venerdì 9 dicembre 2011

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
   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

Read more on Continuum website

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