Competing Responsibilities : The Ethics and Politics of Contemporary Life
Susanna Trnka & Catherine Trundle (ed.)
Duke University Press
Noting the pervasiveness of the adoption of “responsibility” as a core ideal of neoliberal governance, the contributors to Competing Responsibilities challenge contemporary understandings and critiques of that concept in political, social, and ethical life. They reveal that neoliberalism’s reification of the responsible subject masks the myriad forms of individual and collective responsibility that people engage with in their everyday lives, from accountability, self-sufficiency, and prudence to care, obligation, and culpability. The essays—which combine social theory with ethnographic research from Europe, North America, Africa, and New Zealand—address a wide range of topics, including critiques of corporate social responsibility practices; the relationships between public and private responsibilities in the context of state violence; the tension between calls on individuals and imperatives to groups to prevent the transmission of HIV; audit culture; and how health is cast as a citizenship issue. Competing Responsibilities allows for the examination of modes of responsibility that extend, challenge, or coexist with the neoliberal focus on the individual cultivation of the self.
Table of contents :
Introduction. Competing Responsibilities: Reckoning Personal Responsibility, Care for the Other, and the Social Contract in Contemporary Life / Susanna Trnka and Catherine Trundle 1
Part I. Theoretical Departures
1. Making Us Resilient: Responsible Citizens for Uncertain Times / Nikolas Rose and Filippa Lentzos 27
2. Attunement: Rethinking Responsibility / Jarrett Zigon 49
Part II. States, Companies, and Communities
3. Reciprocal Responsibilities: Struggles over (New and Old) Social Contracts, Environmental Pollution, and Childhood Asthma in the Czech Republic / Susanna Trnka 71
4. Audit Culture and the Politics of Responsibility: Beyond Neoliberal Responsibilization? / Cris Shore 96
5. From Corporate Social Responsibility to Creating Shared Value: Contesting Responsibilization and the Mining Industry / Jessica M. Smith 118
Part III. Violence
6. “The Information Is Out There”: Transparency, Responsibility, and the Missing in Cyprus / Elizabeth Anne Davis 135
7. Justice and Its Doubles: Producing Postwar Responsibilities in Sierra Leone / Rosalind Shaw 156
Part IV. Intimate Ties
8. The Politics of Responsibility in HIV / Barry D. Adam 181
9. Responsibilities of the Third Age and the Intimate Politics of Sociality in Poland / Jessica Robbins-Ruszowski 193
10. Genetic Bystanders: Familial Responsibility and the State’s Accountability to Veterans of Nuclear Tests / Catherine Trundle 213
Barry D. Adam, Elizabeth Anne Davis, Filippa Lentzos, Jessica Robbins-Ruszkowski, Nikolas Rose, Rosalind Shaw, Cris Shore, Jessica M. Smith, Susanna Trnka, Catherine Trundle, Jarrett Zigon
About The Author(s) :
Susanna Trnka is Associate Professor of Anthropology at the University of Auckland and coeditor of Senses and Citizenships: Embodying Political Life.
Catherine Trundle is Senior Lecturer in Anthropology at Victoria University of Wellington and coeditor of Detachment: Essays on the Limits of Relational Thinking.