If the Body Politic Could Breathe in the Age of the Refugee

An Embodied Philosophy of Interconnection

  • Julia Metzger-Traber

Part of the Masters of Peace book series (MAPEAC)

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages I-XI
  2. Julia Metzger-Traber
    Pages 1-3
  3. Julia Metzger-Traber
    Pages 5-25
  4. Julia Metzger-Traber
    Pages 27-38
  5. Julia Metzger-Traber
    Pages 39-52
  6. Julia Metzger-Traber
    Pages 53-62
  7. Julia Metzger-Traber
    Pages 63-82
  8. Julia Metzger-Traber
    Pages 83-90
  9. Julia Metzger-Traber
    Pages 91-106
  10. Julia Metzger-Traber
    Pages 107-128
  11. Julia Metzger-Traber
    Pages 129-131
  12. Back Matter
    Pages 133-141

About this book


This book posits that the ‘refugee crisis’ may actually be a crisis of identity in a rapidly changing world. It argues that Western conceptions of the individual ‘Self’ shape metaphors of political homes, and thus the geopolitics of belonging and exclusion. Metzger-Traber creatively re-conceives political belonging by perceiving the interconnection of each ‘Self’ through its most immediate home – the breathing body. On an experimental literary journey through her own past and that of Germany, she puts political philosophy in conversation with somatic and spiritual insight to expand notions of ‘Self’ and 'Home'. Then she asks: What ethical imperatives arise? What kinds of homes and homelands would we create if we no longer thought we ended at our skin? 

  • The Borders of Belonging and the Question of Roots
  • The Politics of Shaping Home
  • An Emergent Ethic: Sensing Response-Ability
  • A Practice of Paradox: Breathing Life into Theory
  • Autopoiesis: Co-creating Home in Berlin
  • Opening into the Abyss
Target Groups
  • Lecturers and students of psychology, especially in the field of peacebuilding, reconciliation and conflict transformation, political science, philosophy, social and cultural theory 
  • Actors in the fields of Elicitive Conflict Transformation, peace work, political science, political philosophy, expressive arts therapy
The Author
Julia Metzger-Traber is a peace researcher from the MA program in Peace, Development, Security and International Conflict Transformation at the University of Innsbruck, Austria. She is engaged in facilitating collaborative public art projects and community restorative justice processes as peace work.


peace studies somatics transrational peace philosophy elicitive conflict transformation ethics border studies refugee crisis politics of touch trauma healing expressive arts therapy interbeing hospitality postmodern political belonging engaged Buddhism

Authors and affiliations

  • Julia Metzger-Traber
    • 1
  1. 1.UNESCO Chair and MA Program for Peace StudiesUniversity of InnsbruckIgls-VillAustria

Bibliographic information

  • DOI
  • Copyright Information Springer Fachmedien Wiesbaden GmbH, ein Teil von Springer Nature 2018
  • Publisher Name Springer, Wiesbaden
  • eBook Packages Behavioral Science and Psychology
  • Print ISBN 978-3-658-22364-9
  • Online ISBN 978-3-658-22365-6
  • Series Print ISSN 2364-463X
  • Series Online ISSN 2364-4648
  • Buy this book on publisher's site