AAS 2018 Annual Conference

March 22-25 | Washington, D.C.

Marriott Wardman Park Hotel

Deadline for Receipt of All Proposals is August 8, 2017.

Deadline to submit post for this forum is July 31, 2017

The AAS has provided below a forum for individual seeking assistance in connection with submitting a session proposal.

How to use the forum:

If you have a session you would like to propose and need a few more individual to participate - click the Sessions Organizers seeking Participants forum. Next, click 'Add a Topic' or reply to a posted topic

If you are an individual and would like to participate on a session in Washington, D.C. but do not have enough contacts to form a session proposal, click Participants Seeking Sessions. Next, click 'Add a Topic' or reply to a posted topic.

Please make sure to include the following information:

  1. Your name, affiliation and how you would like to be contacted.
  2. The topic of your proposed session or the topic of your paper
  3. The geographic area of study that best represents this topic

Important note for anyone using this forum.  Posting session or paper information here is not a substitution to submitting a formal proposal using the online application form.  It is your responsibility to make sure the organizer of a session receives the information requested and/or your responsibility to ensure the information is submitted in a timely manner.

Sovereignty and Violence
Last Post 18 Jul 2017 04:14 PM by George Lazopoulos. 0 Replies.
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George LazopoulosUser is Offline
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18 Jul 2017 04:14 PM
    Renewed interest in the theorizing of sovereignty and the origins of politics has been building since the mid-1990s, prompted by the destabilization of political borders in the post-Cold War world. Recovering controversial figures like Carl Schmitt and Georges Bataille along with classics like Hobbes and Rousseau, the new sovereignty debates depart from the older consensual, deliberative, contractual models of sovereignty. The new models are ‘agonistic,’ positing society as essentially conflictual and the state as coercive. The new theorists variously locate the origins of politics not in a social contract, but in an event of “foundational violence,” which is later covered over with an ideological fusion of religious cosmology and political institutions. This fusion, many conclude, generates a politically-conditioned vision of reality, according to which institutions are designed and individuals are expected to calibrate their values. This, in very broad strokes, is how sovereignty is currently theorized.

    In the 1950s and 60s, American Modernization Theorists motivated by ideological competition with the Soviet Union looked at the Meiji Restoration as a model of rational progress toward Western-style capitalism and democracy. Virtually ignoring the violence and civil war that gave birth to modern Japan, these foundational studies emphasize smooth transition of power across the Tokugawa-Meiji divide, and global shopping for appropriate constitutional models. Since the 1970s, study of political and institutional subjects like the Restoration declined as “bottom-up” history became prevalent.

    Revisiting the Meiji Restoration from the perspective of the new sovereignty debates will bring needed attention to a neglected subject. Moreover, it offers a novel perspective on modern Japan generally, in that it analyzes the Restoration as a rupture, where conventional scholarship emphasizes continuities through the Tokugawa-Meiji transition.

    Scholarship on the subject of modern Japanese ideology focuses almost exclusively on the apparatus of mass indoctrination, which was constructed in the later Meiji period (1890-1912) and functioned until its abolition by the American occupation in 1945. The genesis and dissemination of Shinto ideology was qualitatively different in this early Meiji period (1868-1890). In order to establish themselves as a sovereign state, the samurai oligarchy who overthrew the government of the shogun in 1868 had first to subdue and gain the consent of the political elite of the old order. This was accomplished through the transformation of violent coercion into ideological authority. The proposed article would analyze this process through a theoretical discussion of sovereignty and the origins of political power.
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