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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Bare Life and the Developmental State: Implications of the Militarisation of Higher Education in Eritrea
Author:Muller, Tanja R.
Year:2008
Periodical:Journal of Modern African Studies
Volume:46
Issue:1
Period:March
Pages:111-131
Language:English
Geographic term:Eritrea
Subjects:governance
development
higher education
Education and Oral Traditions
Development and Technology
Link:http://ejournals.ebsco.com/direct.asp?ArticleID=493DB0C7A12EA25A861F
Abstract:Of late, it has been recognized that the neoliberal agenda has failed major parts of the developing world. The importance of the State for achieving wider objectives of 'development' has come to the fore again. In this context, debates on the feasibility of the developmental State have resurfaced. This article looks at these issues in relation to Eritrea. First Eritrea is discussed as a developmental State based on a particular understanding of biopolitics. Biopolitics is conceived as a form of national governance systematically managing the properties of the population with the ultimate objective of continuous reproduction of life in society - and as such based on what Agamben (1998) calls 'the politicization of bare life as such'. Taking the example of higher education, it is shown how the biopolitical project as applied to education policies and human resource development at first succeeded in terms of reinforcing personal nationalism, while at the same time opening up spaces for the fulfilment of personal aspirations. Since 2001, however, the biopolitical project has turned 'pernicious' and has become a tool of oppression. These developments, if they are to continue, will not only jeopardize the State's developmental agenda but may lead to the Eritrean polity in its present form becoming unviable. Bibliogr., notes, ref., sum. [Journal abstract, edited]
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