Foucault News

News and resources on French thinker Michel Foucault (1926-1984)

Gilberto Conde, Fluid Modernity. The Politics of Water in the Middle East, Routledge, 2023

Book Description
Fluid Modernity offers an innovative, encompassing, historical grasp of the politics of water in the Middle East in the context of modern capitalism and world politics. Drawing upon conceptions of power by Foucault and Agamben, it examines how water, through its modern capitalist production, is transformed into a water apparatus that binds people to power. In trans-boundary watercourses, states get involved in the formation of international governmentalities.

The book revisits the history of fluid modernity in the Middle East from late Ottoman times to the present. It focuses on water conflict and cooperation between states (Israel and Arab states and Turkey, Syria and Iraq), on state policies towards subaltern subjects (Israel and Turkey in relation to Palestinians and Kurds, respectively) and on the water politics of rebellious movements. After a conceptual chapter discussing fluid modernity, the book traces water politics in the region in a diachronic perspective. It explores how water diplomacy, infrastructure loans, reservoir construction, discourses of sovereignty and conflict have weighed on the development of governance and governmentality in the region.

Fluid Modernity will be of great interest to postgraduates, researchers, academics and intellectuals interested in Middle East Studies, Hydropolitics, Water and Society, Geopolitics, Political Theory, Resistance as well as to NGOs dealing with water.

Gilberto Conde is Professor at the Center for Asia and Africa Studies of El Colegio de México, where he teaches Geography and History of the Middle East and North Africa, and works on Arab, Turkish and Kurdish politics and society with a special interest on authoritarianism, rebellion, geopolitics, capitalism and water. Before joining El Colegio de México in 2011, he taught world history and critical geopolitics in Tijuana at Universidad Autónoma de Baja California, and carried out research on water and society at El Colegio de la Frontera Norte. Having lived in Syria, Tunisia and Turkey for several years and travelled extensively in the Middle East and North Africa, Gilberto is keen to bring a Latin American, non-West, decolonial approach to his work. He edited Estudios de Asia y África, the oldest Latin American journal on the non-Latin American Global South, from 2012 through 2016. He has published several authored or edited volumes on the Middle East as well as numerous journal articles and book chapters.

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