2030: War Zone Amsterdam

The Continuation of the City by Other Means

Willem Schinkel

November 1, 2009essay,

Now that politics is deliberately being shunted aside with greater and greater frequency and all sorts of measures that sooner apply to an emergency are being legitimized, cities are coming under increasing pressure. War rhetoric and marketing strategies are converging in the formulation of urban policies that are primarily aimed at attracting the creative class and integrating the ‘ underclass’. Reflecting on Amsterdam’ s future, sociologist Willem Schinkel reacts to the marketing slogan ‘ I Amsterdam’ by asking, ‘ Who is Amsterdam and where is it heading? ’

A municipal government that wishes to attract the ‘ creative class’ – and this includes practically the entire upper middle class – employs a paradoxical marketing strategy. On the one hand, the city is pictured as a creative space in which innovation, amusement and cultural edification combine to form what is in fact a utopia, a blissful place that does not exist. On the other hand, the city is pictured as a dystopia, a miserable place in which crime, deprivation and all the rest of it have the upper hand, and in which vigorous steps must be taken in order to make and keep the city attractive for the middle class. This place does not exist either, but its image is effective because it mobilizes policy. Those who want to do something about ‘ the underprivileged districts’ must pull open all the semantic registers in order to present the situation as serious, for nothing will happen in Rotterdam Zuid, The Hague Transvaal or Amsterdam Slotervaart for less than millions. The creative class, in turn, has every reason to contribute to the dystopian image of the city because in accordance with the classic pattern of gentrification it can live cheaply where it is a pioneer in the urban jungle.

The ultimate semantic register is that of war. War rhetoric is often heard in contemporary urban policy. There is a ‘ front line’, for example, with ‘ front-line workers’ who need sufficient ‘ striking power’ to carry out ‘ interventions’. ‘ Urban recovery’ is accomplished in this manner, sometimes even with the aid of so-called ‘ city marines’ or ‘ housing brigades’.

To properly access the theme of ‘ Amsterdam at War’, I would first of all like to examine the present – and perhaps also future – meaning of the concept of war. Next, I will discuss the role played by the rhetoric of war in the city’ s political economy, and in that light I will conclude by taking a critical look at the current city marketing campaign – ‘ I Amsterdam’ – by posing the question, ‘ Who is Amsterdam? ’

After the Cold War: Global Warming?

Nowadays, war is increasingly becoming a metaphor. Real wars are usually either civil wars or unequal wars between highly technological armies and highly ideological guerrillas. The era of war between nation-states seems to be largely over. In one respect, this has to do with the scale of potential destruction reached in the twentieth century: a war would not last long enough to be a ‘ war’ or have a winner (which is what was expressed with the ambiguous acronym ‘ MAD’ – Mutually Assured Destruction). This is why the end of the Second World War did not bring peace, but what political commentator Walter Lippmann called a ‘ Cold War’.1 Peace became the continuation of war by other means.

Our present-day world is tending toward a multi-polar division of power in which the Cold War situation remains as relevant as ever. Most of what now passes for war, however, is no longer war as we have known it since modernity. Modernity actually brought order to the wars in the West. After the religious wars in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, the Peace of Westphalia (1648) introduced the beginning of a system of inter-state relations that did not so much outlaw war as regulate it. Wars were kept relatively controllable because they were conducted between sovereign nation-states. A typical characteristic of a nation-state was that it could, with sufficient grievances, start a war. This is one of the claims explicitly expressed in the American Declaration of Independence (1776): the right to start a war.2 The increased interweaving of modern nation-states has meant that wars between two nation-states have grown scarcer. War has been replaced by more diffuse forms of political violence. But the model of war, which in its most ‘ pure’ sense is characterized by political opposition between ‘ friend’ and ‘ enemy’, as the political philosopher Carl Schmitt put it, is on the contrary more alive than ever – albeit, paradoxically enough, in a strongly depoliticized sense.

