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State University of New York Press
Toward a Political Philosophy of Race

Toward a Political Philosophy of Race

by Falguni A. Sheth


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Examines how liberal society enables racism and other forms of discrimination.

Timely, controversial, and incisive, Toward a Political Philosophy of Race looks uncompromisingly at how a liberal society enables racism and other forms of discrimination. Drawing on the examples of the internment of U.S. citizens and residents of Japanese descent, of Muslim men and women in the contemporary United States, and of Asian Indians at the turn of the twentieth century, Falguni A. Sheth argues that racial discrimination and divisions are not accidents in the history of liberal societies. Race, she contends, is a process embedded in a range of legal technologies that produce racialized populations who are divided against other groups. Moving past discussions of racial and social justice as abstract concepts, she reveals the playing out of race, racialization of groups, and legal frameworks within concrete historical frameworks.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780791493984
Publisher: State University of New York Press
Publication date: 03/05/2009
Series: SUNY series, Philosophy and Race Series
Edition description: New Edition
Pages: 270
Product dimensions: 5.90(w) x 8.90(h) x 2.60(d)

About the Author

Falguni A. Sheth is Associate Professor of Philosophy and Political Theory at Hampshire College and the coeditor (with David Colander and Robert E. Prasch) of Race, Liberalism, and Economics.

Table of Contents


Introduction: If You Don’t Do Theory, Theory Will Do You

1. The Technology of Race and the Logics of Exclusion: The Unruly, Naturalization, and Violence

First Dimension: Taming the Unruly
Second Dimension: Naturalizing the Unruly
Race as a Tool for Sovereign Power: Dividing Populations
Enframing Race: Vulnerability and Violence

2. The Violence of Law: Sovereign Power, Vulnerable Populations, and Race

Law, Violence, and Undecidability
Sovereign Power
Unruly and Vulnerable Populations
The Racialization of a Population
The Unruly and the Vulnerable Manifested as Categories of Law: Immigrants, Aliens, Enemies

3. The Unruly: Strangeness, Madness, and Race

Huntington and Rawls: Islam, Madness, and the Menace to Liberalism
Difference, Madness, and Race
Liberal Hegemony and Heterogeneous Populations

4.The Newest Unruly Threat: Muslim Men and Women

The Racializing and Outcasting of Muslims in the United States
Culture, Heterogeneity, and the Foreigner: Unruly Women

5. Producing Race: Naturalizing the Exception Through the Rule of Law

Exceptions and the Rule of Law
Constitutional Rights: Political? Human?

6. Border-Populations: Boundary, Memory, and Moral Conscience

The Third Term: Pariah Populations as a Border-Guard
Pariahs, Border-Populations, and Moral Gauges: The Example of Black Americans
Furthering State Interests: Dividing Populations Against Each Other
Concealing and Unconcealing: Multiple Border-Guards and Outsiders

7.Technologies of Race and the Racialization of Immigrants: The Case of EarlyTwentieth-Century Asian Indians in North America

The Great “Hindu” Migration
Political Resistance or Insurgency?

Conclusion: Toward a Political Philosophy of Race

Works Cited

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