Tascioglu, E (2020) States of Exception: Legal Governance of Trans Women in Urban Turkey. Social and Legal Studies. ISSN 0964-6639

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Based on life story narratives of trans women, this article aims to shed light on the role of the law in their exclusion from public spaces in urban Turkey over the last four decades. In light of Giorgio Agamben’s work on the sovereign exception, I argue trans women in Turkey routinely find themselves in the position of homo sacer: the bare life that has been rendered politically disqualified and consigned to death. Unlike in Agamben’s account, in which subjects are turned into homo sacers in a singular gesture of the sovereign, my analysis directs attention to the myriad ways states of exception can be created. The experiences of trans women in urban Turkey demonstrate that exceptional legal regimes can be generated by suspending—or by simply not enforcing—the law, as well as, conversely, by establishing an overwhelming presence of the law in daily life. Rather than opposing legality to sovereignty, I argue closer attention needs to be paid to the interfaces of law with negative forms of power, and to increasingly sophisticated ways of articulating biopolitical concerns to legal practices revolving around sovereignty.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: State of exception, legal governmentality, sovereignty, trans women, sex work, violence, misdemeanour law, trials, Turkey
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HQ The family. Marriage. Woman > HQ77 Transgender People
K Law > K Law (General)
Divisions: Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences > School of Law
Depositing User: Symplectic
Date Deposited: 12 May 2020 14:14
Last Modified: 18 Apr 2021 01:30
URI: https://eprints.keele.ac.uk/id/eprint/7952

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