1. Framing : Identify the Concern, Context and Question. Comment on the relation of the three.


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March 16, 2020
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May 14, 2019
The Comaroffs begin the paper in a manner that is a part question and part description. The object both acts being lawlessness in the post-colonies. They expound stated facts and discussed features regarding the extent of post-colonies violence, corruption, and crime. At the same time, the question these same facts and features upon starting them. However, their question is not directed at the truth or falsity of the fact, but rather the nature of the object. The conveyed 'lawlessness' with the statement.
Indeed the paper goes further and further into this vain of communicated truths, challenging not the statements themselves but the avenues of communications, the silences made possible by the patterns of communication. 'Lawless' as a signifying concept, in particular, is extensively dealt with. The characteristic of denotes an occasion of absence or failing of the lawful procedure. This can mean anything from corruptive practice, or out violent suspension of sovereignty. Moreover, this characterization is not devoid of particularity. This lawless is a sustained state within the post-colonies. However, by drawing attention in this way to the lawlessness as a characteristic feature, in it's sustained actuality within functioning nation-states, and its principled contradiction of a nation-state revels cross firing off signals. The Comaroffs systematically deal with the actual, the ideal and communicated overlaps of disorder in the post-colonies, in segregating problems, presumptions, and paradoxes.
What groundwork that is laid here has to do with the interconnectedness of law as a functioning system within globalized neoliberal histories of economic production, and sovereign argument. These historical processes revel opportunities for judicial arguments as well as criminal emprise. Through this categorical linkage the Comaroffs, with multiple cases show how the opposing two are directly liked through the very same processes. 
May 14, 2019

The book is a collection of seven lectures divided into two parts. Chapters  1 to 3 make up the first part and are lectures given in November of 2001, at Columbia University. They establish the books key concern, which is unearthing the extent to which governmentality is both a key operational feature of modern optical state and simultaneously neglected aspect within political thought and study. The extent of this assertion comes across in the differentiation of civil and political society.
 The objective of the book is both show and tell. Political society, as being different from civil society, is a real existent community, that is a result of a liberal state, just as much as the category of citizen. The struggle for showing it is linked to the struggle of mobilizing it  (political society) as a feasible concept that can use political scrutiny. The absence of the concept and the effects of such an absence is a major topic of the book.
To be sure, the reason for such an overlooking is not merely placed as theoretical or critical oversite. Rather the problem is located within a reading of history rather than political theory. As Chatterjee notes in the first and second chapters where the question of political mobilization is addressed, the Wests implementation of governance tactics such as in the case of welfare, came into the modern nation-states framework, only after the formulation of civil rights and citizenship. In the case of the global south and it's colonized history, governmentality were the first aspects of the nation-state that were introduced. Thus Democracy's history is of more use to Chatterjee's analysis than its political philosophy. History is key to the whole text, as each lecture, and hence each chapter addresses a particular case. The first section often deals with particular thinkers and the historical significance of their ideas. The second section deals with cases where the political societies within particular state localities interact with global trends of market and politics. History as a key analytical feature that Chatterjee uses, keeps the case's social significance intact. What this also does is change the nature of the argument. The histories make the mainstream political discussion, with its insistence on civil society alone,  flawed. But not through contradictory argument, in implication, the 'show'. The 'tell' is thus becomes a suggestion, the analytical emphases on political society become a negative argument for civil societies and it's demographic capabilities.  

