Global Subjects: A Political Critique of Globalization
February 2008, Polity
Bayart argues that globalization is something that we ourselves
have created, and the nation-state is actually a product, and not
of a victim, of this process. Far from being synonymous with
alienation and social disintegration, globalization establishes
transnational solidarities and networks which overlap with
nation-states without necessarily undermining them. Globalization
has also refashioned sexual identities, transforming, through the
representation of female and male bodies in the media, in
advertising and in the Internet, the way individuals in different
parts of the world have learnt to recognize themselves as sexual
subjects. It has created new cultures of consumption which
stimulate new desires, new techniques and technologies of the body
and new forms of tension and conflict.
Drawing on Foucaults notions of governmentality and
subjectivation, Bayart develops a rich and illuminating account of
how the social relations constitutive of globalization produce new
forms of subjectivity, new lifestyles and new moral subjects, from
the colonisers and colonised subjects of nineteenth-century India
and Africa to the spread of new kinds of transnational and
ethnicized subjectivities and lifestyles today.
Spanning two centuries and drawing on his deep knowledge of Africa and the Middle East, Bayart shows that, if globalization is our handiwork, its development and thus our history will be decided on the contested terrains where new ways of life, new modes of consumption and new types of struggle are being invented.
Chapter I Two centuries of globalisation: the changing scale of State and capitalism.
The limits of globalisation.
Globalisation: a concept and an event.
The foundational 19th century.
Globalisation: two or three things that we know about it.
Chapter II The State, a product of globalisation.
The dead man’s reprieve.
The privatisation of States as a principle of hybridization and straddling.
The transnational production of national memories.
Frontiers, smuggling and State formation.
A very national ‘international civil society’.
Transnational crime in the service of the State.
The transnational ferment: the latest proofs.
Globalisation, the motor of State formation.
Chapter III The social foundations of globalisation.
The transnational historical fields.
The global web of social relations.
Globalisation as networking?
Chapter IV Globalisation and political subjectivation: the imperial moment (1830-1960).
A point of method.
Colonisation as experience of subjectivation.
Extraversion and coercion in imperial subjectivation.
Chapter V Globalisation and political subjectivation: the neo-liberal period (1980-2004).
Global social institutions and political subjectivation.
The diffuse social practices of global subjects.
The ‘human types’ of globalisation: main roles and American stars.
The ‘human types’ of globalisation from below: the importance of the bit players.
Globalisation: nation-state and individuation.
Chapter VI The global techniques of the body.
Merchandise and subjectivation.
The globalisation and appropriation of merchandise.
Merchandise and the reinvention of difference.
Merchandise and political subjectivation.
Globalisation in movement.
The globalisation of gestures.
The senses of globalisation.
The world in movement.
The global political techniques of the body.
Conclusion When waiting is an urgent matter.
Globalisation as a liminal condition.
Plenum and void in global governmentality.
Notes to Preface.
Notes to chapter 1.
Notes to chapter 2.
Notes to chapter 3.
Notes to chapter 4.
Notes to chapter 5.
Notes to chapter 6.
Notes to conclusion.
- A major new book on globalization by one of the leading and
most highly regarded political scientists in France
- Bayart is very well-known for his work on Africa and in this
book he uses this breadth of knowledge to develop a fresh
interpretation of globalization and its consequences
- Bayart is the first person to use Foucault’s theories of
governmentality and the subject to analyse globalization. This will
make the book unique and of great interest
- Bayart focuses on how globalization has produced new forms of
subjectivity, new lifestyles and new moral subjects, from the
colonisers and colonised of 19th C Africa and India to the spread
of consumerism and advertising today
- Develops a new approach to globalization which challenges both neoliberalism and the anti-globalization movement
-- Arjun Appardurai, The New School, New York
“Bayart’s special way of mixing vivid examples from
all over the globe with daring theoretical interpretations breathes
new life into the concepts of globalization, governmentality and
subjectivation. Irony and perspicacity combine beautifully in this
book. With great panache he shows that our everyday practices are
part and parcel of an emerging global governmentality. We may feel
that globalization is something that happens to us but in many
respects we are deeply involved in its making. The message is
clear: globalization is us.”
-- Peter Geschiere, University of Amsterdam
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