Thinking through Political Subjectivity

In: African Diaspora
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  • 1 a Max Planck Institute for the Study of Religious and Ethnic Diversity, Göttingen, Germany a Institute of Social and Cultural Anthropology, Martin-Luther-Universität Halle-Wittenberg, Germany
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In the introduction to this special volume the editors focus on the analytical value of “political subjectivities” in emergent social fields that are characterized by multiple diasporic overlaps. They emphasize the central role played by various forms of governance in producing, confirming and contesting politics of transnational incorporation and diasporic participation and consider how these political projects often target members of historically differently situated groups. In particular, they draw attention to moments of exclusion and non-incorporation. The analytical concept of political subjectivity helps to understand how people relate to governance and authorities. It denotes how a single person or a group of actors is brought into a position to stake claims, to have a voice, and to be recognizable by authorities. At the same time the term points to the political and power-ridden dimension within politics of identity and belonging, encompassing the imaginary as well as the judicial-political dimension of claims to belonging and citizenship.

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