Wednesday 15 – Friday 17 September 2010
Keynote speaker: Joanna Bourke
We live in a world that is dominated by fear. We are increasingly afraid to walk in our city streets, populated as they are by feral youths, drug-dealers and surveillance cameras. The threat of global warming and climate change is ever-present, and accompanied by the even greater fear that we’ll be too late to do anything about it. Then of course there’s terror: frightened of a Taliban invasion, apparently, we are still fighting in Afghanistan after eight years and pursuing a worldwide “war on terror”. And if that’s not enough, we are becoming ever more afraid of alcohol, of food, of being too fat, of being too thin; and afraid even of sex. In this climate of fear, it is not surprising that we should also have become terrified of politics, in case we suddenly have to think about an idea, let alone act on it. Our politicians appear as afraid of politics as we are: which is one reason they’re privatising everything in sight, so as to evade responsibility for it. As for ideas, they really are terrifying, and our young people have to be protected from them at all costs. In short, the “anti-ideological” determination to take the politics out of politics is closely related to the social, cultural and intellectual dominance of fear as the leitmotif of our everyday lives.
Abigail Amos Independent Scholar, UK, Consoling fears: the fear of death and the biopolitics of fear
Reification of the ‘fear of death’ underpins much Western theory and media reporting on the politics of fear. This fails to notice that certain kinds of death feed into fear’s politicisation in the West, not death per se. What matters to such a politics is how one dies. Our inherent ‘fear of death’ requires social invocation and biopolitical distribution.
Against claims that fear floats-free, premised upon unpredictable and uncontrollable threats, here, I argue, it’s attached to some deaths but not others. The very manner of death, its material possibility gives the measure of just how much such and such a kind of death is to be feared. This suggests death’s form (and count) constitutes a measure of social control and political fear.
Deaths invoking public fear exemplify not, as commonly assumed, widespread ‘fear of death,’ in an instance of its greater probability or risk, but those threatening to the social/political order. Far more prevalent deaths spawn no such fear, hereby, concealing their material support or essentialness to the body-politic.
This paper claims that discursively regulated through the positivity of death, our ‘fear of death’ is disciplined; exacerbated, yet warded off by heightened fears of certain threatening possibilities. But reified, in the true, its conditions are concealed, securing modern life, consolation; a primitive, natural fear outside societal control, commanding no changes only responsibility towards an innate human condition.
If death is integral to life in modernity, as Zygmunt Bauman claims, it’s seemingly foregone acknowledgment in any political bibliography of that life. Likewise, consolingly concealed outside modern life, ‘fear of death’ awaits, apparently detached; its theoretical deliberation, publicity, media-hyperbole and political manipulation.
If ‘fear of death’ seems inescapable, hope, I suggest, lies in its political contingency, inconsistent invocations and inconsolable heights.
Samer G. Bagaeen University of Brighton, UK, Urban gating: recoding the shifting meaning of gated settlements
The paradigm shift from the familiar notion of self-contained ‘gated community’ to a more generic notion of urban gating was recently outlined by Saskia Sassen who argues that gated communities, as these have been built and conceived of in large urban areas over the last 20 years, are but one of a range of instances of urban gating, one phase in a long history across time and space.
The paper lays out the argument that the reasons for gating are diverse. In traditional Middle Eastern cities, it was laws and local customs that shaped the built environment over the years to take on board desires for safety and security and, sometimes, the need to be different. In New Zealand, it was not the functions served by gates and enclosures, but the forms of landownership involved. In Latin America, class politics, urban growth and conflict have had a defining influence on city formation and, subsequently, the formulation of gated enclaves where, in the main, gates are introduced to make places safer and to address a fear of crime.
The paper draws lessons from these and other case studies and looks primarily at suburban examples from the Peruvian city of Lima where research shows that urban gating is not restricted to the rich; the poor also build gates. The result is that many city streets in Lima are removed from the public realm handing them over to private security agents who police access points into sometimes large urban swathes.
Angela Bartram and Mary O’Neill University of Lincoln, UK, The art of fear: the fear of art
Creativity by definition produces something new. In the 20th century this newness was characterised by an art practice that turned on cultural institutions and, rather than bolstering their entitlement to power, critiqued and in many cases abandoned them. This was an anti taste movement born out of the reactions to a society that had produced major conflicts. However, rather than being motivated by negativity, the intention was often to revive a decadent and meaningless art world. Overwhelmingly, this new enterprise alienated an audience comfortable with art forms that did not confront or disappoint their expectation. This produced a response that shifted from amusement or disinterest to hostility, and transformed the artist from the romantic to the ousted and reviled individual pushed to the margins of culture and society. Nowhere is this lack of understanding more obvious than in the reaction of audiences to live performance art. Often that of disavowal, of denying that the experience is more than merely watching, it is the result of a demand which deprives a purely aesthetic experience of art. One cannot just look, but is invited to partake. This is apparent in how performance events are scheduled. Beyond the accepted domain of exhibiting in established platforms and venues, performance is increasing the preserve of the marginalised and ‘other’. It exists on the fringe, popping up as events for the specifically interested audience who seek it out. Consequently, the artist who performs often appears a cultural waste of time.
This paper will discuss the work of performance artists who highlight communication and discrimination through the notion of the exotic body. This includes artists such as Guillermo Gomez-Pena and Coco Fusco, whose practice references anthropology and ethnography, and Hugo Ball, who attempts to find a language of communication that transcends national boundaries.
Seçkin Berber, Dokuz Eylul University, Turkey, Fear factor as a means of identity formation In Turkey
Both ancients and moderns, such as Thucydides and Machiavelli, identified fear as a means of subjugation and domination. Hobbes, like Machiavelli, was aware of how fear could be used to justify the symbolic power of the Leviathan when he argued that it had to be created, if it did not exist at all. Both ancients and moderns seemed to conclude that creating illusions which produced fear among the populace was a means of political control that legitimized the need for a superior authority. Nature, others as enemies, religion, lack of government as anarcy were all used to create a sense of insecurity, fear and alarm, and as disciplinary means to subdue othes that made the government itself possible.
Treating fear as the disciplinary rationale shaping modern governmentality, this paper focuses on the cultural and political (re)production of fear in Turkey as a means of manipulating the conflict between secularist and anti-secularists by the state itself. Besides, how fear is produced, represented and/or internalized both by the secularists and anti-secularists in the process of cultural/political construction of the “Other” will also be evaluated.
Jim Block, De Paul University, US, Breaking the spiral of fear: Liberal ideology and its alternatives
Anglo-American liberalism, the precursor to global neoliberalism, has evaded its origins in the Hobbesian fear of the self and others since the cosmetic revisions of Locke and Smith. By interposing constructions of natural sociability and natural exchange, these later writers obscured how the liberal reconstruction of authority through consent – following the decline of ascribed traditional hierarchies – was premised on a voluntary obedience obtained by undermining the capacities for independent judgment, personal autonomy, and mutuality in citizens from infancy.
The costs to a liberal polity (such as the U.S.) of relying on conformity and compliance by stigmatizing normative differences, while evident already to Tocqueville, have been particularly apparent since the 1950s. As challenges to the psychology of fear as mobilized by pedagogies of fear widely surfaced, Americans began to consider alternative developmental and institutional paths to genuine selfhood and just community. Yet, as the prospect of reconstituting social life on a grounded and engaged selfhood became more delineated, Americans became – ironically? – — afraid to let go of fear.
The essay will ask us to consider how to reverse this spiral. After laying out the liberal spiral of fear, I will explore a potential alternative to global, political, and psychological defensiveness and aggression: an emerging capacity nurtured in new pedagogies to embrace a more self-realizing egalitarian and democratic world. Specifically, the essay will trace the emergence of a strength- based psychology of self and mutual trust beginning with Rousseau’s Second Discourse and Emile to its evolution in the work of Marcuse, Fromm, Kohlberg, Kohut and Marge Piercy among others. The contemporary culture war over education will be treated as the primary site for reversing the reinscription of classic liberal ideology and positing new forms of selfhood and citizenship.
Noel Boulting, NOBOSS, Philosophy Club, UK, An architecture of fear
Who is the father of modernity? If it is the case that Descartes was concerned with the philosophical problems of his own time, whilst Hobbes dealt with those of our own, then his analysis of fear might be of obvious interest to those not overtly concerned with scholarship surrounding his philosophy.
Three senses of fear can be distinguished in Hobbes’s philosophy, explicated by employing three different ways of regarding interpretative activity, defended elsewhere.1 Firstly, there is an iconic sense of fear, the term iconic referring to how an experiencer can be drawn into a world imagined to make sense of why and how it was created, so dissolving the distinction between the experiencer and what is sensed. This sense can be cast as aversion since it signifies an object’s absence. (Lev. ch. VI par 3)2 for a subject whose heart is “gnawed on by feare of death, poverty or other calamity.” (Lev Ch. XII par. 4)
Secondly, we have an indexical sense of fear, where the term indexical refers to what exists beyond something so as to make sense of that thing itself. So, for Hobbes fear is defined as “aversion with the opinion of “hurt” from the object.” (Lev. Ch. VI par. 14)
Finally, an intellective sense of fear – the term intellective relating to the way thought about something is conveyed to the mind in a deliberative or rule-following fashion – that is to say in terms of anxiety “for the future time” (Lev. Ch. XI par. 23)3 Unlike the other two other forms of fear – negative in character – this intellective sense is more positive since it can impel inquiry into the different senses of fear so far delineated.
