Call for Papers, AAA San Jose, CA
States of Exception: Policy and Politics in Exceptional Times
Organizers: Cansu Civelek (University of Vienna); Dr. Cris Shore (University of Auckland)
Discussant: Dr. Ayşe Çağlar (University of Vienna)
In recent decades, particularly since 9/11, anthropologists, social scientists, and legal studies scholars have become increasingly interested in the theme of governing in and through emergencies, often drawing on Georgio Agamben’s (2005) and Carl Schmitt’s notion of “state of exception”. What these studies share is a concern with scrutinizing sovereign power by investigating state interventions into the rule of law, restrictions on jurisdiction, suspension of human and citizenship rights, militarization, surveillance, and constitutional dictatorships emerging from declarations of state of exception. In addition to formal declarations of exception, however, neoliberal policy agendas, the crisis of democracy, and the proliferation of declarations of urgency and emergency suggest that in many places the “state of emergency” has become the new normal. Whether it be environmental catastrophes, wars, economic crises, or political unrest, governments, public-sector institutions, private bodies and not-for-profit organizations all utilize crises and emergencies to justify making ‘exceptional’ interventions into the domains of policy and law. In some contexts, ruling by decrees has become a governing practice that has blurred the relationship between policy-making, laws, and the concept of due process. What contribution can anthropology of policy make to understanding these processes and challenges? This panel aims to address this theme in all its dimensions.
We welcome empirical and conceptual papers (max. 250 words), including ethnographic and historical investigations, that explore states of exception from anthropological perspectives, or that trace intersections of emergency, risk, threats, and crises that foster policy change in different policy arenas (labor policy, urban policy, security and defense, local economy, social policy etc). We invite contributions that unravel the way policy interventions under states of emergency provide opportunities for the accumulation of wealth and power on the one hand, and dispossession, marginalization, and exclusion on the other. Topics may address, but are not limited to, any of the following questions:
– What are the characteristics of governing in and through emergencies?
– What political and economic interests do emergencies serve?
– What do states of exception tell us about legal norms or ‘states of normality’?
– What informal as well as formal practices of governance are associated with emergencies?
– What new kinds of subjects and relation do states of exception create?
– How do people engage with, or respond to, such states of emergency?
Deadline for abstract submissions: 10th of April
* New Publication*
Cansu Civelek (2017) Social Housing, Urban Renewal and Shifting Meanings of ‘Welfare State’ in Turkey: A Study of the Karapınar Renewal Project, EskiŞehir, in Paul Watt, Peer Smets (ed.) Social Housing and Urban Renewal, pp.391 – 429.