'A baby is a baby': the Asha protests and the sociology of affective post-nationalism

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Abstract

Theories of post-nationalism are concerned with deconstructing the relationship between citizenship and national identity. While literature in this field has tended towards macro-institutionalist analysis, recent research has re-articulated post-nationalism as micro-level practice. This article builds on this development by attending to the ‘affective conditions’ of such micro-political practices. The article draws on research into protests in Brisbane in February 2016 to prevent ‘Asha’, a child seeking asylum, from being returned to offshore detention. The analysis of this case demonstrates that affect performs a dual function in the practice of post-nationalism, to catalyse action in solidarity with the noncitizen informed primarily by the emotional resonance of a particular rendering of vulnerability, and in re-imagined solidarity with the co-citizen around a post-national community of feeling. Informed by this analysis, the article highlights the complex and fragile nature of a post-national solidarity dependent on intersecting, overlapping, and at times problematic, affective conditions.
Original languageEnglish
JournalSociology
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 5 Feb 2020

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baby
solidarity
protest
nationalism
sociology
micro level
national identity
vulnerability
citizenship
citizen
community
literature

Cite this

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title = "'A baby is a baby': the Asha protests and the sociology of affective post-nationalism",
abstract = "Theories of post-nationalism are concerned with deconstructing the relationship between citizenship and national identity. While literature in this field has tended towards macro-institutionalist analysis, recent research has re-articulated post-nationalism as micro-level practice. This article builds on this development by attending to the ‘affective conditions’ of such micro-political practices. The article draws on research into protests in Brisbane in February 2016 to prevent ‘Asha’, a child seeking asylum, from being returned to offshore detention. The analysis of this case demonstrates that affect performs a dual function in the practice of post-nationalism, to catalyse action in solidarity with the noncitizen informed primarily by the emotional resonance of a particular rendering of vulnerability, and in re-imagined solidarity with the co-citizen around a post-national community of feeling. Informed by this analysis, the article highlights the complex and fragile nature of a post-national solidarity dependent on intersecting, overlapping, and at times problematic, affective conditions.",
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AB - Theories of post-nationalism are concerned with deconstructing the relationship between citizenship and national identity. While literature in this field has tended towards macro-institutionalist analysis, recent research has re-articulated post-nationalism as micro-level practice. This article builds on this development by attending to the ‘affective conditions’ of such micro-political practices. The article draws on research into protests in Brisbane in February 2016 to prevent ‘Asha’, a child seeking asylum, from being returned to offshore detention. The analysis of this case demonstrates that affect performs a dual function in the practice of post-nationalism, to catalyse action in solidarity with the noncitizen informed primarily by the emotional resonance of a particular rendering of vulnerability, and in re-imagined solidarity with the co-citizen around a post-national community of feeling. Informed by this analysis, the article highlights the complex and fragile nature of a post-national solidarity dependent on intersecting, overlapping, and at times problematic, affective conditions.

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