You are on page 1of 19

Third World Quarterly

ISSN: 0143-6597 (Print) 1360-2241 (Online) Journal homepage: http://www.tandfonline.com/loi/ctwq20

Sentinel matters: the techno-politics of


international crisis in Lebanon (and beyond)
Nikolas Kosmatopoulos
To cite this article: Nikolas Kosmatopoulos (2014) Sentinel matters: the techno-politics of
international crisis in Lebanon (and beyond), Third World Quarterly, 35:4, 598-615, DOI:
10.1080/01436597.2014.924063
To link to this article: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/01436597.2014.924063

Published online: 16 Jul 2014.

Submit your article to this journal

Article views: 276

View related articles

View Crossmark data

Citing articles: 2 View citing articles

Full Terms & Conditions of access and use can be found at


http://www.tandfonline.com/action/journalInformation?journalCode=ctwq20
Download by: [University of California, Berkeley]

Date: 04 October 2015, At: 00:37

Third World Quarterly, 2014


Vol. 35, No. 4, 598615, http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/01436597.2014.924063

Downloaded by [University of California, Berkeley] at 00:37 04 October 2015

Sentinel matters: the techno-politics of


international crisis in Lebanon (and
beyond)
Nikolas Kosmatopoulos*
Columbia University, Global Center, Paris, France

In this article I focus on the crisis experts in Lebanon and, in particular, on one celebrated expert response to crisis, the crisis report. I
suggest looking at the report as a techno-political tool that seeks to
produce and disseminate knowledge about crisis and conicts in different parts of the world, while packaged and structured in a universal format. As a rst step I analyse the particular features of this
format, such as size and scale. The main argument is that the report
presents itself as an assemblage of a series of technical characteristics
that help to shrink the world and make it t the model format of the
crisis expert. In a second step I open up the perspective and link the
reports micro-format to bigger questions on governing the world
today. Here, I argue that, within current imaginaries of emergency,
impending crisis and global terrorism, the crisis report functions as a
particular kind of sentinel. I show that it can speak through the language of constant alertness and, crucially, the production of sentinel
subjectivities that must be continuously monitored.
Keywords: crisis; expertise; think tanks; sentinel; techno-politics;
Lebanon; International Crisis Group (ICG)

Cei nest pas une crise?


A car bomb explodes on 25 January 2008 in Beirut. It instantly kills Lebanese
Army Captain WismEd, his bodyguard and three passers-by. CaptainEd was
at the time the ofcial Lebanese Army investigator of a series of assassinations
of Lebanese politicians, including former MP Rafq al-Harr. In the International
Crisis Groups (ICG) CrisisWatch (no. 54, February 2008) a gurative bomb
was accompanied by the following brief text:
Risk of violent confrontation in and over Lebanon heightened. Car bomb 25 Jan
killed Capt Wissam Eid, investigator of string of political assassinations following
*Email: nk2494@columbia.edu
2014 Southseries Inc., www.thirdworldquarterly.com

Third World Quarterly

599

Downloaded by [University of California, Berkeley] at 00:37 04 October 2015

2005 murder of PM Raq Hariri. Bodyguard and 3 passersby killed; 37 wounded.


Clashes 28 Jan between army and Shia protestors in southern Beirut left at least 7
dead, including opposition Hizbollah and Amal ofcials. Presidency vacant since
Nov; parliamentary vote again postponed, now due 11 Feb. Arab League FMs 6
Jan endorsed plan to resolve deadlock: Gen Michel Suliman as president, national
unity government and new electoral law. SG Amre [sic] Moussa held talks with
rival factions in Beirut, visited Damascus, mid-month: no breakthrough. Explosion
apparently targeting US embassy vehicle 15 Jan killed 3. Rockets red from Lebanon into Israel 8 Jan: no responsibility claimed. Troops red on Israeli planes over
Lebanese territory 21 Jan. Roadside bomb 8 Jan struck UNIFIL patrol: 2 injured.

Under the text there was detailed reference (along with hyperlinks) to three relevant publications by well known Western mainstream media outlets the BBC,
International Herald Tribune (IHT) and Reuters on different events featured in
the brief text above. The BBC piece draws the Army into Lebanese crisis, the
IHT reports on the car bomb against Lebanese intelligence ofcer, and Reuters
announces the efforts by Arab mediator to broker Lebanese rivals meeting.
We agreed on a bomb, Robert told me decisively, when I asked him about
the image next to the entry for Lebanon in CrisisWatch, the most read publication from the ICG. During my eldwork in Beirut (200810) he was the main
researcher on the ground for the organisation. Robert is a Swiss national and
sociologist by training. He joined the ICG a few months before the 2006 July
war (arb tammz) between izbullah and Israel. He was tall and blondish,
with a soft voice, good manners and proper comportment. I spent long evenings
with him discussing local and global politics, but also the thorny issue of
knowledge production in academia, diplomacy, intelligence and think-tanks.
Before Lebanon he had been working in Egypt for many years, and contributed
a sociological study on Islam and the market there.
We decided on a bomb for a lot of reasons, Robert rephrased his initial
sentence that spring evening of 2008. We had the clashes, the very bad reaction
of politicians to street tensions compared to the situation last year and so on.
So, we had an internal discussion that went from Brussels to Damascus and to
me in Beirut and back again. Robert was extremely eloquent when I asked him
about the logic behind the publication of the organisations most inuential
report. He was very forthcoming about the process of exchanges of knowledge
and opinions between the different layers and levels of the organisation, which
stretched both in hierarchy (from high-ranking ofcials to eld researchers) and
in geography (from Beirut to Brussels and Washington, DC). All these layers,
he insisted, play a crucial role in the production of each CrisisWatch. This is
especially so in difcult times, when tensions and concerns rise to dangerous
levels in times such as those of January and February 2008 in Beirut and
Damascus, in which car bombs respectively killed an investigator of the Lebanese Army and a military commander of izbullah. The country seemed to be
in a terrible mess: car bombs, clashes and sectarian tensions in the streets; a
vacant presidency, a diplomatic deadlock and a power vacuum in the echelons
of power; rockets, explosions and roadside bombs in the South; all seemed to
concur with the pithy assessment that the risk of violent confrontation in and
over Lebanon [is] heightened.

