Biopolitics, Victimage Ritual, and the War on Terror

Friday, 20 July 2018: 08:30-10:20
RC18 Political Sociology (host committee)

Language: English

This session solicits paper presentations that assess from a political sociology perspective the present and future implications of the War on Terror and the tactics of so-called, counter-terrorism.

Possible topics:

-Critique of the WOT as a mode of power and domination, victimage ritual, a tactical response to the biopolitics of empire, the assertion or reassertion of Western hegemony, the dominance of the US power elite in world affairs, political- and neoliberalism.  This can also include the results of research on the election of neofascist regimes in the US and Europe.

-A second possible topic includes the consequences of the WOT on state structures and the future of democracy; cycles of "terror" and "counter-terrorism" and the intensification surveillance and securitization of individuals and populations, deployment militarized police units in response to democratic movements and organized opposition to existing regimes.

-A third possible focus might be on the orchestration by political elites of campaigns of victimage ritual targeting powerless groups, the vilification and scapegoating of outsiders (minorities, refugees and immigrants, and others) as a mode of subjection to achieve power and authority. 

-A final focus of presentations might be the biopolitics of terrorism.  These papers would focus on the  functioning of the knowledge industry and trends in social science theorizing in the field of terrorism research.  We know from past research that experts on terrorism have taken up influencial positions in the "policy planning network" that legitimates counter-terrorism policies.

Session Organizer:
Michael BLAIN, Boise State University, Sociology, USA
Angeline KEARNS BLAIN, Boise State University, USA
Oral Presentations
Mass Shootings, Heroic Actors, and the Competitive Construction of Concealed Firearms on University Campuses
Joseph DEANGELIS, University of Idaho, USA; Brian WOLF, University of Idaho, USA; Terressa BENZ, Oakland University, USA
Progressive Violence: Theorizing the War on Terror
Michael BLAIN, Boise State University, Sociology, USA
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