Introduction: Constructing And Contesting Victimhood In Global Politics

Journal article


Eroukhmanoff, C. and Wedderburn, A. (2022). Introduction: Constructing And Contesting Victimhood In Global Politics. Polity.
AuthorsEroukhmanoff, C. and Wedderburn, A.
Abstract

Claims to victimhood have acquired a global resonance and a global appeal, yet victimhood is far from a coherent or cohesive concept. Nativist myths of national decline rest on claims to white victimhood implicit within so-called “great replacement” theories. Truth commissions and international courts institutionalise victimhood, incorporating it within discourses of justice, reconciliation and peace. Gendered and racialised narratives of victimhood can be mobilised in service of military intervention, or as a way of excavating historical or contemporary practices of dispossession, disempowerment and exploitation. However ‘victimhood’ as a status, category or discursive formation is invoked, it has the potential to illuminate questions about power, violence, harm, order and social transformation.

The aims of this Symposium are threefold. First, it takes stock of the global dimensions of victimhood, asking how the grammar of victimhood is mobilised in different geographies/locations and how discourses of victimhood circulate globally. Second, the Symposium disentangles various claims to victimhood, asking how victimhood is variably articulated by multiple individuals or groups, for a wide variety of political purposes. Lastly, the symposium hopes to advance an understanding of how and why particular expressions of or claims to victimhood are gaining ground while others are being silenced. In so doing, the symposium offers a critical and interdisciplinary examination of the global politics of victimhood that reflects its political and contested nature.

Keywordsvictimhood; Discourse; Global Right; Identity
Year2022
JournalPolity
PublisherThe University of Chicago Press
ISSN0032-3497
Publication dates
OnlineOct 2022
Publication process dates
Accepted18 May 2022
Deposited27 May 2022
Accepted author manuscript
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File Access Level
Open
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