26.04.2012 - Chris Erickson - The Poetics of Fear. A Human Response to Human Security (Continuum, Uk, Paperback)
Pub. date: 05 Jul 2010 (Hardcover)
Pub. date: 26 Apr 2012 (Paperback)
The Poetics of Fear looks at how fear is used for political purposes, focusing on the binary logic of “this is the way things are, and there is nothing (else) you can do about it” --a logic that underlies the realist tradition in international relations theory.
The Shield of Achilles from Homer’s Iliad is used as metaphorical analysis to look at what the politics of fear is, how it works, and how it can be resisted. It aims to provide a human response to human security matters.
The work first shows how the Shield works to paralyze its audience. How can it be resisted? One response is to offer a warning about the hazards of bearing the Shield. After looking at thinkers such as Plato, Baudrillard, and Nietzsche, the work concludes with an examination of ekphrasis as a critical tool.
With a unique and fresh perspective, The Poetics of Fear will be relevant to those interested in security studies and critical theoretical approaches to political science.
Table of Contents
Chapter 1. Introduction: The Politics of Fear Retracting the “Intractable” Security, Speech Acts, and the Shield of Achilles Summary: Plotting the Course
Chapter 2. The God of Fire’s Gift: The Shield of Achilles and the Logic of Fear The 30 Second Iliad The Shield of Achilles The Arms of Agamemnon Beauty, Hope and Fear Sarpedon’s Body The Shield in a Modern Context Achilles and Priam: Setting Aside the Shield
Chapter 3. Unheeded Warnings Sophocles Ajax Philoctetes Thucydides: The Shield in Athenian Hands Machiavelli: The Prince as Shield Bearer
Chapter 4. Mimesis as Resistance Shields and Rings: Plato Against the Poets Plato as a Poet Plato as a Shield Bearer
Chapter 5. What Begins With Cratylus, Leads to Baudrillard The Shield as Simulacrum The Spirit of Terrorism “Hyperrealist Abjection” or The Shield of Baudrillard Perseus, Plato, Baudrillard
Chapter 6. Life as Literature: Politics as Poetics Odysseus: Artfulness Above All Else The Homeric Question Nietzsche’s Language Nietzsche’s View: From High Mountains
Chapter 7. Ekphrasis as Critique From Perseus to Paris Auerbach: The Insights of Comparative Mimesis Krieger: The Still Mo(ve)ment of Ekphrasis Mitchell: Ekphrastic Hope Becker: Breaking the Illusion Case Study: Obama as Shield Bearer
Chapter 8. Conclusion
APPENDIX A: President Bush’s Address to a Joint Session of Congress, September 20, 2001
APPENDIX B: Remarks by the President on a New Strategy for Afghanistan and Pakistan, March 27, 2009
Dr. Chris Erickson teaches political science at the University of British Columbia, Canada. His research focuses on contemporary political thought and critical theory, as well as radicalism in international politics, and contemporary security issues