Contemporary States of Emergency
The Politics of Military and Humanitarian Interventions
Distributed for Zone Books
The new form of “humanitarian government” emerging from natural disasters and military occupations that reduces people to mere lives to be rescued.
From natural disaster areas to zones of political conflict around the world, a new logic of intervention combines military action and humanitarian aid, conflates moral imperatives and political arguments, and confuses the concepts of legitimacy and legality. The mandate to protect human lives—however and wherever endangered—has given rise to a new form of humanitarian government that moves from one crisis to the next, applying the same battery of technical expertise (from military logistics to epidemiological risk management to the latest social scientific tools for “good governance”) and reducing people with particular histories and hopes to mere lives to be rescued. This book explores these contemporary states of emergency. Drawing on the critical insights of anthropologists, legal scholars, political scientists, and practitioners from the field,
Contemporary States of Emergency examines historical antecedents as well as the moral, juridical, ideological, and economic conditions that have made military and humanitarian interventions common today. It addresses the practical process of intervention in global situations on five continents, describing both differences and similarities, and examines the moral and political consequences of these generalized states of emergency and the new form of government associated with them.
Hardcover$36.95 S ISBN: 9781935408000 408 pp. | 9 in x 6 in
Paperback$24.95 T ISBN: 9781935408017 408 pp. | 9 in x 6 in
[This book] brings together an extraordinarily broad range of scholars and activists, writing on a very wide range of topics which are framed by Fassin and Pandolfi's impressive legal survey of the gradual development of 'the state of emergency' as an example of Agamben's (1995) notion of the 'state of exception.'
Contemporary States of Emergency demands that we rethink the very nature of violence, benevolence, and vulnerability in the face of what Paula Vasquez Lezama felicitously calls 'compassionate militarization.
author of Semites: Race, Religion, Literature