Paper short abstract:
This paper brings postcolonial theory home to "the colonising states" by exploring internal colonialism and state-subject encounters in a European context.
Paper long abstract:
This paper brings postcolonial theory home to "the colonising states" by exploring internal colonialism and state-subject encounters in a European context. I ask what analytical perspectives do colonialism and the postcolonial bring to an analysis of the western welfare state? The paper explores past and present conjunctures between crime, ghetto-dwelling and state sanctioned imprisonment in Denmark - aspects that are closely connected to ethnic groups living at the margin of the Danish state. At this point, the state power - its law and moral order - is politically and socially experienced and defined as being overtly jeopardised. Thus, the state turns itself into a sovereign power imposing moral order to the marginalised subject by transforming it into bare life within a state of exception. One of the state "conquests" unfolds as the politics, regulations and exercises of "family", in which a local entanglement of welfare agencies, semi-authorial entrepreneurs and ethnic groups structure social class and produce social change.
Colonial crisis and cross-cultural encounters: Reconfigurations of the social in historical perspective