Downloaded by [University of California, Berkeley] at 00:37 04 October 2015

600

N. Kosmatopoulos

But in the end nothing really happened: no escalation, no widespread


clashes, no violent confrontations a false alarm? Indeed, in the ICG monthly
report no. 55 (March 2008) the Lebanon entry came out without the iconic
bomb. Instead, it sported a rightwards-pointing arrow that sought to signify that
the situation remained unchanged. The March 2008 CrisisWatch concluded
that tensions remained high and political crisis continued.1 One cannot but
wonder about this assessment, since it was a deadly car bomb in Damascus later
in February that killed Hajj Marwan, izbullahs top military commander,
prompting the party to threaten Israel with an open war. Arguably such a war
would have been regional, involving two militarily advanced players and, in this
sense, much bigger than any intra-Lebanese violent clashes.2
This article does not aim to challenge the ICGs ability to measure threats or
predict crises in Lebanon, Syria or elsewhere. The aim of this piece is rather an
ethnographic exploration of the ways, formats and channels through which
threats and crises come to be represented to different audiences today. By
embarking on such an endeavour, I do not wish to make any distinction between
objective and false representations, real and constructed threats. Neither do I
wish to imply that all threats are constructed and thus the rst aim of the social
scientist is to deconstruct them for everyones benet. Rather, I am interested in
those particular mechanisms, material and discursive, intentional and contingent,
which organise, systematise and circulate the (re)presentation of crisis. How
does crisis, I ask, come to be represented in the world of global think-tanks?
In 1926 Belgian surrealist painter Ren Magritte produced a painting entitled
Cei nest pas une pipe. It consisted of the image of a pipe, accompanied by
the painted words (in French) This is not a pipe. By implying that the painting
is a visual depiction of a pipe and not a real pipe, Magritte critiqued the politics of representation in contemporary art. Building on that, Michel Foucault
laments modern ways of seeing, which link reality with visual representation.3
As the latters English translator says, both Magritte and Foucault assert the
arbitrariness of the sign. Applied to contemporary academic debates on crisis,
this sort of critique can be said to have numerous followers. These would
include Italian philosopher Giorgio Agamben, who builds on Walter Benjamin
and Michel Foucault to describe a rather dystopian permanent state of exception.4 On a lighter tone US sociologist Craig Calhoun follows Charles Taylor
to paint the existence of an emergency imaginary.5 I am also tempted to add
my voice to the chorus of Cei nest pas une crise! However, I nd it somehow
more tempting to add an ethnographic question mark at the end.
Exploring the techno-politics of crisis knowledge
The literature on think-tanks is wary of providing a stable denition of its primary object of study. As an overview book notes, one of the most difcult tasks
in the analysis of such organisations is establishing clear boundaries as to which
organisations t within the category.6 In fact, the literature is replete with efforts
to propose the most suitable framework for categorising different think-tank
types. In most of the cases, however, different versions of hybridity are
suggested. Thus, think-tanks are often perceived as structures helping to bridge
the gap between knowledge and policy.7 Either as an interstitial space between
state and civil society, or a link between academia and policy making, the

Downloaded by [University of California, Berkeley] at 00:37 04 October 2015

Third World Quarterly

601

think-tank is usually understood as a certain kind of boundary organization


holding rather murky powers.8
The article departs resolutely from what I regard as rather static (and statecentred) perspectives, according to which the power (read: success) of institutions, such as crisis and peace and crisis think-tanks, emanates either from their
hybrid position vis--vis traditional (read: state-dened) elds, such as policy
making, academia and bureaucracy, or through their strategies (often linked to
Bourdieusian capital forms) within circumscribed so-called markets of knowledge.9 I believe these views to be too easily digestible outcomes of deductive
analyses, which too often place institutions, individuals and interests within
structural and structured straightjackets, denying them a priori not only the
possibility of transcending boundaries, markets and elds of power, but also of
creating new associations between and beyond given elds. In fact, I argue that
in these analyses the very concept of power is rigid and inelastic, regarded as
the outcome of successive accumulations of various quantities of something
pre-dened by the researcher, such as political knowledge, symbolic capital,
funding, etc. In so pre-dening power, one denies oneself the possibility (and
the challenge) of exploring radically new forms of power.
In my work I apply an inductive view of how think-tanks, experts and the
technologies they might have at their disposal work. I assert that this analytical
perspective is more attentive to the contextual peculiarities, associations and
innovations that enable a given think-tank to present itself as an adequate institutional response to a particular problem or question. In other words, an inductive perspective on the crisis think-tank places the empirical question mark on
how the former formulates a response to the problem of crisis, as the latter is
dened by the think-tank. In this way the inquiry will begin from the response
and subsequently open up to this or that given eld of power and not vice
versa.
Thus, instead of assuming structured and pre-dened elds of rational actors
and sociological belongings, I am inspired by Tolstoys heretic denunciation of
heroic agency and Latours provocative evocation of other non-human agents in
making human affairs.10 I suggest an inductive, non-statist and non-static
approach that seeks to explore the power(s) of the think-tank at hand and, to do
so, I utilise Timothy Mitchells concept of techno-politics, because it can capture those complex forms of power constituted through assemblages of human
and non-human forces and brought together by technological expertise, political
forces and pure chance.11 When looking at the world of experts through the lens
of techno-politics, practices and techniques are not just the effects of rational
decisions by sovereign actors. Rather, they stand in dialectic and intertwined
relationship with each other. Regarding the present research questions, I argue
that the framework of techno-politics allows more contextual complexity
between knowledge, expert practices and experts than adopting a unilateral causality that emanates from the experts and ends in their non-human practices and
products.
In my broader research on peace and crisis expertise in Lebanon, I explore
how, in the years that followed the end of the Lebanese Civil War (197590),
the abstract ideal of peace gradually gave way to a relatively distinct and
tangible domain articulated and promoted by diverse groups of experts.12 In

