In the Name of Humanity: The Government of Threat and Care

In the Name of Humanity: The Government of Threat and Care

By: Miriam Iris Ticktin (editor), Ilana Feldman (editor)Hardback

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Scientists, activists, state officials, NGOs, and others increasingly claim to speak and act on behalf of "humanity." The remarkable array of circumstances in which humanity is invoked testifies to the category's universal purchase. Yet what exactly does it mean to govern, fight, and care in the name of humanity? In this timely collection, leading anthropologists and cultural critics grapple with that question, examining configurations of humanity in relation to biotechnologies, the natural environment, and humanitarianism and human rights. From the global pharmaceutical industry, to forest conservation, to international criminal tribunals, the domains they analyze highlight the diversity of spaces and scales at which humanity is articulated. The editors argue that ideas about humanity find concrete expression in the governing work that operationalizes those ideas to produce order, prosperity, and security. As a site of governance, humanity appears as both an object of care and a source of anxiety. Assertions that humanity is being threatened, whether by environmental catastrophe or political upheaval, provide a justification for the elaboration of new governing techniques. At the same time, humanity itself is identified as a threat (to nature, to nation, to global peace) which governance must contain. These apparently contradictory understandings of the relation of threat to the category of humanity coexist and remain in tension, helping to maintain the dynamic co-production of governance and humanity. Contributors. Arun Agrawal, Joao Biehl , Didier Fassin, Allen Feldman, Ilana Feldman, Rebecca Hardin, S. Lochann Jain, Liisa Malkki, Adriana Petryna, Miriam Ticktin, Richard Ashby Wilson, Charles Zerner

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About Author

Ilana Feldman is Assistant Professor of Anthropology and International Affairs at George Washington University. She is the author of Governing Gaza: Bureaucracy, Authority, and the Work of Rule, 1917-67, also published by Duke University Press. Miriam Ticktin is Assistant Professor in Anthropology and in the Graduate Program in International Affairs at the New School.


Illustrations; Acknowledgments Introduction: Government and Humanity / Ilana Feldman and Miriam Ticktin; 1. When Humanity Sits in Judgment: Crimes against Humanity and the Conundrum of Race at the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda / Richard A. Wilson; 2. Children, Humanity, and the Infantilization of Peace / Liisa Malkki; 3. Narrative, Humanity, and Patrimony in an Equatorial African Forest / Rebecca Hardin; 4. Tracks on the Anthropological Machine: The Biographics of Animality, Natality, and Inhumanitas / Allen Feldman; 5. "Medication is me now": Human Values and Political Life in the Wake of Global AIDS Treatment / Joao Biehl; 6. Environment, Community, Government / Arun Agrawal; 7. The Mortality Effect: Counting the Dead in the Cancer Trial / S. Lochlann Jain; 8. Inequality of Lives, Hierarchies of Humanity: Moral Commitments and Ethical Dilemmas of Humanitarianism / Didier Fassin; 9. The Politics of Experimentality / Adriana Petryna; 10. Stealth Nature: Biomimesis and the Weaponization of Life / Charles Zerner Bibliography; Contributors; Index; Contributors

Product Details

  • publication date: 30/11/2010
  • ISBN13: 9780822348108
  • Format: Hardback
  • Number Of Pages: 392
  • ID: 9780822348108
  • ISBN10: 0822348101

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