Title

From Complicit Citizens to Potential Prey: State Imaginaries and Subjectivities in US War Resistance

Publication Date

2016

Document Type

Article

Abstract

The movements against the Vietnam and Iraq wars gave rise to analogous resistance efforts, in the form of draft resistance and counter-recruitment, respectively. Despite their many similarities, the draft resistance and counter-recruitment movements emerged in distinct historical eras marked by very different ‘state imaginaries’ or assumptions about the nature of the state and people’s relation to it. Drawing on original archival work, this paper excavates these state imaginaries and examines how they conditioned activists’ subjectivities in each era. More specifically, this paper argues that the 1960s were marked by an imaginary of the state based on consent, which positioned draft resisters as complicit citizens and engendered a sense of personal responsibility for the war. This state imaginary was displaced in the neoliberal era by an imaginary of the state as an alien and invasive force, which positioned counter-recruitment activists (or their children) as potential prey and impelled efforts at self-defense.

Original Citation

Brissette, E. (2016). From Complicit Citizens to Potential Prey: State Imaginaries and Subjectivities in US War Resistance. Critical Sociology 42(7-8), 1163-1177. doi: 10.1177/0896920515582091

Identifier

doi: 10.1177/0896920515582091