Open access report on Drone Strikes in Afghanistan

ImageA new report published finds that despite Afghanistan being the most heavily drone-bombed country in the world, the reporting of air strikes is far less comprehensive than in other theatres.

Commissioned by Remote Control, a project hosted by Oxford Research Group, The Bureau of Investigative Journalism’s report Drones in Afghanistan: A scoping study assesses the feasibility of using open-source materials to track drone strikes in Afghanistan, modelled on its existing databases of drone strikes in Pakistan, Yemen and Somalia.

The report found that drones are playing an increasingly important role in Afghan air campaigns in recent years (in 2011 drones fired 5% of all missiles fired in air strikes, by 2012 this had risen to 18%). It also found that an increased reliance on drones after the US drawdown this year is expected for counterterrorism operations in the country.  Drones now account for a third of all civilian deaths in Afghan air strikes but little is known about the details of these strikes.

The research concludes that media reports would not be sufficient as a primary source to develop a full record of drone strikes, but instead would require networks of local contacts to compile additional data, along with urging the military forces involved to release their own data. Despite these challenges, the report stressed the vital importance of developing a database of strikes in Afghanistan.

Read the report here.

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Foucault’s Last Decade – Update 12

Update 12 After what has felt like a long break from working on this book, I’ve begun writing again. Some of this was during a recent trip to Ghana.

The first part of Chapter Six looks at the collaborative projects Foucault was involved with through his Collège de France seminars and his involvement with CERFI in the 1970s. I discuss four projects. The first was work conducted at CERFI, also involving Deleuze and Guattari, on into urban infrastructure and related themes, which led to the book Les équipements du pouvoir by Lion Murard and François Fourquet. The second is the collective work Les machines à guérir (aux origines de l’hôpital moderne) published in 1976 and then reissued in 1979. The third is a study Foucault edited entitled Politiques de l’habitat (1800-1850) from 1977. The fourth is a study of the ‘green spaces’ of Paris. These projects are important, I think, for moving Foucault’s interests beyond institutions to the wider society, and for beginning his thinking on questions of governmental practice. I’ve written about these projects before, using the archive of his papers at IMEC, and so it was mainly a question of reorganizing material into the form for this book. We tend to have a vision of Foucault largely as a solitary individual author, but that is at least partly due to the lack of translation of his collaborative works and writings by his colleagues.

The second part of this chapter discusses the two ‘governmentality’ courses – 1978’s Security, Territory, Population and 1979’s The Birth of Biopolitics. I’ve written about these courses, especially the first, before because of the direct relation of Foucault’s concerns to my previous work on the history of territory. I have no wish to repeat that argument again in this book. Instead I’ve concentrated on the discussion of the Christian pastoral in the first course, and the emergence of homo oeconomicus in the second. There is an extensive literature on these courses already, but I hope I’ve said something worthwhile about them: principally because I try to find the continuity of concerns and the links to other material, rather than see them as a completely discrete project. The pastorate is particularly important to the account I am giving, especially as it provides the basis for the third course on governmentality, Du gouvernement des vivants – forthcoming in translation as On the Government of the Living.

There were lots of other pieces that needed to be weaved into this story – Foucault gave a sequence of lectures and interviews in Japan in 1978 immediately after the first course, only some of which are in English and all of which are fascinating; there are the discussions with historians in L’impossible prison; the ‘What is Critique?’ lecture at the Société française de philosophie from May 1978, but only published in 1990 and hence not in Dits et écrits; and the Tanner lectures at Stanford, ‘Omnes et Singulatim’ from October 1979. I still need to decide how to treat the journalism on Iran.

The next chapter will discuss Du gouvernement des vivants (1980) and 1981’s Subjectivité et vérité alongside the newly translated 1981 Louvain lectures Wrong Doing, Truth Telling and other material from that time, along with the US lectures of 1980-81, now mostly collected in L’origine de l’herméneutique de soi (see here and here).

You can read more about the Foucault’s Last Decade project, along with links to previous updates, here.

