Global Discourse
An interdisciplinary journal of current affairs

Preface: crisis as experience and politics

Author: Didier Fassin1
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  • 1 Institute for Advanced Study, , USA
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In the tradition of Koselleck, crisis has often been approached as an idea or as a narrative, but less research has been conducted on how people produce, respond to, and live through crises. Most of the articles of the present issue explore this perspective, with its dual dimension of experience and politics. In line with it, the present article proposes an analysis of the crisis caused by the COVID-19 pandemic through the questions of the rupture in time, the state of exception and the uncovering of inequalities.

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  • Benjamin, W. (1969 [1947]) Thesis on the philosophy of history, in H. Arendt (ed) Illuminations. Essays and Reflections, H. Zohn (trans) New York: Schocken Books, pp 25364.

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  • Case, A. and Deaton, A. (2020) Deaths of Despair and the Future of Capitalism, Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.

  • Christ, J. (2020) Protection de la vie vs protection des libertés. Le balancement libéral, AOC, 16 November, https://aoc.media/analyse/2020/11/15/protection-de-la-vie-vs-preservation-des-libertes-le-balancement-liberal/

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  • Fassin, D. (2018 [2017]) Forms of life, in Life. A Critical User’s Manual, Cambridge: Polity, pp 1947.

  • Fassin, D. (2020) La valeur des vies. Éthique de la crise sanitaire, in Par ici la sortie, Paris: Seuil, pp 310, https://ref.lamartinieregroupe.com/media/9782021468199/146819_extrait_Extrait_0.pdf

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  • Fassin, D. (2021a) Lectures de la pandémie, in Les Mondes de la santé publique. Cours au Collège de France 2020–2021, Paris: Seuil, pp 299350.

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  • Fassin, D. (2021b) Crisis, in V. Das and D. Fassin (eds) Words and Worlds. A Lexicon for Dark Times, Durham: Duke University Press, pp 26176.

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  • Fassin, D. and Honneth, A. (2022) Introduction. The heuristic of crises: reclaiming critical voices, in D. Fassin and A. Honneth (eds) Crisis under Critique. How People Assess, Transform and Respond to Critical Situations, New York: Columbia University Press, pp 18.

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  • Honneth, A. (1997) Recognition and moral obligation, Social Research, 64(1): 1635, https://www.jstor.org/stable/pdf/40971157.pdf?refreqid=excelsior%3A33237d75ed71241756b382eda118ed97

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  • Jacquin, J.B. (2021) L’état d’urgence, un poison lent qui engourdit la démocratie, Le Monde, 2 July.

  • Koselleck, R. (2006 [1972]) Crisis, M.W. Richter (trans) Journal of the History of Ideas, 67(2): 357400. doi: 10.1353/jhi.2006.0013

  • Peutz, N. (2022) Crisis as pre-existing condition: Yemen between cholera, coronavirus and starvation, in D. Fassin and M. Fourcade (eds) Pandemic Exposures. Economy and Society in the Time of the Coronavirus, Chicago, IL: Hau Books, pp 295319.

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  • Rodrik, D. (2017) The fatal flaw of neoliberalism: it’s bad economics, The Guardian, 14 November.

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  • Seeger, M. and Sellnow, T. (2016) Narratives of Crises. Telling Stories of Ruin and Renewal, Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press.

  • Streeck, W. (2016) The post-capitalist interregnum, Juncture, 23(2): 6877. doi: 10.1111/newe.906

  • Thompson, S. and Ip, E. (2020) Covid-19 emergency measures and the impending authoritarian pandemic, Journal of Law and the Biosciences, 7(1): 133.

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  • 1 Institute for Advanced Study, , USA

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