How might Hobbes have responded to Rousseau’s rejection of Hobbes’s conception of an indexical sense of fear?4 Moreover, how does this sense of fear relate to the other two in Hobbes’s political philosophy and in relation to a climate of fear human beings in our own culture have to endure everyday?
David Burchell, University of Western Sydney, Australia, ‘Gnawed all the day long’: Hobbesian fear, productive and unproductive
As many of the suggested themes for this conference demonstrate, one of the most powerful political intuitions of ‘progressive’ politics is that fear operates primarily as a negative, disabling faculty, causing citizens to draw back from kinder, more generous emotions such as hope or sympathy. And yet we know that many of the springs of political action are animated, at least in some measure, by fear. Fear of punishment stops people running traffic-lights, or assaulting their fellow-citizens in the dark. Fear of dearth and distress has always been a prime motivating force for social legislation designed to even out the uncertainties of daily life. Fear of the unpredictable ravages of ill-health is a major driving-force behind national health schemes – and helps secure support from citizens whose narrow personal interests might be more cheaply met by other options. Yet we know little about fear as a political emotion, or the extent to which it serves constructive or destructive purposes.
Thomas Hobbes’ philosophy is often described as being founded on fear: the fear of life in the state of nature, with all its attendant dangers and anxieties. Actually, Hobbes’ attitude towards fear in politics is subtler and more ambivalent than this received account suggests. He clearly presumes that much of our fear of the future and the unknown is at bottom irrational, and that in a state of fear – like Prometheus bound to the rock, ‘gnawed all the day long’ by our anxieties, we are ill-equipped to make sound judgements about the world. Still, he also believes that fear in politics has a deeper productive purpose: it substitutes for our limited human capacity for virtue, by reminding us of the punishment that awaits us when we break our word. This paper uses Hobbes’ ambivalence as the starting-point for reflections upon the two-faced character of political fear.
Nicola Clewer University of Brighton, Getting the story right: the politics of memorialisation and fear of ambiguity on the Washington Mall
Located at the heart of the capital of the US the National Mall in Washington D. C. is the political and symbolic centre of the nation. Surrounded by government buildings including the White House and Capitol building, the Mall and the immediate surrounding area is home to 59 monuments and memorials and 28 museums,5 and can fairly be described as the most symbolically significant public space in the US. This is federally controlled space which is highly guarded and preserved for the presentation – through museums, monuments and memorials – of what are deemed to be the nations key historical moments, historical figures and ideals.
In the last three decades three major new war memorials have been added to the west end of the Mall in the area between the Washington Monument and the Lincoln Memorial; the Vietnam Memorial in 1982 with additions in 1984, 1993 and 2004, the Korean War Veterans in 1995 and the National World War II Memorial in 2004. To these there are plans to add the Education Centre at the Wall, which is, theoretically at least, to be one of the last structures to be added to the Mall.
The first of these memorials, the Vietnam Veterans Memorial, can be seen to have introduced ambiguity and ambivalence about America and its wars into this most rarified of public spaces. The anxiety engendered by this memorial and the debate it sparked would inspire a series of responses within the immediate spatial context, in the form of both additions to the Vietnam memorial itself and the memorials that came after it. This paper traces the manner in which each of these responses seeks to rewrite the image of America at war and, with increasing intensity, to expunge ambiguity from the vision which is presented of the US and its 20th Century military exploits. This fear of ambiguity and desire for certainty in memorial form is, I will argue, indicative of a broader anxiety and contradiction within the self-image of a nation which seeks here to present itself as the great defender of freedom and liberator of humanity. This paper explores how the tension between this image of the nation and it’s actual record at home and abroad is manifest in the evolving projection of war which is embodied in these closely situated and interrelated memorial sites.
Mark Devenney University of Brighton, UK, Fear, desire and the suicide bomber
The past decades ‘war on terror’ was imagined through fear of one figure: the irrational, religious fanatic, willing to sacrifice his/her life for another life. This paper challenges the conventional representation of the suicide bomber, reading this figure not in psychological terms, but as social symptom. The martyr for Islam, or for freedom performs a radical reclamation of the self in this most radical act of self destitution. What is reclaimed is human life against the perceived enclosure of the self. To put this point bluntly- these most feared of acts are not protests against freedom per se, they are protests against what that freedom has come to mean- the freedom to dispose of life and of lives in a market place and the radical division of life chances that structure the global polity. We can only begin to understand these most radical and seemingly irrational acts if we recognise the capturing of life that is the core of the so called neo-liberal project. This is a project which is not simply about the extension of the free market in goods and commodities. Rather it concerns the capitalisation of life itself, through full economic costing, accounting for every aspect of lives, and the valuation of lives through a seemingly neutral calculus of life. In this light the suicide bombers response is not without reason. If the suicide bomber is a figure of fear, this paper seeks to refigure this fear as the expression of desire, a desire without any possible object in the current political conjuncture.
Nicky Ryan, Adriana Eysler and Paul Glavey, London College of Communication, University of the Arts London, Fear of Foucault: mapping the anxieties of art & design students in relation to critical theory
What is it that undergraduates are afraid of today? And how do these fears manifest themselves in their attitude towards professional practice and academic study? From a students’ perspective what importance, if any, does critical reading, theory and debate have within their degree? Can the development of a critical disposition help students to overcome their fear of taking risks?
In her lecture entitled ‘Risk and the Humanities’ delivered as part of the Darwin College Lecture Series 2010, Professor Mary Beard examined the concept of risk from the perspective of the classical world. She argued that the Romans accepted life as being unpredictable and dependent on chance which was in direct contrast to the current preoccupation with measuring and managing uncertainty.
This paper draws on Beard’s argument about the necessity of risk and the limitations of a risk management culture and considers it in relation to students within the Higher Education sector. Against a backdrop of economic uncertainty and high unemployment students appear less inclined to take intellectual risks or to engage with knowledge that causes them to question received ideas. Instead the emphasis is on the development of skills that directly relate to their chosen vocation.
This paper maps out and explores students’ fears in relation to critical studies and professional practice through a series of visual and written activities. The resulting data is analysed using a phenomenographic approach and the paper concludes with a consideration of the implications of student anxieties for the future of cultural studies within art and design courses.
Jaime Ginzburg, Universidade de São Paulo, Brasil, Post-dictatorial fiction in Brazil: the presence of the past
In the post-dictatorial times, even oficially living under democracy, Brazilian society cannot completely overcome the past. Because of the traumatic impact of the intense violence, the presence of many authoritarian conservative ideologies, and the structural corruption in many parts of the political administration, the Brazilian experience of democracy is still a challenge. Writers such as Sérgio Sant ́anna, Caio Fernando Abreu and Luis Fernando Veríssimo worked with connections between images of Brazilian dictatorship and social conflicts in the democratic recent period. Their texts bring us a dark vision of democracy, as a regime where it is impossible to trust anybody. To achive that, they discuss the social context with images such as an intellectual as a killer (Sant ́anna, “O Monstro”), and dead people as garbage (Verissimo,
“Lixo”). According to Brazilian post-dictatorial fiction, the present might hide in itself the repetition of the violent past; the other (a friend, a neighbour, a man passing by) might remember the hangman from years ago.
Lelia Green, School of Communications and Arts, Edith Cowan University, Australia, Parents’ fears, children’s fears and the fear of online freedoms
Research indicates that children and their parents fear very different things about the online environment. Children fear bullying, identity theft and spam; parents fear exposure to pornography, internet addiction and danger from strangers their children meet online.
The EU Kids Online project (LSE) has categorised the risks that children run as being either (or all of) conduct, content and contact risk. Conduct risks recognise that children may be the major perpetrators of the risks that other children encounter and that the internet is a locale where it is comparatively easy to engage in antisocial conduct. Content risk includes children’s exposure to pornography; hate sites; gambling; self-harm, suicide and ‘thinspiration’ anorexia sites. Contact risks include the possibility that a child will choose to meet in real life someone they have got to know online; and will reveal personal identifying information that will enable others to contact and possibly harm them.
Most countries handle such risks with a range of responses including: education, the promoting of age-appropriate filters; the support of media monitoring organisations; the prosecution of those who take advantage of children they meet online, and the promotion of awareness about risks, responsibilities and safe operating practices.
This paper examines the Australian government’s proposed mandatory internet filter which would operate as a ‘Great Firewall of Australia’, blocking access to hundreds or thousands of prohibited websites outside the country. It examines the various fear-scripts at work: the government’s fear, parental fear, children’s fear and the fear of the so-call ‘radical libertarians’. Why should it be an issue if the sites to be blocked are sites that it would be illegal to access anyway?