Downloaded by [University of California, Berkeley] at 00:37 04 October 2015

602

N. Kosmatopoulos

particular, I explore how a previously transcendent hope of peace was


transformed into a specic imaginary around which diverse forms of technopolitical expertise such as the conict-resolution workshop and academic
discourses such as the failed state and the ethnic conict were developed
and deployed.13 Throughout my work I explore the effects of this new form of
power on emerging subjectivities.
Here I focus on the crisis experts and, in particular, on one celebrated expert
response to crisis, the crisis report. I suggest looking at the report as a technopolitical tool that seeks to produce and disseminate knowledge about crisis and
conicts in different parts of the world, while packaged and structured in a what
is basically a universal format. I explore this idea through a combination of methodologies and perspectives, including anthropological eldwork in Beirut and in
New York City, as well as archival (sometimes online) research. As a rst step I
analyse the particular features of this format, such as size and scale. The main
argument here is that the report presents itself as an assemblage of a series of
technical characteristics that help to shrink the world overall and make it t into
the model format of the crisis expert. It carries and embodies capabilities that
resemble the capacities of literary gures taken from the tales of Jonathan Swift,
Rabelais and Lewis Carroll. I argue thus that the techno-politics of what I suggest
calling micro-knowledge is extremely successful in producing a model of the
bigger crisis that lurks around or looms large in a particular corner of the Earth.
In a second step I open up the perspective and link the reports micro-format to
bigger questions on governing the world today. Here I argue that within current
imaginaries of emergency, impending crisis and global terrorism the crisis report
functions as a particular kind of sentinel. Building on Mitchell,14 I show that if
the report can speak, then it does so primarily through the language of constant
alertness and, crucially, the production of sentinel subjectivities that must be
continuously monitored. In the conclusion, I take my overall ndings to the ontological plane and thus suggest some possible effects of the technopolitics of crisis
when the latter is regarded as quasi-natural phenomenon.
Can the report speak? Size, scale, sentinel
Timothy Mitchell opens his inuential book on the rule of experts in modern
Egypt by asking whether the mosquito can speak.15 He revisits the conventional
history of World War II Egypt in order to retell it through the perspective of
techno-politics. Against the often told story that Egypts development was
mainly obstructed by its forceful involvement in Europes war posing the Axis
against the Allies, the author reveals the destructive impact of another invader,
who was far more ruinous and conspicuous than the Germans: Anopheles
gambiae, a mosquito native to sub-Saharan Africa and unseen in Egypt before
the summer of 1942. While the war was responsible for between 50,000 and
70,000 deaths, the invading mosquitoes distributed a disease that caused the
deaths of 100,000 to 200,000 people. In his effort to explain the omission of
such a devastating factor from the conventional histories so far, Mitchell seems
to be making a Tolstoyan argument that historians are almost always focused on
human actors, and especially on big men and grand narratives. They are not
trained or willing to accept non-human actors as equally or even more inuential in bringing about havoc in human societies during war or peacetime.

Downloaded by [University of California, Berkeley] at 00:37 04 October 2015

Third World Quarterly

603

Yet a plea to integrate non-humans into human history is not just what
Mitchell is after. He wants and succeeds to do much more than that, namely to
tell a fascinating story of interconnection between numerous factors that have
been left out of ofcial accounts, but whose interactions appear random and
unexpected, yet fundamentally powerful in the changes in modern Egyptian history. Altogether his account is a masterful interweaving of highly heterogeneous
factors into one complex grid. Hence the impact of the Aswn Dam on the creation of fertile grounds is related to the expansion of the railways, which also
sponsored rapid mosquito advance to Upper Egypt; British military policy,
which shifted shipping routes in favour of vessels from Sudan, is connected to
British fears of US involvement in Egypt that stopped the former from asking
the latter for an existing remedy for malaria. In addition, the food habits of
Upper Egyptian peasantry, who consumed disproportionate amounts of sugar,
are juxtaposed with the inability of the Cairo-based medical experts and politicians to come up with a swift diagnosis and plan of action.
As already mentioned, one of the rst lessons that comes out of this insightful account is not merely that humans are not alone in the making of their own
history, but that we need to seriously rethink our denition of human agency
altogether. Rather, an assemblage of actors and forces, such as war and colonialism, covert and overt violence, expertise and bureaucracy, technology and nature, makes not only history and economy, but also human agency. Another
lesson to take from Mitchells approach is that each particular context warrants
its own detailed account of forces and actors as they are deployed in time and
space and in relation to one another. In other words, we must resist the temptation to nd analytical refuge in all too general and familiar frames, such as the
political elites, the economy, the state, and capitalism, or in grand theoretical
constructs such as eld theory, as discussed further above. Having said that,
we should emphasise that this does not mean we must ban power and powerful
actors from our analytical focus, but rather that we need to look at the particular
assemblages of techno-politics that give power its powerfulness. With these
insights in mind, I turn now to my own research question and look at how the
crisis report can be analysed through a similar lens, that is, as an assemblage of
forces and actors as they are deployed in time and space, and in relation to one
other.
Size: overlapping academia and journalism
Robert, the Swiss-born and -educated sociologist we met at the beginning of this
article, was the major analyst on the ground in Beirut for the ICG during the
bulk of my eldwork there between 2008 and 2010. His essential task was data
collection for research on crisis situations and militant groups in this small but
turbulent country. Collected knowledge would then ow into the writing of crisis reports for the organisation. Roberts inauguration into the habit of writing
crisis reports happened in the most direct and intense way possible, since the
bloody clashes between izbullah and the Mustaqbal movement in May 2008
were, by all measures, a rst-class crisis. As such, it warranted analysis and
commentary in a crisis report, and quite urgently too. Roberts crisis report on
the May events the fastest he had ever written, as he told me came out only
one week after the clashes.

Downloaded by [University of California, Berkeley] at 00:37 04 October 2015

604

N. Kosmatopoulos

It was only a few days after that when Robert invited me to his home to talk
about my research on him and his crisis organisation. At home his entire
family was present: wife and child, along with the entire local ICG team, namely
him and his Arab colleague and translator. Robert had a unique way of
conating these two institutions family and ICG in his life. His wife, a native
Arabic speaker, would often be helping him with translation and other
professional tasks, while his ofcial translator and research assistant, a smart
Moroccan man, would eat and spend time with them as if he were a regular
member of the family. The long working hours, especially in crisis mode, would
compel his assistant to spend them at Roberts home, which had been effectively
turned into the local ICG headquarters. The TV was always on, loud, and xed on
the news. While I was talking to Robert in the dining room, his wife, child and
translator would chat and watch the news in the living room only meters away.
Robert was always conscious of and reective about his gradual but steady
transformation from an academic researcher to a think-tank analyst within the
past months. This had produced considerable amounts of self-reection but also
admiration for his new job. He talked to me enthusiastically about the impact
factor of the report:
Our email list comprises of 600,000 people who receive our reports electronically
on a monthly basis. We have a policy of hard covers, too, and here we try to target the most efcient people, such as a few ambassadors, all political leaders here
[in Lebanon], except from Nasrallh, because we dont have an address [sic],16
but we send it to some people in izbullah here. We also send a hard copy of
the report to people such as Fouad Siniora, Walid Jumblatt, and few people who
we consider relevant or inuential, such as deputies.17 To give you an idea, I send
something between 50 and 70 printed copies for every report to most inuential
people in the country.18

