CfP Governance, Governmentality and the State: Postcolonial, Queer and Feminist Interventions

Organized by Nikita Dhawan, Gundula Ludwig, Birgit Sauer and Wolfram Schaffar. Held 17th & 18th November 2016, University of Vienna.

Postcolonial-queer-feminists are caught in an ambivalent, double-bind vis-à-vis the state: On the one hand, the state has historically been the source of racial, sexual and gendered violence and repression. And yet, postcolonial-queer-feminist strategies seek to address the state to promote justice and equality through progressive policy-making and good governance in the economic, political and social spheres. Even as the state is known to perpetuate racial, gender and heteronormative politics, the hope is that the state can function as a site of redress towards racial, gender and sexual equality.

Due to the impact of globalization, states are undergoing processes of dynamic and radical transformation. These processes have been dubbed as erosion, internationalization and transnationalization of the state. In the course of this transformation, the characteristics of the state with regard to the reproduction of inequalities based on gender, sexual orientation, race, and class seem to undergo concomitant changes, which are not always easy to grasp.

In some areas of the globe, progressive and active state intervention seems to succeed in mitigating inequalities. In other parts, marginalized groups have gained access to mainstream society through processes of the weakening of the state in the wake of neoliberal transformation. However, one also witnesses a steep intensification of racism (European migration policy), sexism (new conservatives in Russia, Turkey, Thailand, Egypt) and homophobia (Russia, Uganda) accompanying the transformation of the state.

Despite the problematic track-record with regard to racial, gender and sexual politics of all nation-states, whether European or non-European, it is dangerous to disregard the immense political implications of anti-state positions. If subjects are not simply governed but are made governmentalizable, then the challenge is to constitute a state capable of addressing the needs and aspirations of its vulnerable citizens. The workshop explores theoretical perspectives that can address these ambivalences and discusses strategies and tactics that explore how the state can function as a motor of undoing global inequality and injustice.

Please submit abstracts (max. 350 words) and a short bio-note (max. 100 words) by 30th of June 2016 to: Verena.Kettner@univie.ac.at

A limited number of travel bursaries for applicants from the global South might be available. Please motivate your application for travel funding in a short accompanying letter (max. 300 words).

As only limited seats are available please register with verena.kettner@univie.ac.at