In this Book
- Life, Emergent: The Social in the Afterlives of Violence
- Published by: University of Minnesota Press
- Series: A Quadrant Book
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How does an inquiry into life as it lives (or dies) amid mass violence look like from the perspective of the “social”? Taking us from Sierra Leone to India to Lebanon, Life, Emergent challenges conventional understandings of biopolitics, weaving a politics of life through the lens of life, not death.
Arguing that the “letting die” element of biopolitics has been overemphasized, Yasmeen Arif zeroes in on biopolitics’ other pole: “making live.” She does so by highlighting the various means and the types of life configured in the aftermath—or afterlives—of violent events in contexts of law, justice, community, and identity. Her analysis of the social repercussions is both global and local in scope. Arif examines the convictions made in the Special Court of Sierra Leone, the first hybrid court of its nature under international criminal law. Next, she explores the making of a justice movement in the context of Hindu-Muslim violence in 2002 in the state of Gujarat, India. From there she revisits the Sikh carnage in Delhi of 1984. Finally, she explores a span of civil violence in Lebanon, and particularly, its effects on the city of Beirut.
This rigorously argued book brings together the various strands of life and the social that each chapter have disentangled—and in doing so it begins to frame a politics of, and for, life.