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International Politics and Film

International Politics and Film: Space, Vision, Power

Series: Short Cuts
Copyright Date: 2014
Pages: 144
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  • Book Info
    International Politics and Film
    Book Description:

    International Politics and Filmintroduces readers to the representational qualities of film but also draws attention to how the relationship between the visual and the spatial is constitutive of international politics. Using four themes -- borders, the state of exception, homeland and distant others -- the territorial and imaginative dimensions of international affairs in particular are highlighted. But theis volume also makes clear that international politics is not just something 'out there'; film helps us better understand how it is also part of everyday life within the state -- affecting individuals and communities in different ways depending on axes of difference such as gender, race, class, age, and ethnicity.

    eISBN: 978-0-231-85059-9
    Subjects: Film Studies, Political Science

Table of Contents

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  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-iv)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. v-vi)
    (pp. vii-viii)
    Sean Carter and Klaus Dodds
    (pp. 1-20)

    InSyriana(2005), CIA agent Bob Barnes (George Clooney) is sent to the fictional Middle-Eastern state from which the film takes its title. A complex thriller is constructed around the murky world of inter-state relations, corporate greed and the everyday lives of those caught up in the attempts of more powerful agents to exert some kind of control over energy resources. In this sense the film nicely captures much of what we are interested in exploring in this book, for we take ‘international politics’ to not just refer to the most dramatic instances of inter-state conflict (such as war) but...

  5. 2 BORDERS
    (pp. 21-42)

    Borders, as John Agnew has reminded us, are integral to the making of the nation-state (2008). The modern nation-state’s evolution depends in large part on clearly delineated borders. Various technologies of the state, such as passport and citizenship laws, help to regulate and identify the limits of such states. Borders demarcate notions of the ‘national’ and ‘international’ and other distinctions between the ‘citizen’ and the ‘alien’. They also serve as both ‘bridges’ and ‘barriers’, which in turn regulate the movement of people, ideas, goods and, as many governments now acknowledge, terrorist networks. The border and accompanying border zones are usually...

    (pp. 43-64)

    According to the Italian philosopher Giorgio Agamben, ‘the state of exception, which was essentially a temporary suspension of the rule of law on the basis of a factual state of danger, is now given a permanent spatial arrangement, which as such nevertheless remains outside the normal order’ (1998: 169). By drawing upon the work of Michel Foucault and Carl Schmitt, Agamben contemplates a bio-political structure of sovereign power. This ‘state of exception’ is theorised as being enabled by the sovereign who possesses the power to suspend the law and establish at the same time a new legal-judicial order with a...

    (pp. 65-82)

    Following the pioneering work of the Palestinian-American scholar Edward Said (1978, 1994), it is now commonplace to claim that the non-Western world has been central to the articulation and reproduction of Western identities. Said’s examination of ‘Orientalism’, that is British and French representations of the Middle East, remains hugely significant in shaping our understanding of how the West, especially those countries with substantial imperial portfolios, encountered ‘others’. Specifically, Said contended that the Middle East and its inhabitants were routinely depicted as backward, mysterious and/or exotic while set against the modern, developed and progressive West. An entrenched hierarchy of places, people...

    (pp. 83-102)

    The word ‘homeland’ has become increasingly important in the post-9/11 political lexicon, often with xenophobic and racialised implications as well as gendered connotations that merge the private home with the national homeland. At the heart of the politicised discourses of homeland are a series of ideas concerningwhobelongswhere; whether that refers to the ‘place’ of women in the familial home, the perceived threat of the Islamic ‘other’ in Western towns and cities, the role and status of migrant labourers in the advanced economies of the West, or the role of Western militaries in the homelands of others. In...

    (pp. 103-110)

    In this book, we have used a variety of films to help us think through how the spaces of international politics, whether at the border, within the homeland and/or in relation to distant others, is represented, embodied and experienced. If film has a power to represent and to move us, it is precisely because it can animate and narrate the spatial locations and encounters that make ‘international politics’ possible. As we have shown, our sense of international politics is not one restricted to the diplomatic and political worlds of government officials and their leaders. It is not one tied only...

    (pp. 111-114)
    (pp. 115-120)
  12. INDEX
    (pp. 121-128)