A basic fact that Robert got to learn during his brief training as a crisis report
author was not only to write such reports in a mode and state of emergency, but
to make sure that they were attractive to mass audiences worldwide, something
of relative concern during his previous academic career. The attractiveness of
the crisis report was a collective concern within the organisation, and all the ICG
experts I talked to conrmed it. An essential part of this concern was a preoccupation with the technical characteristics of the report: total page length, the
length of the commentary on every country (not longer than a paragraph), the
analogy between the analysis section and the recommendations, etc. Another
high-level ICG expert told me that the basic decisions on the technical format of
the crisis report and the overall repertoire of Policy Papers, CrisisWatch and
Background Reports were taken during the time when the organisation was
led by Gareth Evans, a long-time former foreign minister of Australia and
high-level ofcial in some powerful global institutions. Evans introduced the
25-pages-max rule because that is the maximum readable by top level people,
as he was quoted as saying. As a foreign minister he had never had time to read
long texts, but he would rely on his people to digest them.
The introduction of the principle of maximum readability brought about a
series of technical innovations in the report format. Some of them revolved
around the question of time and how the report format could guarantee optimal

Third World Quarterly

605

Downloaded by [University of California, Berkeley] at 00:37 04 October 2015

accessibility among the high-level, global readership it targeted. As a result,


each crisis report comes out with an executive summary, very easy to read and
a media release that can be picked up by the press, as my interlocutor
informed me. The idea behind this is that, if somebody does not have time to
read the entire report, they can read the executive summary and have some idea
of the reasoning and the policies that the ICG suggests. This innovation created
condence among the crisis experts that quite a few ofcials read crisis reports
because there are items inside that are not too complicated to understand, such
as the description of the governments actions, the agenda, the key players.
This condence was evident in the response of my high-level interlocutor
when I asked her about the production process:
Once the research has nished, the rst draft is sent to the project director, who in
turn sends it to the programme director. Professional editors will put it in the format, in proper language, they will comment on the structure. Editing is a very
important part of the work. It usually comes out with the topics (key issues, key
parties, international community, contractions or dilemmas, and recommendations).
Of course, there are variations. But we make sure that its usable quickly. With an
academic paper you have to get into it, to understand the reasoning and so on.
With the ICG reports, if you want to look at the policy, you have to do that, too.
Otherwise, you can glance through it, pick information and see the overview, get
an idea of what the situation is like and an idea of what these people ghting
want and an idea of what the options are as a policy maker. You can just do that
in half an hour.19

The comparison between the necessary time to get into an academic paper and
the time to glance through a crisis report is illuminating not only because it
offers an insider perspective on the desired degree of depth that the organisation
wishes to provide in the analysis of crisis per country, but also because it
portrays in a nutshell a particular balance that is built into the report format. To
be sure, the built-in balance is related to the decision on the optimal amount of
information provided so as to keep the readers interest high. Nevertheless, and
crucially, it is also connected to the particular genre of the crisis report, which,
in the hands of diplomats and global policy makers, often serves as an
orientation leaet in the case of an emergency. Thus, it must be brief enough to
provide the reader with an idea of what these people who are ghting might
want, along with the possible policy options that the reader could support in a
potential decision-making process on that very ghting. From the perspective of
a high-ranking diplomat, therefore, the critical mass of information included in a
crisis report should be enough but not too much.
It must contain enough contextual information to forebear deep analysis, but
not too much to disenchant the reader as an academic paper would do; it should
offer enough recommendations to give an overall idea, but not too much to step
on the toes of the local and global actors involved (therefore many recommendations are considered watered-down or irrelevant compared with the preceding
analysis); nally, it must disseminate enough sense of a world in constant crisis,
but not too much to give the impression that the crisis cannot be xed, if the
recommendations are followed.

Downloaded by [University of California, Berkeley] at 00:37 04 October 2015

606

N. Kosmatopoulos

Scale: linking the eld to the bureau


Elizabeth had been working with the ICG for many years when I met her for the
rst time in some ICG headquarters in 2010. She immediately gave me the sense
of a very condent person. In her early forties, a mix of different nations and
religions with a family dispersed over several regions, she received her
university education in Europe. She had made the best of her cosmopolitan
background, having visited and lived in different places in her capacity as an
ICG eld researcher. She would often talk at length about her adventures in the
1990s, when guerrillas adbucted her, demanding the release of UN peacekeeping
force in exchange for her release. A few years back she had climbed the ladder
of the organisation reaching the safety and recognition of the ICG headquarters in
a Western metropole. Her time in the eld was fresh in her memory, as evidenced when I asked her about the process of knowledge production in the
organisation:
So, when you do interviews of rebels [as in my case] in the bush I had to nd
where they were, I had to nd a way to get to them in a safe manner and make
sure I covered my back [sic].20

The ability to have access to the rebels on the ground is the pride of most of
the ICG researchers I talked to. This pride is often explicitly celebrated in the
video clips that the organisation has produced to advertise itself, in which the
researchers are said to have dust in their boots. In a video marking the 10th
anniversary of the group, former president Gareth Evans interjects that ICG
researchers do not sit behind computers in Brussels or in Washington.21
Instead, we watch them visiting and talking to members of what seem remote
tribes in an unknown African hinterland. There the token ICG eld researcher is
a tall, white, blond male, sporting safari clothes, a cool attitude (giving high
ves to local kids in the streets) and a clean-cut appearance. At the other end of
the thread we watch the ICG advocacy bureau members, in suits and ties, talking
to high-level ofcials and news broadcasts. The language accompanying the
description of the ICG work at each site is telling: while researchers on the ground
embed, penetrate and extract knowledge, their colleagues in the bureau
advocate, talk to the people that matter, trying to inuence the terms of the
debate.22
In the lm, in their own publications, in my interviews with them, all ICG
members recognise the added value of the organisation to be qualitative
knowledge produced along the long thread that begins in the eld where crises occur and ends in the bureau where decisions on intervention are
taken. This self-condent assertion of quality is undoubtedly linked to the
techno-politics attached to each station along this thread between eld and
bureau. Each station is made up of a repertoire of borrowed practices from other
domains of professional practice, such as (war) journalism, diplomacy and
academia (see further below).
In the eld the primary source of information is interviews, rst-hand interviews, quite difcult to access, Elizabeth says:

Third World Quarterly

607

Downloaded by [University of California, Berkeley] at 00:37 04 October 2015

ICG experts are supposed to be experts on the situation, so the questions they ask
tend to be very precise and targeted; questions that even trained journalists sometimes would not think of because their presence in the eld is not entrenched.
Indeed, these are ne-tuned questions, based on long and informed stays in the
eld.23

