Ingenious Citizenship: Recrafting Democracy for Social Change
Suicide Bombers, Sacrificial Violence, and Appropriating Life Itself
Chapter 5 examines suicide bombing as a deathly act that unsettles and appropriates the life script of liberal citizenship. Focusing on the Palestinian context under Israeli occupation, where the Palestinians exist under conditions of “living-death,” the chapter suggests a rereading of the bombing subjects’ exertion of sacrificial violence as deploying ingenious agency to destabilize the existing colonial relations and reanimate hopes for a sovereign citizenship life to come. This ingenious agency is situated within the modern sacrificial economy, wherein political actors borrow resources from the liberal economy to reinvent sacrificial violence in legitimizing their political objectives and appropriating the right to life, liberty, and happiness. The chapter concludes by delineating the ways in which the recent neoliberal reforms spearheaded by the Palestinian Authority indicate “creative” measures that utilize the sacrificial violence of neoliberalism in expanding such spaces of appropriation and reducing instances of suicide bombing.