Crisis is governance : sub-prime, the traumatic event, and bare life
Brassett, James and Vaughan-Williams, Nick (2010) Crisis is governance : sub-prime, the traumatic event, and bare life. Working Paper. Coventry: University of Warwick. Centre for the Study of Globalisation and Regionalisation. (CSGR Working Papers).
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The article provides a critical analysis of the role of discourses of trauma and the traumatic event in constituting the ethico-political possibilities and limits of the subprime crisis. It charts the invocation of metaphors of a financial Tsunami and pervasive media focus on emotional ‘responses’ like fear, anger, and blame, suggesting that such traumatic discourses constituted the subprime crisis as a singular and catastrophic ‘event’ demanding of particular (humanitarian) responses. We draw upon the thought of Giorgio Agamben to render this constituted logic of event and response in terms of the concomitant production of bare life; the savers and homeowners who became ‘helpless victims’ in need of rescue. We therefore tie the ongoing production of the sovereign power of global finance to broader processes that entail the enfolding and securing of everyday financial subjects. These arguments are illustrated via an analysis of three subjects: the economy, bankers and borrowers. We argue that it was the movement between subject positions – from safe to vulnerable, from entrepreneurial to greedy, from victim to survivor, etc. - that marked out the effective manner of governance, confirming in this process sovereign categories of financial citizenship, asset based welfare, and securitisation that many would posit as the very problem. In short, (the way that the) crisis (was constituted) is governance.
|Item Type:||Working or Discussion Paper (Working Paper)|
|Subjects:||H Social Sciences > HC Economic History and Conditions|
|Divisions:||Faculty of Social Sciences > Centre for the Study of Globalisation and Regionalisation
Faculty of Social Sciences > Politics and International Studies
|Library of Congress Subject Headings (LCSH):||Global Financial Crisis, 2008-2009, Great Britain -- Economic conditions -- 21st century -- Press coverage|
|Series Name:||CSGR Working Papers|
|Publisher:||University of Warwick. Centre for the Study of Globalisation and Regionalisation|
|Place of Publication:||Coventry|
|Status:||Not Peer Reviewed|
|Access rights to Published version:||Restricted or Subscription Access|
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