Rowman and Littlefield International

Chemical Bodies

The Techno-Politics of Control

Edited by Alex Mankoo, Brian Rappert

Publication date:

19 October 2018

Length of book:

226 pages


Rowman & Littlefield International

ISBN-13: 9781786605863

In warfare, civil unrest, and political protest, chemicals have served as means of coercion, suppression, and manipulation. This book examines how chemical agents have been justified, utilised and resisted as means of control. Through attending to how, when, and for whom bodies become rendered as sites of intervention, Chemical Bodies demonstrates the inter-relations between geopolitical transformations and the technological, spatial and social components of local events.

The chapters draw out some of the insidious ways in which chemical technologies are damaging, and re-open discussion regarding their justification, role and regulation. In doing so the contributors illustrate how certain instances of force gain prominence (or fade into obscurity), how some individuals speak and others get spoken for, how definitions of what counts as ‘success’ and ‘failure’ are advanced, and how the rights and wrongs of violence are contested.

Chemical Bodies gathers notable experts, using case studies across time and space, to examine how chemical agents have been framed as weapons (or not), by whom, for whom, and the political/policy stakes involved. The book is a critical read for academics, intelligence officials, and policymakers who wrestle with how to make sense of chemical and biological threats past and present.