May 14, 2019

The key notion that Busch communicates in the introduction is that of ubiquity. Standards are first listed out in their mundane ever presences, followed by an emphasis on a range of fields, ideas, and processes that sacrum to an idea of standards. Here, Busch very quickly builds a running thread of concern that is communicated with an almost commonsensical tone. He concern is the idea of ubiquity, a proximate ubiquity that the reader is embedded in, and has access to. However, Busch soon shifts focus to the various thinkers and disciplines that have concerned themselves with standards. Busch achieves two things with this move. First, his presentation of former scholarly analysis serves less in populating his own work with ideas, and more in building another dimension of concern, legitimizing the consistency this idea, thus making the question of standards as ubiquitous as its actual presence. However, in this first move, the prevalence is articulated as a distributed idea, commented on and engaged with varying philosophers, sociologist, and historians. Throughout this listing Busch takes pains not to lose the commonsensical tone, unhesitatingly drawing attention to the drab and tedious nature of studying standards. The second simultaneous, subtler move, is that of shaping concern. The ubiquity of standards is well established and legitimized, however, this legitimacy is done through the gaze of social science, thus lays the foundation for the direction with which he takes his reading of standards. To be clear, though Busch makes it clear that standards are wide-ranging and complex, he ultimately focuses on socio- philosophical aspects such as power, quality, justice, and democracy. The weight of this point, especially at the level of context is that seed of his larger idea, that standards though existing as conditions that shape the world we know are implicitly dependent on larger socio-philosophical conditions and operations themselves.
This point is prefaced in the introduction by the concept of ubiquity again, however in Busch's problematization of same. Busch, in his characterization of the ubiquitous nature, both in its presentation and historical treatment, exposes the limitations of its subsequent understanding. A particular aspect comes from a proposed dislocation between analysis that operates at the institutional and the embodied level. Thus ubiquity in its tediousness, vastness, and general appearance obfuscates the complex and locative condition that make the operation of standards possible

May 14, 2019

The fundamental question that drives Scott's work is that of 'legibility'. That is the states ability to see, read and make sense of its own society. The work originally stemmed from an interest in the tension between the state and those communities or identities that pose a difficulty to document or account for, such as nomadic tribes or immigrants. Scott's pursuit quickly led him to concentrate on the state's method of documentation itself. The cornerstone Scott's concern is that of 'difficulty', that is the difficulty of the state implementing and managing this feedback loop of accounting of its own society. Thus rather than an account, or document, 'legality' becomes the key concept, as it incorporates the states intentional viewpoint, operation and hits at the limitation that is struggled with. However, the pursuit of this concept quickly reviles another dimension of this content, that is that legibly is not achieved through mere tactics of scrutiny, but rather through the arrangement. In other words, the state makes legible through statecraft. The thrust made here is that the state's sovereignty is interwind with the act of making legible, which itself is intertwined with resistances that have to be contended with. Thus going forward legibility is both the goal of the statecraft which is the object of the study, and it's a difficulty.

May 14, 2019

Knorr Catena sets up two opposing approaches to reason and rationality, the first being reason as resources and the second being rational action as practiced. These approaches are expertly explored and analyzed by her but are not her own proposals, especially the first. Much of the set of the essay is spent on elaborating the over-emphasis of the first approach by scientists, economists, philosophers and sociologists all pursuing respective notions of rationality or knowledge, treating it value that achieved through proper conduct or operation. The point is that this approach 'sees' rationality embedded within the final outcome of and not within the enacted operations. The author here is free to make to challenging moves successively, the first being the negligence of the second approach by the same authorities, the second, correlating this negligence with the limitations of establishing a preference for the reason as resources approach.   

April 22, 2019

Karin Knorr Cetina introduces the idea of laboratory studies by framing it in two ways. The first is chronological attribute attached to lab studies, as a discursive perspective, calling it recent. This perspective is thus a 'recent' one with the larger discursive field of STS. The second is more characteristic. Two used phrases are particular here, the first is "direct observation and discourse analysis" and  "the root where knowledge is produced". The first phrase is ''methodological", tending towards the "studies" aspect of the title in question. The second is ''locative'', the phrase being qualified a follow up that says " in modern science typically the scientific laboratory". Here the laboratory is likened to the function of knowledge, specifically scientific knowledge. There is a teleological quality or even value given to the lab. A value that is simultaneously social and methodological.                     

The rest of the sections of the chapter delve deeper into the operation of the characteristics. The point is that the laboratory marks a fundamental 'change' in the working of STS and the understanding of science as a knowledge system in general.