War is a metaphor, a rhetoric that has real effects. For example, the USA recently has been able to conduct two ‘ old-fashioned’ wars against nation-states (Afghanistan and Iraq) because it used the rhetoric of war to describe a situation that did not satisfy the characteristics of a war: the War on Terror was a rhetorical recoding of the conflict between the USA and Al-Qaeda terrorists that ultimately could legitimize two wars. But there also have been a ‘ war on poverty’ (Lyndon B. Johnson, 1964) and a ‘ war on drugs’ (Richard Nixon, 1969). Such wars converge in urban policy that is aimed at what was once known as the ‘ urban crisis’.

Social-Hypochondriacal Managementof the Portrayal of the Enemy

The rhetoric of war in fact leads to the transposition of war from ‘ politics’, as Jacques Ranciè re terms it, to ‘ police’. He understands ‘ police’ and ‘ policing’ to be the rational management of society, the distribution and legitimization of places and roles. As such, the police is a supplement to politics, the post-political moment of rule that is the necessary medium of politics, whereby politics is understood by Ranciè re to be that which breaks with the order of the police, the place of that which has no place, the ‘ part of those who have no part’.3 Thus arises a rational management of the idea of the enemy, conforming to the police model rather than to the propaganda model. The enemy is not an enemy but a pathological phenomenon that must be ‘ included’. And it is precisely this attempt at inclusion that causes permanent exclusion, in the sense that it denotes a permanent battleground of urban police. In an era when politics post-ideologically parades ideals that go no further than maintaining economic growth and safeguarding ‘ liveability’ and ‘ safety’, politics is nothing more or less than a legitimizing mechanism (across the entire political spectrum) for the selective pathologization of the urban population – a mechanism that legitimizes through allusion to that urban population, namely through the populist argument of standing up for ‘ the people in the underprivileged districts’.

The post-political context can be seen as the condition (a weak condition) that I have dubbed ‘ social hypochondria’.4 This ties in with a metaphor of corporeality that has been used throughout history to describe social and political life. Like the human body, society, according to the organicistic view, was a whole consisting of parts. An example of such a corporeal representation of society is Plato’ s image of the polis. At the top, at the head of the social body, was the logos: the philosopher-regents. Below that was the noble disposition, the thymos, the source of the higher aspirations: the sentinels. And, similar to the human body, Plato saw the lower regions of the social body as the source of the lower aspirations, the eros. This was equivalent to ordinary people in the polis.

Nowadays, we have a social concept that still exhibits characteristics of the old corporeal mentality. We think of society as a whole that is comprised of individual parts; we are concerned about ‘ cohesion’ and ‘ integration’ – typical corporeal terminology – and we ascribe a top and a bottom to society (for there happens to be such a thing as a ‘ social ladder’). As with every bottom, the bottom of society is spoken of in a negative fashion. Thus, just as with Plato, the problematizing of the bottom of society is an erotic consideration. The most important erogenous zones of society are at the bottom of the social body. This is why contemporary cultural offensives are a form of moral politics, conceived for the purpose of disciplining the eroticism of the lowest regions to conform to the norms and values of good social mores.

This erotic self-palpitation of the social body is a typical form of social hypochondria. Social hypochondria arises at the moment that the social body no longer is making its way toward a goal, but is stuck with itself. It no longer really believes in Progress or the Last Judgment – on the contrary, it has exposed Progress as the Last Prejudice. It is thus a body with amputated legs, no longer going anywhere and simply sitting still, focused on itself, feeling its body and finding all sorts of complaints and disorders – for which the most common denominator undoubtedly is ‘ integration’.

