Abandonment has a long presence in Western cultural, philosophical and legal canon, though most contemporary critical debates focus on its sovereign and juridico-political functions. This article considers the concept of abandonment through its more nuanced and multidimensional appearances: at once a political technology and a material economy, a juridical category and a sphere of intimacy. Following the longer conceptual history of abandonment, from its Greco-Roman sources to the present, the article sheds light on abandonment as a systemic political technology, its evolution and significance in different social and political contexts. Drawing on notions of abandonment that remain outside Western intellectual corpus—primarily in early Jewish jurisprudence—this article seeks a more nuanced and expansive understanding of this concept. Closely reading a case documenting the fatal abandonment of one Palestinian man in 2008, the article highlights a myriad of agents, materialities, relations and infrastructures that join in the production and perpetuation of the abandoned present.
Leshem, N. (2017). Spaces of Abandonment: Genealogies, Lives and Critical Horizons. Environment and Planning D: Society and Space, 35(4), 620-636. https://doi.org/10.1177/0263775816683189