This roundtable examines the tensions between contemporary transnational forms of belonging and the colonisation of life by neoliberal forms of governance and discourse about the self. What effect do the specific features of neoliberal economic and governance transformations have on collective practices and forms for mutuality?
This roundtable examines the tensions between two much studied phenomena in the past twenty years that have rarely been explicitly conjoined: 1) the dramatic increase and politicisation in diasporic, solidaristic transnational forms of belonging; and 2) the colonisation of life by neoliberal forms of governance and discourse about the self. How might an investigation of their intersection enable us to think about alternative forms of social organisation and possibilities for varieties of mutuality? The emergence of intensive diasporic practices accompanied by the circulation and production of ideas, images and goods on a global scale through technological innovation has transformed international migration. This new intensity has coincided with the individualising demands of neoliberal economic and governance models that pervade sending, transit and receiving societies. What effect do the specific features of neoliberal transformations such as the socialisation of the self with an emphasis on flexible skills, self-management and individualisation have on collective practices for mutuality? Anthropologists have been attentive to the affective attachments intensified by new technologies in the post Cold War period but have paid less attention to how those attachments might be influenced, constituted, undermined or refracted by neoliberalism's many forms attached for example, to trade agreements, development models or the demands of European integration. What are the processes involved in the making of new mutualities and fissures? How do these concurrent forms of neoliberalism intersect with processes such as racialisation, commodification and aestheticisation? How might we consider the coincident emergence of diasporic connections and neoliberalism? The roundtable participants include Vered Amit, Andrew Dawson, Nicholas Harney, Pnina Werbner and Daphne Winland.