Riva Kastoryano, Visiting Professor of Political Science, speaks about her new book Que faire des corps des djihadistes? (‘What to do with the body of the jihadist?’) The book analyzes the response of the U.S., Spanish and British governments following the suicide attacks in New York (2001), Madrid (2004) and London (2005). More specifically, what do countries do with the bodies of suicide bombers — jihadists — who die in their territory. These bodies serve as lenses through which to consider belonging and the relationship between territory, citizenship, and belonging.
Kastoryano’s draws from official reports, which trace the travel trajectories of jihadists who committed the attacks of New York, Madrid and London and shows a link between their trajectories and their burial. Kastoryano also draws on interviews with authorities, stakeholders and representatives of local communities, as well as religious representatives in both the country of immigration and the country of origin, to examine the question that their burial raises for states, for communities and for families. States do not recognize suicide bombers as warriors; their burial is thus neither a legal, nor a political, nor a diplomatic issue. Their burial raises questions about the legitimacy of the enemy and the causes for which (s)he died. The theoretical framework for the book is anchored in questions of territory in the process of globalization and enduring questions of territory and belonging.
Andrew Arato, Dorothy Hart Hirshon Professor of Political and Social Theory, department of sociology, New School for Social Research
Riva Kastoryano is a research director at the CNRS (National Center for Scientific Research), and Professor at Sciences-Po Paris. Her work focuses on identity and minority issues and more specifically to their relations to states in France, Germany, the United States. She was a lecturer at Harvard University 1984-1987, and has been teaching at the Institute for Political Studies in Paris (Sciences-Po) since 1988. She is a visiting Professor at the New School for Social Research’s department of Politics this semester.
Her most recent books are Negotiating Identities. States and Immigrants in France and Germany Princeton University Press 2002. Quelle identité pour l’Europe? Le multiculturalisme à l’épreuve (Paris, Presses de Sciences Po 1998 and 2005; Nationalismes en mutation en Méditerranée Orientale (Changing Concept of Nationalism) (with A.Dieckhoff) Paris, Ed.du CNRS 2002; Les codes de la différence. Religion, Origine, Race en France, Allemagne et aux Etats-Unis, (Codes of Otherness. Religion, Ancester and Race in France, Germany and the United States) Presses de Sciences -Po, 2005, Turkey Between Nationalism and Globalization, London, Routledge, 2013.