Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Zombies or Cyborgs? Unnatural body metaphors for IR

I haven't read Dan Drezner's new book on Theory of International Politics and Zombies yet, but I do love Charli Carpenter's response to it.

But Charli's amusing, thought-provoking, & arch response aside, how are we threatened by the unnatural body that is the cyborg? And how much artificial material can be added to the human body before it becomes a cyborg? Night vision goggles enhance vision beyond the "natural" ability of the human eye. Do these goggles make the wearer "slightly cyborg?" And is that a good or bad thing?

Cristina Masters examines "Cyborg soldiers and militarised masculinities."* She writes:
Increasing military interest in the body cancels the transgressive potential of the cyborg. Where humans become the weakest link in contemporary warfare, the cyborg represents a desire for total masculinist control and domination.

And as Charli Carpenter points, out, the cyborg elements of modern warfare make it possible for a woman to "fight like a man."

*Cristina Masters, "Cyborg soldiers and militarised masculinities," Eurozine
May 20, 2010, online at http://www.eurozine.com/articles/2010-05-20-masters-en.html, accessed April 5, 2011.

1 comment:

  1. I was disappointed by the book. I was hoping for a allegorical and theoretical exploration into subjects like contagion politics, the Other in IR, etc. There are so many interesting directions this discussion could go, but it turns out to be a tongue-in-cheek book about what would happen if there was a "real" zombie outbreak. Not as useful as I had hoped.