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Missing: Persons and Politics
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Table of Contents

Introduction
1. Missing Persons, Manhattan
2. Displaced Persons, Postwar Europe
3. Tracing Services
4. Missing Persons, London
5. Forensic Identification
6. Missing in Action
7. Disappeared, Argentina
8. Ambiguous Loss
ConclusionNotes
Bibliography
Index

About the Author

Jenny Edkins is Professor of International Politics at Aberystwyth University. She is the author of Trauma and the Memory of Politics; Whose Hunger? Concepts of Famine, Practices of Aid; and Poststructuralism and International Relations: Bringing the Political Back In. She is coeditor of several books, including Global Politics: A New Introduction.

Reviews

"In this scholarly but deeply affecting analysis, Edkins discusses how societies have responded to people who have disappeared-as a consequence of war, state violence, and natural disaster. She focuses on 'the search for those missing in the aftermath' of WWII, Argentina's 'dirty war,' the Sept. 11 attacks, and the 2005 London bombings. While the loss of someone 'may appear to be a very private experience' and 'outside politics,' Edkins writes that 'our fates are intertwined,' and our responses to the loss of even one member of our community tells us what kind of society we are. Most potent is her examination of those missing in the wake of the Sept. 11 attacks-for its heartbreaking detail and for the author's ability to derive larger theories from her observations. She reminisces about how 'the cloud of dust that hung over Manhattan for some days would be all that lingered of many of the dead.' She meditates upon the psychology of the searcher hanging photographs of their missing friend or relative, and how those missing persons posters, which remained hanging long after the tragedy, were a 'collective scream ... a refusal to close over the trauma of a loss' and 'a symbolic reminder too that these people are indeed missing ... not "dead"-the dead have corpses.' A haunting and philosophical elegy."-Publishers Weekly "In Missing, Jenny Edkins asks original and intriguing questions about the phenomenology of 'the missing' in psychological, historical, and political narratives. Edkins focuses on occasions for searching for the missing that include World War II and its aftermath and the World Trade Center attack. Such episodes are both symptoms and causes of objectification and the production of invisibility. Edkins draws on an impressive range of sources, with trauma narratives from South America, Europe, Cambodia, and the United States. Her analysis and writing are clear and engaging, her readings edifying and enjoyable."-Jacqueline Stevens, Northwestern University, author of Reproducing the State and States without Nations "The depth of research here is both impressive and convincing. Jenny Edkins, like the Chilean poet Ariel Dorfman, argues that there can be only one response to those who tell us the missing are truly dead and gone: 'Don't believe them, don't believe them.'"-Eric Stover, author of The Witnesses: War Crimes and the Promise of Justice in The Hague "Eloquence and rage are the distinguishing features of Jenny Edkins's writings. Missing people are turned into objects; their irreplaceability, denied. In searing prose, she nudges us beyond the 'politics of missing persons' to 'a politics that misses the person.' This book changes the way we think about missing persons and the unmissed."-Joanna Bourke, Birkbeck College

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