Over the past several years, however, ‘ integration policy’ has become increasingly localized, concentrating on the city – and within its borders, on the district or neighbourhood. Like Plato’ s polisand also later on, as Richard Sennett for instance has shown, today’ s city is equally often seen as an organism.5 And nowadays the city is the body upon which semi-military operations are carried out and where the ‘ front line’ of policy is to be found. The trenches of the city’ s political economy lie in the neighbourhoods characterized by poverty. Here, poverty often goes together with ethnicity, in the sense that people who have a ‘ non-Western background’ are relatively among the poorest and at the same time by far the most important target groups for policies on integration, citizenship, living standards, safety and social cohesion.

One of the most prevalent images of the enemy is accordingly that of the foreigner. The figure of the hostis, both guest and enemy,6 contains in one word what is currently the most important configuration of friend (‘ society’) and enemy (the foreigner who, to use a spatial metaphor, ‘ stands outside society’). But before the foreigner is conceived of as an enemy within populist rhetoric, city policy latches onto the ‘ non-integrated’ figure, which more broadly speaking can be the ‘ non-civilized’, those who are not adapted to the modern economy: the single mother (often ‘ Antillean’), the housebound mother (often ‘ Moroccan’), the adolescent school dropout (usually ‘ boys’).

So, in a certain sense there is an enemy, but this is not the enemy that is in diametrical, antagonistic opposition to the friend, such as in the political theory of Carl Schmitt. It is sooner the enemy who simultaneously is a guest – the foreigner who is close enough to be completely included and assimilated,7 the person who still has to become civilized into an autonomous, tolerant subject. This is a ‘ suitable enemy’,8 an ‘ enemy within’, to be sure, but mainly threatening because of his or her pathological deviation.

If war is conducted in the city, what is at stake in the battle at the ‘ frontline’ of city policy is the transformation of this enemy. That war is about the erogenous zones of the city, the ‘ inside outsider’ s spaces’,9 the ‘ safety zones’ or ‘ hot spots’ that accommodate the ‘ pit’ of the city, the bottom that does not disappear as long as there is also a top and that therefore is in danger of becoming a semi-permanent target of the police.

War in the City: Not Militarizingbut Depoliticizing

As Rancière says, a police that focuses on the management of these groups puts itself in the position of effectuating what is constitutive for democracy: involved citizens, safety, a social bond. This is why politics is not what characterizes the contemporary city. Urban policy, for instance in the sphere of what is fashionably known as ‘ social cohesion’ at the moment, produces what is seen as a condition for politics – a production process that necessarily precedes the political. Here I will leave the utopian hope expressed in Rancière’ s notion of ‘ politics’ (politics as the antagonistic speaking of those who have no voice) for what it is. I am concerned about the growing dominance of a post-ideological form of population management (‘ police’) that has an increasingly stronger spatial and local character. Michel Foucault, in his lectures at the Collège de France, described how the concept of ‘ police’ in France during the seventeenth to the nineteenth centuries meant something totally different than it does today. It indicated an ensemble of techniques related to various spheres such as public order, municipal hygiene, health, public administration, and so forth. In the most general sense, ‘ police’ and ‘ policing’ was described as the administrative governance of a community.10 In fact, all of the ‘ good’ use of the state’ s power was seen as ‘ policing’.11 Rancière’ s notion of  ‘police’ refers back to Foucault’s analysis.12 And when Rancière himself describes policing as ‘ not so much the “ disciplining” of bodies as a rule governing their appearing, a configuration of occupations and the properties of the spaces where these occupations are distributed’, perhaps this has a still too narrow, economic focus.

