Call for Papers for edited volume titled: 'Character's Deception: Statesman or the Politics of Liminality'
Call for Papers Date:
'Character's Deception: Statesman or the Politics of Liminality' will be a new edited volume forming part of the 'Contemporary Series on Mimetic Revival' edited by Agnes Horvath and James B. Cuffe as part of the Special Editions published by the Journal of International Political Anthropology. This volume will be edited by John O'Brien and Agnes Horvath.
Political theory has long given attention to the phenomenon of crises, being preoccupied with revolutions, wars or any unstable and dangerous situations like international emergencies that have negative effects on stability. Everything that is unexpected and creates uncertainty belongs to this category. However, crisis leadership has not returned to the forefront of politics proper. This volume argues that these developments justify a new approach to politics, complementing the interest in charismatic leadership of the statesman that draws on the work of Max Weber. While charismatic leadership can develop out of crises, from the temporary suspension of order, the awareness that situations of crisis are not always and necessarily resolved for the better, that there is no guarantee of the successful transformation was studied by anthropologists and mythologists. Key to such unsuccessful transitions from disorder to order is the role of 'deception'. One salient characteristic of deception is that it predatory, content in the suspension of the normal way of life and the removal of cohesion in the realm of politics, seeking to hammer down every self-support. As a result, the regeneration between social and politics is broken, which leads to an inflationary technological growth of power over society, easily slipping out of control.
We ask for papers that elaborate how crisis politics can be linked to liminal situations at the societal level, and discuss how two types of crisis leadership, linked to the charismatic figure of the statesman and tricksters, can emerge out of liminal moments.
Modern politics, it is generally assumed, is concerned with rationality and interests, being based on the will of the people as expressed and codified by the law; this is where one can situate the essence of modern representative democracy as well. However, it has also become evident for the best students of modern politics that any threat to the social and the political was also profoundly influenced by the successful mobilization of sentiments, characteristic in particular of mass movements. As a result the concept “charisma” was coined and developed on, trying to capture the forces that intrude into human affairs in times of crisis. But the proper understanding of the liminal phenomenon of crisis came from another discipline, from anthropology proper, where its transformative power was recognized through the tripartite structure of rites of passage (Van Gennep 1960, Turner 1967, 1969). Liminality, as various studies of rites of passage have demonstrated, is a temporary situation where initiands become as if possessed by a power that literally evacuates their senses, causing the loss of identity, occasionally even madness, in a liminal state when everything that is concrete is left behind. From this perspective the trickster can be characterized as an anthropological and historical marker of crises that is prolonging the pain present in crises, politicizing suffering in order to generate imitative processes. This is the way the trickster is destroying, playing with excess, and enacting a new circle by confounding ways of thinking. In this way the schism is not healed, but is rather used as an occasion to generate submission into further and further schisms – a technique that represents the fundamental rule of every technological device to influence, manipulate and transform things, by splitting identities and eventually reconstructing them into a new mutated entity, without ever exhausting itself in reproduction.
Submissions should conform with standard Harvard referencing style, with an upper word count limit of 9,000. For queries please email John O'Brien at email@example.com
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