Contents

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Introduction

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pp. 1-24

The field of International Relations often regards powerful nation-states as rather stagnant entities, robust in their ability to maintain authority and relative control over time and space. This is not without good reason, of course, as these actors possess an enormous ability to influence...

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1. Aesthetic Power and Counterpower

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pp. 25-72

This chapter advances an account of aesthetic power and counterpower. It begins by defining power as an aesthetic subjectivity of a centralized body of individuals, groups, nation-states, or transnational organizations. Again, this is not intended to be a full-frontal assault on the typologies...

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2. Reflexive Discourse and Flattery as Counterpower

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pp. 73-100

At a news conference on 27 December 2004, a bleary-eyed Jan Egeland, the UN undersecretary-general for humanitarian affairs, provided the latest updates regarding the massive humanitarian crisis unfolding immediately after an earthquake in the Indian Ocean had precipitated a series...

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3. Truth and Power: Parrhesia as Counterpower

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pp. 101-132

What issues and difficulties arise and surround the telling of truth in international politics? An investigation into truth-telling as a form of counterpower must, of course, focus on the intersection between truth and power, their relationships and tensions. Such an investigation also requires...

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4. The Image of Power: Self-Interrogative Imaging

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pp. 133-164

This chapter advances a third form of counterpower: self-interrogative imaging, or the process by which the aesthetic basis of power is reflected, refracted, and reoriented through images. Images imprint and objectify the “glory” of group Selves and are representations of those Selves. Self-interrogative...

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5. Toward a Transgressional Account of Power

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pp. 165-192

To this point, this book has advanced the notion that an aesthetic insecurity operates in centralized bodies of power and that devices titled “counterpower” can engage this aesthetic insecurity. Going forward, however, one might ask whether counterpower can be situated within a ...

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Conclusion

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pp. 193-212

In a famous essay written during the Battle of Britain in 1941, George Orwell wrote what I find to be a very fitting quote with which to commence the final chapter of a book on aesthetics and power. Orwell’s essay begins by discussing the cultural differences that existed, at that time,...

References

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pp. 213-230

Index

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pp. 231-234