Shlomit Harrosh University of Oxford, UK, Arendt and the formation of responsible individuality: overcoming the fear
This paper explores the subject of fear of freedom and responsibility in the thought of Hannah Arendt. It begins by presenting Arendt’s analysis of the elements in modernity which precluded the formation of the free and responsible individual. These elements contributed to the rise of totalitarianism as the solution to modern man’s reluctance to confront the reality of his freedom and responsibility in a world devoid of absolutes, characterised by increased loneliness, homelessness, superfluousness and meaninglessness. The second part of the paper presents what I regard as Arendt’s solution to the predicament of free and responsible individuality. According to Arendt, the formation of such an individual is the achievement of a society that consciously creates the conditions through which such an individual can emerge. These include not only non-intervention and a variety of options from which to choose, but most importantly the formation of a certain praxis: a pattern of interaction with others through which one learns to be a separate, self-relying individual, able to bear the burden of freedom and responsibility for one’s actions and for the world in which one lives, while at the same time respecting the freedom and unique individuality of every other person with whom one shares a world. For such an individual politics is no longer a source of anxiety and perceived helplessness, but an opportunity for acting with others towards shared goals in the exercise of one’s freedom and responsibility.
Richard Huggins, Oxford Brookes University, UK, “One Hot Summer”: exploring ‘riots, space and fear in a small English city
Riots and other serious disturbances to public order periodically characterise British social and political life and history. This appears to have been particularly the case in the 1980s and 1990s when significant and serious disturbances occurred in a number of cities and urban conurbations across England. For many these riots were symptomatic responses to the impact of “Thatcherism” characterised by growing social and economic division, de-industrialisation and the impact of free market economics. Such periods of social unrest attract huge media attention, political commentary and response. In addition, narratives and stories (some true some, not so true) are generated at the local level and accompany these periods of disorder. Some circulate at the time of the disturbances but are quickly being forgotten. Others however, are more enduring and at times appear to contribute to the ways in which places, spaces and the people who live in them come to be defined and understood.
This paper analysis one particular case study of how perceptions of public order and disorder have continued to impact of the local, national and even international understandings of and responses to one housing estate on the periphery of Oxford – Blackbird Leys. This paper draws on a set of qualitative semi-structured interviews with residents of the estate to explore how residents themselves explore the relationship between the disturbances of the early 1990s and the contemporary local and national reputation of the estate. The example of Blackbird Leys is also located within the wider set of literature and research relating to urban and social disorder, community, crime and the fear of crime.
Mikko Jakonen, University of Jyväskylä, Finland, Fear as a source and tool of politics
One of the most important theorists who have written about the relation between fear and politics was Thomas Hobbes (1588-1679). Hobbes’s aim was to create a new theory of human emotions, and by doing so to give practical tools for sovereign to govern subjects. In another sense his motivation to study emotions was to give a coherent argument to his idea of state of nature.
For Hobbes fear is in fact a paradoxical concept. On the one hand it explains why human beings are not able to live in peace without absolute sovereign authority. The source of continuous movement and distrust in the state of nature is the mutual fear of one another. But on the other hand the theory of fear explains why only an experience of this mutual fear, the fear of individual death, can be the source of peaceful political organization. This leads Hobbes to a theoretical position, where he reserves the right to cause fear (to kill a subject) only to sovereign. Without this capacity political authority does not have proper tools to operate and it loses its power.
In my paper I will give an example of politics of fear and fear as an organizing principle of society from the history of political thought. I will present crucial elements on Hobbes’s account of the relationship between fear and politics, but I will also elaborate the theme of fear in relation to the possibility of political resistance of sovereign power. I want to question what kind of a political tool fear (and related emotions) is and how Hobbes can help us to understand the role of State in the field of politics of fear. In brief: are we still afraid of sovereign power?
Pascal Kao (Kuo-Kuei Kao), National Chengchi University, Taiwan, Tarrying with the fear of women in a Brave New World of love
Since 9/11, post-structural and postmodern discourses informed by Foucault and Bauman seem to have been content with a post-Kantian ethic of reflexivity. These reflexive discourses re- describe the neoliberal preoccupation with communal security and individual lifestyles as a politics of fear, a regime of governing dangerous life. But they remain ambivalent toward the reinvention of politics. The problem with such a revolution of the mind is that it acknowledges and yet denies fear at work in society. Given the problem, the essay ventures to rethink a passionate form of politics through a careful look at the concept of fear with regard to sexual difference. A post-positive logic of social thought will be reconstructed to question the ethical disavowal of fear. This logic insists upon tarrying with the fear of women while recognizing that a new world order of ‘syrupy love’ (Badiou) is marked by the disappearance of sexual fear. As the logic evolves from Durkheim’s sociological morality and Baudrillard’s post-Marxist ethic to Žižek’s psychoanalytic politics, substantial theoretical realignment revolves around creating a middle voice of fear to counter the charge of sexism. Moreover, the transvaluation of fear pertains to a post-positive theorization of love as the remainder of a negative dialectic of respect and disrespectful seduction.
Brent Keever, Paris Center for Critical Studies, Collège International de Philosophie, France, From pedagogy to teratogogy: monstrosity and childhood
Paul Valéry once noted that “the necessary complement to a monster is a child’s brain.” Written in 1927, the French aesthete perfectly captures the strenuous, biological logic of his time: fearsome bodies that fall outside of the norms of life should be understood as accompanied by a brain in the making, a disturbing innocence to set off the shock of monstrous flesh. From James Whale’s Frankenstein to Faulkner, Western modernism regularly portrays this relationship between fearful creatures and a childlike mind, between excessive bodies to be disciplined and naïve minds to be shaped and analysed.
The dawn of the 21st century, particularly in France, has given rise to a new logic that may be the inverse of Valéry’s. The contemporary context requires that children be possessed of a monster’s mind. The INSERM report of 2005 that stated that delinquent behavior could be identified in French children in day-care and kindergarten was of course taken up by the Ministry of Interior to create policies of surveillance and data banks of “pre-criminal behavior” for toddlers. Although this “base élèves” has been disputed by French educators and parents since its introduction, techniques to identify, monitor and protect these monster pupils from us and from themselves continue to proliferate. Places of learning are transformed into venues of sociological data gathering; education joins hands with the creation of monstrous minds.
By drawing from research done on this project as well as the theories of Stielger, Deleuze and Foucault, this talk will explore how childhood and education are fast becoming no longer sphere for the reproduction of the means of production, but forces for the production of methods of control that instigate and then monitor an image of a hideous future.
Shane Kenna, Trinity College Dublin, Ireland, Politics of fear the language of the bomb and the Fenian dynamite campaign in England
Between 1881-1885 Irish-American Fenianism mounted terrorist campaign in Britain. The strategy of the Fenian bomber was to introduce terror into the common experience of daily life, understanding that by doing so the resulting public outcry would be deafening forcing the government to yield ground, by means of using the bomb as the language of Fenian grievance. As a means of doing so the Fenians detonated improvised bombs at Public and symbolic institutions, aboard public transport and train stations. Such a terrorist campaign was met by a strong counter terrorism by an emerging British intelligence, operating in secret and relying on a network of spies, Agent-Provocateurs, and informers. This intelligence network, led by Edward George Jenkinson, first at Dublin Castle and then at the Home Office in London, was underlined by a belief that in order to break the dynamite conspiracy, suspects had to be monitored, their conspiracies allowed to mature and broken at the last minute, resulting in greater arrests, longer sentences and the facilitation of a counter fear rushing throughout the bombers ranks. Such methods illustrated that there was an understanding that intelligence operations, by the nature, must employ methods counter to the established rule of law to defeat conspiracy. In this context the Fenian bomber was undoubtedly the progenitor of modern terrorism and counter terrorist strategy inspiring a scenario whereby society and the government were thrown into a political crisis.
This paper will examine the Fenian dynamite Campaign of 1881-85. It
will illustrate how terrorism in late nineteenth century Britain effected the common experience of daily life, plunging society and government into a crisis. Such factors ultimately leading to the creation of an efficient counter terrorist operation. A central theme of this paper will be the examination of the phenomena of political violence in late Victorian Britain.
Azer Banu Kemaloğlu, Çanakkale Onsekiz Mart University, Turkey, Dr. Perowne’s Prescription for Fear: Poetry
Ian McEwan’s 2005 novel, Saturday, portrays a single Saturday of neuro-surgeon Henry Perowne and his family in London. Fear intrudes Perowne’s bedroom just before dawn with an object on fire in the sky. With the collective consciousness of people who witnessed the events of 9/11, Henry tries to identify the object and relates it to a terrorist attack. Since post 9/11 syndrome has left a deep impression on people, Henry and his family symbolize the American and British citizens who live in a fragile environment with constant state of terror. The fear of the other raises unsettling postmodern assumptions as the relationship between imagination and reality is reversed in Perowne’s consciousness and life. In the novel, Mc Ewan claims that the peaceful atmosphere of a home could easily be turned upside down not only by an object on fire outside but also by an intruder, a potential violent attacker Baxter. Yet, surprisingly the fear could also be silenced down with the help of a traditional Victorian poem.
