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Governing dissent in the Central Kalahari game reserve: ‘development’, governmentality, and subjectification amongst Botswana's bushmen
journal contributionposted on 2023-06-07, 17:35 authored by Louiza OdysseosLouiza Odysseos
This article explores the theme of ‘disciplining dissent’ by examining how dissenting conduct is channelled into ‘acceptable’ and ‘productive’ practices. To this end, it uses Michel Foucault’s framework of ‘government’ in order to highlight the operations of a diffuse and generalized form of ‘disciplining’, where this refers to the directing or ‘structur[ing of] the field of action of others’. Through this framework, the article illuminates that subjects do not cease to be governed when they undertake certain practices customarily categorized as ‘resistance’ or ‘dissent’. On the contrary, the article explores how dissenting practice itself ‘disciplines’ the conduct of subjects. The article analyzes the pivotal role played in this by processes of subjectification, highlighting how ‘governing’ (dissenting) behavior may well require the incitation of forms of subjectivity, and ways of being, that are open to such acceptable forms of dissenting and resisting. The article examines the case of Botswana’s Bushmen and their attempts to resist and revoke their relocation by the Government of Botswana from the Central Kalahari Game Reserve since 2002 as an important contemporary site illustrative of the interplay of governing, dissent, and subjectification.
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