The Poetics of Fear: A Human Response to Human Security


The Poetics of Fear looks at how fear is used for

political purposes, focusing on the binary logic of "this is the way things

are, and there is nothing (else) you can do about it" --a logic that

underlies the realist tradition in international relations theory.

The Shield ...

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The Poetics of Fear looks at how fear is used for

political purposes, focusing on the binary logic of "this is the way things

are, and there is nothing (else) you can do about it" --a logic that

underlies the realist tradition in international relations theory.

The Shield of Achilles from Homer's Iliad is used as metaphorical

analysis to look at what the politics of fear is, how it works, and how it can

be resisted. It aims to provide a human response to human security matters.

The work first shows how the Shield works to paralyze its audience. How can it

be resisted? One response is to offer a warning about the hazards of bearing

the Shield. After looking at thinkers such as Plato, Baudrillard, and

Nietzsche, the work concludes with an examination of ekphrasis as a critical


With a unique and fresh perspective, The Poetics of Fear will be

relevant to those interested in security studies and critical theoretical

approaches to political science.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781441155566
  • Publisher: Bloomsbury Academic
  • Publication date: 2/23/2012
  • Pages: 232
  • Product dimensions: 5.90 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.10 (d)

Meet the Author

Dr. Erickson teaches political science at the University of British Columbia, Canada. His research focuses on contemporary political thought and critical theory, as well as radicalism in international politics, and contemporary security issues.

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Table of Contents

Chapter 1. Introduction: The Politics of Fear
Retracting the "Intractable"
Security, Speech Acts, and the Shield of Achilles Summary: Plotting the Course

Chapter 2. The God of Fire's Gift: The Shield of Achilles and the Logic of Fear
The 30 Second Iliad The Shield of Achilles The Arms of Agamemnon Beauty, Hope and Fear Sarpedon's Body The Shield in a Modern Context Achilles and Priam: Setting Aside the Shield

Chapter 3. Unheeded Warnings
Sophocles Ajax Philoctetes Thucydides: The Shield in Athenian Hands Machiavelli: The Prince as Shield Bearer

Chapter 4. Mimesis as Resistance
Shields and Rings: Plato Against the Poets Plato as a Poet Plato as a Shield Bearer

Chapter 5. What Begins With Cratylus, Leads to Baudrillard
The Shield as Simulacrum The Spirit of Terrorism
"Hyperrealist Abjection" or The Shield of Baudrillard Perseus, Plato, Baudrillard

Chapter 6. Life as Literature: Politics as Poetics
Odysseus: Artfulness Above All Else The Homeric Question Nietzsche's Language Nietzsche's View: From High Mountains

Chapter 7. Ekphrasis as Critique
From Perseus to Paris Auerbach: The Insights of Comparative Mimesis Krieger: The Still Mo(ve)ment of Ekphrasis Mitchell: Ekphrastic Hope Becker: Breaking the Illusion Case Study: Obama as Shield Bearer

Chapter 8. Conclusion

APPENDIX A: President Bush's Address to a Joint Session of Congress, September 20, 2001

APPENDIX B: Remarks by the President on a New Strategy for Afghanistan and Pakistan, March 27, 2009


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