Accepted Paper:

Democracy/violence: metamorphoses of Colombian state power  
Staffan Löfving (Karlstad University)

Paper short abstract:

Among groups of displaced, Colombian state power is singularized in terms of the metamorphosis of authoritarian rule. This paper elaborates an anthropological approach to democracy's complicity in their displacement, and reflects on the conditions for a political change beyond metamorphoses.

Paper long abstract:

This paper discusses violence in democracy, not as expression of a failed, or yet unfulfilled political project but through an approach to democracy's actual operation and social effect. Among groups of forcibly displaced in Colombia, the power of the government is currently perceived to restrict itself to building foreign relations while continuously outsourcing domestic control to paramilitaries. State power, locally singularized in terms of the metamorphosis of authoritarian rule, also include the depoliticization of the armed conflict through the criminalization of the insurgency and the denial of the existence of paramilitaries; the manipulation or cooptation of media and foreign aid; the securitization of urban life; and the economic complicity in the displacement of the rural poor. By reconceptualizing displacement in terms of new emplacements, and the security of the state in terms of the insecuritization of citizenry, the paper reflects on the conditions for a political change beyond metamorphoses.

Panel W103
Sourcing/outsourcing state violence: concealment, legitimacy, sovereignty