While Matthew Arnold’s poem ‘’Dover Beach’’ calms the intruder down, Mc Ewan’s novel satiates our urgent and immediate fears. Dr. Perowne’s prescription to constant fear of modern man becomes tradition. With an eye on how fear is represented in the novel, this paper provides a perspective on what potential fear causes in our ever changing culture.
Nichola Khan, University of Brighton, UK, On the incommensurable politics of generativity and destruction in the Karachi conflict involving Pakistan’s Muttahida Qaumi Movement
Drawing on ethnography and life history analysis in a Central Karachi neighbourhood, this paper examines violence amongst male youth in the Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM), Pakistan’s ethno-nationalist Mohajir party. The dominant explanations tend to emphasise political instrumentalism, and structural and ideological factors, and to ‘politicize the violence’, leaving unelaborated the affective domains which emerge out of ethnicised positions on selfhood and identity, their accretion through a range of political, discursive and imaginary fields and their role in structuring political subjectivity and violent action in local neighbourhoods. This paper adds a view on male subjectivity, political terror and the affective force of fantasies, aspects which in Pakistan are relatively unelaborated. It examines how instrumental, psychological and affective registers of fear interwreathe in narratives and experiences of violence. Specifically, militants’ involvement in the deliberate construction of terror, their encounters with the terror of targeted killings, and the consequences of these interlocking elements for transforming political realities. For the state, the discourse of terrorism enables a redefinition of violence regarding the way everyday life can be governed in relation to terror, and contributes to the (re)development of authoritarian practices designed to counter terror. For the party it is highly effective in ushering in, and sustaining, new powersharing arrangements in government. For militants, engagements in the terror of transgressive male violence are experienced as exhilarating and positive at the same time that they produce deep disappointments and fractured selves in which violence is powerfully inscribed.
Andy Knott, University of Brighton, UK, Hobbes, fear, and the multitude
This paper investigates the claim made by Hardt and Negri in Empire and Multitude that the early modern period can be understood through the philosophical battle waged between Hobbes (through the people) and Spinoza (through the multitude). It focuses on Hobbes’ account of the multitude, and argues that when all of Hobbes’ writings on the multitude are considered a much more nuanced picture emerges than the one presented by Hardt and Negri. They claim that Hobbes feared the multitude and proposed the people to domesticate and contain that threat. If you trace Hobbes’ account of the multitude and the move from the state of nature to civil society in his philosophical writings, it reveals increasing conceptual uncertainty about the precise configuration of the multitude. If you turn to his historical writings, in addition, you will find scant reference to the multitude. Given that the focus of Behemoth was the breakdown of the English polity and society in the civil war period, this is exactly the moment you’d expect Hobbes to raise the spectre of the multitude; yet it remains, by and large, absent from his account. This suggests that Hobbes’ fear was not solely invested in the multitude, and that a more complex account is required.
Cumhur Yılmaz Madran Pamukkale University, Turkey, Discourse of fear
The present analysis is intended to shed light on the politics of fear in George Orwell’s novel Nineteen Eighty-Four in the light of the French Philosopher Michel Foucault who dealt with the power of language on thought in his book The Order of Things. George Orwell’s novel offers a fascinating analysis of the study of the politics of fear which results from totalitarianism and the role of fear in society. People’s fear of each other could be used to ensure submission to the state. Fear is to be created or constructed. It refers to the prevalence of fear and anxiety in discourse. Fear is carefully and repeatedly created, constructed or fed through the manipulation of discourse. Through acts of construction, fear can be magnified by the state. Foucault’s premise is that systems of thought and knowledge are governed by rules, beyond those of grammar and logic, that operate beneath the consciousness of individual subjects and define a system of conceptual possibilities that determines the boundaries of thought in a given domain and period. The skillful usage of language and discourse are deliberate techniques for scaremongering. Language is an effective, powerful and often insidious means in constructing fear. Language as a controlling mechanism can be used to ensure total submission by altering the structure of language through which it is impossible to communicate. The totalitarian government introduces a new language which is called Newspeak to infiltrate the consciousnesses and the minds of the public. It helps public mind control. As pointed out by Foucault, knowledge is not primarily the result of rational thinking, but arises from the structure of discourse.
This brief investigation is hoped to familiarise the reader with the significance, function and autonomy of language on human consciousness.
Delia Manzanero, Universidad Autónoma de Madrid, Spain, Distrust and fear of the legal system
There are multiple and diverse voices of jurists who have expressed their fear of the unrestricted power of law enforcement and have announced the crisis of the formalist sense of Law. The widespread reaction against the abstract and formalist character of the positivist theory of law manifested itself as the Krausist philosophy of law and was backed by the philosophy of Schelling, Hegel and the most recent Natural Law theories. This distrust was caused by the heteronomy of a political balance of power in which nothing depends on the human bottom of institutions, but on the mechanical game of the public powers formally established that sought to make the law a strict order of legislative prescriptions, in which all possible solutions to the many and diverse currents of social activity have to be included within rigid norms.
As a result of the formalist theory of Law, this mechanistic system was even more strongly manifested in the field of politics. Most of the authors of that time devoted their works to reporting the shameful phenomenon of corruption in political life, engendered by the forgetfulness in which the study of the fundamental legal questions has been left, which Krausists considered essential problems of ethical interest, namely, questions that are at the bottom, as opposed to the questions of form that has been represented by politics. The sacrifice of law in favour of politics, of the end in favour of the means and of the whole in favour of the constituent parts has only contributed to the disrepute of politics and those who are devoted to it, to the superficiality in the treatment of problems and to a global situation of scepticism that degrades social, political and economic processes. Let us consider briefly the impressive analyses performed by different thinkers on this issue of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, which they considered characteristic of their era, but that continues to constitute a difficulty – and perhaps worse than a mere difficulty – that challenges contemporary society.
Mark McGovern, Edge Hill University, UK, State of collusion: fear, death squads and the democratic state
There have been long term allegations of widespread collusion between agencies of the British State (British Army Intelligence, MI5, UDR, RUC) and (particularly loyalist) paramilitary groups in a large number of killings that took place as part of the conflict in and about Northern Ireland. Such collusion is exemplified in the case of the human rights lawyer Pat Finucane, who was killed by loyalists in his own home in 1989 (O’Brien: 2005, Rolston: 2005).
This paper will examine the nature of collusion and its relationship to the juridical order of the democratic state through the prism of the work of the Italian philosopher Giorgio Agamben. Agamben (1999, 2005) argues that the modern democratic state shares similar (rather than contrasting) characteristics with totalitarian regimes in its relationship to the use of violence and the imposition of bio-political control of the everyday lives of subject populations. Indeed he suggests such imposed order is intrinsic to, rather than an aberration of, the western political tradition and evident even in the bio-political precepts underpinning cherished ideas of human rights and contained within the foundational documents and traditions of western democratic thought.
For Agamben this argument centres on the concepts of the state of exception and the figures of the sovereign power on the one hand and the homer sacer (the person reduced to bare life) on the other. Both, he suggests, stand simultaneously at a juridical threshold, a place of ‘in-between- ness’ being both apparently beyond and yet of the law.
In his work Agamben explores such issues in the context of the ‘war on terror’, symbolised in the enacting of executive orders on the one hand and the creation of the category of prisoners as ‘enemy combatants’ at Guantanamo Bay and elsewhere. This paper will use the concept of the state of exception and the figures of the sovereign and the homo sacer to examine the nature of collusion as an aspect of the organised violence of the democratic state and its relationship to the politics of fear.
Giorgio Agamben (2005) State of Exception, Chicago: University of Chicago Press.
Giorgio Agamben (1998) Homo Sacer: Sovereign Power and Bare Life, Stanford CA: Stanford University Press.
Justin O’Brien (2005) Killing Finucane: Murder in Defence of the Realm, Dublin: Gill and MacMillan.
Bill Rolston (2005) ‘An effective mask for terror: democracy, death squads and Northern Ireland’, Crime, Law and Social Change, 44:2, 181-203.
John McSweeney Independent Scholar, Ireland, Beyond theology: exorcising the fear of politics
A key theoretical expression of the contemporary fear of politics is found in the appeal to ‘theological’ conceptions either of an emancipation-to-come, or a future redemption from a catastrophe that is understand to have already taken place. As Jacques Rancière has recently put it, political dissensus is displaced onto a “theology of time”. Alain Badiou and Slavoj Žižek are among those have sought to overcome this appeal to theology (and the fear of politics) via a militant thinking of the infinite and the exposure of the traumatic socio-political kernel of the Real, respectively – provoking charges of having inaugurated a violent turn in philosophy (e.g. McQuillan). Strikingly, however, they both turn precisely to St. Paul, at crucial points, when modelling their discourses. This paper argues that a trace of the “theological time” to which Rancière adverts remains within the thought of each thinker. It explores how this finds expression in a decisive act that always is yet to come in Žižek’s work and the formal anticipation of events which may or may not occur in Badiou’s work. Equally, the paper argues that a trace of the fear of politics thus remains in the work of each: a separation of the theoretical and practical, which, for Žižek, leaves politics ‘to come’ and, which, for Badiou, inhibits the politico-practical from fully informing the theoretical. The paper turns to the later work of Michel Foucault to outline how a ‘theological’ politics might be overcome – considering both his later engagements with the question of a theology for critical thought and his final cynic conception of ethics of the self (in which the risk of one’s very self becomes essential to the pursuit of politics).
