Claudia Merli
Trudi Buck

This article considers the contexts and processes of forensic identification in 2004 post-tsunami Thailand as examples of identity politics. The presence of international forensic teams as carriers of diverse technical expertise overlapped with bureaucratic procedures put in place by the Thai government. The negotiation of unified forensic protocols and the production of estimates of identified nationals straddle biopolitics and thanatocracy. The immense identification task testified on the one hand to an effort to bring individual bodies back to mourning families and national soils, and on the other hand to determining collective ethnic and national bodies, making sense out of an inexorable and disordered dissolution of corporeal as well as political boundaries. Individual and national identities were the subject of competing efforts to bring order to,the chaos, reaffirming the cogency of the body politic by mapping national boundaries abroad. The overwhelming forensic effort required by the exceptional circumstances also brought forward the socio-economic and ethnic disparities of the victims, whose post-mortem treatment and identification traced an indelible divide between us and them.

Human Remains and Violence: An Interdisciplinary Journal
Open Access (free)
Moving beyond boundaries

Dance has always been a method of self- expression for human beings. This book examines the political power of dance and especially its transgressive potential. Focusing on readings of dance pioneers Isadora Duncan and Martha Graham, Gumboots dancers in the gold mines of South Africa, the One Billion Rising movement using dance to protest against gendered violence, dabkeh in Palestine and dance as protest against human rights abuse in Israel, the Sun Dance within the Native American Crow tribe, the book focuses on the political power of dance and moments in which dance transgresses politics articulated in words. Thus the book seeks ways in which reading political dance as interruption unsettles conceptions of politics and dance.

Open Access (free)
A reminder from the present
Pete Shirlow

how the ideological divisions between Irishness and Britishness continue to be reproduced, despite the supposed evaporation of such discursive constructions. In pinpointing the divisions that remain and those that may reappear, this chapter argues that the capacity exists for sectarian consciousness to spread throughout the Irish body politic. The Irish ‘problem’ remains one of territory, given the existence of a border that acts as a social, constitutional, political and cultural divide. However, the northern problem may become a southern reality. A fundamental

in The end of Irish history?
Open Access (free)
The French human sciences and the crafting of modern subjectivity, 1794–1816
Laurens Schlicht

Laurens Schlicht opens the volume at the moment of the French Revolution, which inculcated a profound sense of moral and political shock within its citizens. Writers within medicine, politics, and the developing human sciences maintained that it had been necessary to inflict this kind of shock in order to dismantle the rigid structures of society and make way for a radically new regime. Sustained metaphors of the medicalised human body, the social body, and the body politic commingled in the critical questions that were raised about the relationship between individuals and their wider social collective, and about the ways in which the passions might be either stirred into action or carefully regulated by external influences. Manifestations of this conscious interaction between medical and political spheres included the emergent psychiatric practice of intentionally shocking patients as a form of therapy, and the evolving instruction of deaf-mute pupils, as schools and asylums provided experimental spaces for controlling and adjusting the passions. In addition to an overt politicisation of the body and its responses to shock and strain, these discussions carried sustained analyses of the medicalised human body, and informed an evolving scientific practice directed towards an essentialised sphere of individuality.

in Progress and pathology

By expanding the geographical scope of the history of violence and war, this volume challenges both Western and state-centric narratives of the decline of violence and its relationship to modernity. It highlights instead similarities across early modernity in terms of representations, legitimations, applications of, and motivations for violence. It seeks to integrate methodologies of the study of violence into the history of war, thereby extending the historical significance of both fields of research. Thirteen case studies outline the myriad ways in which large-scale violence was understood and used by states and non-state actors throughout the early modern period across Africa, Asia, the Americas, the Atlantic, and Europe, demonstrating that it was far more complex than would be suggested by simple narratives of conquest and resistance. Moreover, key features of imperial violence apply equally to large-scale violence within societies. As the authors argue, violence was a continuum, ranging from small-scale, local actions to full-blown war. The latter was privileged legally and increasingly associated with states during early modernity, but its legitimacy was frequently contested and many of its violent forms, such as raiding and destruction of buildings and crops, could be found in activities not officially classed as war.

Open Access (free)
The Algerian war and the ‘emancipation’ of Muslim women, 1954–62

In May 1958, and four years into the Algerian War of Independence, a revolt again appropriated the revolutionary and republican symbolism of the French Revolution by seizing power through a Committee of Public Safety. This book explores why a repressive colonial system that had for over a century maintained the material and intellectual backwardness of Algerian women now turned to an extensive programme of 'emancipation'. After a brief background sketch of the situation of Algerian women during the post-war decade, it discusses the various factors contributed to the emergence of the first significant women's organisations in the main urban centres. It was only after the outbreak of the rebellion in 1954 and the arrival of many hundreds of wives of army officers that the model of female interventionism became dramatically activated. The French military intervention in Algeria during 1954-1962 derived its force from the Orientalist current in European colonialism and also seemed to foreshadow the revival of global Islamophobia after 1979 and the eventual moves to 'liberate' Muslim societies by US-led neo-imperialism in Afghanistan and Iraq. For the women of Bordj Okhriss, as throughout Algeria, the French army represented a dangerous and powerful force associated with mass destruction, brutality and rape. The central contradiction facing the mobile socio-medical teams teams was how to gain the trust of Algerian women and to bring them social progress and emancipation when they themselves were part of an army that had destroyed their villages and driven them into refugee camps.

Open Access (free)
Rex Martin

on, more or less voluntarily, in the face of an unexercised right of emigration), people become members or parts of a particular body politic. The main function of any such body is to create a constitution or form of government and, presumably, there is a consensus (what Locke calls a majority) among the citizens as to where – that is, in what institutions – the main powers of government (legislative, executive, etc.) have

in Political concepts
Kathryn Cassidy

), then in Diyalivtsi narratives of the shameful acts of border crossing can be seen as a collective acknowledgement of the shame of others in creating conditions for the shameful interactions present in border crossings. The feeling of shame does not reveal the ‘truth’ behind these relations; instead we learn only from the ways in which shame emerges in the need to create such discourses. There is an active agency to deny the evident shame in the crossing and to reposition it at a different level and on a different body – the body politic. This consideration of the

in Migrating borders and moving times
Contextual, analytical and theoretical issues
Colin Hay

political, the economic and the cultural are not independent arenas. Accordingly, we should be careful to avoid the implicit theoretical one-upmanship of the claim that politicism is one-dimensional, political–economic explanations are two-dimensional, and that only an integration of the political, the economic and the cultural can provide the ‘complete’ picture – a three-dimensional view (of a, presumably, three-dimensional reality). That having been said, it is equally important to caution against the dangers of politicism and economism, and to suggest that they may be

in Interpreting the Labour Party
Contemporary ‘British’ cinema and the nation’s monarchs
Andrew Higson

concept of ‘the king’s two bodies’, the ‘body politic’ and the ‘body natural’. 9 The body natural is the monarch’s earthly body, the human body, the vulnerable body. The body politic transcends the merely earthly body and is a spiritual state which affords the monarch the divine right to rule and symbolises majesty. The body politic also precisely embodies and therefore represents the nation as a whole, the

in The British monarchy on screen