and other individuals with whom they share the experience of being displaced.
She borrows Appadurai’s (1996) label of
‘cultural citizens’ to describe these two groups, given that both rely on
information technology to engage in producing locality that transcends the artificial
boundaries defined by the nation-state. Interestingly, while both netizens and asylum
seekers share this trait, Leung identifies a key difference: netizens, she claims,
receive the nation-state’s endorsement as long as
, then, is that since the end of the Cold War, something comparable has
occurred in the inter-state system. ‘Babel syndrome’ has determined the course of
international relations for almost three decades, and the story has now reached its climax. Let
us explain further.
The basic unit of power in the world system in which we live at the beginning of the
twenty-first century is still the nationstate, with its frontiers clearly delimited and its
sovereignty recognised by other members of the system. This inter-state system was formed in
migration and trade policies, Europeans have increasingly
opted for a closing-inwards of the nationstate, calling into question the viability of the
European project itself. The Brexit referendum, in June 2016, provided a clear example of
Politics on the periphery has taken a similarly illiberal turn, with more violent
consequences. In the Philippines, President Rodrigo Duterte boasts of carrying out extrajudicial
killings and threatens to kill corrupt state officials, and he has launched a bloody war on
drugs, for which he has been
German Responses to the June 2019 Mission of the Sea-Watch 3
something as basic as the right to life) only to fall foul of another set of laws (Italian domestic law). 22 But here the parallels end. For Sophocles, Antigone (rather than Polynices) is the key tragic figure of his play. Rackete would probably point out that the real issue is the drowning of migrants rather than her violation of Italian law.
The comparison is nevertheless useful because it draws attention to the centrality of the idea of civil disobedience and of the notion of a superior law that trumps the laws of the nation-state not only for Rackete, but also for
be mapped out through the embodiments of the sacred, from the body of Christ and its sacred positioning within Christianity, to the body of the hero whose sacrifice was so integral to the modern nation-state, on to the victim, who became the sacred object for liberal rule. 11 However, countering Girard’s mythical assertion that the sacred allows us to domesticate violence by giving immense meaning to life, what we can alternatively say is there would be no possible way to justify any form of political violence without the sacred object and its worldly claims. Just
” and the Patriarchal Order of the NationState: The falsos positivos as a Paradigmatic Example ’, Postcolonial Studies , 24 : 1 , 63 – 81 , doi: 10.1080/13688790.2020.1764267 .
( 2004 ), Doing Research in the Real World ( London : Sage ).
P. J. and
( 2006 ), Sword and Salve: New Wars and Humanitarian Crises ( Lanham, MD : Rowman & Littlefield ).
( 2017 ), ‘ Oil Palm Development and Forced Displacement in Colombia
Hinton , A. L. and O’Neill , K. L. (eds), Genocide: Truth, Memory and Representation ( Durham, NC and London : Duke University Press ), pp. 80 – 110 .
Buur , L. ( 2001 ), ‘The South African Truth and Reconciliation Commission: A technique of nation-state formation’ , in Blom Hansen , T. and Stepputat , F. (eds), States of Imagination: Ethnographic Explorations of the Postcolonial State ( Durham, NC and London : Duke University Press ), pp. 149 – 201 .
Chakravarty , A. ( 2015 ), Investing in Authoritarian Rule: Punishment and Patronage in
How Can Humanitarian Analysis, Early Warning and Response Be
Benjamin J. Spatz
Alex de Waal
to fit the contemporary configuration of the
global political economy ( Spatz et
al. , 2021 ; Spatz,
2020 ; de Waal, 2015 ). The
theory most applies to violent political systems often called ‘fragile
states’ ( de Waal, 2015 ), although
while the fragile state paradigm describes how these systems fall short of the
imagined ideal of the institutionalised Weberian nationstate, the PMF describes how
these countries are actually
unavailable for the Biafrans, perceived not as a self-determination campaign, but as
a secessionist threat: the opponent that was accepted as a sovereign nation-state in
intergovernmental organisations was Nigeria. This was the OAU [Organisation of
African Unity] stance that determined the position of the UN and the wider
diplomatic world, in which Biafra’s campaign could not thrive, even though
the rhetoric of the campaign itself was so similar to decolonisation
Lessons Learned for Engagement in Fragile and Conflict-Affected States
After decades of conflict, an agreement in 2005 set in motion the processes that would lead South Sudan to become an independent nation-state in 2011. After an initial period of optimism, conflict re-emerged; first over control of oil resources in 2012, and then in the form of a civil war, starting in 2013. The conflict has caused the displacement of millions of people internally and internationally as refugees. Compounded by the lack of basic infrastructure and services, limited capacity, and minimal governmental presence outside of Juba