Explores the political and economic causes and consequences of homelessness.
In the aftermath of September 11, donations to the poor and homeless have declined while ordinances against begging and sleeping in public have increased. The increased security of public spaces has been matched by a quest for increased security and surveillance of immigrants. In this groundbreaking study, Kathleen R. Arnold explores homelessness in terms of the globalization of the economy, national identity, and citizenship. She argues that domestic homelessness and conditions of statelessness, such as refugees, exiles, and poor immigrants, are defined and addressed in similar ways by the political sphere, in such a manner that each of these groups are subjected to policies that perpetuate their exclusion. Drawing on such authors as Freud, Marx, Foucault, Derrida, Lévinas, and Agamben, Arnold argues for a radical politics of homelessness based on extending hospitality and the toleration of difference.
Kathleen R. Arnold is Assistant Professor of Political Science at The University of Texas at San Antonio.