The spatial focus is nevertheless evident. Just as in Foucault’s analysis, ‘ policing’ concerns a certain milieu of the troubled community. The contemporary concept of ‘ policing’, moreover, is again changing in a way that seems to be coming closer to the earlier concept that Foucault described. Nowadays, ‘ the’ police are responsible for a growing number of functions and have a growing number of functionaries. This is particularly clear in the city. Not only do the police operate from time to time in ‘ public-private partnerships’,13 but ‘ civic guards’ and citizens are also increasingly being mobilized. Civic guards have been given powers of arrest and citizens are being mobilized to act as what Jane Jacobs called ‘ eyes on the street’,14 albeit this time as ‘ eyes of the state’ also. Civilians, often with great initiative on their part, are becoming involved as community workers or as ‘ burghers in blue’, complete with (blue) uniforms. In general, the civilian is being ‘ responsibilized’. The neoliberal emphasis on ‘ individual responsibility’ easily goes together with the conservative-communitarian emphasis on ‘ community’. This combination, which can be called ‘ neoliberal communitarianism’,15 is what situates the individual in a milieu that can be managed. Particularly in the area of ‘ safety’, which smoothly transitions into the problematization of ‘ filth’ (such as the ‘ broken windows’ ideology, for example, which in the Netherlands translates as ‘ clean, intact and safe’ and ‘ neat, orderly and peaceful’), this ‘ responsibilization’ is the furthest advanced.16 This evolution of  ‘the’ police, however, is simply part of a broader development from politics to police. I would also therefore understand ‘ policing’ to be an entirety of practices and principles that has the spatial management of populations as its object.

The increasing spatial action taken by ‘ the police’ occurs on the basis of techniques that are part of this ‘ policing’: the analysis of ‘ criminogenic spaces’, the actuarial estimation of individual risks on the basis of aggregated data, the ‘ tackling’ of a mixture of ‘ nuisance and crime’ that in fact expands the domain of criminality and thereby strengthens urban dystopia and further fixates it as the object of police control. To an increasing degree, this is all couched in terms of a ‘ target area approach’ within which both an ‘ individual approach’ and a ‘ group approach’ are distinguished on the basis of commercial policy advice. The difference between the last two lies in the size of the targeted milieu (only family or also beyond that). Administrative regulations such as prohibited areas, collective barring from stores and public transport prohibitions also are part of this.

An immediate effect of the creation of such a police is the depoliticization of the relation between the privileged and the nonprivileged. Or, even more fundamentally, a depoliticization of political antagonism per se, a sublimation of a tension that can be called ‘the political’.17 Schmitt also called depoliticization a neutralization of political antagonism, because the ‘ enemy’ is now rationally managed and no longer is on the same plane as the ‘ friend’.18 The enemy is ‘ moralized’ and – a purely Kantian thought, paradoxically – ‘ pathologized’. Scientists who act as ‘ social pathologists’19 zoom in on the city and mark out the zones that are ‘ multi-problematical’. Policymakers march out to intervene behind the front door and in the womb. Evermore intimate spheres – in Sloterdijk’ s terminology, psychosocial space bubbles or ‘ autogenic vessels’20 – are pried open in order to break through pathological discontinuities with the sphere of the statistically normal. The localizable private, the oikos, becomes the exclusive focus of a police work that consequently is in danger of not only forgetting the public, the polis, but also the critical questioning of fundamental economic distributions. The public sphere is a republican hope that particularly because of the neoliberal communitarian emphasis on ‘ individual responsibility’ and ‘ civil society’ is unmasked as a depoliticizing diversion tactic: since it is between market and state, it accepts the position of ‘ go play your utopian games there’, so that neither market nor state are subjected to real criticism. Meanwhile, a silent war is raging on the police front, which with every ‘ innovative policy intervention’ brings further depoliticizing. And the political? That can only come to the fore in grotesquely remodelled questions on ‘ privacy’.

In the cultural sphere, depoliticizing takes place on the basis of what political scientist Wendy Brown analyses as the idea of ‘tolerance’ used as a civilizing instrument of power.21 The identification of what is ‘ liberal’ and ‘ Western’ with tolerance legitimizes an intolerance on the basis of toleranc22 which is never politically refuted because the speaker would place him or herself outside the order of tolerance. Urban areas where the ‘ barbarians’ (Wendy Brown) reside who do not satisfy the idea of Western – but nonetheless universal – tolerance are ‘ tackled’ with ‘ zero tolerance’ rhetoric. In the economic sphere, depoliticization subsequently takes place by coding the economic (class positions, for example) as the cultural – as ‘ behavioural codes’, ‘ street culture’ or ‘ culture’ alone. This completes the Mobius strip of depoliticization, for the cultural recoding of the economic sphere always brings the administration of the urban population (police, ‘ policy’) back to the opposition between the advanced and the backward, the mobile and the stationary (the ‘ disadvantaged’).

