Citizens Without Shelter: Homelessness, Democracy, and Political Exclusion
One of the most troubling aspects of the politics of homelessness, Leonard C. Feldman contends, is the reduction of the homeless to what Hannah Arendt calls "the abstract nakedness of humanity" and what Giorgio Agamben terms "bare life." Feldman argues that the politics of alleged compassion and the politics of those interested in ridding public spaces of the homeless are linked fundamentally in their assumption that homeless people are something less than citizens. Feldman's book brings political theories together (including theories of sovereign power, justice, and pluralism) with discussions of real-world struggles and close analyses of legal cases concerning the rights of the homeless.In Feldman's view, the "bare life predicament" is a product not simply of poverty or inequality but of an inability to commit to democratic pluralism. Challenging this reduction of the homeless, Citizens without Shelter examines opportunities for contesting such a fundamental political exclusion, in the service of homeless citizenship and a more robust form of democratic pluralism. Feldman has in mind a truly democratic pluralism that would include a pluralization of the category of "home" to enable multiple forms of dwelling; a recognition of the common dwelling activities of homeless and non-homeless persons; and a resistance to laws that punish or confine the homeless.
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Agamben agency anti-homeless legislation Arendt argues argument bare-life predicament broken-windows camping citizenship claim concern constituted consumptive public sphere contemporary contest criminalization critical critique cultural injustice democratic pluralism disaffiliation disciplinary institution discourse disorder dwelling economic Eighth Amendment Fisher King Fixing Broken Windows forms Fraser freedom Giorgio Agamben Hannah Arendt Hoch and Slayton home ideal home-dwelling citizens Homeless and Old Homeless Body homeless encampments homeless persons homeownership Homo Sacer household housing options Ibid ical identity idleness individual involuntary status Joyce Brown justice Kawash less liberal lifestyle choice live Mark Sidran ment misrecognition modern Nancy Fraser normative ordinance Origins of Totalitarianism outlaws panhandling plaintiffs political exclusion political theory postindustrial profane programs prohibition protection public sleeping public space public-sleeping bans punishment punitive policies recognition redistribution reformers residential hotels response Richard Sennett shelter sidewalk sleeping in public social society sovereign ban street tion urban vagrancy law vision Walzer welfare