Political Compassions under Pandemic Spectacles

  • Mika Aaltola


World-order compassions that take place under pandemic threats provide an additional way to understand the various implications of the vorticity model. Similar to the increasing worry over global warming, (re)emerging pandemic threats lead to communal sentiments, which perceive in them a common enemy to the human polity as well as a hierarchical vision of that polity. Pandemics also directly bind individual bodies with the hegemonic body, thereby leading to what may be considered politico-somatic links. I will review here how the changing global hierarchy—the post-9/11 wars in Afghanistan and, more particularly, in Iraq—were reflected in the politico-somatics of the severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) and avian influenza. In order to realize the admittedly ambitious aims of this chapter, I will contextualize the present pandemic sentiments in a long history of encounters with lethal epidemic diseases. The main idea is that “dis-ease” at the level of the individual somatic body may be seen as a part of a larger movement in the global political hierarchy.


Avian Influenza Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy Pandemic Influenza Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome 
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© Mika Aaltola 2009

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  • Mika Aaltola

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