Terry Meade, University of Brighton, UK, The Security Checkpoint – Architecture of Fear in Palestine
Much has been written about our ‘shrinking world’ and the ‘collapse of distance’. Less understood is the increase of distance for people under occupation, a phenomenon described by Israeli journalist Amira Haas, as ‘the theft of time’. In the West Bank, the modern ‘settler only’ by- pass roads compress time and space for the occupiers, while the minor roads and dirt tracks, earth barriers and checkpoints, expand time and distance for the Palestinians.
A regime of walls and borders pervades almost every level of contact between Palestinians and Israelis. The Israeli Peace group, ‘Checkpoint Watch’, have a number of terms (they call it a glossary of oppression), to distinguish the range of obstacles designed to curtail movement. These include separation walls, checkpoints, barriers, blockades, curfews and closed military areas. This ‘matrix of control’ is also extended through property regulations, employment, and restrictions on marriage. It is most visible in the relentless shrinking of the space of Palestinian inhabitation and mobility, imposing occupation as a form of house arrest.
This paper will examine an essential part of this matrix of control – the security checkpoint – part of a growing array of ‘gate-keeping’ mechanisms designed to curtail, limit, restrict or moderate movement. It will focus on the design and experience of these very intense places in Palestine and will discuss the way they breed fear, anger and resentment. This paper will also explore the wider role of the checkpoint in simultaneously maintaining and legitimating the occupation, generating further security measures and ultimately their accountability for undermining the sense of security they have been set up to protect.
Diana Alexandra Mihai, Ion Mincu University of Architecture and Urban Studies, Bucharest, Romania, Post-critical architecture: going rogue for maverick regimes
With its background in American academia, post-criticality rejects critical theory as obsolete and questions architecture as a political practice. In its rush to leave theory behind, post-criticality favors an architecture that takes its cues from contemporary business management practices. This paper seeks to understand how undermining resistance and criticality can lead one to cater to totalitarian regimes.
Drawing on the work of European architects such as O.M.A., F.O.A. and Herzog and de Meuron, I will attempt to debunk the claim that architecture has the power to transcend politics and ideology. In a New York Times article, the American architect Eric Owen Moss famously claimed that, despite having a picture on the wall of the man standing up to a column of tanks in Tienanmen Square, he has never refused an offer from Russia or China. The building boom of the last decade in Asia and the Middle East and a hunger for the token design of a stararchitect (think Frank Gehry’s Guggenheim museum in Bilbao, Spain), were unparalleled opportunities for architects. In order to take advantage of these opportunities, some architects even claimed that architecture is more important than politics or implied that dictators are dream clients capable of getting things done.
Finally, it remains to be seen if the architecture that modeled itself after market practices that crashed and burned will be able to withstand the test of time. Architecture survives because it is able to offer something more “going with the flow”. I will argue that architecture has to bring back a critical lens to the core of its practice; it is necessary in order to evaluate and analyze its ideas and its inherent relationship with power, and it is crucial for a self-reflexive and socially and politically responsible practice.
Alessio Moretti, Independent Scholar, France, “Stiegler’s treatment of the “structural fear” of politics examined with Luhmann’s and Badiou’s action-theoretical eyes”
Among the contemporary major thinkers, Bernard Stiegler (a pupil of Derrida, inspired by Simondon and Leroi-Gourhan) is one of the few continental philosophers developing a positive appraisal of technique and technology. His general, inspiring view, grounded on a theory of the “tertiary retentions”, is nevertheless a preoccupied one with respect to the “becoming mafia” of contemporary capitalism and its irresponsible systematic destruction of some on the main vital mechanisms of “psycho-social individuation”. In this paper, after recalling Stiegler’s complex and powerful philosophical analysis of the decay of contemporary politics, and after putting into light its high relevance for the coiling conceptual chiasma articulating the “fear of politics” to its correlate “politics of fear”, we propose to give new elements of future conceptual developments of Stiegler’s thinking path. For doing this, we rely on a new formal framework, “neo- structuralism”, recently made possible by the emergence of an unexpected new branch of mathematics, “n-opposition theory”, renewing powerfully the formal notion of “opposition” (the latter being the main concept of “structuralism”). In this framework, instead of the usual, say, modal models of “action”, we propose a new, “bi-polar theory of agency”: for short, “normal action” will be expressed by concepts taken from Luhmann’s theory of the “autopoietic systems of social communication”, whereas, jointly, “exceptional action” will be expressed by concepts taken from Badiou’s formal “theory of events”. We suggest that whereas Badiou’s prediction of an infinite series of emergent “invariant structures” of exceptional agency should temper Stiegler’s fear of human “irreversible involutions”, Luhmann’s autopoietic understanding of “society” (the cultural sedimentation of autopoietic communications) as a “higher-order living” suggests the problematic possibility that social-political evolution, despite and because of (the blindness of) natural selection, might lead (maybe even inevitably) the mankind to self- destruction. Any future taming of “structural fear” should compose these two polarities.
Badiou, A., Badiou, A., Luhmann, N., Moretti, A., Pellissier, R., Stiegler, B., Stiegler, B.,
Being and Event, Continuum, New York, 2005 (1988). Logics of Worlds, Continuum, New York,
2009 (2006). Social Systems, Stanford University Press, Stanford, 1984. The Geometry of Logical Opposition, PhD Thesis, University of Neuchâtel, 2009. ““Setting” n-opposition”, Logica Universalis, 2, 2, 2008.
Technique and Time 1. The Fault of Epimetheus, Stanford UP, 1998 (1994) Philosopher par accident, Galilée, Paris, 2004.
Soumen Mukherjee, Institute of Management Studies, Ghaziabad, India, ‘Fear’ as a response to powerlessness: the traumatic events of loss and expulsion of the Marginal in Arundhati Roy’s ‘The God of Small Things’
‘Fear’ as a response to powerlessness poses a threat to the pillars of stability in our society. Powerlessness means the state in which an individual or group perceives a lack of personal control over certain events or situations that affects outlook, goals, and lifestyle. Ironically, in the emerging hybridized world, we are unable to value the purity in race, culture, religion, or tradition.
Engulfed by the fear of abandonment, of belonging nowhere, small things appear trivial, and their struggle for co-existence is overshadowed by the traumatic events of their defeat and expulsion, due to the power-politics of the dominance. Arundhati Roy’s Booker Award winning novel, ‘The God of Small Things’ (1997), propels against this very ‘Fear’ as a response to powerlessness, which results in victim hood and loss that characterize the narratives of the marginals in the society.
Roy highlights both the miserable plight of the underclass and also the struggle of the women vying for equality in a patriarchal society. The untouchable Velutha, who is the ‘fear-less’ God of Small Things, and Ammu, a woman of high caste, tries to break the fear of interclass-mixing by having an affair with each-other. It results in the tragic ‘murder’ of an “Untouchable” by the “Touchable Boots” of the state police.
The novel along with the economic class struggle exposes the corruption and inhumanity of socialist party politics (or politicking) and capitalism, both of which are domains of power that nakedly establishes the brutality of the dominance of fear over our everyday existence.
Dina Nashar Baroud, Notre dame University, Louaize, Lebanon, True cemeteries of disgrace or false arenas of fear: why terrorists do not get buried?
After any terrorist event many details are revealed and broadcasted about the terrorized and victimized (how many), and about the terrorists themselves (their identities, to which organization they belong to, declarations and so forth). Yet, rarely, any news reveals where and how terrorists are buried. Believing that news about terrorism is part of “politics of fear” which is produced and projected for and through media/TV by powerful political parties and which aims at drawing untrue, hideous and fearful realities, images and contexts about organizations and political parties which they are at struggle with; based on this, I will argue that where and how terrorist are buried is one example of many undesirable realities and contexts that the “politics of fear” tries to defies and falsifies to serve their agenda and propaganda. This will be argued by reviewing literature on “politics of fear” and how it articulates fallacious realities, and by investigating real places, reports and news about where terrorists are buried. The review and investigation will question which images about the terrorists’ death are denounced and which are not: Is it the burying areas or cemeteries where the tombstones, if any, have numbers instead of names inscribed—places of disgrace where terrorists disappear wrapped in pig skins? Or is it fear of the dead terrorists because once an individual is a terrorist (s)he is a terrorist in life and death—(s)he is doomed by a terrorist being? Or is it that burying terrorists is a real profound human issue which, if denounced, deviate the unreal superficial “politics of fear” into the realms of truth?
