Resistance beyond sovereign politics: Petty sovereigns’ disappearance into the world of fiction in post-Fukushima Japan

Reiko Shindo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

What happens to sovereign power when petty sovereigns refuse to exploit discretionary power to suspend the rule of law, the very power that is delegated to them and makes them who they are? How might such a refusal contribute to a better understanding of the relationship between resistance and sovereign power? This article revisits Judith Butler’s notion of petty sovereigns to explore the possibility that petty sovereigns establish a distinctive relationship with law. This article draws on a case involving one nameless petty sovereign and his published writings. He writes novels to expose how law is used by some officials to realize a particular policy goal with regards to nuclear energy. His novels blur the line between fiction and non-fiction: it contains classified information only available to bureaucrats, discusses actual energy policies and related laws, and introduces fictional characters who resemble non-fictional characters. I argue that this example suggests that petty sovereigns are not necessarily tied to the node between governmentality and sovereignty. Shifting between the worlds of fiction and non-fiction, petty sovereigns slip away from sovereign power, which controls the subject-making process, and quietly resist sovereign politics through the contingency of subjectivity.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)183-199
Number of pages17
JournalSecurity Dialogue
Volume49
Issue number3
Early online date24 Jan 2018
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2018

Fingerprint

Japan
politics
Law
nuclear energy
energy policy
governmentality
constitutional state
contingency
sovereignty
subjectivity

Keywords

  • Exception
  • Fiction
  • Governmentality
  • Nuclear energy
  • Resistance
  • Sovereignty

Cite this

Resistance beyond sovereign politics : Petty sovereigns’ disappearance into the world of fiction in post-Fukushima Japan. / Shindo, Reiko.

In: Security Dialogue, Vol. 49, No. 3, 01.06.2018, p. 183-199.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

@article{a6f150d0b69a484aad949aa710b9ff64,
title = "Resistance beyond sovereign politics: Petty sovereigns’ disappearance into the world of fiction in post-Fukushima Japan",
abstract = "What happens to sovereign power when petty sovereigns refuse to exploit discretionary power to suspend the rule of law, the very power that is delegated to them and makes them who they are? How might such a refusal contribute to a better understanding of the relationship between resistance and sovereign power? This article revisits Judith Butler’s notion of petty sovereigns to explore the possibility that petty sovereigns establish a distinctive relationship with law. This article draws on a case involving one nameless petty sovereign and his published writings. He writes novels to expose how law is used by some officials to realize a particular policy goal with regards to nuclear energy. His novels blur the line between fiction and non-fiction: it contains classified information only available to bureaucrats, discusses actual energy policies and related laws, and introduces fictional characters who resemble non-fictional characters. I argue that this example suggests that petty sovereigns are not necessarily tied to the node between governmentality and sovereignty. Shifting between the worlds of fiction and non-fiction, petty sovereigns slip away from sovereign power, which controls the subject-making process, and quietly resist sovereign politics through the contingency of subjectivity.",
keywords = "Exception, Fiction, Governmentality, Nuclear energy , Resistance , Sovereignty",
author = "Reiko Shindo",
year = "2018",
month = "6",
day = "1",
doi = "10.1177/0967010617751994",
language = "English",
volume = "49",
pages = "183--199",
journal = "Security Dialogue",
publisher = "SAGE Publications",
number = "3",

}

TY - JOUR

T1 - Resistance beyond sovereign politics

T2 - Petty sovereigns’ disappearance into the world of fiction in post-Fukushima Japan

AU - Shindo, Reiko

PY - 2018/6/1

Y1 - 2018/6/1

N2 - What happens to sovereign power when petty sovereigns refuse to exploit discretionary power to suspend the rule of law, the very power that is delegated to them and makes them who they are? How might such a refusal contribute to a better understanding of the relationship between resistance and sovereign power? This article revisits Judith Butler’s notion of petty sovereigns to explore the possibility that petty sovereigns establish a distinctive relationship with law. This article draws on a case involving one nameless petty sovereign and his published writings. He writes novels to expose how law is used by some officials to realize a particular policy goal with regards to nuclear energy. His novels blur the line between fiction and non-fiction: it contains classified information only available to bureaucrats, discusses actual energy policies and related laws, and introduces fictional characters who resemble non-fictional characters. I argue that this example suggests that petty sovereigns are not necessarily tied to the node between governmentality and sovereignty. Shifting between the worlds of fiction and non-fiction, petty sovereigns slip away from sovereign power, which controls the subject-making process, and quietly resist sovereign politics through the contingency of subjectivity.

AB - What happens to sovereign power when petty sovereigns refuse to exploit discretionary power to suspend the rule of law, the very power that is delegated to them and makes them who they are? How might such a refusal contribute to a better understanding of the relationship between resistance and sovereign power? This article revisits Judith Butler’s notion of petty sovereigns to explore the possibility that petty sovereigns establish a distinctive relationship with law. This article draws on a case involving one nameless petty sovereign and his published writings. He writes novels to expose how law is used by some officials to realize a particular policy goal with regards to nuclear energy. His novels blur the line between fiction and non-fiction: it contains classified information only available to bureaucrats, discusses actual energy policies and related laws, and introduces fictional characters who resemble non-fictional characters. I argue that this example suggests that petty sovereigns are not necessarily tied to the node between governmentality and sovereignty. Shifting between the worlds of fiction and non-fiction, petty sovereigns slip away from sovereign power, which controls the subject-making process, and quietly resist sovereign politics through the contingency of subjectivity.

KW - Exception

KW - Fiction

KW - Governmentality

KW - Nuclear energy

KW - Resistance

KW - Sovereignty

U2 - 10.1177/0967010617751994

DO - 10.1177/0967010617751994

M3 - Article

VL - 49

SP - 183

EP - 199

JO - Security Dialogue

JF - Security Dialogue

IS - 3

ER -