Economies of Death: Economic Logics of Killable Life and Grievable Death examines the economic logic involved in determining whose lives and deaths come to matter and why. Drawing from eight distinct case studies focused on the killability and grievability of certain humans, animals, and environmental systems, this book advances an intersectional theory of economies of death.
A key feature of late-modern capitalism is its tendency to economically order certain human and nonhuman lives and environments, while appropriating and commodifying certain bodies and spaces in the process. Spanning the social sciences and humanities in its contributions and scope, each chapter shows how living beings and places are stripped down to the calculus of their end, with profound ethical and political implications for these entities and the world around them. From the genocide in Cambodia to the way some animals are considered ‘pets’ and others ‘food’; from September 11, 2001 and Afghanistan to the politics of redemption for prisoners and ex-racehorses in Kentucky, these case studies draw from and develop an enriched understanding of bio- and necropolitics, posthumanism, killability and grievability. In drawing together the objectification of humans, animals and environments (and the power-laden hierarchies that maintain this objectification), this volume highlights how death across these subjects informs and responds to broader geo-economic processes.
This book aims to examine the reach of economies of death across such diverse subjects, challenging readers to consider the every-day calculus they make in determining whose lives mean more and why.