Minerva Nasser-Eddine, Hawke Research Institute, University of South Australia, Australia, The language of terror Australis: an analysis of public discourse concerning terrorism (2001-2005)
This conference paper will track Australian federal government language usage post 9/11 within the realm of national security.
After reviewing Prime Minister Howard’s language, before and after terrorists bombings, on the face of it and on the whole, it presented a measured balanced outlook. While Howard was firm in his defiance and his resolve to apply lethal retribution to the perpetrators, he took some trouble to reassure the Muslim communities in Australia that they would continue to be treated with tolerance and civility. There is little in what Howard said during those critical periods which suggests that he was encouraging or condoning racism and exclusion. It is equally important however to consider what he didn’t say.
Howard shaped public discourse on terrorism through five key messages that were conveyed and communicated to the Australian populace through popular media, particularly talkback radio and commercial TV. In summary the government was: proclaiming the notion of ‘home’ for us, rallying the country to war, upholding the US alliance, explaining terrorism as a perverse response to ‘our way of life’, and calling for tolerance. These messages resonated differently in Australian Muslim and Arab communities as compared to ‘mainstream’ Australia. This paper considers whether the Australian experience was unique or whether discourse in similar Western democracies also generated a climate of fear.
In various ways, each of these messages failed to reassure the overwhelming majority of Australian Muslims/Middle Easterners even though they share a commitment to the Australian nation and the kind of values touted by Howard. Many of these Australians were left thinking that the government was willing to take advantage of the fear of Muslims and Arabs experienced by mainstream Australia.
Trenton Oldfield Independent Scholar, UK, Enclosing fear: the social & political history of fences in contemporary London
Nothing divides more than a fence. One on side is the belief that fences were the key technology that enabled, through the development of private property, the foundation for human civilization, prosperity through the subjugation of nature and advancement of ideas such as community resulting from security, safety and sanctuary. On the other side, fences are experienced as the greatest betrayer of human liberation. The fence’s contribution to the development and perpetuation of capitalism, their essential contribution to creating the spatial necessities needed to murder millions in concentration camps, take away the freedoms of uncharged ‘enemy combatants’ and their role in the division of countries and oppression of citizens by creating real or imaginary boundaries. By studying the unchanged technology of the ubiquitous and often overlooked London fence, an important social and political history of fear can be revealed. The paper would concentrate on the one kilometre Minerva Estate in Bethnal Green.
In 2005 the residents of Minerva Estate, Bethnal Green voted against stitching* their estate into the neighbourhood’s surrounding urban morphology. The architects that proposed this commonly accepted and contemporary logic of making space were sacked by the residents. Residents and the housing association choose instead chose to deploy a 200cm high fence around the entire boundary of the estate. The fence that encloses the estate is just short of one kilometer long. Fences also subdivide the six residential buildings and their accompanying green spaces from each other. The fences prevent anyone but those that mow the lawns from accessing five football field green spaces. Children must enter through three fences to access their fenced in play area. In the process they sacked the architects that proposed establishing a boundary free estate.
The Minerva Estate’s voluntary enclosure, at great social, spatial and economic cost, provides a contemporary case study on the physical and technological manifestation of fear and danger in our cities. Despite no legal requirement for the use of fences a city like London is continually being sub-divided by fences as a result of a catalogue of socio-political narratives and theories centred on the conceptualizations of fear and danger. What are the reasons driving landscape architects, urban designers, playground companies and parks departments to install fences?
The paper will chart the major ideas of fear from the earliest fences in Mesopotamia highlighting how they were carried through the landscape design schools and how they intersected with social and political theories of fear and concepts of danger and conversely long held notions of paradise. The paper will explore the contrast between the contemporary approach to ‘hard space’ that is being de-cluttered, made permeable and accessible while green spaces are being increasingly enclosed. In order to shed light onto the ubiquitous UK railings I will present examples of monumental fences such as the Israeli Government’s Security Fence, The Berlin Wall, Morocco’s Fence and the barbed wire fences of Nazi concentration camps. The Minerva Estate, having refurbished recently provides the opportunity to highlight the contemporary logics behind embodied in the fence, including Risk, Cleanliness, Dirt, Disorder, Deviance, Transgression & penetration, Symbolic power, Openness, Fear, Suspicion, Private property, Bio- power.
Hugh Ortega Breton Roehampton University, UK, Adverse weather conditions? The politicisation of climate change through fear
Britain has an ubiquitous engagement with its weather – ‘weather talk’ is a staple script of inter- personal communication. However, our relationship to the natural environment has changed as a result of growing concern, sometimes expressed as fear, of climate change. This can be seen as symptomatic of a cultural dynamic that expresses concealed concerns about identity and political agency through the representation of fear associated with specific forms of perceived danger. Fear has become a meaningful and resonant frame in current affairs broadly defined due to the objectification of negative risks into dangers (Furedi 1997, Lipschutz 1999, Altheide 2002). Environmental risk is represented through a narcissistic ‘hall of mirrors’ (Lasch 1978); historically- specific social fears are projected onto issues that become fearful anchors of meaning. This paper explores the politicisation of fear through television representations of climate change. Using a Cultural Studies perspective informed by object relations psycho-analysis, it analyses examples that depict future climate change as catastrophe. I will critically evaluate selected examples as symptomatic expressions of broader politico-cultural anxieties about national and individual identity. This ‘psycho-cultural’ approach (Bainbridge & Yates 2007) focuses on the characteristics of what is feared and how we as social actors are represented in relation to dangers. This involves a consideration of the related identities of securitisation (potential victim, persecutor and protector) that these representations portray. The frequency and quantity of television programmes expressing fear of environmental catastrophe also indicates a sublime fascination with our own annihilation – fear is a form of excitement and so entertainment. The success of these programmes is based on textual communicative processes which produce emotional engagements based on the cultural prevalence of risk anxiety and vulnerability. What then is at stake in the consistent representation of possible environmental catastrophe?
Vania Ranjbar, University of Edinburgh, UK, Fear and research responsibility; a compatible duo?
Ethical considerations when conducting research have become increasingly important over the last few decades, particularly since World War II. Academics, ethics committees, and universities in general have a duty to adhere to a number of ethical principles, especially to ensure ethical treatment of human subjects. Universities also have a responsibility to look after its staff and students, as well as its own interests. These two goals typically run parallel and ensuring one poses no difficulties in ensuring the other. Sometimes, however, fear interferes and places these two goals in conflict with one another.
I will use a personal experience resulting from my previous research in psychology as an example to highlight the role of fear in breaches of a number of ethical principles. I will describe how various ‘sub-fears’ such as, for example, fear of obtaining and being in possession of sensitive information/data, fear of taking legal responsibility, fear of ethical responsibility, and fear of foreseeable risks associated with sensitive studies resulted in an overall fear of taking responsibility for conducting difficult or sensitive research. I will further illustrate how these fears caused a university’s breaching of fundamental ethical principles, such as: respect for persons; informed consent; deception; do no harm; and justice. In doing so, I will discuss how the desire to protect can result in, deliberate or unintentional, evasion of responsibility.
Paul Reynolds, Edge Hill University, UK, Politics, fear and longing: politics in the cold climate
We are confronted by an absent presence – a fear and loathing of the political and praxeological articulated through a constant and continuous repertoire of protest, political discourse, information and reportage, issue based participation and celebrations of inclusion, pluralism and diversity. The apotheosis of the cultural turn – cosmopolitanism – has given rise to a political discourse that can be endlessly and repetitively reconstituted and circulated, celebrating cynicism, complexity and contingency.
In this paper I want to explore an argument that claims, notwithstanding the positives in ideas such as cosmopolitanism, participative and radical democracy, multi-culturalism, post- colonialism, liquid life and other such discursive imaginaries, that we fear politics. By we, I mean specifically the intellectuals who conceive its imaginaries, but also the political classes self- interested in it and those who claim to participate in it. I would argue this analysis certainly applies to western societies and most likely relatively developed societies. In order to adduce that fear does not paralyse us and leave us wanting, we participate in the circularity of radical left critiques of the ‘real’ and engage in tracing political imaginaries and their tendencies within contemporary society as a means of engaging in politics. We play our games, elaborate our imaginaries, engage in our struggles and decry the narrowness of traditional politics and the ‘riskiness’ of our enterprises.
Yet there is also a longing – a longing at the edge of the ‘real’ to engage critically with change and transformation. That longing is tempered by its costs. It involves changing lives, physical and messy, sometimes violent, always disruptive and often contradictory and painful. It involves chaos, doubt and the exposing of the wretchedness of the human condition. For this fear and longing – this agony for politics – is a condition of being that is a barrier to becoming through transgression. This paper will explore this argument self-consciously pessimistically, outlining the terms of fear and the possibilities and tendencies for a more fulfilled longing.
