Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Leadership in State Genesis: Creative Vicediction, Guardianship, and the Crystallization of Sovereign Authority
by Kazi, Tahseen, Ph.D., The Ohio State University, 2014, 316; 11005317
Abstract (Summary)

The complicity of leadership in the genesis of sovereign authority is neglected in contemporary political thought to the detriment of our understanding of both of these concepts. Dissatisfied with contemporary reliance on notions such as sovereign decision which ultimately imply primal repression as the sole source of all authority, my research takes the genesis of sovereignty as a problem to be solved rather than as an unalterable, natural occurrence to be presumed. Drawing on such diverse resources as Foucault’s concept of parrhesia, Weber’s concept of charisma, anthropological and mythological accounts of authority, Simondon’s theory of the genesis of the individual as crystallization, and primarily on Deleuzian philosophy, I offer an account of the genesis of the sovereign state as the result of the conjugation of two modes of leadership: leadership by guardianship and leadership by creative vicediction.

Whereas leadership by guardianship in the Platonic tradition makes claim to judgment on the authority of customary founding myths, thereby severely limiting leadership’s transformative potential, leadership by creative vicediction, a concept I develop, trespasses on such myths to critically engage with their representation of the present circumstance, and presubjectively and affectively guides others toward another way of being. I argue that the sovereign state is the outcome of the invention of a myth that conjugates these two leadership modes and thereby crystallizes a socially hierarchized community, such as the invention of the “divine right of kings” that conjugated Papal guardianship of the Christian Scholastic doctrine with unsettling, pagan, charismatic kingship.

I present a genealogy of leadership in the seventeenth and eighteenth century to make the argument that this period witnessed the genesis of a new form of sovereignty, one that is managed by not one but ongoing inventions of new myths that conjugate guardianship of the body politic with any emergence of creative vicediction. I show that it took the biopolitical technique of population manipulation by political arithmetic, a precursor to political economics, to adequately invent new myths and realize the genesis of the modern liberal state.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Holland, Eugene
Commitee: Amadae, Sonja, Armstrong, Philip, Coleman, Mathew, Lobo-Guerrero, Luis
School: The Ohio State University
Department: Comparative Studies
School Location: United States -- Ohio
Source: DAI-A 80/03(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: European history, International Relations, Political science
Keywords: Biopolitics, Charisma, Deleuze, Foucault, Guattari, Leadership
Publication Number: 11005317
ISBN: 978-0-438-59034-2
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