras, Andrew Norris, Eric L. Santner, Adam Sitze, Carsten Strathausen, Rei Terada, Cary Wolfe
What does the name Trump stand for? If branding now rules over the production of value, as the coauthors of Sovereignty, Inc. argue, then Trump assumes the status of a master brand whose primary activity is the compulsive work of self-branding—such is the new sovereignty business in which, whether one belongs to his base or not, we are all “incorporated.”
Drawing on anthropology, political theory, philosophy, psychoanalysis, and theater, William Mazzarella, Eric L. Santner, and Aaron Schuster show how politics in the age of Trump functions by mobilizing a contradictory and convoluted enjoyment, an explosive mixture of drives and fantasies that eludes existing portraits of our era. The current political moment turns out to be not so much exceptional as exceptionally revealing of the constitutive tension between enjoyment and economy that has always been a key component of the social order. Santner analyzes the collective dream-work that sustains a new sort of authoritarian charisma or mana, a mana-facturing process that keeps us riveted to an excessively carnal incorporation of sovereignty. Mazzarella examines the contemporary merger of consumer brand and political brand and the cross-contamination of politics and economics, warning against all too easy laments about the corruption of politics by marketing. Schuster, focusing on the extreme theatricality and self-satirical comedy of the present, shows how authority reasserts itself at the very moment of distrust and disillusionment in the system, profiting off its supposed decline. A dazzling diagnostic of our present, Sovereignty, Inc., forces us to come to terms with our complicity in Trump’s political presence and will immediately take its place in discussions of contemporary politics.
Sovereignty generally refers to a particular national territory, the inviolability of the nation’s borders, and the right of that nation to protect its borders and ensure internal stability. From the Middle Ages until well into the Modern Period, however, another concept of sovereignty held sway: responsibility for the common good. James Turner Johnson argues that these two conceptions—sovereignty as self-defense and sovereignty as acting on behalf of the common good—are in conflict and suggests that international bodies must acknowledge this tension.
Johnson explores this earlier concept of sovereignty as moral responsibility in its historical development and expands the concept to the current idea of the Responsibility to Protect. He explores the use of military force in contemporary conflicts, includes a review of radical Islam, and provides a corrective to the idea of sovereignty as territorial integrity in the context of questions regarding humanitarian intervention. Johnson’s new synthesis of sovereignty deepens the possibilities for cross-cultural dialogue on the goods of politics and the use of military force.
African American culture is often considered expressive, dramatic, and even defiant. In The Sovereignty of Quiet, Kevin Quashie explores quiet as a different kind of expressiveness, one which characterizes a person’s desires, ambitions, hungers, vulnerabilities, and fears. Quiet is a metaphor for the inner life, and as such, enables a more nuanced understanding of black culture.
The book revisits such iconic moments as Tommie Smith and John Carlos’s protest at the 1968 Mexico City Olympics and Elizabeth Alexander’s reading at the 2009 inauguration of Barack Obama. Quashie also examines such landmark texts as Gwendolyn Brooks’s Maud Martha, James Baldwin’s The Fire Next Time, and Toni Morrison’s Sula to move beyond the emphasis on resistance, and to suggest that concepts like surrender, dreaming, and waiting can remind us of the wealth of black humanity.
The Sovereignty of Taste
James S. Hans University of Illinois Press, 2002 Library of Congress BD450.H2735 2002 | Dewey Decimal 111.85
Challenging prevailing trends toward aesthetic neutrality, James S. Hans argues that there is such a thing as good and bad taste, that taste is something one is born with, and that it is firmly rooted in the mechanics of biology.
Taste is everything, Hans says, for it produces the primary values that guide our lives. Taste is the fundamental organizing mechanism of human bodies, a lifelong effort to fit one's own rhythms to the rhythms and patterns of the natural world and the larger human community. It is an aesthetic sorting process by which one determines what belongs in--a conversation, a curriculum, a committee, a piece of art, a meal, a logical argument--and what should be left out. On the one hand, taste is the source of beauty, justice, and a sense of the good. On the other hand, as an arbiter of the laws of fair and free play, taste enters into more ominous and destructive patterns--but patterns nonetheless--of resentment and violence.
Hans develops his conception of taste through astute readings of five literary landmarks: Milan Kundera's The Unbearable Lightness of Being, Sophocles' Oedipus the King, William Faulkner's Light in August, and the poetry of Emily Dickinson and the Polish Nobel Laureate Czeslaw Milosz. These texts explore the art of soulmaking and the quest for personal expression: the costs as well as the fruits that come from acceding to the imperatives of one's being. They also reveal how the collision of personal and collective rhythms, whether in the Greek citadel or the Mississippi countryside, leads to violence and ritualized sacrifice.
Elegant, principled, and provocative, The Sovereignty of Taste is an essential book that restores taste to its rightful place of influence, shoring up the ground beneath civilization's feet and offering hope for the future of integrity, value, and aesthetic truth.
Focusing on the importance of discussions about sovereignty and of the diversity of Native American communities, Survivance, Sovereignty, and Story offers a variety of ways to teach and write about indigenous North American rhetorics.
These essays introduce indigenous rhetorics, framing both how and why they should be taught in US university writing classrooms. Contributors promote understanding of American Indian rhetorical and literary texts and the cultures and contexts within which those texts are produced. Chapters also supply resources for instructors, promote cultural awareness, offer suggestions for further research, and provide examples of methods to incorporate American Indian texts into the classroom curriculum.
