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
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
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
Resilience and the Language of Compassion
Diego I. Meza

the root of the evolution of humanitarianism. From this point of view, humanitarianism could be seen as a biopolitical regime that combines, depending on the context, various technologies of power, some forms of violence and discourses of human rights, suffering and charity. Traditionally, humanitarianism has been playing a leading role in the proliferation of non-governmental organisations (NGOs). Its various functions have been the rescue of wounded civilians in war, assistance to refugees and displaced persons and the transmission of information against

Journal of Humanitarian Affairs
Open Access (free)
Governing Precarity through Adaptive Design
Mark Duffield

resulting from the systemic urge to deepen automation at a time of 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

Journal of Humanitarian Affairs
Open Access (free)
Brad Evans

awaits its realisation. Hence, despite the impotence of violence, that doesn’t mean to say it cannot be put into service to reproduce or create entirely new regimes for political power and bio-political control. Violence is not simply negative. It conditions the possibility of political rule, setting out in the clearest ways the lines of belonging and expendability, the force that’s always measured versus the plight of the damned. This is why violence can so easily be accommodated by the technocratic wisdom of a progressive mind. We are governed, as Foucault noted, by

Journal of Humanitarian Affairs
Open Access (free)
Writing about Personal Experiences of Humanitarianism
Róisín Read
Tony Redmond
, and
Gareth Owen

, S. ( 2011 ), ‘Humanitarian Sex: Biopolitics, Ethics, and Aid Worker Memoir’ , Australian Literary Studies , 26 : 2 , 43 – 56 . Cain , K. , Postlewait , H. and Thomson , A. ( 2006 ), Emergency Sex (And Other Desperate Measures): True Stories from a War Zone ( London : Ebury Press ). Friesen , I. ( 2016 ), The Experiential Core of the Humanitarian Vocation: An Analysis of the Autobiographical Narratives of Contemporary Humanitarians ( PhD thesis , University of Kent ). Polman , L. ( 2010 ), War Games

Journal of Humanitarian Affairs
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
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
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.