The Exception as the Rule: The Cityas War Zone?

The militarization of the city has been described by various urban sociologists. Mike Davis, for example, shows how Los Angeles more and more resembles an area ‘ under siege’. The fear of crime is leading to a ‘ Fortress LA’, which according to Davis entails the destruction of public space.23 What’ s more, in a recent book Davis sees the car bomb as the paradigm of the new (urban) warfare.24 The ‘ war’ that is increasingly characterizing Dutch cities, however, is presumably not a militarized war. It is sooner about the construction of asymmetrical portrayals of the enemy by means of policing. The ‘ enemy’ is thereby managed, both in the sense of ‘ containment’ (the Cold War doctrine) and ‘ pre-pressure’: a prevention that in fact includes the adjustment and repression of undesirable lifestyles.

Why is this police-form of population control now focusing so strongly on space in general and the city in particular? Because time is no longer an ideological category. The ‘ big stories’ of modern times, not in the least Marxism, were temporalized schemes for future emancipation.25 Such narratives have lost overall plausibility and made way for local forms of population management that no longer are characterized by politics but by police. This is why we often hear that ‘ time is running out’. The only time that matters is the ‘ now’ ; there’ s – literally – no time like the present. As such, modernity achieves its goal, for modernity has always been the only era to describe itself via the modo, the ‘ now’. The new urban state of war is characterized by a rhetoric of moral legitimacy: the problems we have now are so appalling that special, even exceptional measures are required. The state of emergency is announced rhetorically. Giorgio Agamben has described how the exceptional case of sovereignty has become the dominant paradigm of contemporary politics.26 He speaks of a development in which politics is increasingly being sidelined by government. This, says Agamben, leads to the production of what the Romans called the homo sacer, the outlaw who is outside the community that is characterized by law. The exception and the hors la loi explanation, however, are not the absolute, unadulterated categories that Agamben presupposes. The policing of ‘ marginals’ in the city is more and more often taking the form of the semi-exception, whereby urban zones move in and out of the sphere of the law and subjects gradually are transformed into homo sacer for the duration of the implementation of a particular policy instrument.27 The enclosing exclusion of the homo sacer is in reality more diffuse than Agamben suggests.

This generalized state of emergency is precisely what continually sets the definition of the community bound by law (bí os) at stake against bare life (zoè ) enclosed by exclusion. The community is thus in a permanent state of siege. In this situation, a ‘ cease-fire’ would mean the dissolution of the community itself. As the artist/writer Dan Perjovschi noted in New York’ s MOMA in 2007, global warming is not all that has come after the Cold War. In future, war threatens to become an urban condition, a phase that the city can slip in and out of, an exception that threatens to become the rule.

Conclusion: ‘ Who Amsterdam’ in 2030?

The present slogan for Amsterdam city marketing is ‘I Amsterdam’. This perfectly expresses the paradoxical combination of neoliberal communitarianism. On the one hand, there is the narcissistic Cartesian primacy of the ‘ I’ or rather, the ‘I Am’ implicit in the slogan. This ‘ I Am’ has no other qualitative interpretation than that of a seamless overlap with the city. The ‘ I Am’ is inseparably connected with ‘ Amsterdam’ and therefore indicates that the ‘ I’ can only exist when it conforms to the rules of the city. The organicistic yearning for the seamless overlap between individual and collective is deployed here as a marketing instrument. And like every marketing campaign, it presents the fiction of a seamless overlap that in reality does not exist without friction.