Survivance, Sovereignty, and Story provides a decolonized vision of what teaching rhetoric and writing can be and offers a foundation to talk about what rhetoric and pedagogical practice can mean when examined through American Indian and indigenous epistemologies and contemporary rhetorics.
Contributors include Joyce Rain Anderson, Resa Crane Bizzaro, Qwo-Li Driskill, Janice Gould, Rose Gubele, Angela Haas, Jessica Safran Hoover, Lisa King, Kimberli Lee, Malea D. Powell, Andrea Riley-Mukavetz, Gabriela Raquel Ríos, and Sundy Watanabe.
Today's global politics demands a new look at the concept of territory. From so-called deterritorialized terrorist organizations such as al-Qaeda to U.S.-led overthrows of existing regimes in the Middle East, the relationship between territory and sovereignty is under siege. Unfolding an updated understanding of the concept of territory, Stuart Elden shows how the contemporary "war on terror" is part of a widespread challenge to the connection between the state and its territory.
Although the importance of territory has been disputed under globalization, territorial relations have not come to an abrupt end. Rather, Elden argues, the territory/sovereignty relation is being reconfigured. Traditional geopolitical analysis is transformed into a critical device for interrogating hegemonic geopolitics after the Cold War, and is employed in the service of reconsidering discourses of danger that include "failed states," disconnection, and terrorist networks.
Looking anew at the "war on terror"; the development and application of U.S. policy; the construction and demonization of rogue states; events in Lebanon, Somalia, and Pakistan; and the wars continuing in Afghanistan and Iraq, Terror and Territory demonstrates how a critical geographical analysis, informed by political theory and history, can offer an urgently needed perspective on world events.
The imposition of modern American colonial rule has defined U.S.–indigenous relations since the time of the American Civil War. In resistance, Kevin Bruyneel asserts, indigenous political actors work across American spatial and temporal boundaries, demanding rights and resources from the government while also challenging the imposition of colonial rule over their lives. This resistance engenders what he calls a “third space of sovereignty,” which resides neither inside nor outside the U.S. political system but rather exists on its boundaries, exposing both the practices and limitations of American colonial rule.
The Third Space of Sovereignty offers fresh insights on such topics as the crucial importance of the formal end of treaty-making in 1871, indigenous responses to the prospect of U.S. citizenship in the 1920s, native politics during the tumultuous civil rights era of the 1960s, the question of indigenousness in the special election of California’s governor in 2003, and the current issues surrounding gaming and casinos.
In this engaging and provocative work, Bruyneel shows how native political actors have effectively contested the narrow limits that the United States has imposed on indigenous people’s ability to define their identity and to develop economically and politically on their own terms.
Kevin Bruyneel is assistant professor of politics at Babson College.
In this book, renowned anthropologists Jean and John L. Comaroff make a startling but absolutely convincing claim about our modern era: it is not by our arts, our politics, or our science that we understand ourselves—it is by our crimes. Surveying an astonishing range of forms of crime and policing—from petty thefts to the multibillion-dollar scams of too-big-to-fail financial institutions to the collateral damage of war—they take readers into the disorder of the late modern world. Looking at recent transformations in the triangulation of capital, the state, and governance that have led to an era where crime and policing are ever more complicit, they offer a powerful meditation on the new forms of sovereignty, citizenship, class, race, law, and political economy of representation that have arisen.
To do so, the Comaroffs draw on their vast knowledge of South Africa, especially, and its struggle to build a democracy founded on the rule of law out of the wreckage of long years of violence and oppression. There they explore everything from the fascination with the supernatural in policing to the extreme measures people take to prevent home invasion, drawing illuminating comparisons to the United States and United Kingdom. Going beyond South Africa, they offer a global criminal anthropology that attests to criminality as the constitutive fact of contemporary life, the vernacular by which politics are conducted, moral panics voiced, and populations ruled.
The result is a disturbing but necessary portrait of the modern era, one that asks critical new questions about how we see ourselves, how we think about morality, and how we are going to proceed as a global society.
Since contact, attempts by institutions such as the British Crown and the Catholic Church to assimilate indigenous peoples have served to mark those people as “Other” than the settler majority. In Unsettling Mobility, Michelle A. Lelièvre examines how mobility has complicated, disrupted, and—at times—served this contradiction at the core of the settler colonial project.
Drawing on archaeological, ethnographic, and archival fieldwork conducted with the Pictou Landing First Nation—one of thirteen Mi’kmaw communities in Nova Scotia—Lelièvre argues that, for the British Crown and the Catholic Church, mobility has been required not only for the settlement of the colony but also for the management and conversion of the Mi’kmaq. For the Mi’kmaq, their continued mobility has served as a demonstration of sovereignty over their ancestral lands and waters despite the encroachment of European settlers.
Unsettling Mobility demonstrates the need for an anthropological theory of mobility that considers not only how people move from one place to another but also the values associated with such movements, and the sensual perceptions experienced by moving subjects. Unsettling Mobility argues that anthropologists, indigenous scholars, and policy makers must imagine settlement beyond sedentism. Rather, both mobile and sedentary practices, the narratives associated with those practices, and the embodied experiences of them contribute to how people make places—in other words, to how they settle.
Unsettling Mobility arrives at a moment when indigenous peoples in North America are increasingly using movement as a form of protest in ways that not only assert their political subjectivity but also remake the nature of that subjectivity.