Chapter 8: The invisible dimension of institutional violence and the political construction of impunity: necropopulism and the averted medicolegal gaze
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Sumer explores theoretically the invisible dimension of violence that goes in counterinsurgency operations, analysing the cultural rationality and physiological effects arising from the use of dead bodies and human remains for sending political messages. He examines historical records as well as the everyday culture through the lens that ethnographic and geographic methods provide. Through necropopulism(using Mbebe´s 2003, critique of Foucaldian bio-power) and the “averted medicolegal gaze”, he compares Turkey and Mexico as nation states whose governments make use of invisible violence through institutionalized mechanisms. By arguing that these mechanisms are created through a regime of counter-forensics and systematic impunity (examples of the political lives of slain insurgents and dead protestors). He defines necropopulism (in the period of resurgence of imperialism) as the discursive representation of the border as a site of legitimate and expected violence used: dying migrants as a spectacle of protected borders. He discusses the way in which political control attained through the use of dead bodies also applies for an understanding the power configurations at the border crossings, where migrants often encounter violence in myriad forms.

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