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  • 1.
    Tängh Wrangel, Claes
    University of Gothenburg, Göteborg, Sweden.
    Biopolitics of hope and security: governing the future through US counterterrorism communications2019In: Globalizations, ISSN 1474-7731, E-ISSN 1474-774X, Vol. 16, no 5, p. 664-677Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    This article probes the relationship between hope and security, looking at how hope is appropriated and used by the US security apparatus under President Obama to pre-empt radicalisation. It looks specifically at strategic narratives designed to infuse hope within the global Muslim population – identified in US security discourse as being particularly vulnerable to terrorist recruitment. While critical studies of security often articulate hope and security to be diametrically opposed concepts, this article shows that hope not only is an active and important part of contemporary technologies and logics of security, but also that hope can be productive of the insecurities, fear and exclusions that such politics often is assumed to entail. The use of hope within US counterterrorism communications further indicates that, rather than a subversive force, hope has come to legitimise some of the key facets of post 9/11 politics of security, namely the identification of human nature as a site of potential danger, the invocation of permanent intervention, the radical exclusion of the global Muslim population from political rights, and, not the least, the effective denial of our capacity to imagine another world, free from the insecurities of our political present.

  • 2.
    Tängh Wrangel, Claes
    University of Gothenburg, Sweden.
    Hope in a time of catastrophe? Resilience and the future in bare life2014In: Resilience - International Policies, Practices and Discourses, ISSN 2169-3293, Vol. 2, no 3, p. 183-194Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The framework of resilience has been claimed to strip bodies of both hope and the promise of the future, reducing life to mere biology, concerned only with its survivability. This article interrogates such claims by critical theory, analysing the definitions of life and time embedded in them. Reading the figure of human nature as it appears in US President Obama's call for a common humanity – united by hope in a world of insurmountable insecurity – this article asks what promises structure liberal subjectivity when security and universalism are seemingly abandoned. Through the lens of Agambian biopolitics, I argue that resilient life is produced not in opposition to hope, but as its embodiment, turning indefinite insecurity into a continuous experience of hope, and hence into a structure of promise. As such, I submit that the hopeful life today has become the barest of all, engendered by the production of a paradoxical temporal indistinction between an open future and the inevitability of catastrophe.

  • 3.
    Tängh Wrangel, Claes
    University of Gothenburg, Sweden.
    Recognising hope: US global development discourse and the promise of despair2017In: Environment & Planning. D, Society and Space, ISSN 0263-7758, E-ISSN 1472-3433, Vol. 35, no 5, p. 875-892Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Practices of global development have been critiqued for reproducing a notion of the suffering poor as bare life; passive, despairing and devoid of both hope and potentiality. In contrast, this article treats the experience of hope not as external to the governance of underdeveloped life but as a biopolitical technology central to its formation. Reading US President Obama’s call to recognise underdeveloped life as inherently hopeful and potential, this article analyses the biopolitics of development at the moment when the separation between lives on the basis of its capacity for hope is explicitly banished. Emerging from this reading is a troubling paradox, one in which hope and despair enter a zone of indistinction. Encouraged to embody this indistinction, it is argued, is a bare and hopeful form of neoliberal life, a potential yet not sovereign being. Hopeful, but without the capacity to conceive of or to act towards a different future. 

  • 4.
    Tängh Wrangel, Claes
    University of Gothenburg, Sweden.
    THE POST-TRUMP DESIRE FOR HOPE2017In: Society and SpaceArticle in journal (Other academic)
  • 5.
    Tängh Wrangel, Claes
    Göteborgs universitet, Sweden.
    The Use of Hope: Biopolitics of Security During the Obama Presidency2018Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    Through a compilation of four research articles, this PhD thesis investigates ‘hope’ as a biopolitical technology. It interrogates the use of hope by the United States security apparatus, on the one hand, to pre-empt processes of radicalisation and, on the other hand, to prepare the subject of security to cope with permanent insecurity. The dissertation analyses the security discourse of the Obama Administrations 2009 – 2016, paying particular attention to strategic narratives of hope across three principal domains of US security: diplomacy, development and military. The thesis thereby renders visible the ambiguous relations between hope and insecurity in US foreign policy during the Obama period: between hate and hope in the domain of (public) diplomacy; between despair and hope in the domain of development; and between fear and hope in the military domain. To analyse the respective strategic narratives, the thesis employs a theoretical framework drawn from Giorgio Agamben’s theory of biopolitics. Through Agamben’s theoretical perspective, hope appears as a means of governing the future, a technology employed to regulate processes of subjectification. The dissertation’s theoretical ambition is to question a central assumption undergirding important critique of the post-9/11 biopolitical condition: namely that practices of security are inherently at odds with hope, operating through discourses and practices of fear and suffering to reduce the capacity to hope within the global populace. By analysing the appropriation of hope by US security discourse, the thesis explores how practices of security works through hope to achieve security. US security discourse achieves this by means of constituting a particular form of hopeful life: an individualised and resilient form of neoliberal life who is called to embody an indistinction between fear, despair, hate and hope.

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