chapter  1
17 Pages

States of emergency, modes of emergence

Critical enactments of ‘the people’ in times of crisis
WithAthena Athanasiou

This chapter explores the possibility of figuring a break with the present order(ing) of things, by asking what it is that mobilizes radical social imagination in the times of neoliberal governmentality. This 'break' with the logics and logistics of crisis is about an interrupted and undecidable attentiveness, or a spacing, which inscribes an openness-to-come; and which constantly pushes toward the not-yet-here. The chapter explores current neoliberal governmentality as a distinct assemblage of power, knowledge, and subjectivation. Neoliberal governments use the ever-present emergency of crisis, with all its accompanying affective apparatuses of fear and insecurity to legitimize the necessity to take action in the direction of managing uncertainty and establishing a new and secure normality. As crisis management turns into a crucial mode of neoliberal governance through a political and moral economy of life itself, at the same time, new radical movements are emerging in different parts of the world as well as different topologies where these movements are being performed.