Association for Political and Legal Anthropology
Oral Presentation Session
Freedom as the dominant value in Europe and the Americas (the "West") will be addressed and its connection with the history of slavery. Specific attention will be directed to the works of such scholars as Agamben, Buck-Morss and Orlando Patterson. The concepts of bare life and social death will be critically examined in the context of the history of slavery and its significance for the force of the processes that attach to freedom as value. The paradoxes contained in a slavery/freedom dialectic will be explored in relation to contemporary state transformation (the movement from nation-state orders to corporate state assemblages). In this process new forms of slavery and enslavement will be considered with particular reference to contemporary crises in democratic political systems and the emergence of populism.