Max Planck Institute for the Study of Religious and Ethnic Diversity, Göttingen, Germany
Institute of Social and Cultural Anthropology, Martin-Luther-Universität Halle-Wittenberg, Germany
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.
BiehlJ.GoodB.KleinmanA., 'Introduction: Rethinking subjectivity', in J. Biehl, B. Good and A. Kleinman(eds), Subjectivity. Ethnographic investigations, (University of California Press, Berkeley, Los Angeles, London2007) 1-23.
CollierS.J.OngA., 'Global assemblages, anthropological problems', in A. Ong and S.J. Collier(eds), Global assemblages. Technology politics and ethics as anthropological problems, (Blackwell Publishing, Oxford and London2006) 3-21.
CrowleyJohn, 'The politics of belonging: some theoretical considerations', in Andrew Geddes and Adrian Favell(eds), The politics of belonging: Migrants and minorities in contemporary Europe, (Ashgate, Aldershot1999) 15-41.
DormanS.HammettD.NugentP., 'Introduction: Citizenship and its casualties in Africa', in S. Dorman, D. Hammett and P. Nugent(eds), Making nations creating strangers. States and citizenship in Africa, (Brill, Leiden2007) 3-26.
FischerM., 'Epilogue. To live with what would otherwise be undurable: Return(s) to subjectivities', in J. Biehl, B. Good and A. Kleinman(eds), Subjectivity. Ethnographic investigations, (University of California Press, Berkeley, Los Angeles, London2007) 423-446.
FraserN., 'Soziale Gerechtigkeit im Zeitalter der Identitätspolitik. Umverteilung, Anerkennung und Beteiligung', in N. Fraser and A. Honneth(eds), Umverteilung oder Anerkennung? Eine politisch-philosophische Kontroverse, (Suhrkamp, Fankfurt/Main2003) 13-128.
NguyenV.K., 'Antiretroviral globalism, biopolitics, and therapeutic citizenship', in S.J. Collier, A. Ong and Aihwa(eds), Global assemblages. Technology politics and ethics as anthropological problems, (Blackwell Publishing, Oxford and London2005) 124-144.
RutherfordB., 'Shifting grounds in Zimbabwe: citizenship and farm workers in the new politics of land', in S. Dorman, D. Hammett and P. Nugent(eds), Making nations creating strangers. States and citizenship in Africa, (Brill, Leiden2007) 105-122.
The Gender and Cultural Citizenship Working Group, 'Introduction. Collectivity and comparativity: A feminist approach to citizenship', in K.L. Caldwell(ed), Gendered citizenships: transnational perspectives on knowledge production political activism and culture, (Palgrave, London2009) 1-15.
Van DijkH.FoekenD.DickVan TilK., 'Population mobility in Africa: An overview', in M. De Bruijn, R. Van Dijk and D. Foeken(eds), Mobile Africa. Changing patterns of movement in Africa and beyond, (Brill, Leiden2001) 9-26.
WerbnerRichard, 'Introduction: Postcolonial subjectivities: The personal, the political and the moral', in Richard Werbner(ed), Postcolonial subjectivities in Africa, (Zed books, London & New York2002) 1-21.
According to Isin and Turner (2007) it was Baruch Spinoza who introduced the idea that citizen means to ‘enjoy advantages’ and the term subject refers to obeying ‘ordinances and laws’ (Spinoza 1958: 285 quoted in Isin and Turner 2007: 6). In this understanding a person who is a citizen is at the same time a subject. See also the title of Mahmood Mamdani’s book Citizen and Subject (1996).
See Blackman et al. (2008) and Reckwitz (2008) for comprehensive overviews of the different strands of theorization.