But there is an alternative reading, and closer analysis demonstrates how the relationship between the post-structural and the post-colonial can be read as the . I was asked to write a short article on 'poststructuralism' with reference normal view of the relationship between readers and texts, in which readers popular with the artists and architects of postmodernism – because, in a. To elaborate the insights of poststructuralism/postmodernism, the article starts off by inspired Critical Theory to Gramscian IR and postcolonialism—the development of Art/museums: International relations where we least expect it.
Furthermore, the implicit assumption underlying such analyses of power is the view that the subjects who are caught in relations of power are autonomous, moral agents Hindess, Consequently, questions about the exercise of power become entangled with questions of legitimacy and consent. Moving away from juridico-political models of power and questions about sovereignty and legitimacy, Foucault distinguishes relations of power from other types of force relations such as exploitation and domination.
Foucault suggests that power is not something that is possessed by preexisting entities such as an individual, a state, or a social class, but designates a social relation, which is characterized less by a confrontation between two adversaries or their mutual engagement than an interplay of nonegalitarian and mobile relations.
Power exists only when exercised within this relation. Rather than obstructing, power produces by structuring the possible fields of action.
Such a conceptualization of power requires attending to the micro-physics of power technologies designed to observe, monitor, shape, control the behavior of individuals operating in a multiplicity of institutional settings.
This aspect of power relations provides the basis for differentiating them from other types of force relations, which are characterized by an asymmetrical relation within which the subordinated has little room for maneuver.
In the case of such subordination, Foucault argues, what is stake is not power, but violence. In his analysis, Foucault identifies different practices of power. Sovereign power is the power over death.
- New Materialism and/or Post-Structuralism
In modernity, sovereign power gets supplanted with other relations of power—disciplinary power and biopower. While disciplines form the individualizing moment in the exercise of power, biopower is totalizing in that it takes as its object the mass of coexisting beings.
The emergence of biopower constitutes a shift in the mechanisms of sovereign power. They challenge disciplinary boundaries by taking to task the discursive limits of the discipline constructed in the language of modern social sciences, which presumes a unity between natural and social sciences and the possibility to distinguish between facts and values Smith,p.
They deny a strict separation between the subject who knows from the object that is known and problematizes the assumption that there can be a universal scientific language that allows the external world to be described in a detached manner Campbell, International Relations theory is regarded as a specific, privileged site that contributes to the production and reproduction of dominant interpretations of the world, hence, as constitutive of particular understandings of global life in terms of the binary logic of sovereignty and anarchy, inside and outside at the expense of others.
In his seminal work, for instance, R. Walkerp.
Any mode of thought. In his deconstructive reading of—what he terms as—the paradigm of sovereignty, Ashley elaborates on how these three phenomena fuse into each other for both historical and epistemological reasons in modernity. Situated within the broader discursive and political agenda of modernity, sovereignty becomes the nodal point where reasoning, autonomous Man, who is invested with the capacity and the will to emancipate humankind, fuses with the sovereign political community the modern state as the locus of political life.Siting Translation History, Post Structuralism, and the Colonial Context
This narrative proscribes a political life amid an anarchical world of Otherness where the discourses of danger work toward domesticating political life by policing the limits, the boundaries of identity, of political possibility and ethical responsibility as it demarcates the self, secure inside, from the other, the dangerous outside Ashley, ; Walker, They deny the state functional unity or priority over other relations of power Kalyvas, Put differently, rather than treating the state as an a priori, ontological given, they investigate how the sovereign state is produced as a cohesive, purposive actor through the ongoing dynamic processes of statecraft.
They explore the ways in which the enactment of various domestic and foreign policies produce particular understandings of the state and constitutes the identity of the self.
Always a work in progress and never a finished product, the state is thus constituted through practices that code and discipline boundaries and produce identity. While the relation between identity and foreign policy constitutes an important area of investigation, there is no uniform understanding of the representation of difference, of the other, the outside in the constitution of the self, the identity, the inside. For instance, for scholars like Campbell, discourses of danger are central to securing state identity and legitimizing state power.
Shifting the focus away from geopolitical forms of othering between the inside and the outside, yet others focus on the temporal forms of othering in the constitution of the self Diez, Making central the idea that violence is constitutive of modern subjectivity and modern political freedom is a lethal affair Dillon,they examine strategic and security discourses to expose the ways in which the modern state constitutes political life as militarized life Campbell, ; Chaloupka, ; Klein, Informing these analyses is the idea that politics in modernity derives from an ontology of violence occasioned by a certain understanding of political subjectivity.
On the one hand, taking violence as the ultimo ratio of politics, the basic subject of modern political thought is posited as the subject of violence. On the other hand, the subject of modern politics—the autonomous reasoning subject—is a violent political subject whose features, according to modern political thought, bring him into conflict with other men. Given that the political subject of violence is a reasoning subject, the complicity of reason in the violence of the political subject cannot be elided.
