P38
"The enemy within": states of exception and ethnographies of exclusion in contemporary Europe

Convenors:
Katerina Stefatos (Lehman College (CUNY))
Elena Mamoulaki (Durham University)
Format:
Panels
Location:
Science Site/Chemistry CG218
Start time:
6 July, 2016 at 9:00
Session slots:
2

Short abstract:

From post-socialist regimes to neoliberal 'austerity' governments, this panel takes an anthropological look at the ways in which different social groups are excluded as 'threatening' but also at how these groups cope or resist against such an exclusion in the context of states of exception.

Long abstract:

In post-Cold War Europe, political, economic and media power has often projected internal threats against democracy to reaffirm its legitimacy or to impose exceptional measures mostly targeting vulnerable parts of the population. Invoking Agamben's "States of Exception" and Panourgia's concept of "Dangerous Citizens" in this panel we seek to explore some of the ways in which different groups of people have experienced the process of the construction of internal enemies performed by different regimes and forms of power in order to reclaim their sovereignty especially in times of crisis or "states of emergency" in post-war Europe onwards. Projects of inventing and constructing an "enemy within" have employed multiple taxonomic, segregating and discriminatory strategies and technologies based on different identity markers: class, race, religion, gender, and sexuality. We invite contributions that examine such strategies of "internal enemy" construction as well as ethnographic explorations of the lived experiences of the people within past or current political contexts. What are the specificities of constructing enemy identities and enabling mechanisms of belonging and/or exclusion? How are such mechanisms felt through lived experience of the excluded subjects? How do certain groups conform or resist to such strategies? From post-socialist regimes to neoliberal "austerity" governments, this panel takes an anthropological look at the ways in which different social groups are labeled and excluded as "threatening" but also at how these groups cope or fight back against such an exclusion projected as essential in the context of states of exception or emergency.