Resemblance to ethnographic eldwork was so striking that Elizabeth would


refer to it without waiting for the present anthropologist to ask. She went on to
compare the ethnographer with the ICG researcher by way of the immense material means that the latter has at her disposal to achieve what academic researchers do with much fewer resources (funding, information network, access to
media, dissemination structures). Such resources might not be enormous, but
they are denitely greater than those of the basic academic researcher, she says.
These resources allow ICG members to travel a lot, stay longer and access highplaced elites in the respective elds. The same resources allow the organisation
to recruit researchers from the academic eld and thus prot from their credentials, but only after the latter become more political in their outlook.24
Resources attached at the other end of the thread are equally crucial for the
alleged success of the organisation in producing quality reports. In order for the
latter to be adaptable by policy makers,25 reports must include recommendations, arguably a practice borrowed from traditional diplomacy. An essential
measurement of the success of the report is the extent to which the recommendations are included in the analyses and the white papers of embassies and other
diplomatic and policy-making agencies around the world. They take a lot of
ideas from our stuff, Elizabeth claims.
The gure of the advocacy manager is strategic, as the natural extension of
the report. Based in global cities that matter in terms of advocacy, ie Brussels,
Washington DC, New York, London, her job is to lobby policymakers and politicians to adopt the recommendations suggested by the organisation. On the face
of the tasks of the advocacy bureau other sorts of allies are important, namely
ex-diplomats, businessmen and high-level politicians, whose extended networks
can be put to work for the organisation. Hence, for example, the prominent position of the board members on the rst page of the report. These internationally
recognised personalities are expected to add value, expertise and credibility to
the analysis and the recommendations included in the monthly report. As such,
these international heavyweights are attached to the crisis report and function as
its extensions.
Sentinel: fusing emergency and surveillance
The crisis report combines analysis and recommendations constituting at once
an early warning micro-mechanism and a pocket-sized tool of crisis management. In the report the notion of crisis is immediately joined by that of crisis
management. Each crisis report must masterfully balance these two inter-related
tasks, namely an overview of the current state of emergency in a corner of the
globe and the provision of adaptable suggestions for intervention. Drawing from
anthropological research among public health expertise, in which ethnographers
explore expert-made forms of dealing with potential threats and crises, I suggest
introducing some of these insights into the critical analysis of the expert eld of

Downloaded by [University of California, Berkeley] at 00:37 04 October 2015

608

N. Kosmatopoulos

international conict and crisis. In particular, I suggest perceiving the ICG as a


kind of sentinel in international crisis management, as a special mechanism
designed to detect the emergence of unexpected violence. The sentinel is a
device devised to stimulate action when decision is imperative but knowledge
incomplete.26 These expert-made devices seek to monitor threats whose onset
may be sudden and unpredictable and to alert ofcials to a signicant event in
the present, albeit providing little information about what is likely to happen
next.27 According to Keck and Lakoff, sentinel devices have three main characteristics: they are event-oriented, action-oriented and integrated into larger systems of alert-and-response. As we have seen thus far, all these features apply
equally to the crisis report and to the ICG in general.
First, the operational logic of an event-oriented crisis sentinel is rmly
anchored both in the everyday work and in the foundational myth of the organisation. Central to the ICGs institutional autobiography are the tragic events in
Yugoslavia and Rwanda, which were regarded by its founders as arising from a
fundamental failure by the international community to act swiftly vis--vis
unexpected genocidal violence. Elizabeth adamantly asserts that an important
triggering factor leading to the creation of the organisation was the Rwandan
genocide, the war in Somalia, and the Bosnian war, since many diplomats and
human rights activists considered these events of massive and destructive
violence to be outright humanitarian disasters. This is how she continues this
thought:
On the plane one day, a couple of them mostly Anglo-Saxons discussed this:
It is not possible, we need an organisation that provides a very serious, very reliable analysis and research of the situation on the ground, so we can foresee the
situations and we can warn and mobilise the international community before its
too late. So the guilt factor was very, very powerful in the post-Cold War period.
In 1992 Boutros Boutros-Ghali had this Agenda for Peace and that was really the
blueprint for conict prevention. Burundi was one (risk of genocide) - they have
the same ethnic background as Rwanda. There were already a lot of ethnic crimes
committed and they all thought they had to prevent a genocide and that this is the
place to do it.28

The strong event orientation is equally observable in the crisis report, clearly
demonstrated for example in the content quoted at the beginning of this article.
Car bombs, political assassinations, clashes, explosions, the ring of rockets,
roadside bombs, but also parliamentary votes and endorsements of roadmaps,
constitute the core of the report. To be sure, the extent to which (some of) these
events will eventually be considered signicant in an analysis of an overall estimate on the eruption of crisis is always open to speculation and subject to
diverse calculations. Nevertheless, the event and with it the assumed built-in
ability to analyse and assess it in relation to future developments constitutes
an essential structuring element of the crisis report.
Second, the crisis report employs and embeds the analysis of past violent
events into a clear call for future action. Again, the foundational myth bears
upon the moral responsibility with which the urgency to act is invested in the
report. The knowledge embedded in this call is undoubtedly of a particular sort.
Elizabeth calls it a specic kind of knowledge to be understood as the ground

Third World Quarterly

609

Downloaded by [University of California, Berkeley] at 00:37 04 October 2015

to act. Robert goes one step further when he describes the crisis report as a
political thermometer, inadvertently echoing Foucault, who denes crisis as
the phenomenon of sudden, circular bolting that can only be checked either by
a higher, natural mechanism, or by an articial mechanism.29 Yet, as the
controversy around the report that opened this article aptly demonstrated, the
efciency of that mechanism cannot be easily gauged. In the words of Charles,
a member of the ICG in New York City,
if you issue warnings of potential outbursts of violence, you are always right. If
violence erupts you will say that you were right to predict it on time but nobody
listened. If not, you will say that it did not happen because you were able to
predict it on time and mobilise to counter it.30

In other words, constant calls for action and intervention ahead of an awaited
escalation, an impending crisis or an unexpected tension do not seem odd or out
of place. In the worst case they can be easily justied within the emerging
framework of preparedness.31
In their treatment of the sentinel from a critical anthropological point of
view, Keck and Lakoff suggest a series of analytical inquiries that help us dissect the power of, and the controversy around, the use of sentinel devices. Most
of these questions revolve around the following themes: the construction of the
sentinel and the perception of threat, and the negotiation of the ne line between
normal and abnormal, risk and noise; issues of reliability and legitimacy of the
sentinel devices, especially in relation to communities of experts, but also to
given abilities and struggles around truth-making claims. Finally, there are
challenges in relation to the move from detection to response, such as the ability
to produce credibility, a sense of collective urgency and, last but not least, a
collective recognition of the validity of the signal.
Certainly these are all highly relevant issues that lie at the core of the construction of the sentinel as a powerful device. Yet one is left wondering about
the acute bio-political effects of this powerfulness, which are not, in my opinion,
addressed adequately in the above approach. The missing question, as I see it, is
the one that explores processes of subjectication as they are developed and
produced through the deployment of mechanisms such as the sentinel. How is
the sentinel linked to particular subjects that might have been identied as the
principal actors of threat? What are the effects of the sentinel upon them?
My research responds to that inquiry by clearly identifying a trend on the
part of the ICG to place recalcitrant entities under a regime of knowledge accumulation that often borders on direct surveillance. Gareth Evans, for example,
claims in the 10-year anniversary video that the work the Group has done in
Southeast Asia in penetrating and understanding the roots of terrorist violence
has been described by some of the major intelligence agencies as gold standard.32 The ICG researchers who come next in the same video build further on
that claim by alluding to the provision of crucial information to the Indonesian
police, which led to the arrest and condemnation of violent Islamists. In general the selection criteria of researchers for the organisation are often directly
related to their proven ability to provide knowledge on the recalcitrant entities.
Arguably the ability of ICG researchers to penetrate the local society, as Wesley

