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Barrows Lectures

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Managing Displacement

Refugees and the Politics of Humanitarianism

Jennifer Hyndman

Media images of people whose lives are destroyed by international and civil conflicts have long engaged our imaginations and emotions. But what happens to these refugees after displacement, and who takes on the responsibility of reconstructing shattered lives? Since the end of the Cold War, patterns of refugee management have changed dramatically, as states look to avoid the legal obligations and costs of asylum. Working for humanitarian agencies in Kenya and Somalia, Jennifer Hyndman determined that in spite of their best efforts, too often the camps in which these agencies operate can offer only a short-term palliative. In Managing Displacement, Hyndman uses unique insider knowledge both to challenge the political and cultural assumptions of current humanitarian practices and to expose the distancing strategies that characterize present operations. Managing Displacement looks specifically at the powerful organizations that serve refugees-particularly the United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR). Hyndman provides a close reading of humanitarianism on the ground as she examines the policies and practices of the organization at various levels. She offers constructive criticism of organizations like UNHCR, discerning patterns of "ordering disorder" and "disciplining displacement" in their responses to emergencies.

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Native To The Nation

Disciplining Landscapes And Bodies In Australia

Allaine Cerwonka

In a world increasingly marked by migration and dislocation, the question of displacement, and of establishing a sense of belonging, has become ever more common and ever more urgent. But what of those who stay in place? How do people who remain in their place of origin or ancestral homeland rearticulate a sense of connection, of belonging, when ownership of the territory they occupy is contested? Focusing on Australia, Allaine Cerwonka examines the physical and narrative spatial practices by which people reclaim territory in the wake of postcolonial claims to land by indigenous people and new immigration of “foreigners.” As a multicultural, postcolonial nation whose claims to land until recently were premised on the notion of the continent as “empty” (terra nullius), Australia offers an especially rich lens for understanding the reterritorialization of the nation-state in an era of globalization. To this end, Native to the Nation provides a multisited ethnography of two communities in Melbourne, the Fitzroy Police Station and the East Melbourne Garden Club, allowing us to see how bodies are managed and nations physically constructed in everyday confrontations and cultivations. Allaine Cerwonka is assistant professor of women’s studies and political science at Georgia State University.

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Oh, Say, Can You See

The Semiotics of the Military in Hawai’i

Kathy E. Ferguson

Everywhere you look in Hawai’i, you might see the military. And yet, in daily life few residents see the military at all-it is hidden in plain sight. This paradox of invisibility and visibility, of the available and the hidden, is the subject of Oh, Say, Can You See?, which maps the power relations involving gender, race, and class that define Hawai’i in relation to the national security state. Western intruders into Hawai’i-from the early explorers, missionaries, and sugar planters to the military, tourists, and foreign investors-have seen the island nation as a feminine place, waiting to embrace those who come to penetrate, protect, mold, and develop, yet conveniently lacking whatever the newcomers claim to possess. Thus feminized, this book contends, the islands and the people have been reinscribed with meanings according to the needs, fears, and desires of outsiders. Authors Kathy E. Ferguson and Phyllis Turnbull locate and “excavate” sites of memory, such as cemeteries, memorials, monuments, and museums, to show how the military constructs its gendered narrative upon prior colonial discourses. Among the sites considered are Fort DeRussy, Pearl Harbor, and Punchbowl Cemetery, as well as the practices of citizenship that are produced or foreclosed by the narratives of order and security written upon Hawai’i by the military. This semiotic investigation of ways the military marks Hawai’i necessarily explores the intersection of immigration, colonialism, military expansion, and tourism on the islands. Attending to the ways in which the military represents itself and others represent the military, the authors locate the particular representational elements that both conceal and reveal the military’s presence and power; in doing so, they seek to expand discursive space so that other voices can be heard. ISBN 0-8166-2978-1 Cloth $49.95xx ISBN 0-81662979-X Paper $19.95x 240 pages 5 7/8 x 9 December Borderlines Series, Volume 10 Translation inquiries: University of Minnesota Press

