This book claims to be concerned with ‘imagination and fear in the world of contemporary security and capital’ (p. 2). It grounds itself in the Hobbesian problem of the ways in which human capacities for imagination and fear are open to manipulation by states and their political leaderships, and how that problem is manifest amid the contemporary war on terror and crisis of capital. As such it explores the notion of ‘the universal adversary,’ an invention of the project for US homeland security to describe the multiplicity of unknown enemies that—it has been supposed—might possibly attack the United States since 9/11. As the author describes, the concept is a useful way with which to conflate the many disparate sources of imaginable threat to American security, and yet it has apparently not attracted much critical attention. It involves the figure of the terrorist but it is not by any means limited to terror. In effect it is an empty container of a concept into which anything and anyone, potentially, can be thrown—which is, of course, precisely its function. Its nebulousness and flexibility calls into being, we are told, a ‘Universal Police Power, acting in the name of all and claiming power over all in its permanent war against the adversary in question’ (p. 5). As such the book does not simply ask ‘who is the universal adversary?’ but explores the nature of its function in service of the police power of the state as well as capital.
|Julkaisu||Contemporary Political Theory|
|Tila||Julkaistu - 2018|
|OKM-julkaisutyyppi||B1 Vertaisarvioimaton artikkeli lehdessä|
- Kansainvälinen politiikka