National University of Ireland Galway
In this multi-disciplinary conference we wish to think through the imbrications of violence, space, and the political. Given that our present conjuncture is one constituted by innumerable sites of apartheid, exclusion, oppression, and indeed, resistance(s), such an interrogation is both crucial and potentially productive in re-thinking questions of power and radical politics. In this zeitgeist the contingency of hitherto relatively stable configurations of power have been rendered visible through the failing allure of liberal democratic politics and the dislocation conjured by, among other things, its attendant ‘spectral dance of capital’ (Žižek, 2008). A void has been rift from which a plurality of discourses have proliferated that seek to address this moment of crises by either caging/bounding or expanding the social. That is, at stake in many contemporary political projects currently gaining traction is the redrawing of frontiers, the very bounds of inclusion and exclusion – from international borders and multilevel governance, to the remaking of frontiers within existing polities. Violence/antagonism, in various iterations, is central to the (re)inscription of these frontiers (Laclau and Mouffe, 1985). Not only evident in ostensibly bellicose projects that seek to uphold, contest, or expand regimes of power through violent struggle, violence is imbricated in an other, perhaps more foundational or ‘originary’ sense (Arendt, 1963; Derrida, 1990). The redrawing of boundaries reconfigures differential relationships of power and propriety, which designate who has the right to speak sovereignly in a given space, who is a worthy and noble victim, and who is not, who is differentially exposed to systemic, symbolic and subjective forms of violence, whose life is ‘grievable’ and whose is not (Butler, 2009). By keeping the question of the spatial in view, both its making and breaking, we keep a focus not only the concrete practices of disruption, the democratic potentialities of space (Dikeç, 2015), new forms of liberation, domination, and property, but also the various spatio-political imaginaries that guide them.
Prof Mustafa Dikeç (Ecole d'Urbanisme de Paris and Malmo University)
Dr Mark Devenney (Co-Director CAPPE, University of Brighton)
School of Political Science and Sociology
National University of Ireland, Galway