Yehonatan Alsheh

1 The biopolitics of corpses of mass violence and genocide Yehonatan Alsheh Introduction For the past four decades, students of biopolitics have been probing why the spectacular growth in the application of technologies and policies that aim at the optimization of human life has been articu­lated with a parallel proliferation of human death. Various studies have been suggesting many objects or sites that are arguably highly symptomatic of the issue at hand – a privileged epitome of the biopolitical quandary. The most famous of these is the camp that Giorgio

in Human remains and mass violence
Admir Jugo and Senem Škulj

International interventions in Bosnia and Herzegovina, that ultimately brought the war to a standstill, emphasised recovering and identifying the missing as chief among the goals of post-war repair and reconstruction, aiming to unite a heavily divided country. Still, local actors keep,showing that unity is far from achieved and it is not a goal for all those involved. This paper examines the various actors that have taken up the task of locating and identifying the missing in order to examine their incentives as well as any competing agendas for participating in the process. These efforts cannot be understood without examining their impact both at the time and now, and we look at the biopolitics of the process and utilisation of the dead within. Due to the vastness and complexity of this process, instead of a conclusion, additional questions will be opened required for the process to keep moving forward.

Human Remains and Violence: An Interdisciplinary Journal
Claudia Merli and 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)
Governing Precarity through Adaptive Design
Mark Duffield

declining profitability ( Smith, 2017 ). Within a post-social world, risk and security have been individuated. Compared to the normative welfare systems of the past, a new disaggregated and personalised biopolitics has emerged. If biopolitical regimes could be likened to animal species, the welfare state catered for the herd. Today, it is the turn of the predator . 4 Rather than share risk, there is a new emphasis on individual responsibility. In the global North, the downturn has spawned a narcissistic culture of bodily fitness, healthy

Journal of Humanitarian Affairs
Methodological approaches

Mass violence is one of the defining phenomena of the twentieth century, which some have even called the 'century of genocides'. The study of how the dead body is treated can lead us to an understanding of the impact of mass violence on contemporary societies. Corpses of mass violence and genocide, especially when viewed from a biopolitical perspective, force one to focus on the structures of the relations between all that participates in the enfolding case study. Argentina is an extraordinary laboratory in the domain of struggle against impunity and of 'restoration of the truth'. It constitutes a useful paradigm in the context of reflection on the corpses of mass violence. Its special character, in the immediate aftermath of the military dictatorship, is to test almost the entirety of juridical mechanisms in the handling of state crimes. The trigger for both the intercommunal violence and the civil war was the mass murders by the Ustaša. This book discusses the massacres carried out by the Ustaša in Croatia during the Second World War. After a brief presentation of the historical background, the massacres carried out by the Ustaša militia and their corpse disposal methods are described. Using Rwanda as a case study, the book proposes an agenda for ethnographic research to explore the relationship between concealment and display in contexts of genocide. This relationship is explored in detail after a discussion of the historical background to the 1994 genocide.

Open Access (free)
Finn Stepputat

. Whereas the cemetery looms large as the site where modern (biopolitical) states have sought to contain dead bodies and separate them effectively from the living, this part opens with a counterimage to the (double) containment of dead bodies in the soil of the cemetery. Benedikte Møller Kristensen writes about ideas and practices of ‘open-air burials’ among the Duha in Mongolia that involve the opposite of containment, namely the dispersal of the dead body as it is left to be eaten by animals in the wilderness; a sort of nomadic territorialisation as it were. Framed by

in Governing the dead
Open Access (free)
Deaths at sea and unidentified bodies in Lesbos
Iosif Kovras and Simon Robins

were born in Greece but the family had decided to return to Syria some years before. Their deaths could have been avoided had a new Greek citizenship law – relaxing criteria for the acquisition of Greek citizenship to children of immigrants born in Greece – been implemented (Christopoulos 2012).2 The two girls could have legally entered the country as Greek citizens, instead of risking their lives to cross the militarised border illegally. These three deaths reflect the biopolitical power of the two key instruments of contemporary sovereign states, namely control

in Migrating borders and moving times
Open Access (free)
The tales destruction tells
Élisabeth Anstett and Jean-Marc Dreyfus

’s Commissariat for Internal Affairs) in Moscow in 1926, before the development of the ovens commissioned for Auschwitz-Birkenau in 1943,16 or the death flights developed in the Bay of Algiers during the Algerian War of Independence and adopted by the Argentine military during the dictatorship as one of the safest ways to dispose of the bodies of political opponents. In light of the complexity of the process of producing mass death, the concepts of hygienic biopolitics and the immunization of the body politic, as defined by Robert Esposito, may be of more help than the simple

in Destruction and human remains
Simon Mabon

he who decides on the exception’.25 Schmitt’s thought posits the 13 The politics of sovereignty and space 13 state of exception as a paradigm of government that, as Agamben later suggests, ‘has today reached its full development’.26 Building upon Schmitt and Foucault  –​along with others including Hannah Arendt and Walter Benjamin  –​Agamben’s Homo Sacer project is grounded in biopolitics, concerned with the organisation and control of human life through the governance power of the state. Ultimately, it is an approach concerned with inclusion through exclusion

in Houses built on sand
Open Access (free)
Duncan Wilson

scientists, imbued through professional training and the acquisition of specialist knowledge.20 As previous chapters have shown, and as Nikolas Rose outlines, ‘multiple forces now encircle’ the work of doctors and scientists, and bioethicists are widely expected to help ‘shape 258 The making of British bioethics the paths taken, or not taken’ by research.21 The public demand for bioethics also substantiates Brian Salter’s claim that the late twentieth century has witnessed the growth of a ‘cultural biopolitics’, where bioethicists do not directly control bodies or

in The making of British bioethics