Politics of Rightful Killing: Civil Society, Gender, and Sexuality in Weblogistan (Paperback)
Special Order - Arrival Times Vary
In the early 2000s, mainstream international news outlets celebrated the growth of Weblogistan-the online and real-life transnational network of Iranian bloggers-and depicted it as a liberatory site that gave voice to Iranians. As Sima Shakhsari argues in Politics of Rightful Killing, the common assumptions of Weblogistan as a site of civil society consensus and resistance to state oppression belie its deep internal conflicts. While Weblogistan was an effective venue for some Iranians to "practice democracy," it served as a valuable site for the United States to surveil bloggers and express anti-Iranian sentiment and policies. At the same time, bloggers used the network to self-police and enforce gender and sexuality norms based on Western liberal values in ways that unwittingly undermined Weblogistan's claims of democratic participation. In this way, Weblogistan became a site of cybergovernmentality, where biopolitical security regimes disciplined and regulated populations. Analyzing online and off-line ethnography, Shakhsari provides an account of digital citizenship that raises questions about the internet's relationship to political engagement, militarism, and democracy.
About the Author
Sima Shakhsari is Assistant Professor of Gender, Women, and Sexuality Studies at the University of Minnesota.