TQ Chāt | # 6

Apr 2014

Chinese and Pakistan border guards at Khunjerab PassPhoto Credit: Anthony Maw

Chinese and Pakistan border guards at Khunjerab Pass
Photo Credit: Anthony Maw

Get into the home stretch of the week with Tanqeed’s sixth bi-weekly reading list!

Micheal McQuarrie alerts us to what happens when political participation is funded by Wal-Mart, the pharmaceutical industry and the World Bank. “We are interested in participatory contexts and trajectories. We ask: who is interested in participation? Who funds it? What do they get out of it?”
And for those with access to YouTube (and those in Pakistan with proxies), Ananya Roy takes on microfinance for its transformation of “third world women” into an asset class for first world investment.

Read Tanqeed’s Editor-in-Chief Madiha Tahir’s excellent piece on technophilia and the fetishization of law in the drone debate!

Rubina Saigol brilliantly summarizes the cession of progressive and liberal political spaces in Pakistan. “[L]iberalism is the political face of conservative politics. Liberal states conceal and mask the inequalities and hierarchies of a class society which is why those at the bottom of the hierarchy fail to support liberalism… [L]iberals have failed to challenge neo-liberal policies that play havoc with the lives of workers, women and peasants. The singular focus on challenging dominant national narratives, led to the failure to question the dominant global ideologies that seek to re-colonise the globe economically.”

Costas Douzinas takes a look at the theoretical contradictions at the heart of human rights discourse, and argues that “in their paradoxical linkage of symbolic openness and ethical determinacy, human rights can become the post modern formulation of the principle of justice.” In another wonderful piece, he examines the concomitant identity formation prompted by human rights discourse, and the inadequacy of a regime of law “to meet the demands for the full recognition of the postmodern self with its polymorphous desires and complex desires for recognition as a unique individual.”

And after a decade of post September 11th torture, and repeated assertions of it being incompatible with liberal values, Ali Riza Taşkale places torture firmly in the technology of the liberal state. “Liberalism con­sists of various in­ter­re­lated so­cial re­gimes, which, al­though said to be com­mitted to ‘peace-​making’, is nev­er­the­less also com­mitted to vi­ol­ence, per­manent state of emer­gency, and con­stant pre­pared­ness for per­petual war. Seen in this light, war, vi­ol­ence and so­ciety are mu­tu­ally con­stitutive and the lib­eral way of war is ‘a war-​making ma­chine whose con­tinuous pro­cesses of war pre­par­a­tion prior to the con­duct of any hos­til­ities pro­foundly, and per­vas­ively, shape the lib­eral way of life’. The main ob­ject of the lib­eral way of war is life it­self be­cause it is what threatens life it­self. Thus ‘everything is per­mitted’ to the lib­eral way of war.”

Rustin Zarkar’s wonderful article takes a look public murals and beatification in Mashad to highlight the complexities of the Iranian government ignored in Western coverage. “Municipal politics around beautification programs reveal the complexity of governance in Iran and shatter illusions about the monolithic nature of the Iranian state. By exploring how local actors express often-contradictory opinions about the nature and future of Iranian cities, a fuller picture of modern life and politics in Iran emerges — one that highlights the diffuse nature of power and local decision-making in the Islamic Republic.”

 – ن۔م۔راشدؔ کی مشہور نظم “کون سی الجھن کو سلجھاتے ہیں ہم؟” نعمان شوق کی آواز ميں سنئيے

– اور اوون بینیٹ جونز کشمیر ميں بھارتی خفیہ ایجنسیوں کے درميان زندگی کی ايک جہلک پيش کرتے ہيں

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