With this issue we return to questions about the nature of power and the forms of resistance to it. The leading articles address some of the sites and possible dimensions of resistance to contemporary Imperial power.
Diane Enns draws upon Foucault and Agamben in order to pose a question that is as at once sensitive as it is horrifying: how is it possible that men and women, adults and children, become suicide bombers? She argues that, even as these thinkers provide us with some elements of an answer to this question, the existence of such ‘human explosives’ exposes lacunae in both Foucault’s analyses of power and resistance and Agamben’s analyses of limit-figures of the biopolitical body.
Ian Angus draws upon a rich minoritarian tradition of Canadian social and political thought in order to contest certain key assumptions of Hardt and Negri’s theorisation of Empire and to argue that a politics of place provides one source of resistance to global neo-liberal government. Against the tendency to embrace the logic of capital and dismiss all forms of reterritorialization as reactive and reactionary, he points to some of the ways in which geographical borders set limits to Empire and enable inventive forms of political and cultural reterritorialization.
Richard Smith draws upon Jean Epstein’s natural philosophy of cinema and William Connolly’s Neuropolitics: Thinking, Culture, Speed in order to argue for a new kind of cinematic political philosophy. Taking up Connolly’s insistence that democratic political theory must come to terms with the speed of contemporary life, Smith argues that his advocacy of a decentred cosmopolitanism might be productively applied to the pervasive phenomena of contemporary screen culture. He suggests that a cosmopolitanism based on cinematic experimentalism might provide a means to link the natural and the political philosophy of film.
In the reviews section
William E. Connolly reviews Antonio Damasio, Looking For Spinoza: Joy, Sorrow And The Feeling Brain and Jonathan Israel, Radical Enlightenment: Philosophy And The Making Of Modernity, 1650-1750.
David Owen reviews Bonnie Honig, Democracy and the Foreigner.
Diana Coole reviews Wendy Brown, Politics Out of History.
Joel Olson reviews Catherine A. Holland, The Body Politic: Foundings, Citizenship, and Difference in the American Political Imagination.