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Horizontes Antropológicos

On-line version ISSN 1806-9983


COMAROFF, Jean  and  COMAROFF, John L.. Naturalizando a nação: estrangeiros, apocalipse e o Estado pós-colonial. Horiz. antropol. [online]. 2001, vol.7, n.15, pp. 57-106. ISSN 1806-9983.

This paper examines the predicament of the postcolonial nation-state through the prism of environmental catastrophe: how is it that plant "invaders" can become an urgent political issue, and what might this reveal of the shifting relations among citizenship, community, and national sovereignty under neo-liberal conditions? Pursuing these questions in relation to a case from the "new" South Africa, we posit three key features of postcolonial polities in an era of laissez-faire: the refiguration of the subject-citizen, the crisis of sovereign borders, and the depoliticization of politics. Under such conditions, aliens - both plants and people - come to embody core contradictions of boundedness and belonging; and alien-nature provides a language for voicing new forms of discrimination amidst a culture of "post-racism" and civil rights.

Keywords : environmental; politics; postcolonialism; South Africa.

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