Archive | Vol. 4/2011 | No. 2
Leanza, Matthias; Terpe, Sylvia; Karakayali, Serhat [Publishing editor]
Editorial / Leanza, Matthias [Autor:in] … – 2011
Leanza, Matthias; Terpe, Sylvia; Karakayali, Serhat
The history of what is to come : on the historicity of the future in the aftermath of Luhmann and Foucault
This article raises the question: to what extent does future itself have a history? In reviewing the theories of Niklas Luhmann and Michel Foucault, modal time (past, present, future) will be deontologized and attributed to the operations of an observer. Luhmann’s discussion of Edmund Husserl’s Phenomenology of Inner Time Consciousness and Michel Foucault’s critical appraisal of Immanuel Kant’s Transcendental Idealism provide arguments for a temporalization of time. Hence the historical semantics and political technologies involved in the construction of future horizons become of major interest.
The future of things : imaginings of accidents and safety
This article examines cultural imaginings of the accident, understood as aesthetic forms of coping with both the accident’s structural imperceptibility and the impossibility of its representation. By distinguishing between the normal and statistically expected accident on the one hand, and the absolutely improbable accident on the other, this paper discusses the way in which causal relations and their latency can be observed and reconstructed through different narrative structures. While the improbable accident seems to invoke animist notions of the ticklish object, the blurred relations of causality extend to the future and enact new concepts of security such as the ‘precautionary principle’.
Conflicting temporalities : law in times of risk
Drawing on Niklas Luhmann’s systems theory, this article approaches the legal exception through an analysis of conflicting temporalities. According to Luhmann, each subsystem of society possesses a specific mode of relating to past and future events. Law has a specific temporality that is characterized by its orientation to the past: it deals with deeds done in light of laws already set in place. Luhmann suggests that considerations of future risks are at odds with the temporality of law. Following this idea, it will be argued that future orientated measures such as preventive detention and the doctrine of preemptive warfare introduce the legal exception into law itself. Both cases exhibit different rationalities of relating to an uncertain, potentially threatening futures that collide with law’s proper temporality. Whereas preventive detention relies on the 19th century idea of the probable crime as incorporated into a ‘dangerous individual’, the preemptive strike thrives on the post-probabilistic anticipation of the unexpected. Both measures indicate the erosion of law’s capacity to sustain an indifferent attitude towards the future. Consequently, both measures thwart law’s retroactivity, albeit in different ways. They articulate a counter-legal temporality within law – and thereby disrupt the legal system.
“You can’t argue with security.” : the communication and practice of everyday safeguarding in the society of security
Through ethnographic encounters and interviews in English middle-class neighbourhoods and institutions, such as schools or the police, Katharina Eisch-Angus traces the concepts of ‘safety’ and ‘security’ concentrating particularly on their associations with the idea and practice of ‘community’ and the ways in which they are disseminated within everyday realities. Emerging systems of governmental control gain an irrefutable persuasiveness by coupling the necessity of safeguarding private spheres with public security demands and by referring to a mentality of personal civic responsibility and charity. In everyday narratives and on-going public debates – from issues of health and safety, or neighbourhood crime, to the threat of paedophiles – suggestive fear and everyday experience, reason and absurdity interlock, whilst also opening up space for resistance and alternative decisions.
Planning without risk: New Orleans and the reconstruction after Katrina
This paper deals with ‘planning’ and ‘prevention’ as two logics or rationalities of recovery planning. A brief case study on recovery planning in New Orleans in the aftermath of hurricane Katrina has shown how, in a situation of destruction, disorientation and uncertainty, recovery planning was intended to create the impression of a reliable framing for individual decision making on return and reconstruction. Here, planning appeared as pro-active design, with flood prevention as a necessary and centrally assessable element. However, in the course of time and within a number of successive planning processes, it was precisely the attempt to model New Orleans’ future on a centralized, expertise- driven approach of reconstruction that provoked strong criticism. Consequently, dynamics shifted from expertise-centered recovery planning to a more de-centralized mode that stressed citizen participation, ‘lay knowledge’ and inclusion, re-defined what New Orleans should look like in the future, as well as the role and the meaning of ‘(flood) prevention’.
National debt, constitution and the prevention of revolution: Friedrich Buchholz and the beginning of social science
From within the environment of the Prussian reforms at the beginning of the 19th century, Friedrich Buchholz developed the social-scientific concept of Zukunftspolitik, which deals with the constitutional safeguard of public credit and the prevention of destructive revolution through targeted political reforms. In contrast to political romanticism (Adam Müller and others), Buchholz orients himself not toward the English system of representation, but toward the French model, to combine revolutionary popular sovereignty with representative government. Using the example of English public debt in the 18th century, he develops the political dialectic of materialist necessity and arbitrary contingency. Whereas sovereignty without representation in the maintenance of public credit inevitably leads to Jacobin Terror, parliamentarian representation without sovereignty leads to, in the English model, a general state of war. Europe’s future, according to Buchholz, thus depends on the reform of English Parliamentarianism.
[Rezension von: Christina Altenstraßer, Gabriella Hauch, Geschlecht – Wissen – Geschichte] / Holme, Hannah [Autor:in] – 2011
[Rezension von: Kenneth B. Moss, Jewish renaissance in the Russion revolution] / Türk, Lilian [Autor:in] – 2011