If I may speculate about the state of affairs in 2030: The image of the city conceals a permanent struggle over the criteria for inclusion in the ‘ marketed’ city image. This takes the form of a ‘ perpetual war’, but certainly not in the way that Noam Chomsky envisions. This war – which, like every war in an era of globalization, is a civil war – is not recognized or acknowledged as such because it is conducted in the form of policing, as urban policy aimed at population control. To the extent that it does not scare off tourists, this is perchance conducted with the bellicose rhetoric of urban dystopia, but it is not ‘ war’ in any familiar sense. It is not a fight over the  ghetto’ – which the Netherlands does not have and undoubtedly will not have 20 years from now. The mark of a ghetto is that you cannot leave it; on the contrary, what is problematized as detrimental to the quality of life in city districts is the rapidity with which people move out of them. Amsterdam will more probably have developed new techniques for the spatial fixation of an object by assimilation-oriented police in 2030.

In this sense, it is very well possible that the individual body will play a role through the use of biometric indicators. After all, the outsourcing of politics is coupled with an outsourcing of control over the individual. In terms of specific populations and locations, we will probably see the harnessing of a new form of surveillance – no longer one of panoptic surveillance, but of selfveillance, a form of self control in which the body is both the controlling and controlled agency.28 The iris scan for the frequent flyer at the airport is the cosmopolitan example of this. The equivalent in the battle – which is otherwise invisible for that cosmopolitan – against the degeneration of the urban community is perhaps the implant, which indicates who (meaning poor, ethnic minorities and/or criminal sub-populations) is moving where in the city. This incorporates the state of emergency in biological life, which then on one tramline belongs to the bí os of the community, but on another to the zoè of bare life, for which some parts of the law are nullified for statistical reasons (deviation from the ‘ normal population’).

‘Selfveillance’ assembles individuals from ‘ dividuals’. People are scattered (bit by bit) throughout different control systems as dividuals and are assembled into ‘ in-dividuals’ as soon as an attribution of bare life by such systems (a positive identification as a body-to-be-identified) comes into play. The object of that attribution (for instance the carrier of a self-identifying chip) is a self only insofar as (s) he controls him- or herself.29 The individual’ s self is thus affected by the control which it carries out on itself (as recently became clear with the self-control on the Metro turnstile: ‘ (in) eligibility’). The controlled individual produces the control herself, because the control is a signal that leads to a contingent amalgamation of data – in one district this means, for example, that a person is there ‘ illegally’, in the other, not. Such is the urban ‘ war’ that I can envision in the Amsterdam of 2030. The first skirmishes of this invisible battle will become visible on the flip side of the injunction ‘ I Amsterdam’. For artists, I believe it is a matter of turning against the sublimated creativity of the ‘ creative class’ and of not identifying with the ‘ I Amsterdam’ identification. Art should sooner creatively investigate ‘ Who, Amsterdam? ’ – and also: ‘ Where are you heading, Amsterdam? '30

1. Walter Lippmann, The Cold War: A Study in U. S. Foreign Policy (New York: Harper Row, 1947).

2. The Declaration of Independence (New York: Bantam Books, 1998 [1776]), 58.

3. Jacques Rancière, Disagreement: Politics and Philosophy (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1999), 28-30.

4. See: Willem Schinkel, Denken in een tijd van sociale hypochondrie: Aanzet tot een theorie voorbij de maatschappij (Kampen: Klement, 2007).

5. Richard Sennett, Flesh and Stone: The Body and the City in Western Civilization (New York: W.W. Norton, 1994).

6. See: Jacques Derrida, Over gastvrijheid (Amsterdam: Boom, 1998).

7. Compare: Loïc Wacquant, Urban Outcasts: A Comparative Sociology of Advanced Marginality (Cambridge: Polity, 2008).

8. Compare: Loïc Wacquant, ‘ Suitable Enemies. Foreigners and Immigrants in the Prisons of Europe’, in: Punishment & Society (1999), 1(2), 215-222.

