Contemporary mobilities of organs, stem cells treatments and humans have become potent symbols of exploitation of the living body. This panel explores how different modes of life are legitimated and the way responses to contemporary mobilities challenge current conceptualisations of human rights.
Increasing human mobilities, such as human trafficking, organ trafficking and stem cell tourism, highlight how human rights paradoxically becomes a moral horizon annulled through its mobilisation. Contemporary mobilities of organs, stem cells treatments and humans have become potent symbols of the global manifestation of exploitation. Programmes that address such human rights violations, such as anti-trafficking programmes, seem a promising response to the ways in which contemporary global capitalism structures labour, markets and supply chains. However, these discourses often reflect a fixation with the living body as opposed to canvassing a critique of labour relations. Thus, responses to contemporary mobilities challenge current conceptualisations of human rights. Rather than representing an emancipatory politics they become an expression of what Didier Fassin (2009) has termed bio-legitimacy - how different modes of life are mobilised and legitimated.
This panel explores the politics of life as manifested within mobilities and responses to these. It examines how the interaction of these social forces change our conceptualisation of political being - especially the constitution of human rights. The panel seeks papers that examine the relation between bio-legitimacy and mobilities, especially with two core issues: (1) the displacement of the site of where power seizes life- life is not merely threatened by disease, but life is also cultivated through science and commercial projects. (2) the shift and transformation of the modality of power- power that is not only the enforcement of law, but the adoption of the norm and the management and control of life.