Posted in Books, Felix Guattari, Foucault's Last Decade, Gilles Deleuze, Michel Foucault, Writing | 2 Comments

Special Issue on Ranciere

stuartelden:

Special issue of Space and Polity on the work of Jacques Ranciere

Originally posted on Path to the Possible:

sp_special_issue

Just out: a new special issue of Space & Polity on the thought of Jacques Ranciere and how it might be useful for political action today. I edited the special issue, which includes articles by:

Erik Swyngedouw:
Where is the political? Insurgent mobilisations and the incipient “return of the political”

Mark Davidson and Kurt Iveson:
Occupations, mediations, subjectifications: fabricating politics

Paul Hanson:
Cleveland’s Hough riots of 1966: ghettoisation and egalitarian (re)inscription

Mark Purcell:
Rancière and revolution

Kate Booth and Stewart Williams:
A more-than-human political moment (and other natural catastrophes)

You can find more information, and abstracts, here.

My article, which argues that we need to augment Ranciere with Deleuze and Guattari’s political thought, is available free to the first 50 people who ask for it, which you can do here.

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Geographies of peace

stuartelden:

Geographies of Peace collection from IB Tauris.

Originally posted on geographical imaginations:

News today from I.B. Tauris of a new collection edited by Fiona McConnell, Nick Megoran and Philippa Williams, Geographies of peace:

Geographies of peaceFrom handshakes on the White House lawn to Picasso’s iconic dove of peace, the images and stereotypes of peace are powerful, widespread and easily recognizable. Yet if we try to offer a concise definition of peace it is altogether a more complicated exercise. Not only is peace an emotive and value-laden concept, it is also abstract, ambiguous and seemingly inextricably tied to its antithesis: war. And it is war and violence that have been so compellingly studied within critical geography in recent years. This volume offers an attempt to redress that balance, and to think more expansively and critically about what peace means and what geographies of peace may entail. The editors begin with an examination of critical approaches to peace in other disciplines and a…

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What is neoliberalism?

stuartelden:

Some thoughts on neoliberalism by Jeremy Crampton, quoting Robin James, via New APPS. Also a call for an interesting session at the next AAG.

Originally posted on Open Geography:

robinjames (@doctaj) on neoliberalism:

I want to hone in on one tiny aspect of neoliberalism’s epistemology. As Foucault explains in Birth of Biopolitics, “the essential epistemological transformation of these neoliberal analyses is their claim to change what constituted in fact the object, or domain of objects, the general field of reference of economic analysis” (222). This “field of reference” is whatever phenomena we observe to measure and model “the market.” Instead of analyzing the means of production, making them the object of economic analysis, neoliberalism analyzes the choices capitalists make: “it adopts the task of analyzing a form of human behavior and the internal rationality of this human behavior” (223; emphasis mine). (The important missing assumption here is that for neoliberals, we’re all capitalists, entrepreneurs of ourself, owners of the human capital that resides in our bodies, our social status, etc.) [3] Economic analysis, neoliberalism’s epistemontological foundation, is the attribution…

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Guattari, Felix 2012 Schizoanalytic Cartographies, reviewed by Thomas Jellis

stuartelden:

Thomas Jellis reviews Felix Guattari’s book Schizoanalytic cartographies at the Society and Space open site.

Originally posted on Society and Space - Environment and Planning D:

Cartographes schizoanalytiquesThomas Jellis reviews Felix Guattari’s book Schizoanalytic cartographies, Bloomsbury, London, 2012,

Schizoanalytic Cartographies is an ambitious and thought-provoking book that provides a detailed exposition of Guattari’s version of schizoanalysis, a form of analysis that he extracts from the debris of a reductionist psychoanalysis. As part of this approach, Guattari looks to “minimize the use of notions like those of subjectivity, consciousness, significance … as transcendental entities that are impermeable to concrete situations” (page 23) and instead provides an array of terms which he offers as instruments for a speculative cartography.

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Peter Sloterdijk, You Must Change Your Life reviewed by Eduardo Mendieta

Sloterdijk-YouMustChangeYourLife3Peter Sloterdijk, You Must Change Your Life reviewed by Eduardo Mendieta at NDPR.

Posted in Eduardo Mendieta, Peter Sloterdijk | 4 Comments