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Reified LifeSpeculative Capital and the Ahuman Condition$
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J. Paul Narkunas

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780823280308

Published to Fordham Scholarship Online: January 2019

DOI: 10.5422/fordham/9780823280308.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM FORDHAM SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.fordham.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Fordham University Press, 2022. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in FSO for personal use.date: 29 June 2022

Human Rights and States of Emergency

Human Rights and States of Emergency

Humanitarians and Governmentality

(p.123) Chapter 4 Human Rights and States of Emergency
Reified Life

J. Paul Narkunas

Fordham University Press

This chapter diagnoses how humanitarian non-governmental organizations are filling a vacuum created ironically by governments outsourcing their governing functions that marks a transformation of the Westphalian order of states by neoliberalism. The proliferation of non-state actors facilitates the politicization of human rights around how to recognize who or what is a human being endowed with natural rights, and who is a terrorist, outlaw, or posthuman. By tracing the connections between human rights and governmentality, human rights advocates must acknowledge their cozy relationship with powerful militaries, which has resulted in humanitarian interventions using the language of rights to justify neocolonial projects that often intensify human suffering. Humanitarianism may function as a deterritorialized form of governmentality that offers a theatrical illusion of protection and security, while undermining their possibilities structurally. Powerful states not only use human rights and humanitarian legitimations for their particularist geopolitical and economic ends, but also direct humanitarian NGOs strategically by proxy for their own interests. In the process the very idea of securing humans becomes instrumentalized as a form of outsourced governance that can be a model eventually for “expendable people” within nation-states.

Keywords:   Brown, Wendy, Humanitarianism, Humanitarian Governmentality, Human Rights, Lawfare, Non-Governmental Organization, Schmitt, Carl, Sovereignty, Stateless, State of Emergency

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