Skip to main content

SKAPE: Research

Search

State Matters: Theorizing the state and its experts through the Iraqi experience

Event Name State Matters: Theorizing the state and its experts through the Iraqi experience
Start Date 25th Nov 2020 11:30am
End Date 25th Nov 2020 12:30pm
Duration 1 hour
Description

On 25 November, we welcome Nida Alahmad (PIR, Edinburgh) as part of the SKAPE Seminar Series 2020-21.

What is ‘the state’ of state-building? I answer this question by inquiring into the US-led state-building project in Iraq. I suggest an understanding of the state as a phenomenon rather than a reified object of expertise and intervention. I propose that social science knowledge about the state is normative; it presents itself as an explanation aiming to improve the world, obscuring its normativity and enabling the emergence of state-building expertise. This expertise is performative-- it and its object become part of the reality it attempts to remake. The frequent failure of expert state-building projects stems from this performativity and normativity.

The seminar will take place online via Zoom (for link details, please email the Co-Directors - if you are already a member/associate member of SKAPE, then you will receive a Zoom link two days before the start of the event).