Mark Neocleous, The Universal Adversary: Security, Capital and the ‘Enemies of All Mankind’ – now out with Routledge

Progressive Geographies

Mark Neocleous, The Universal Adversary: Security, Capital and the ‘Enemies of All Mankind’ – now out with Routledge.

9781138955165

The history of bourgeois modernity is a history of the Enemy. This book is a radical exploration of an Enemy that has recently emerged from within security documents released by the US state: the Universal Adversary. Neocleous shows how the concept of the Universal Adversary draws on several key figures in the history of ideas, said to pose a threat to state power and capital accumulation. Within the Universal Adversary there lies the problem not just of the ‘terrorist’ but, more generally, of the ‘subversive’, and what the emergency planning documents refer to as the ‘disgruntled worker’. Taking the figure of the disgruntled worker as its starting point, the book introduces some of this worker’s close cousins – figures often regarded not simply as a threat to security and capital but as nothing…

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