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Politics Of The Global

Himadeep Muppidi

Though presented often as an objective process, globalization is frequently analyzed from subjective perspectives that are closed to their own historical and geographical specificity. Refusing the false choice between objectivity and subjectivity, Himadeep Muppidi considers the production of the global as an intersubjective process involving the interplay of meanings, identities, and practices from historically different locations. Muppidi illustrates how the politics of globalization are played out in two multicultural democracies, India and the United States—particularly rich examples given the increasing interactions between them in the areas of global economy and security. Software experts and skilled professionals flow from India to the United States; the United States outsources service sector jobs to India. Although they differ in their approaches to worldwide regulation of weapons of mass destruction, India and the United States cooperate in opposing terrorism. Treating globalization as an intersubjective process reveals the different political possibilities (e.g., colonial coercion, postcolonial ambivalence, and postcolonial co-option) that are opened by global relays of meanings, identities, and power. Muppidi concludes by exploring a variety of spaces and strategies for resisting the colonization of the global.

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Postcolonial Insecurities

India, Sri Lanka, and the Question of Nationhood

Sankaran Krishna

This ambitious work explores the vexed connections among nation-building, ethnic identity, and regional conflict by focusing on a specific event: Indian political and military intervention in the ethnic conflict between the Sinhalese and Tamils in Sri Lanka. Drawing on interviews with leading players in the Indian–Sri Lankan debacle, Sankaran Krishna offers a persuasive analysis of this episode. The intervention serves as a springboard to a broader inquiry into the interworkings of nation building, ethnicity, and “foreign” policy. Krishna argues that the modernist effort to construct nation-states on the basis of singular notions of sovereignty and identity has reached a violent dead end in the postcolonial world of South Asia. Showing how the nationalist agenda that seeks to align territory with identity has unleashed a spiral of regional, statist, and insurgent violence, he makes an eloquent case for reimagining South Asia along postnational lines—as a “confederal” space. Postcolonial Insecurities counters the perception of “ethnicity” as an inferior and subversive principle compared with the progressive ideal of the “nation.” Krishna, in fact, shows ethnicity to be indispensable to the production and reproduction of the nation itself.

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Re-Envisioning Peacekeeping

The United Nations and the Mobilization of Ideology

Francois Debrix

Time and again the United Nations has deployed peacekeeping missions in trouble spots around the globe: Iraq, Somalia, Bosnia, Rwanda. Has peace ensued? Have these missions, in fact, made any difference in the disorder and destruction they are purported to forestall? Or are they, as François Debrix contends, an illusion-more virtual peacekeeping than actual interventions in international affairs? Re-Envisioning Peacekeeping is a critical revisiting of UN interventions. Addressing the question, “How do UN peacekeeping missions shape the contemporary vision of international affairs?” the book applies the notions of simulation and ideology to the practice and theory of international organization. Debrix focuses on the media strategies that give UN missions the appearance of effectiveness and that promote liberal ideologies of governance. Debrix shows how the UN missions in Iraq, Somalia, and Bosnia attempted to simulate a landscape of ordered international politics—a New World Order—by disseminating visual renditions of peaceful intervention and humanitarian assistance. As a result of these sometimes elaborate efforts, Debrix finds, the UN peacekeeping missions of the past decade represent a study in visual simulation, which has nothing to do with actual matters of international life in the 1990s.

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Sovereigns, Quasi Sovereigns, and Africans

Race and Self-Determination in International Law

Siba N’Zatioula Grovogui

Sovereigns, Quasi Sovereigns, and Africans was first published in 1996. Minnesota Archive Editions uses digital technology to make long-unavailable books once again accessible, and are published unaltered from the original University of Minnesota Press editions.

In this trenchant critique, Siba N'Zatioula Grovogui demonstrates the failure of international law to address adequately the issues surrounding African self-determination during decolonization. Challenging the view that the only requirement for decolonization is the elimination of the legal instruments that provided for direct foreign rule, Sovereigns, Quasi Sovereigns, and Africans probes the universal claims of international law.

Grovogui begins by documenting the creation of the "image of Africa" in European popular culture, examining its construction by conquerors and explorers, scientists and social scientists, and the Catholic Church. Using the case of Namibia to illuminate the general context of Africa, he demonstrates that the principles and rules recognized in international law today are not universal, but instead reflect relations of power and the historical dominance of specific European states.

