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27-31 August 2019
Poznań, Poland
Europe/Warsaw timezone
programme last update: 23 August 2019
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States of Exception: Policy and Politics in Exceptional Times


Location: Poznań, Poland
Date: 29 Aug 11:00 - 17:15


Room 3.20

In recent decades, particularly since 9/11, anthropologists, social scientists, and legal studies scholars have become increasingly interested in the theme of governing in and through emergencies, often drawing on Georgio Agamben’s (2005) and Carl Schmitt’s notion of ‘state of exception’. What these studies share is a concern with scrutinizing sovereign power by investigating state interventions into the rule of law, restrictions on jurisdiction, suspension of human and citizenship rights, militarization, surveillance, and constitutional dictatorships emerging from declarations of state of exception. In addition to formal declarations of exception, however, neoliberal policy agendas, the crisis of democracy, and the proliferation of declarations of urgency and emergency suggest that in many places the ‘state of emergency’ has become the new normal. Whether it be environmental catastrophes, wars, economic crises, or political unrest, governments, public-sector institutions, private bodies and not-for-profit organizations all utilize crises and emergencies to justify making ‘exceptional’ interventions into the domains of policy and law. In some contexts, ruling by decrees has become a governing practice that has blurred the relationship between policy-making, laws, and the concept of due process. We invite contributions that unravel the way interventions under states of emergency provide opportunities for the accumulation of wealth and power, or dispossession, marginalization and exclusion. - What are the characteristics of governing in and through emergencies? - Whose interests do emergencies serve? - What new kinds of subjects and relation do states of exception create? - How do people engage with, or respond to, such states of emergency?


  • P 46.1
    • Dr. Shore, Cris (Goldsmiths University of London)
    • Mr. Civelek, Cansu (University of Vienna)
  • P 46.2
    • Dr. Shore, Cris (Goldsmiths University of London)
    • Mr. Civelek, Cansu (University of Vienna)

Timetable | Contribution List

Displaying 8 contributions out of 8
Rita Abrahamsen and Anna Leander (2016) underline: ‘security as a risk management is no longer simply about national interest or about questions of justice or social and political reform but about technocratic solutions’ (ibid.: 3). The state is no longer expected to be the only provider of security or the main actor responsible for protecting individuals. As a consequence, the notion that sec ... More
Presented by Kamila GRZEŚKOWIAK on 29/8/2019 at 11:40
This paper examines state of exceptions in different social, political, and economic policy areas, which are usually studied separately. Whether about security, war, disasters, and economic crisis, such exceptions commonly contribute to the generation of wealth and power. The first part of this paper offers a historical analysis which shows integration and functionality of state of emergencies in ... More
Presented by Cansu CIVELEK on 29/8/2019 at 15:50
Anthropologists and social scientists often emphasise the fact that the ‘state of exception’, as developed in the work of Carl Schmitt and Giorgio Agamben, is far from exceptional, nor is it a singular technique of government. Governments increasingly implement policies that, while ‘exceptional’, are entirely consistent with laws or constitutions. In this paper I question the idea of state ... More
Presented by Dr. Cris SHORE on 29/8/2019 at 15:30
The emergency is often discussed as an invariable notion with connotations of exceptionality. I aim to correct this viewpoint looking at the evolution of the idea of emergency in the Russian law and professional literature since the late 1980-s. In the USSR, the government bodies for dealing with emergencies started to operate in the late 1980-s, after the radioactive explosion in Chernobyl in 198 ... More
Presented by Asya KARASEVA
The paper is a reflective synthesis of two long-term research projects. On one hand, I borrow from my work among peace experts in post-war Lebanon the concept of “techno-morals” to explore how security and humanitarianism, two distinct but often mutually constitutive fields of policy makers and advocates react and reorient their expertise in regards to contemporary peoples’ mobility through ... More
Presented by Dr. Nikolas KOSMATOPOULOS on 29/8/2019 at 16:10
The notion of State of Exception has made its comeback in the 21st century in the wake of events of 9/11 . Agamben argues that Schmitt’s dangerous defense of Nazi regime in Political Theology has returned in 21st century and surprisingly the carrier is the liberal democratic state. This marks the return of the State of exception . The paper is an attempt to analyze the concept of Bio Politics an ... More
Presented by Dr. Bhanu PRATAP on 29/8/2019 at 9:00
The first decree of the Berlusconi government elected in 2008 declared the ‘Nomad Emergency’: a state of exception spurred by social alarm around the permanent but informal settlement of migrant Roma, mistakenly called ‘nomads’ in Italy, around the largest urban centres. Within the ‘Nomad Emergency’, many antigypsyist measures were implemented by local decrees in the name of urban secu ... More
Presented by Dr. Ana IVASIUC on 29/8/2019 at 11:20
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