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Naming the dead and the politics of the ‘human’

Lloyd, Moya (2017) 'Naming the dead and the politics of the ‘human’.' Review of International Studies, 43 (02). pp. 260-279. ISSN 0260-2105

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The summer of 2014 saw several campaigns to name the dead of Gaza. This article aims to explore these initiatives through the idea of the ‘human’; understood both in terms of grievability, as a life that matters, and as a ‘litigious name’ employed by subaltern groups to make political demands. My argument in this article is that politically not all attempts at nomination are equivalent and that a distinction needs to be drawn between those carried out on behalf of the ‘ungrievable’ and those engaged in by them. Only the latter enables a critical politics of the human potentially capable of transforming the prevailing order of grievability in order to make their lives count. After exploring the interventions that occurred in Gaza in 2014, I turn to how the Western (and Israeli) media represent international deaths to consider what that reveals about the differential valuation of human life. To help make my case I elaborate the idea of an order of grievability. I then explore various attempts by others to name Gaza’s dead, and the limitations of their ensuing politics, before finally examining the activities of Humanize Palestine as an example of a more radical, critical politics of the human.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Politics of the Human; Naming; Dehumanisation; Grievability; Hierarchies of Death
Subjects: J Political Science > JA Political science (General)
Divisions: Faculty of Social Sciences
Faculty of Social Sciences > Government, Department of
SWORD Depositor: Elements
Depositing User: Elements
Date Deposited: 04 Feb 2019 16:47
Last Modified: 06 Jan 2022 13:56

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