Michele Spanò

Sovereign ambiguity: settler colonialism and sovereignty

  • Abstract

Informations and abstract

Keywords: Sovereignty; settler colonialism; governmentality; law; immanence.

This article aims at reframing the role of sovereignty in settler colonialism. While sovereignty is the pivotal concept, along with territory and time, of the settler experiences, it is useful to analyze them introducing the foucauldian concept of governmentality. This should be fruitful both in exploring how settler sovereignty materially and historically operated and in reframing and reshaping indigenous resistance to it emancipating it from its discursive power. The essay draws on a vast amount of literature devoted to settler sovereignty in order to show how the settler sovereign claim, because of its necessary legal translation, has always been exposed to contestations and subversions. A juridical perspective conceiving law both as an ordering technique and as a transformative grammar shows how the settler experience is a special paradigm of neoliberal governmentality and it offers tools to oppose it and to imagine settler socialities otherwise.

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