Catastrophe: Law, Politics and the Humanitarian Impulse

01 January 2010

Javier Lezaun

ISBN 978-1-55849-738-2 ISBN 978-1-55849-737-5 University of Massachusetts Press

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From 9/11 to Katrina, from Darfur to the Minnesota bridge collapse, ours is an “age of catastrophe.” In this era, catastrophic events seem to have a revelatory quality: they offer powerful reminders of the fragility of our social and institutional architectures, making painfully evident vulnerabilities in our social organization that were otherwise invisible. By disrupting the operation of fundamental mechanisms and infrastructures of the social order, they lay bare the conditions that make our sense of normalcy possible...