Maureen Kelleher

James Baldwin’s arrest in Paris in December 1949 gave birth to his perfect storm. His ten days in Fresnes jail weakened him physically and emotionally. He made it out, but upon release he was mired in self-doubt and enveloped in a bout of depression. He returned to his hotel, ready to try to get back to his life, however daunting that effort would be. The hotelier’s demand that he settle his bill, and do it quickly, awakened his obsession with suicide. He simply could not handle one more obstacle in his path; he chose to kill himself in his room. Ironically, he saved his life when he jumped off a chair with a sheet around his neck. In a matter of seconds his death wish was replaced by his equally obsessive need to write, witness, think, party, drink, challenge, and love.

James Baldwin Review
Open Access (free)
The Politics of Infectious Disease
Duncan McLean and Michaël Neuman

The 1577 Oxford trial of Rowland Jenks for the dissemination of ‘Popish’ books was not unusual for the period. Large crowds attended the proceedings and the bookbinder was duly condemned – comparatively lightly given the context of religious fervour and persecution – with his ears being either removed or nailed to the local pillory depending on the source. While Jenks survived the ordeal, many of the trial attendees were less fortunate. With deaths from ‘jail fever’ vastly

Journal of Humanitarian Affairs
Author: Sara De Vido

The book explores the relationship between violence against women on one hand, and the rights to health and reproductive health on the other. It argues that violation of the right to health is a consequence of violence, and that (state) health policies might be a cause of – or create the conditions for – violence against women. It significantly contributes to feminist and international human rights legal scholarship by conceptualising a new ground-breaking idea, violence against women’s health (VAWH), using the Hippocratic paradigm as the backbone of the analysis. The two dimensions of violence at the core of the book – the horizontal, ‘interpersonal’ dimension and the vertical ‘state policies’ dimension – are investigated through around 70 decisions of domestic, regional and international judicial or quasi-judicial bodies (the anamnesis). The concept of VAWH, drawn from the anamnesis, enriches the traditional concept of violence against women with a human rights-based approach to autonomy and a reflection on the pervasiveness of patterns of discrimination (diagnosis). VAWH as theorised in the book allows the reconceptualisation of states’ obligations in an innovative way, by identifying for both dimensions obligations of result, due diligence obligations, and obligations to progressively take steps (treatment). The book eventually asks whether it is not international law itself that is the ultimate cause of VAWH (prognosis).

Open Access (free)
Postcolonial governance and the policing of family
Author: Joe Turner

Bordering intimacy is a study of how borders and dominant forms of intimacy, such as family, are central to the governance of postcolonial states such as Britain. The book explores the connected history between contemporary border regimes and the policing of family with the role of borders under European and British empires. Building upon postcolonial, decolonial and black feminist theory, the investigation centres on how colonial bordering is remade in contemporary Britain through appeals to protect, sustain and make family life. Not only was family central to the making of colonial racism but claims to family continue to remake, shore up but also hide the organisation of racialised violence in liberal states. Drawing on historical investigations, the book investigates the continuity of colonial rule in numerous areas of contemporary government – family visa regimes, the policing of sham marriages, counterterror strategies, deprivation of citizenship, policing tactics, integration policy. In doing this, the book re-theorises how we think of the connection between liberal government, race, family, borders and empire. In using Britain as a case, this opens up further insights into the international/global circulations of liberal empire and its relationship to violence.

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)
Jenny Edkins

tower and the lack of official response. His case is reminiscent of the prosecution of Abacus Bank in the aftermath of the 2008 financial crisis: a small Chinatown neighbourhood bank in New York City that was the only commercial bank brought to trial for mortgage fraud after the financial crisis.76 In that case, the bank was acquitted, and the prosecution criticised for having picked on someone who was, in the title of a documentary about the case, ‘small enough to jail’.77 In the case of the Grenfell inquiry, the justice that relatives, survivors and residents seek

in Change and the politics of certainty
Steve Sohmer

, insinuations, and/or connotations is hardly a new-found pastime. Close readers were the bugbears of writers of plays, prose and poetry during William Shakespeare’s working lifetime as likely they were in Chaucer’s and Euripides’. There is ample evidence, including vociferous complaints by Shakespeare’s colleagues, their prosecutions and jailings, that their literary productions were

in Reading Shakespeare’s mind
Nazima Kadir

a number of radical left causes – a connoisseur of “scene points,” and has been jailed numerous times for non-instrumental acts of bravery. During actions in particular, he exhibits an unflinching confidence in the face of danger where others may show fear. He speaks his mind refreshingly, criticizing squatters who attend meetings high or drunk whereas others feel uncomfortable and remain silent. When I interviewed him, he articulated thoughtful opinions on his motivations to squat as a protest against the

in The autonomous life?
Philip Nanton

political electioneering taking place on the island. Rennie also starts a new relationship. She is arrested and thrown into jail with an American acquaintance, Lora, who seems to be more involved with and knowledgeable about the illicit events and the society. The story suggests that Lora dies in jail as a result of a number of rapes and beatings by guards while sharing a cell with Rennie. Atwood’s heroine

in Frontiers of the Caribbean
Tony Fitzpatrick

, respectively, Conservative and Labour Home Secretaries are obvious. By 2002 England and Wales had a higher proportion of its population in jail than China, Saudi Arabia or Turkey, the second highest rate in the EU behind Portugal (Travis, 2002). And although this is still only one-fifth of the rate of incarceration to be found in the USA, it nevertheless represents a similar trend towards a punitive individualism in the context of unjust social inequalities (Christie, 1994; Reiman, 1998). Second, there has been a preference for targeting repeat offenders and for zero

in After the new social democracy