Downloaded by [University of California, Berkeley] at 00:37 04 October 2015

610

N. Kosmatopoulos

Clark supports in the video discussed above, takes on an altogether new


meaning in this light.
In Lebanon it was Roberts previous academic work on Islam and the market
in Egypt that landed him the job with the organisation in the rst place. The
story of his employment begins at a conference in Paris on Islamic movements
or a thing like that, as he rather airily says. At this conference he presented
part of his work, which investigated the Muslim Brotherhoods relationship to
marketisation. After his talk two ICG ofcers approached him, asking if he would
be able and willing to write a report on Islamist movements in France.
Apparently the organisation was running a programme that studied the Islamist
movements in three countries France, Germany and England. He accepted,
although he was not comfortable with the explicit focus on Islamist groups.
As a sociologist he was not focusing on the Islamist groups per se, but on
general social trends, movements, strategies, etc. I was never and still not an
expert on the Islamic groups. I dont want to be, he exclaimed to me and went
on resolutely:
My research was about the process of Islamisation, sometimes studying tendencies
inside the Muslim Brothers, but not about the Muslim Brothers as a militant
group. Islam de Marche is about the process of demobilisation, but the real project
is not about religion and politics, but about religion and market. Inside the
Muslim Brothers, but also outside.33

Having said that, he was also fascinated by the possibility of working for a
think-tank. He wrote the report and all went ne with it. The next thing he
knew was an invitation to join the organisation, and go wherever [he] want[ed]
in the Arab world. Mainly for family reasons he chose Lebanon, but when he
arrived he did not know where to start. They told him that they wanted him to
focus on Salasm, Jihadism, such a thing, and he did that for a while:
I was a little bit lost at the beginning, so I went to the North [of Lebanon] to nd
my Sunni groups and I began to work there for one month and a half and they
agreed OK, Islamist groups in the North.34

Only a few months later the July war broke out. This event led him to reorient
his focus. The new challenge was izbullah, the militant Islamic party ercely
countering the Israeli military offensive against the country. From then on, no
crisis report could appear credible to its international readership without being
able to persuasively claim unhindered access to the strategists within the party
that had the world up in arms against it. Securing this access was Roberts basic
preoccupation as soon as the war broke out. Needless to say, this priority applies
to many if not all (mostly foreign) war journalists, conict researchers and
political commentators in the country.
Two years later Robert was obviously proud of the contacts he had within
the party. In fact, he broached this subject of his own volition:
[Now] I got much better contacts with izbullah. First contacts were during the
war. Then a friend introduced me to AF and WS [izbullah public gures]. From
them I met M [izbullah press ofce head]. He came back with two criticisms

Third World Quarterly

611

Downloaded by [University of California, Berkeley] at 00:37 04 October 2015

on the report; he didnt like part of it. And we began to discuss. After that I met
two people of the political party of izbullah [he names them]. I dont remember
direct access to izbullah without having corridors through the press ofce.
Through them we were able to get access to [name of ofcial], the [person]
responsible for the South, and further on with the higher cadres [sic].35

The problem with the contacts within izbullah maintained by many (Western)
researchers and journalists can be best understood within the context of the latters militarised conict with Israel and its inclusion on the US list of terrorist
organisations. Being extremely cautious and conscious of the ne line between
research and intelligence when it comes to it, izbullah ercely guards the ow
of its internal information, but also effectively monitors movement within what
it considers its territory.36 One of its strong points is arguably the notoriously
strategic and canny ways in which Hezbullah handles this vested interest by
foreign media, journalists, think-tanks and academic researchers. Thus, although
many members of the party I talked to consider the ICG to be an outright representative of Western interests, if not a covert spy network in the country, they
choose to keep channels of communication open for multiple reasons. As we
see from Roberts description, one of these reasons is the possibility of being
given draft ICG reports to read, comment on and criticise before they are published and thus to push changes when they disapprove of the content. In
exchange for this the ICG researchers maintain their valuable access to the party.
As one can imagine, this mutually rewarding relationship is a formidable
exercise in political acrobatics often characterised by mutual suspicion and risk.
Hence it does not always run smoothly; sometimes it can lead to costly repercussions for those involved. Throughout my eldwork, for example, I was able
to observe how Roberts successor in the organisation could not maintain proper
contacts with the party, which apparently cost her her job. I was also able to
observe an inverse case, which again, however, forced the researcher to pay the
price for suspicion. In a US-funded think-tank with a branch in Beirut
the researcher-expert on izbullah was accused of being the mouthpiece of the
party within the organisation.37
My research conrms in multiple ways that the acrobatics of mutual
suspicion between the subjects and the objects of crisis knowledge constitute a
principal tenet of the structures of international crisis expertise in Lebanon. To
be sure, it is a daunting if not impossible task for the anthropologist to
explore this question much deeper than the level of observing the obvious. At
that level I could, however, clearly witness how mutual suspicion included
practices of information collection and manipulation by both sides. These practices often blurred the already shaky boundary between disinterested knowledge
production for peace and conict resolution, on one hand, and intelligence gathering for war-waging and state-led counterinsurgency operations, on the other,
especially in the context of ongoing, subtle or overt, military conict between
Israel and izbullah.
However, the crucial difference here is that in the case of the ICG contrary
to izbullah those activities are integrated and presupposed within the
mechanism of the sentinel and thus diffused within a broader and seemingly
non-partisan rationale of crisis warning. From a cynical point of view this practice despite the resolute denial by the organisation brings the function of the