Molly Rogers, Writer and independent scholar, UK, ‘No nukes at the dinner table, dear; or, how I learned to stop worrying and love my mom’
The Cold War brought with it our first truly global anxiety: the fear of all things nuclear. Concerns about nuclear weapons, nuclear energy, and nuclear waste have dogged us since the end of World War II, when the destructive potential of the A-Bomb was demonstrated upon the Japanese. Since then we have had the H-Bomb, the Cuban Missile Crisis, Trident and Poseidon, Three Mile Island, Chernobyl, and countless other weapons and events threatening life in starkly horrific ways. The end of the Cold War has not entirely dispersed this nuclear fear, for even as defence contractors see their budgets cut, the toxic waste mounts (and seeps), and ‘rogue’ states, ‘evil’ governments, and terrorists alike seek to lay their hands on nuclear weapons. The Bomb is here to stay, and with it the fear it engenders.
In a paper derived from material gathered for a Cold War memoir, I explore the effects of nuclear fear both on a personal level and more broadly. My mother was an engineer on the Trident and Poseidon weapons programmes from 1976 until her retirement in 1998. Her security clearance was ‘secret’ level, and so my family never discussed her work at the dinner table: in our house we never spoke of nuclear weapons, their effects, or the politics behind them. Such passivity in the face of (seemingly) immanent, ‘mutually assured’ destruction was not uncommon; for many during the Cold War there appeared to be little hope for the future. Yet this dismal and terrifying period of world history engendered a significant change to the way in which we conceive of the future and our place in it, a change that admits a degree of hope even in the face of renewed concerns about nuclear weapons and energy, and a new global fear, that of climate change.
Filiz Tiryakioğlu, Anadolu University, Turkey, Mustafa Özgür Seçim, Izmir University of Economics, Turkey, Usage of fear in political advertisements: the example of Turkey elections
Fear is being used in almost all advertisement types and it is a very effective way to take consumers’ attractivenesses. Political advertisers also use this type in the political campaigns. In this study usage of fear in the political advertisements will be studied by focusing on Republic of Turkey’s elections.
In the first section political advertisement will be defined briefly. Then in the second section, Turkey’s political advertisement adventure will be defined shortly by how the used tecniques changed. And lastly, fear themed political adverstisements from the last years’ campaigns will be analysed with the results of the elections.
Veith Selk, Universität Hamburg, Institut für Politikwissenschaft, Germany, The political production and productivity of fear
According to authors such as Frank Furedi, Benjamin Barber and Stephan Skrimshire, contemporary neo-liberal depoliticization is a result of fear. In this logic, the ubiquity of fear indicates a neo-liberal, depoliticized society and fear is a limiting, anti-political force. But, to the contrary, we are facing a highly politicized society. More and more problems and spheres (the ecosystem, the infrastructure of transport and communication, the economy or private life) tend to be perceived as political problems or become objects of political decisions and non-decisions.
Because we are facing a highly politicized society, the fears which are described, constructed and framed in the mass-media are always potentially political fears. They are a product of political processes and they generate political processes on their part.
What are the consequences and forms of political fear? From an analytical point of view, fear can have, as fear of enemies for example, politicizing consequences and it can have, as a moral panic, shame or atomizing anxiety, depoliticizing consequences. It is not only a destructive, limiting and obstructive, but also a productive agent of modern politics. Therefore I am going to analyse the double sided role of political fear. Fear works as a useful sensor of dangers and is a important part of democratic deliberation and it is a means for ideological manipulation. It is also the dominant emotion of an illiberal or totalitarian society and is it a necessary functional element of every political system. After all fear is a universal feature of political power and domination structures and it is the normative basis and reason for minimizing power and domination in state and economy through human rights and democratic procedures.
This perspective allows to recognize, describe and analyse the deep ambivalence of fear in modern politics.
Hosna Shewly, Durham University, UK, Scars of politics, trans-territorial trap and fear to stand and fight: six decades life line between de facto and de jure citizenship in Cooch Behar Enclaves
This paper explores the dynamics of fear under the condition of statelessness in the enclaves of Bangladesh and India, popularly known as Coochbehar enclaves. In the postcolonial states, a new geography and citizenship practices evolved. Following the decolonisation process in 1947 both India and Bangladesh inherited 130 and 93 enclaves respectively. Accordingly, enclave dwellers’ citizenship was endorsed. Since partition, initiatives to exchange enclaves could not make any breakthrough due to strained bilateral relations between the host countries. Because of enclave’s trans-territorial location, occasional communication with the state and unadministered nature, people living there are almost excluded from their de facto citizenship; however they are surviving with some elements of substantive citizenship from the host country. It is incredible that a climate of fear exists amongst enclave dwellers psyche to stand against such incomplete formal or legal status with no substantive rights. There is a fear to seek due citizenship rights because they do not know who to ask- home country or host country. They do not have any national identity; hence there is a fear of legality. Besides, there is also fear to lose what they have managed technically from the host country through fragile negotiations in their neighbourhood. Hence, this paper explores how does trans-territoriality works as a site for production and augmentation of fear to fight abandonment. In this context, fear is politically constructed and diffused from national to local levels. This paper looks at wider historical, political and social mechanisms, contexts and mediums in this site of fear on the basis of seven months ethnographic study. It also argues that the history of fear in this particular area works as an organising principle of social life for last six decades.
Iain Stewart, University of Manchester, UK, From anti-totalitarian fear to the end of ideology: the congress for cultural freedom, 1950- 1995
The Congress for Cultural Freedom was the controversial international intellectual association established in West Berlin in June 1950 in response to the Soviet Union’s attempted mobilisation of intellectual opinion in the West since the start of the Cold War. Covertly funded by the CIA, the CCF was a counter-propaganda organisation, playing a key role in promoting the discourse of anti-totalitarian fear in the West. Through a series of high profile journals and international conferences it promoted totalitarianism as a key conceptual weapon of the early Cold War, aiming to undermine the USSR’s efforts to pose as a leader of international pacifism and anti- fascism. However, partly in response to the negative publicity generated by the rise of McCarthyism in the USA, the CCF undertook an important change of orientation in the mid- 1950s, shifting from its earlier anti-totalitarian rhetoric towards promoting the notion of the ‘end of ideologies’.
In this paper it will be argued that this tactical change within the CCF casts light upon the wider relationship between the politics of fear that dominated much of the early Cold War and the gradual shift in western societies towards the de-politicisation of politics through its attempted reduction into a series of technical questions regarding the management of economic growth in the 1950s. The influence of the CCF on this process will be demonstrated by examining its growing ties with reformist tendencies within Western European social democratic parties between 1950 and 1959. Special attention will be paid to the links between the CCF and the Social Democratic Party in the Federal Republic of Germany, whose famous abandonment of Marxism in its Godesburg Programme of 1959 was partly informed by the ‘end of ideology’ discourse promoted by the CCF since the mid-1950s.
Mikkel Thorup, Aarhus universitet, Denmark, Ultrapolitics as antipolitics- or the fear of a democratic ‘endless talk’
This paper will explore a critique of an alleged weakness or defect in liberal democracy making it unable to defend itself, namely its tendency to prioritize talk, procedure, tolerance and compromise over action and decision. The purpose of this chapter is to explore different forms of discursive antipolitics as both historical and contemporary expressions of a democracy-critical discourse manifesting itself in crisis situations as the ‘real politics’. These forms of antipolitics substitues what is perceived as weak dialogical politics with a hard form of politics portrayed as the real politics behind the façade of the ‘banal politics’ of normalcy. The analytical distinctions between different forms of antipolitics are meant to substantialize different arguments or rhetorical strategies of the securitist antipolitics. The three forms of discursive antipolitics investigated are 1) militarized antipolitics: the South American military coup blaming the government for being soft on communism and for having degenerated into a debating society rather than an orderly government; 2) securitized antipolitics: the neo-conservative argument for using force and the critique of those standing in the way of military solutions; 3) moralized antipolitics: the idea that Islamism represents a new life threat to the West meriting a third world war response and the critique of liberal appeasers supposedly not up to the challenge. The anti- politics of these securitist critiques, is parallel to what Slavoj Žižek calls ultra-politics, that is an ‘attempt to depoliticize the conflict by bringing it to its extreme, via the direct militarization of politics.’ Ultra-politics forces a unitary commitment on the polity demanding complete immersion into the fetichized nation of loyal, terrorized and therefore quiet and depoliticized citizens.
Evert van der Zweerde, Radboud University, Nijmegen, The Netherlands, “Fear of the political,” or why every political philosopher should read (all of) Carl Schmitt
The name Carl Schmitt is often invoked by political philosophers and their like, especially, though not exclusively, on “the Left”. Mentioning Schmitt often suffices to provoke a twist in the discussion or a “split” of any group of political philosophers: ‘An Carl Schmitt scheiden sich die Geister.’
Chantal Mouffe’s call ‘to think with Schmitt against Schmitt’ [Return of the Political, p.2] can, to my mind, only mean one thing: to apply the concept of the political to Schmitt himself, i.e. to politicize Schmitt, and to show how he himself does not escape the “logic of the political”.
