Spaces of Individual/National Security: Geopolitics, Citizenship, and Cultural Economy
The objective of this paper is to contribute to one line along which a connection might usefully be forged between critical geopolitics and the kinds of economic analysis made possible with/through cultural economy. This line of connection, I argue in this paper, could be traced through a particular kind of analysis of economic citizenship. Shifting definitions of everyday economic citizenship, like shifting discourses of foreign policy, often hinge upon the question of risk. In both historical and contemporary moments over the past century, everyday economic citizenship, especially in the American context, has often attempted to locate individuals directly in economic contexts as direct bearers of particular forms of risk. Although given a particular kind of force in the context of globalizing financial markets, this citizenship-risk connection has long been a key feature of forms of everyday economic conduct. This individual risk, so central to conceptions of economic citizenship, has not, however, been separate from or outside of the risk nations bear in geopolitical space. The main point of this paper argues that, in many respects, the risks individuals are asked to bear in everyday economic life (risks that are often situated at the centre of effective forms of individual self-government) have often been deeply implicated in the ways in which the nation secures/bears itself in the context of geopolitical danger. At the core of many forms of economic citizenship, I will argue, is a connection (a deep mutual implication) between the risk individuals face in the spaces of the market and the risks confronting nations/states in geopolitical space - forms of risk that are constitutive of both citizen and nation. In this way, I suggest, the construction of the nation relies not only on discourses of identity/difference which demarcate an ‘inside’ form an ‘outside’ in the performance of national security. The construction of nation, a concern central to critical geopolitics, is also deeply reliant on the constitution of citizens capable of bearing individual risk and, in so doing, making themselves active in the securing of the nation.