Downloaded by [University of California, Berkeley] at 00:37 04 October 2015

612

N. Kosmatopoulos

sentinel back to its initial meaning, which belongs to the military world and
refers to the soldier who goes to the front in order to see whether an enemy is
advancing.38 The suspicion of partisanship is shaken off by the integration of
information collection into broader systems of alert-and-response that appear to
be representing not particular states and interest groups, but the universal desire
for peace, prevention of genocide and resolution of crises and conicts through
dialogue and non-violence. Altogether the sentinel-related techno-politics of the
crisis report seems to imply a peculiar ontological difference between
the observed and the observers. Thus, the former, ie the rebels, the terrorists,
the recalcitrant entities on the ground etc, are guided by particular interests,
holding parochial world-views always rooted in the old game of partisan
politics. The observers, on the other hand, are adhering to universal values,
equipped with quasi-scientic mechanisms of analysis and alert, already inhabiting a post-violence world.
Conclusion: Cei est la nature!
Throughout this article I have attempted to show that the ontological division
between the observers and the observed is increasingly articulated and organised
in techno-political ways that taken together allude to the emergence of a
novel style of reasoning in the expert politics of international crisis. In order to
explore the techno-politics of crisis knowledge, I have focused explicitly on
innovations, ie on those forms of borrowings and associations, overlapping and
fusing, which have been applied in the production of the crisis reporting. In
order to interrogate this new kind of knowledge production, I pay particular
attention to new associations of elements regarding space, size, scale and function. In order to assess the possible impact of this new way of thinking (and
predicting and acting) about international crisis, I did not wonder whether it was
successful in the declared aim of conict resolution. I did not pursue this inquiry
because I believe that what is noteworthy about this novel style of reasoning is
not how it contributes to the resolution of conicts and crises. Instead, the major
impact of this ontological difference begins with the proliferation of imaginative geographies of crisis and emergency, according to which crisis seems to be
a perpetual, indeed, the normal state of affairs.39 In this sense, for example, the
question of the accuracy of the decision to place a bomb next to the Lebanon
entry in the March 2008 ICG report appears irrelevant. Since Lebanon is part of
the imaginative geography of crisis, the bomb will never look odd.
Yet imaginary geographies of crisis do not exist a priori. Rather, they are
the outcome of particular combinations of practices, ideas and forces, among
which we must count the techno-politics of the crisis knowledge, as I have been
analysing them thus far. I argue in particular that the combined effect of the
techno-politics of size, scale and sentinel is a binary geographical imagination
that divides the globe into spaces in which crisis is perpetual, on the one hand,
and spaces in which a critical decision is pressing, alternately into spaces of
crisis and spaces of decision.40 The techno-politics of the crisis report are crucial
in constructing this binary because they attach particular forms of knowledge,
language, materiality, functionality and subjectivity to each of these spaces.

Downloaded by [University of California, Berkeley] at 00:37 04 October 2015

Third World Quarterly

613

In particular, we saw how scale-related techno-politics attach the eld


with all its accompanying elements such as the dusty researcher seeking to penetrate the local context and extract knowledge to the space of crisis, while
they attach the bureau with the accompanying element of the advocacy manager, etc to the space of decision. Size-related techno-politics attaches the format of anthropological knowledge production to the space of crisis and that of
the diplomat to the space of decision. Finally, sentinel-related techno-politics
attaches the urgent sense of the unexpected to the space of crisis, while they
treat the space of decision as a structured and organised system of Realpolitik.41
The techno-politics also distribute radically different subjectivities and rationalities. In the space of crisis rebel entities are placed under overt or covert forms
of surveillance on the grounds of universal values and priorities. In the space of
decision, on the other hand, the observers subjectivity is merged and produced
as part of a quasi-scientic system of alert-and-response to international threats,
which increasingly resemble natural phenomena such as epidemics, volcanic
eruptions, or extreme meteorological events. The new ontology, then, is successful because through it crisis bears a resemblance to a quasi-natural phenomenon.
The crisis report can indeed speak: Cei nest pas une crise! Cei est la nature!
Acknowledgements
I have beneted greatly from the generosity of my interlocutors mentioned in this piece. I thank them
wholheartedly for sharing their insightful views with me. Funding for this research has been provided from
multiple sources: Swiss National Science Foundation, Stavros Niarchos Foundation and the University of
Zurich Asia- Europe Research Program. I wish to thank Gil Eyal, Tmothy Mitchell, Nadia Abu el Haj, Kai
Koddenbrock, Yasmine Khayyat, Reinoud Leenders, and two anonymous reviewers for critical feedback. I also
thank the students in my class War and Peace: The Making of at Sciences Po for a collective critical reading,
as well as Berit Bliesemann de Guevara for initiating the idea of the research group assembled in this issue.

Notes on Contributor
Nikolas Kosmatopoulos is a cultural anthropologist. Currently a postdoctoral
researcher at Columbia Global Centers | Europe (Paris), he teaches at Sciences
Po and at the cole Polytechnique Fdrale de Lausanne. His research interests
include the anthropology of expertise in violence, crisis and peace making, the
anthropology of globalisation and global governance institutions, the anthropology and history of the Middle East, the political anthropology of social movements and imagination, and science and technology studies.
Notes
1.

This is the rest of the entry which features enough reasons to stay alert: In Beirut, the 3-year anniversary commemoration of former PM Raq Hariri assassination 14 Feb coincided with funeral for Hizbollah
commander Imad Mughniyeh, killed in 12 Feb Damascus car bomb. Thousands of troops deployed but
no serious violence; low-level clashes between rival political factions throughout month. Hizbollah threatened open war against Israel. 28 Feb US deployed 3 warships off Lebanon coast. Arab League SG
Amer Moussa left Beirut after failing to mediate presidential succession crisis; parliamentary vote on post
delayed to 11 March; speculation Moussa may return 9 March; 19 soldiers charged over killings of 6
opposition protesters during clashes in southern Beirut on 27 Jan; followed accusations by Hizbollah of
army bias. Fatah al-Islam leader Shaker al-Abssi and 4 Syrian members of group charged for 13 Feb
2007 Beirut bus bomb. Lebanese prosecutor indicted 56 individuals for involvement in al-Qaeda-linked
groups, including Fatah al-Islam, 18 Feb Israeli forces killed Lebanese man near border town Ghajar 3
Feb: circumstances disputed.

614
2.

Downloaded by [University of California, Berkeley] at 00:37 04 October 2015

3.

4.
5.
6.
7.
8.
9.
10.
11.
12.
13.
14.
15.
16.
17.
18.
19.
20.
21.
22.
23.
24.
25.
26.
27.
28.
29.
30.
31.
32.
33.
34.
35.
36.
37.
38.
39.
40.
41.