What this diagnosis implies is that modern political reason not only cannot provide adequate tools to understand and address political violence, but that as a rationality of rule it is not immune to it. Rather than being an objective condition to be addressed and remedied through state action in order to safeguard its subjects, security is revealed as a form of political subjection, as a political technology of rule. In her analysis of food crisis and the problem of hunger, Jenny Edkins elaborates the ways in politics in modernity devoted to securing life is tantamount to the technologization and hence de-politicization of politics Edkins, Her analysis reveals the ways in which the framing of famine through discourses of modernity de-politicizes hunger and how it should be combated by prioritizing technical solutions through abstract analysis and the formulation of general principles.
Such an approach merely reinstates and reproduces the form of politics that has produced the famine in the first place. Drawing on Paul Virilio, for instance, James Der Derian places new technologies of simulation, surveillance, and speed at the center of his analysis and investigates the way in which these new forces and the discursive practices surrounding them transform the nature of international relation and it central practice—war.
According to Der Derian, new technological practices give way to novel forms of mediation between states through the discursive power of chronopolitics and technostrategy. The postmodern practices of war, Der Derian argues, transform from being spatial to being temporal and perceptual phenomena.
Rather than focusing on the ways in which technological innovations transform warfare, Julian Reid draws on Foucault to develop a biopolitical critique of the contemporary War on Terror.
According to Reid, the modern liberal project of solving the problem of war entails exercising power over life directly. But there are also important figures such as Manuel De Landa and Elisabeth Gross, as well as Karen Barad, that have been highly influential.
Parikka then narrates how he has been involved in organising the 1st conference on new materialism New Materialisms and Digital Culture and the second one in Utrecht, where this year the 5th one is held in Barcelona. He states that all had a strong link with the gender issues agenda.
Poststructuralism and Postmodernism in International Relations
The political stakes are different in this respect than for instance in OOO, where the latter wants to denounce the link with poststructuralism more. In new materialism however, and mostly within the arts and humanities studies, there is a focus on thinking outside the linguistic and the representational. There is a focus on visual performativity and ethnographic work with artists for instance.
There has also been an international discussion deriving from science and technology studies, i. Here the focus is on ontologies that are material. New materialism is involved in rereading traditions and through them engages in a reiteration of what other methodologies we have.
New materialism misses a black feminist link with the postcolonial and black studies however, Parikka argues, following Sara Ahmed, traditions which all also have a long link with the material and which we need to engage with. Parikka concludes that the alignments that define the feminist new materialisms are a continuation of Deleuze and Foucault through political engagement.
If we talk about specific locations, Parikka argues, then we need to mention the Utrecht school of gender studies. It has to do with knowledge production and epistemologies and how these are equipped to deal with the economy, the political, ecology, crisis, technology etc.
Jacques Rancière: Poststructuralism, postcolonialism, postmodernism
How can practices of knowing be reconceptualised in this respect? How do you develop concepts from the material, in a kind of Latourian bend? Parikka also mentions media archaeology and German media theory.
Kittler and Ernst are important examples here, for instance the way in which they have studied archives as technical material platforms. German media materiality fits in with some of the points raised by new materialism but does not have a strong feminist agenda however.
Parikka argues the importance in new materialism of the idea of constructing knowledge from material, technological and institutional practices. The notion of cultural techniques as discussed in Theory, Culture and Society, is important here.
We need to understand key concepts in the humanities through their key links to technology and machines. When it comes to materiality we need to think beyond the human body towards things that are escaping our phenomenological ideas of the body and the sensational. We need to focus more on non-objects such as waves and frequencies too. And how can we for example extend notions of materiality outside media before things are media?
The idea of new materialism is based on the idea that we already had all kinds of materialisms such as in Marxism. There is a material shifting here from the Marxist means of production etc. Here the focus is on the non-representational, the living and acting bodies that are not restricted by materiality.
The other focus is on how new materialism relates materiality to new media etc. But matter is dynamic, meaning does not only come about when we project it on matter.
Matter matters, matter is dynamic, or, as Jane Bennett has argued, matter is vibrant. The question of agency and of political agency is important here too. Barad explores the idea of intra-agency, of matter as dynamic in this respect. How does this complicate political possibilities? New media, he argues, create new practices, but also new metaphors which get employed in different contexts.
Franklin has therefore explored the genealogy of the computer metaphor and its influence on labour and the political economy. He talks about Italian theorists such as Lazzarotto, Virno and Negro and concepts such as immaterial labour and cognitive capitalisms. Here the human is reconceptualised as an information processor. The social work becomes a communications network.
He talked about Babbage and proto-computing machine metaphors.