Agamben vs KIHC

Agamben states that “the concept of the camp can be productively employed to make sense of physical spaces that are characterized by normalized exceptionality and whose denizens have the status of bare life.” What Agamben means here is that a space of facility can be used as a exception , like normal laws exist everywhere in Canada but in that one facility in Kingston their different,  so these forms of “sovereignty are creating “bare life” rather than bringing these issues to an end.

Agamben argues that you are depriving these individuals of human life. Agamben’s theory talks about how the state divides these individuals into two groups, those who are being politically recognized as fully human, and than those who are of lesser status are considered the “bare life.” So these individuals who are considered the “bare life”, the government claims these powers over them and believe they are “entitled” to give and take away at will. These indifferences are done by declaring the exception, which means declaring someone to only have bare life, and not be politically recognized. These “bare life” individuals’ rights are not valuable; they are being recognized as “useless individuals,” therefore they are being placed in these Internment camps. These camps such as Guantanamo Bay are being replaced by these immigration camps such as Kingston Immigration Holding Centre, where these individuals are experiencing the “bare life.”

Agamben believes these camps are wrong and that they are creating exemptions to control people. Camps such as Guantanamo Bay are being run by Sovereignty. Agamben doesn’t  agree with the Kingston Immigration Holding Centre because he still believes that they are legitimizing these camps by giving power to government agencies, but how is that any different than giving all the power to the government, you are still giving the power to someone else who is still doing something wrong, and going against human rights.  These camps are wrong and the government should not be given these powers.

The Kingston Immigration Holding Centre was created to detain individuals held on security certificates under the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act. Individuals that are given these security certificates remove these non-Canadians from Canada, when they pose a serious threat to Canadians. The difference between Guantanamo Bay and the Kingston Immigration Holding Centre is that these individuals being held were being tortured but at the Kingston Immigration Holding Centre they are not. But what I still don’t understand is that, yes they are not being physically “tortured” here in Canada, but just because you are giving these powers to smaller government agencies such as CBSA to take control of these camps, it is still not justifiable.

Larsen and Piche are against these security certificates. They argue in their Canadian Journal of Law and Society article, that if you are punishing an individual who has not been charged and treating them like a criminal is totally going against our human rights and social justice. How is this detention camp any better than Guantanamo Bay, we are still holding individuals who have not been criminally charged, and depriving them from their freedom.

References

http://prism-magazine.com/2012/04/kingston-immigration-holding-centre-closes-legacy-remains/

– Pavlich, G. (2011). Law & Society Redefined. Don Mills, Ontario: Oxford University Press

http://www.cbsa-asfc.gc.ca/media/release-communique/2006/0424ottawa-eng.html

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2 Comments

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2 responses to “Agamben vs KIHC

  1. Some additional precision when explaining the differences between Agamben’s theory and the theory applied in the KIHC article would be beneficial.

    To clarify, our study of the KIHC incorporates the innovations of Butler (2004) and Ericson (2007), and considers the relationship between legal exceptions and the organizations that make up a government. We look at how exceptional authority (for example, the power to detain indefinitely) intersects with the everyday functioning of departments and agencies. And we note that bureaucratic pragmatism plays as important a role in the creation of ‘camps’ as sovereign decisions.

    You note that “Agamben believes these camps are wrong and that they are creating exemptions to control people. Camps such as Guantanamo Bay are being run by Sovereignty. Agamben doesn’t  agree with the Kingston Immigration Holding Centre because he still believes that they are legitimizing these camps by giving power to government agencies, but how is that any different than giving all the power to the government, you are still giving the power to someone else who is still doing something wrong, and going against human rights.”

    Note that Agamben has never written about the KIHC. His case studies are of the Nazi concentration camps and the Guantanamo Bay facility.

  2. bangat

    Sorry , just to clarify what I was trying to say was that IF Agamben was to focus on Kingston Immigration Holding Centre I believe according to his theories he would not agree with them .