Excluded Within: The (Un)Intelligibility of Radical Political Actors (Hardcover)
Why are some claims seen or heard as political claims, while others are not? Why are some people not seen or heard as political agents? And how does their political unintelligibility shape political bodies, and the terms of political agency, from which they are excluded? In this groundbreaking book, Sina Kramer uses the framework of constitutive exclusion to describe the phenomenon of internal exclusion -- exclusions that occur within a political body. More specifically, constitutive exclusions occur when a system of thought or a political body defines itself by excluding some difference (based on gender, race, class, sexuality, etc.) that is considered intolerable to the boundaries that comprise the body or system's political worth. This exclusion is not absolute, but preserves the very difference it seeks to repress in order to define itself against what it is not. Yet, as Kramer argues, if those who are excluded contest their repression, their political claims are deemed threatening and criminal. But can we ever be without constitutive exclusions? And can we avoid reinscribing them through critique? Kramer ultimately argues that to do justice to the excluded, to render those claims intelligible as political claims, instead requires the reconstitution of the political body on new terms. Importantly, this book offers both a diagnosis and a critique of the concept of constitutive exclusion, articulating what counts as a political action and who counts as a political agent. Kramer takes up a range of cases -- including those of Antigone, Claudette Colvin and Rosa Parks, the 1992 Los Angeles riots, and the Black Lives Matter movement -- to better understand who counts as a political actor, and how we understand political belonging and the contestation of exclusion. Excluded Within articulates who we are by virtue of who we exclude, and what claims we cannot see, hear, or understand.
About the Author
Sina Kramer is Assistant Professor of Women's and Gender Studies at Loyola Marymount University.