Speakers: Zygmunt Bauman, Didier Bigo, Michael Dillon
In the wake of the 9/11 attacks, worries over public safety and security became a central issue across the world. The subsequent crisis that broke out in 2008 in the USA and gradually spread in Europe initiated a protracted period of global slump and distressed views on political representation, for example the Occupy movement, the Indignados, or, more recently, uprisings in Greece, Turkey, and Brazil, to name but a few. In these instances, fear about environmental sustainability, economic stability, or social exclusion has permeated the public discourses, creating a strong narrative of an immanent threat, or, uncertainty about the future. These expressions of uncertainty and dissatisfaction are more than mere signs of insecurity. They are attempts at managing, dealing with and manipulating anxiety. The official political discourse aims to identify various different objects of anxiety and secure populations from them (a number of ‘new security threats’ such as the environment, uncertainty, natural disasters etc.); while the political subjects’ responses to the times of anxiety is somewhat different. Some embrace anxiety and see it as a possibility of a radical change in the existing political discourse, others strive to overcome it and seek security. Thus anxiety profoundly questions how we conceive of politics. From classical political action to a different sense of belonging and societal reactions, such as artistic expressions, but also religious ones, what is at stake when anxiety becomes the driving force of politics? This conference aims to engage with the implications anxiety as a phenomena spread across society, personal life, as well as global, regional, and local levels, has on our every day socio-political reality.
The fee for the whole conference, including lunches and coffee breaks will be £120 for regular attendants and £80 for postgraduates. Bursaries towards accommodation and travel will be available.
If you are interested in attending please register as soon as possible, so that we can make all the arrangements necessary. After May 9th, a late registration fee will be applied.