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Emergency Politics as Emergency Claim-making

Jennifer Rubenstein, University of Virginia

October 17, 2019 · 4:30 pm6:00 pm · A17 Julis Romo Rabinowitz

Society of Fellows Public Lecture Series
“Follow the Leaders” Isaac Cordal. Berlin, Germany 2011

While at Princeton University, Jennifer Rubenstein was a member of the 2005-2008 Society of Fellows’ cohort and a lecturer in the Department of Politics. Presently she is an associate professor of politics at the University of Virginia specializing in political theory.

In her talk, she will argue for a major shift in how we think about emergency politics. Rather than focus on large-scale emergencies as discrete, socially-constructed events, we should instead view emergency politics as the social practice of emergency claim-making. This approach brings under-studied political phenomena, such as failed emergency claims, into view; it highlights the political ethics of overlooked social roles, such as that of audiences of emergency claims. Finally, it helps us to see that emergency claim-making regularly creates double-binds. It thereby raises the question of whether there are other ways of dealing with urgent situations besides emergency claim-making.

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