One View of the Dungeon: The Ticking Time Bomb between Governmentality and Sovereignty

International Studies in Philosophy 40:2 (2008), 11-32

21 Pages Posted: 25 Apr 2008 Last revised: 20 Dec 2016

Gordon Hull

University of North Carolina at Charlotte - Department of Philosophy

Date Written: 2008

Abstract

This paper analyzes "ticking time bomb" scenarios in the discursive legitimation of torture and other coercive interrogation techniques. Judith Butler proposes a Foucauldian framework to suggest that Adminstration policies can be read as the irruption of sovereignty within governmentality. Rereading Foucault, I suggest that the policies could equally be understood as an exercise of governmentality, i.e., the subordination of juridical law to economy. I then propose as a reconciliation of these readings that time bomb scenarios serve rhetorically to make the exercise of arbitrary power Butler identifies appear as an exercise of governmentality; sanitized of complications, coercive interrogation appears efficient.

Keywords: torture, ticking time bomb, Judith Butler, Foucault

Suggested Citation

Hull, Gordon, One View of the Dungeon: The Ticking Time Bomb between Governmentality and Sovereignty (2008). International Studies in Philosophy 40:2 (2008), 11-32. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1125164 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1125164

Gordon Hull (Contact Author)

University of North Carolina at Charlotte - Department of Philosophy ( email )

9201 University City Blvd.
Charlotte, NC 28223
United States

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