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The Political Machine

Assembling Sovereignty in the Bronze Age Caucasus
 EPUB
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ISBN-13:
9781400866502
Einband:
EPUB
Seiten:
264
Autor:
Adam T. Smith
Serie:
3, The Rostovtzeff Lectures
eBook Typ:
Adobe Digital Editions
eBook Format:
EPUB
Kopierschutz:
Adobe DRM [Hard-DRM]
Sprache:
Englisch
Beschreibung:

The Political Machine investigates the essential role that material culture plays in the practices and maintenance of political sovereignty. Through an archaeological exploration of the Bronze Age Caucasus, Adam Smith demonstrates that beyond assemblies of people, polities are just as importantly assemblages of things—from ballots and bullets to crowns, regalia, and licenses. Smith looks at the ways that these assemblages help to forge cohesive publics, separate sovereigns from a wider social mass, and formalize governance—and he considers how these developments continue to shape politics today.Smith shows that the formation of polities is as much about the process of manufacturing assemblages as it is about disciplining subjects, and that these material objects or "machines" sustain communities, orders, and institutions. The sensibilities, senses, and sentiments connecting people to things enabled political authority during the Bronze Age and fortify political power even in the contemporary world. Smith provides a detailed account of the transformation of communities in the Caucasus, from small-scale early Bronze Age villages committed to egalitarianism, to Late Bronze Age polities predicated on radical inequality, organized violence, and a centralized apparatus of rule.From Bronze Age traditions of mortuary ritual and divination to current controversies over flag pins and Predator drones, The Political Machine sheds new light on how material goods authorize and defend political order.
Preface ixIntroduction: Reverse Engineering the Polity 1
The Conditions of Sovereignty 4
Machine Politics 7
Bodies and Things 11
Into the Caucasus 16
Schematic 20
Part I: The Machinery of Sovereignty
Chapter 1. On Assemblages and Machines 27
Things and Objects 29
The Exile of Things 33
Nature Morte 40
The Assemblage Assembled 43
The Efficacy of Machines 48
Sense, Sensibility, and Sentiment 54
Chapter 2. On The Matter of Sovereignty 59
Sovereignty Disassembled 61
Prehistory and the Political 64
Archaeologies of Sovereignty 67
Assembly and Assemblage 72
Origin Myths 73
Wayward Things and the Dual Sovereign 78
Exit Objects 1: Liberal Theory and Things 81
Exit Objects 2: Marx and Matter 83
Sovereign Matter, Governmental Machines 86
The Sovereign Conditions 91
Part II: Assembling Sovereignty
Chapter 3. The Civilization Machine in the Early Bronze Age 97
The Kura-Araxes 102
Sensibility 105
Sense 110
Sentiment 122
An Early Bronze Age Public 125
Chapter 4. The War Machine in the Middle Bronze Age 127
The Caucasus in Transition 130
Sensibility 138
Sense 144
Sentiment 148
Territorialization and Contradiction 151
Chapter 5. The Political Machine in the Late Bronze Age 154
The Caucasus at the Beginning of the Late Bronze Age 157
Sensibility 165
Sense 171
Sentiment 178
The Enduring Political Machine 183
Conclusion 186
Erebuni-Yerevan 188
Brother Axe 194
References Cited 197
Index 233
The Political Machine investigates the essential role that material culture plays in the practices and maintenance of political sovereignty. Through an archaeological exploration of the Bronze Age Caucasus, Adam Smith demonstrates that beyond assemblies of people, polities are just as importantly assemblages of thingsfrom ballots and bullets to crowns, regalia, and licenses. Smith looks at the ways that these assemblages help to forge cohesive publics, separate sovereigns from a wider social mass, and formalize governanceand he considers how these developments continue to shape politics today.Smith shows that the formation of polities is as much about the process of manufacturing assemblages as it is about disciplining subjects, and that these material objects or "machines" sustain communities, orders, and institutions. The sensibilities, senses, and sentiments connecting people to things enabled political authority during the Bronze Age and fortify political power even in the contemporary world. Smith provides a detailed account of the transformation of communities in the Caucasus, from small-scale early Bronze Age villages committed to egalitarianism, to Late Bronze Age polities predicated on radical inequality, organized violence, and a centralized apparatus of rule.From Bronze Age traditions of mortuary ritual and divination to current controversies over flag pins and Predator drones, The Political Machine sheds new light on how material goods authorize and defend political order.

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