Bodies do matter! The rule of precariousness in Haiti

International Social Science Journal (Chinese Edition)
No.3, 2013
Bodies do matter! The rule of precariousness in Haiti
Maria Ferreira
On 12 January 2010, a 7.0 magnitude earthquake struck Haiti. The already precarious lives of Haitians became even more dramatic due to the effects not only of the earthquake but also of the cholera epidemics and other natural disasters that followed it. This article focuses on the production of precarious life in Haiti. Precariousness constitutes for Haitians not a state of exception but a state of normality. The approach to the case study is based on a triangulation of data that intends to combine United Nations information on the results of the Consolidated Appeal Process (CAP) for Haiti, literature on the shortcomings of international intervention in Haiti, and international media discourses on the country. The study of precariousness in Haiti allows us to highlight a mode of biopower that produces different types of precarious lives through the derealisation of the humanity of specific populations. Working through the Butlerian concept of precarious lives, we consider the nature of the triangle constituted by biopolitics, structural violence, and the production of precarious lives, and how Haiti constitutes a fundamental case study in order to address the by-products of this triangle.