What haunts us in “Schmitt” is not the alleged tendency to “turn everything into politics”, but, I suggest, is the very idea of “order”, which stems, in his case, from a Roman Catholic world-view that rejects, by the end of the day, every dualism [Römischer Katholizismus und politischer Form, p.18].
What ultimately moves Schmitt, arguably, is ‘the political idea of Catholicism’ [op.cit., p.23]. The interesting question therefore is not whether Schmitt was a Nazi or not, but why he joined the NSDAP in the first place. Could it be that Schmitt confronts “us” with the possible consequences of the idea of a “well-ordered society”? If we assume that this idea goes back to the Godfather of Western philosophy, Plato, for whom justice meant “everything in its proper place”, could it then be that he is confronting “us”, perhaps in unprecedented ways, with a tension that is there in Western philosophy from its inception? Could it be that, finally, what annoys “us” in Schmitt, is not the politicization of everything, but, precisely, its radical depoliticization? So that, paradoxically, his position does split into “us” and “them”.
Florian Andrei Vlad, University of Giessen, Germany, Posthumanism and the pestilential body: politics after catastrophe
Speaking to a rapturous Buenos Aires audience, Slavoj Zizek remarked that in our current post- Cold War era it is easier to imagine the end of the world than even a modest change in the global political system. That assertion is certainly vindicated by the prevalence and popularity in recent years of movies, books and other forms of cultural expression that deal with apocalyptic and post-apocalyptic themes, in an age that has been fraught with anxieties over re-defining politics itself and where “post-political” discourses have gained broad ascendancy (with even professional politicians using terms like “politics as usual,” “partisanship” and “politician” as slurs, and an increased focus on “governance” and “management” as surrogates for traditional politics). This paper tackles the issue of posthumanism (“the world’s most dangerous idea” as Fukuyama famously put it) in contemporary American contagion movies (such as Quarantine, Zombieland and Land of the Dead), within the framework of the trope of the plague (understood as a moral and biological crisis, that transforms both the biological body and the body politic). More specifically, the paper looks at representations of the diseased body as a site of political intervention, at the politics of contagion (with both its transgressive and disciplinary implications) and the functions and meanings of posthumanism within the context of a post-apocalyptic “clean slate” (with the utopian and dystopian possibilities it opens up). In addition, I will also address the issue of whether post-apocalyptic scenarios and the fictional constructions of post-human bodies (biological, territorial and social) can serve as a platform for genuinely and unashamedely re- politicized cultural discourse, and I will take into account the aesthetic and ethical dimensions of representing post-human, pestilential bodies.
Stuart Waiton, University of Abertay, UK, Understanding early intervention
The belief that problem kids are made by problem parents is not new, nor indeed is the idea that early experiences in our lives shape the adults we become. Intervention into people’s lives in an attempt to influencing the moulding of individuals also has a long history. One of the factors that has influenced these interventions is fear. Today, the extent to which ever earlier forms of intervention have come to dominate social policy suggests that there is something new about Early Intervention. This paper will explore previous examples of ‘early intervention’ to show what is new and specific about today’s approach to people and policy.
Bryan Wandel, John Jay Institute for Faith, Society, and Law, USA, Memory of the English Civil War in political pamphlets, from the Popish Plot to the Glorious Revolution
After the English monarchy was restored in 1660, the nation was put in the awkward position of admitting not only failure, but criminality. With the restoration of hierarchical order came also a sense of guilt stemming from, in the words of J.G.A. Pocock, “a set of experiences which they had not desired, hated as they have hated nothing else in their history, and found incredibly difficult to explain to themselves.” In this environment of anxiety, fear could be easily aroused from a variety of sources. And so it was, in the period of 1678-1692. This paper explores the nature of two of those fears, memory of the Civil War and anti-Catholicism, in the text and context of printed political pamphlets. Particularly, the salience of each of these two visceral fears will be examined, as they overlap, supercede each other, and relate to actual political events.
It will be seen that the ever-present anti-Catholicism of early modern England surfaced in various ways. While only occasionally touching the political realm, the religious nature of the society demands that we must always be on the lookout for it in this period. Conversely, the memory of Civil War only began to arise, of course, after 1660, and was largely extinguished in 1689. Part of the reason was temporal – the generation that could actually remember these events was dying off – but much of it had to do with the nature of print culture. The question is asked whether memory of the Civil War, in itself, could have played any role at all outside of polemics. Nevertheless, the questions provoked by that memory, through the arguments of the controversialists, gave articulation to political anxieties, which enabled substantial organizational resistance. Thus the relationship of fear to articulation and ideology, under the advent of mass media, will also be touched on in this history paper.
Judith Watson, University of Brighton, Danny Dorling, University of Sheffield, UK, Fear of the other higher education: responses to the Browne Review
The Independent Review of Higher Education Funding and Student Finance, chaired by Lord Browne, is tasked with making recommendations to government on the future of fees policy and financial support for full and part time undergraduate and postgraduate students.
We perform a systematic content analysis of all the submissions made to the Browne Review by individual universities, groups of universities (1994 Group, Million Plus Group etc.), representative bodies (UCU, NUS, UUK etc.), and government agencies. In this we include early versions of submissions, which were posted to the Browne Review website and are thus in the public domain, although some were subsequently removed from the website.
We present the content analysis in the highly visual form of “wordles”, colourful computer- generated diagrams showing the frequency of key words in the documents. These allow participants to see at a glance the preoccupations of the authors of the documents. We also present quotes that emerge from searching for key words in three groups: hardship (“debt”, “hardship”, “poor” and “poverty”), fairness (“equal”, “egalit*”, “equit*”, “fair”, “just”), university status (“research”, “excellen*”).
From the content analysis we suggest that high status HEIs and their groupings and representatives have little to say, except for minimal tokenism, about the prevention of student hardship and poverty, and even less about the effect on poor areas in towns and cities to making students pay for higher education. Instead they adopt a self-serving discourse in order to claim public funding to maintain their own relative privilege. They present themselves as uniquely virtuous in contrast to a constructed Other: the lower status HEIs. Only a few respondents actually address the questions set in the review from the viewpoint of learners, their families and communities.
Hua Wei, School of Law, University of Bristol, UK, Fear as the driving force
This paper is part of a larger legal thesis on the development of a dialogical concept of collective rights, with the specific aim of intermediating culture and international minority rights law. It begins with a brief historical analysis of the political emotion of fear in the Western world. Instead of considering the psychological and political emotion of fear as a reaction to change, which, of course, it is, this paper focuses on its positive role as a driving force behind changes in law, media presentation of cultural minorities, and education, and how changes in these three fields have intertwined and combined to multiply fear in not just the public sphere but also the private arena. A comparative analysis will also be carried out in order to demonstrate why certain aspects of the political emotion of fear develop in different societies with varying intensity, speed and consequences. The aims are three-fold. The first is to show that, in order to break out of the downward spiral, on the theoretical level, we must return to the basics – concepts, and move from concepts to re-conceptualization of many of the ideas upon which law and social policy are built. The second aim is to demonstrate that one fear often has multiple causes originated in seemingly unrelated and distinct fields. Thus, on the practical level, in order to successfully understand and tackle irrational fear, interdisciplinary dialogue and co-operation are vital. The third, related, aim of the paper is to show that fear can be a driving force behind the reduction if not elimination of fear in political and social spheres through facilitation of dialogue and knowledge building.
Aaron Winter, University of Abertay Dundee, UK, Fear of a black president: Obama, white supremacy and terror in America
With the election of Barack Obama as the first African-American president, discussion has focused on the possibility of a post-racial America. Yet on the margins of this America lies two other realities, that of continued institutional racism and socio-economic inequality for African- Americans and that of renewed organised racism and racist violence. In the wake of the election, the Southern Poverty Law Center reported an increase in racist violence, including assassination plots against Obama, mock lynchings and church bombings, as well as growth in far right membership and mobilisation not seen since the 1990s. In April 2009, six months after the inauguration, the US Department of Homeland Security, created in the wake of 9/11 to combat Islamist terrorism and extremism, issued the report Rightwing Extremism: Current Economic and Political Climate Fueling Resurgence in Radicalization and Recruitment, and in November 2009, on the anniversary of the election, the Anti-Defamation League issued the report Rage Grows in America. In response to such developments and warnings, this paper will examine the rise in far right (as well as mainstream right) opposition to Obama in terms of historical fears of black power and ‘socialism’ in the post-war/civil rights/cold war era. It will also examine fears about racist extremism expressed by the state, special interest groups and the public in relation to the existence and fears of racism and extremism in American history (e.g. slavery, segregation and lynchings, Klan bombings and left radicalism in the 1960s, Islamist terrorism and Islamophobia in the ‘war on terror’, etc.) and in relation to the conception of a post-Bush and ‘post-racial’ America under Obama. Finally, the paper will look at how this resurgence of the far right and these fears of a Black president and racist extremism both relate to (and address or fail to address) more structural and political conditions and fears about the declining fortunes of the war on terror, American conservatism, the American economy and of American global hegemony.