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Bodies of ViolenceTheorizing Embodied Subjects in International Relations$
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Lauren B. Wilcox

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780199384488

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: December 2014

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199384488.001.0001

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Bodies, Subjects, and Violence in International Relations

Bodies, Subjects, and Violence in International Relations

(p.17) 1 Bodies, Subjects, and Violence in International Relations
Bodies of Violence

Lauren B. Wilcox

Oxford University Press

Chapter 1 provides a reading of how the subject of International Relations has been theorized in relation to human bodies and violence. The chapter argues that bodies have been problematically understood in liberal humanist terms as individual, material objects, preexisting politics, that house sovereign subjects. Furthermore, contemporary practices of violence are constituted not only in reference to sovereign power, as most IR theory assumes, but biopower as well. Biopolitical practices of violence call our attention to the question of how bodies are constituted as objects and what the parameters and possibilities for embodied subjectivity are. Compared to International Relations, feminist theory has been much more attentive to questions of embodied subjectivity related to power and violence. Engaging with feminist theorists, the chapter provides a conceptualization of a body politics that understands bodies as produced by, and productive of, social and political relations.

Keywords:   International Relations theory, liberalism, violence, bodies, subjectivity, feminism, biopolitics

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