9. Keith J. Hayward, City Limits: Crime, Consumer Culture and the Urban Experience (London: Glasshouse Press, 2004).

10. Michel Foucault, Sécurité, territoire, population: Cours au Collè ge de France, 1977-1978 (Paris: Seuil/Gallimard, 2004), 320-321.

11. Ibid., 321.

12. Rancière, Disagreement, op. cit (note 3), 28.

13. For international comparison, see: Trevor Jones and Tim Newburn (eds.) Plural Policing: A Comparative Perspective (London: Routledge, 2006).

14. Jane Jacobs, The Death and Life of Great American Cities (New York: Vintage, 1961), 35.

15. See: F. van Houdt and W. Schinkel, ‘ The Double Helix of Cultural Assimilationism and Neoliberalism: Interpreting Recent Transformations of the Concept of Citizenship in the Netherlands’. Forthcoming (2009).

16. Compare with: David Garland, The Culture of Control: Crime and Social Order in Contemporary Society (Chicago: Chicago University Press, 2001).

17. See, for example: Claude Lefort, Essais sur le politique: XIXe-XXe siè cles (Paris: Seuil, 1986) ; Sheldon Wolin, Politics and Vision: Continuity and Innovation in Western Political Thought (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2004).

18. Carl Schmitt, ‘Das Zeitalter der Neutrali­ sierungen und Entpolitisierungen’, Der Begriff des Politischen (Berlin: Duncker & Humblot, 2002), 79-95.

19. C. Wright Mills, ‘ The Professional Ideology of Social Pathologists’, in: Irving Louis Horowitz (ed.), Power, Politics and People: The Collected Essays of C. Wright Mills (New York: Oxford University Press, 1969), 525-552.

20. See: Peter Sloterdijk, Sphären I: Blasen (Frankfurt/M. : Suhrkamp, 1998), 60-61.

21. See: Wendy Brown, Regulating Aversion: Tolerance in the Age of Identity and Empire (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2006), 13.

22. Also see: Schinkel, Denken in een tijd van sociale hypochondrie, op. cit. (note 4) ; Willem Schinkel, De gedroomde samenleving (Kampen: Klement, 2008).

23. Mike Davis, City of Quartz: Excavating the Future in Los Angeles (London: Verso, 1990).

24. Mike Davis, Buda’ s Wagon: A Brief History of the Car Bomb (London: Verso, 2007).

25. See, for example: Edward W. Soja, Postmodern Geographies: The Reassertion of Space in Critical Social Theory (London: Verso, 1989)

26. Giorgio Agamben, Homo Sacer: Sovereign Power and Bare Life (Stanford: Stanford University Press, 1998).

27. See: Willem Schinkel and Marguerite van den Berg, ‘ City of Exception. Revanchist Urbanism and the Urban Homo Sacer’. Forthcoming (2009).

28. Willem Schinkel, ‘ De nieuwe technologieë n van de zelfcontrole: van surveillance naar zelfveillance’, in: Marguerite van den Berg, Marcel Ham and Corien Prins (eds.), In de greep van de technologie: Hoe we kwetsbaarder en onafhankelijker worden (Amsterdam: Van Gennep, 2008), 171-187.

29. In 2007, news reports stated that Mexico would give South American migrants who crossed the southern border of Mexico a chip in order to track their movements. In the end, this turned out to be chip cards, not biochips.

30. Compare Peter Sloterdijk, Sphären I: Blasen (Frankfurt/M. : Suhrkamp, 1998), 644: ‘ Wo sind wir, wenn wir im Ungeheuren sind? ’

Willem Schinkel lectures in theoretical sociology at the Erasmus University in Rotterdam. He is the author of Denken in een tijd van sociale hypochondrie. Aanzet tot een theorie voorbij de maatschappij (Thinking in an Era of Social Hypochondria. Toward a Theory Beyond Society, 2007).