Grovogui argues that two important factors have undermined the universal applicability of international law: its dependence on Western culture and the way that international law has been structured to preserve Western hegemony in the international order. This dependence on Europeandominated models and legal apparatus has resulted in the paradox that only rights sanctioned by the former colonial powers have been accorded to the colonized, regardless of the latter's needs. In the case of Namibia, Grovogui focuses on the discursive strategies used by the West and their southern African allies to control the legal debate, as well as the tactics used by the colonized to recast the terms of the discussion.

Grovogui blends critical legal theory, historical research, political economy, and cultural studies with profound knowledge of contemporary Africa in general and Namibia in particular. Sovereigns, Quasi Sovereigns, and Africans represents the very best of the new scholarship, moving beyond narrow disciplinary boundaries to illuminate issues of decolonization in Africa.

Siba N'Zatioula Grovogui is assistant professor of political science at Johns Hopkins University. He previously practiced law in his native Guinea.

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The Subject of Coexistence

Otherness in International Relations

Louiza Odysseos

In this pioneering book, Louiza Odysseos argues that debates about ethnic conflict, human rights, and the viability of multicultural communities all revolve around the question of coexistence. Yet, issues of coexistence have not been adequately addressed by international relations. Instead of being regarded as a question, “coexistence” is a term whose meaning is considered self-evident.


The Subject of Coexistence traces the institutional neglect of coexistence to the ontological commitments of international relations as a modern social science predicated on conceptions of modern subjectivity. This reliance leads to the assumption that coexistence means little more than the social and political copresence of individuals, a premise that occludes the roles of otherness in the constitution of the self. Countering this reliance necessitates the examination of how existence itself is coexistential from the start.


Odysseos opens up the possibility of a coexistential ontology, drawing on Martin Heidegger and his interlocutors, in which selfhood can be rethought beyond subjectivism, reinstating coexistence as a question for global politics—away from the restrictive discursive parameters of the modern subject.


Louiza Odysseos is senior lecturer in international relations at the University of Sussex.

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Toward a Global Idea of Race

Denise Ferreira da Silva

In this far-ranging and penetrating work, Denise Ferreira da Silva asks why, after more than five hundred years of violence perpetrated by Europeans against people of color, is there no ethical outrage?


Rejecting the prevailing view that social categories of difference such as race and culture operate solely as principles of exclusion, Silva presents a critique of modern thought that shows how racial knowledge and power produce global space. Looking at the United States and Brazil, she argues that modern subjects are formed in philosophical accounts that presume two ontological moments—historicity and globality—which are refigured in the concepts of the nation and the racial, respectively. By displacing historicity’s ontological prerogative, Silva proposes that the notion of racial difference governs the present global power configuration because it institutes moral regions not covered by the leading post-Enlightenment ethical ideals—namely, universality and self-determination.


By introducing a view of the racial as the signifier of globalit y,Toward a Global Idea of Race provides a new basis for the investigation of past and present modern social processes and contexts of subjection.


Denise Ferreira da Silva is associate professor of ethnic studies at University of California, San Diego.

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Uses Of The Other

“The East” in European Identity Formation

Iver B. Neumann

The field of international relations has recently witnessed a tremendous growth of interest in the theme of identity and its formation, construction, and deconstruction. In Uses of the Other, Iver B. Neumann demonstrates how thinking about identity in terms of the self and other may prove highly useful in the study of world politics. Neumann begins by tracing the four different paths along which this thinking has developed during this century-ethnographic, psychological, Continental philosophical, and “Eastern excursion”-and he shows how these blended at the margins of the discipline of international relations at the end of the 1980s. There follow several incisive readings of European identity formations on the all-European, regional, and national levels. The theme that draws these readings together is how “the East” is used as a sign of otherness at all three levels. Whereas previous studies framed this process as part of colonial and postcolonial developments, this book suggests that “Easternness” is also present as a marker in contemporary discourses about Russia, Turkey, Central Europe, and Bashkortostan, among others. Situating his work in contemporary critical debates, Neumann argues that, while the self/other perspective is always of relevance, it is now more in need of being used as a perspective on specific sequences of identity formation than of further embellishment. ISBN: 0-8166-3082-8 Cloth $49.95xx ISBN: 0-8166-3083-6 Paper $19.95x 248 Pages 5-7/8x9 November Borderlines Series, Volume 9 Translation inquiries:

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