Extraordinary Racial Politics: Four Events in the Informal Constitution of the United States

Extraordinary Racial Politics: Four Events in the Informal Constitution of the United States

by Fred Lee


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Extraordinary racial politics rupture out of and reset everyday racial politics. In his cogent book, Fred Lee examines four unusual, episodic, and transformative moments in U.S. history: the 1830s-1840s southeastern Indian removals, the Japanese internment during World War II, the post-war civil rights movement, and the 1960s-1970s racial empowerment movements. Lee helps us connect these extraordinary events to both prior and subsequent everyday conflicts.

Extraordinary Racial Politics brings about an intellectual exchange between ethnic studies, which focuses on quotidian experiences and negotiations, and political theory, which emphasizes historical crises and breaks. In ethnic studies, Lee draws out the extraordinary moments in Michael Omi and Howard Winant’s as well as Charles Mills’s accounts of racial formation. In political theory, Lee considers the strengths and weaknesses of using Carl Schmitt’s and Hannah Arendt’s accounts of public constitution to study racial power. 

Lee concludes that extraordinary racial politics represent both the promises of social emancipation and the perils of state power. This promise and peril characterizes our contentious racial present.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781439915769
Publisher: Temple University Press
Publication date: 09/07/2018
Edition description: 1
Pages: 242
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 8.90(h) x 0.70(d)

About the Author

Fred Lee is an Assistant Professor of Political Science and Asian/Asian American Studies at University of Connecticut, Storrs.

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments vii

1 An Introduction into Extraordinary Racial Politics 1

2 Racial Re-foundations and the Rise of the Nation-State 31

3 Racial Removal Contracts and the Nomos of the New World 71

4 Racial States of Exception and the Decision on Enmity 111

5 Racial Counter-Publics and the Power of Judgment 149

6 A Reaffirmation of Extraordinary Racial Politics 187

Bibliography 203

Index 221

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