N. Kosmatopoulos
This threat could be said to be credible, especially because the Secretary General of the party, Hassan
Narallah, rarely uttered such statements without letting them be followed by adequate actions.
Foucault, This Is Not a Pipe. Distinguishing between resemblance and similitude in visual representation, Foucault pointed out that, while in the former one assumes the ontological superiority of reality
over image, in the second the objective referent disappears, thus things and images are more or less
like one another without any of them being able to claim the privileged status of model for the rest.
Ibid., 10.
Agamben, State of Exception.
Calhoun, A World of Emergencies.
Stone et al., Think Tanks Across Nations.
McGann, The Global Go-to Think Tanks, 2.
Medvetz, Murky Power; and Medvetz, Think Tanks in America.
Cf. Bliesemann de Guevaras introduction to this issue.
Tolstoy, War and Peace; and Latour, The Pasteurization of France.
Mitchell, Rule of Experts.
Kosmatopoulos, Pacifying Lebanon.
Kosmatopoulos, The Flotilla Machine; Kosmatopoulos, The Birth of the Workshop; and Kosmatopoulos, Toward an Anthropology of State Failure.
Mitchell, Rule of Experts.
The title is a direct allusion to Ghayatri Spivaks Can the Subaltern Speak?, one of the fundamental
texts of postcolonial studies.
The reason why the ICG does not have Nasrallahs mailing address is that his whereabouts are kept
secret because of the lethal risk posed by Israel, which killed both the partys preceding secretary-generals.
Walid Jumblatt leads the Progressive Socialist Party, which mostly represents the Druze in Lebanon. Sinioura is a previous prime minister and a leading gure in the Future Party of Raq al-Hariri.
Interview, Robert, Beirut, May 2008.
Interview, Sandrine, New York City, November 2012.
Ibid.
ICG, International Crisis Group (video).
Ibid.
Interview, Sandrine, New York City, November 2012.
Kosmatopoulos, Toward an Anthropology of State Failure.
Wesley Clark, former NATO Supreme Allied Commander, quoted in ICG, International Crisis Group.
Lakoff and Keck, Preface; and Keck, Une Sentinelle Sanitaire.
Ibid.
Interview, Sandrine, New York City, November 2012.
Foucault, Security, Territory, Population, 88.
Interview, Charles, New York City, December 2013.
Collier and Lakoff, Distributed Preparedness; and Lakoff, The Generic Biothreat.
ICG, International Crisis Group.
Interview, Robert, Beirut May 2008.
Ibid.
Ibid.
For example, during two of my visits to Dahiyeh, the neighbourhood in South Beirut in which much of
the izbullah infrastructure and constituency is based, undercover members approached me and kindly
asked me to follow them into an ofce for questioning.
For more on this, see Kosmatopoulos, Pacifying Lebanon.
Lakoff and Keck, Preface.
Agnew, Sociologizing the Geographical Imagination; Soja, Thirdspace; and Massey, Spaces of Politics.
Here, the ancient use of the word can be helpful. In ancient Greek crisis has two meanings: it designates a critical situation (a patient on the verge of life and death, for example) and a critical decision on
an important issue (the doctors decision on the patients treatment, for example).
Interview, Charles, New York City, December 2013.

Bibliography
Agamben, Giorgio. State of Exception. Translated by Kevin Attell. Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press,
2005.
Agnew, John A. Sociologizing the Geographical Imagination: Spatial Concepts in the World-System Perspective. Political Geography Quarterly 1, no. 2 (1982): 159166.
Calhoun, Craig. A World of Emergencies: Fear, Intervention, and the Limits of Cosmopolitan Order. Canadian Review of Sociology/Revue Canadienne de Sociologie 41, no. 4 (2004): 373395.

Downloaded by [University of California, Berkeley] at 00:37 04 October 2015

Third World Quarterly

615

Collier, Stephen J., and Andrew Lakoff. Distributed Preparedness: The Spatial Logic of Domestic Security in
the United States. Environment and Planning D: Society and Space 26, no. 1 (2008): 728.
Foucault, Michel. Security, Territory, Population: Lectures at the Collge de France, 197778. Translated by
Graham Burchell. New York, NY: Palgrave Macmillan, 2007.
Foucault, Michel. This Is Not a Pipe. Translated by James Harkness. Berkeley: University of California Press,
1973.
International Crisis Group. International Crisis Group. Video, 2006. Accessed April 27, 2014. https://www.you
tube.com/watch?v=jTXIvd2Gmxs.
Keck, Frdric. Une Sentinelle Sanitaire aux Frontires du Vivant. Terrain, no. 1 (2010): 2641. http://ter
rain.revues.org/13928.
Kosmatopoulos, Nikolas. The Birth of the Workshop: Technomorals, Peace Expertise and the Care of the Self
in the Middle East. Public Culture 26, no. 3 (forthcoming 2014).
Kosmatopoulos, Nikolas. The Flotilla Machine: Technopolitics and Imagination en route to Gaza. Paper presented at the University of Turin, April 11, 2014.
Kosmatopoulos, Nikolas. Pacifying Lebanon: Violence, Power and Expertise in the Contemporary Middle
East. Unpublished PhD diss., University of Zurich, 2012.
Kosmatopoulos, Nikolas. Toward an Anthropology of State Failure: Lebanons Leviathan and Peace Expertise. Social Analysis 55, no. 3 (2011): 115142.
Lakoff, Andrew. The Generic Biothreat, or, How we became Unprepared. Cultural Anthropology 23, no. 3
(2008): 399428.
Lakoff, Andrew, and Frdric Keck. Preface: Sentinel Devices. Limn 1, no. 3 (2013): 12.
Latour, Bruno. The Pasteurization of France. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1993.
Massey, Doreen. Spaces of Politics. In Human Geography Today, edited by Doreen Massey, John Allen,
and Phil Sarre, 279294. Cambridge: Polity Press, 1999.
McGann, James. The Global Go-to Think Tanks - The Leading Public Policy Research Organizations in the
World. Philadelphia, PA: Think Tanks and Civil Societies Program, Foreign Policy Research Institute,
2007.
Medvetz, Thomas. Murky Power: Think Tanks as Boundary Organizations. Research in the Sociology of
Organizations 34 (2012): 113133.
Medvetz, Tom. Think Tanks in America. Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press, 2012.
Mitchell, Timothy. Rule of Experts: Egypt, Techno-politics, Modernity. Berkeley: University of California
Press, 2002.
Soja, Edward W. Thirdspace: Expanding the Geographical Imagination. Oxford: Blackwell, 1996.
Spivak, Gayatri Chakravorty. Can the Subaltern Speak? In Marxism and the Interpretation of Culture, edited
by Cary Nelson and Lawrence Grossberg, 271313. Urbana and Chicago: University of Illinois Press,
1988.
Stone, Diane, Andrew Denham, and Mark Garnett. Think Tanks across Nations: A Comparative Approach.
Manchester: Manchester University Press, 1998.
Tolstoy, Leo. War and Peace. Translated by Louise Maude and Aylmer Maude. Oxford: Oxford University
Press, 2010.