1st Edition

The Politics of HBO’s The Wire Everything is Connected

Edited By Shirin Deylami, Jonathan Havercroft Copyright 2015
    192 Pages
    by Routledge

    192 Pages
    by Routledge

    This innovative new work suggests that The Wire reflects, not simply a cultural take on contemporary America, but a structural critique of the conditions of late-modernity and global capitalism. As such, it is a visual text worth investigating and exploring for its nuanced examination of power, difference and inequality. 

    Deylami & Havercroft bring together nine essays addressing issues of interest to a range of academic fields in order to engage with this important cultural intervention that has transfixed audiences and sparked debate within the social scientific community. While the TV show is primarily focused upon the urban politics of Baltimore, the contributors to this volume read Baltimore as a global city. That is, they argue that the relations between race, class, power, and violence that the series examines only make sense if we understand that inner city Baltimore is a node in a larger global network of violence and economic inequality. The book is divided into three interrelated sections focusing on systemic and cultural violence, the rise and decline of national and state formations, and the dysfunctional and destructive forces of global capitalism.

    Throughout the series the relation of the urban to the global is constantly being explored. This innovative new volume explains clearly how The Wire portrays this interaction, and what this representation can show social scientists interested in race, neo-liberal processes of globalization, criminality, gender, violence and surveillance.

    INTRODUCTION: Everything is Connected, Shirin S. Deylami & Jonathan Havercroft PART ONE: Building States, Crumbling Nations, 1. It Can’t Be a Lie’: The Wire as Breaching Experiment, Joshua Page & Joe Soss 2. Classroom Democracy: De-mystifying the Civic Nation in The Wire, Paul Goode PART TWO: Neo-Liberalism, Capitalist Power and Social Resistance 3. The Politics of Knowledge Production: On Structure and the World of "The Wire, Isaac Kamola 4. Corruption as Solidarity: An Inverted Republicanism to Resist Inverted Totalitarianism, Jonathan Havercroft 5. The Limits of Neoliberalism: Market Rationality in The Wire, Elisabeth Anker PART THREE: Precarious Intersections 6. "It’s All in the Game": Masculinism, Mourning, and Violence in The Wire, Shirin S. Deylami 7. Seeing Gender Like a Wired State: The Missing Women of the Wire, Dara Z. Strolovitch & Naomi Murakawa


    Shirin Deylami is Assistant Professor of Political Science, with affiliations in Women’s Studies, Queer Studies, and Islamic Studies, at Western Washington University. Her research interest lie at the intersection of feminist theory and comparative political thought. She is currently working on a manuscript entitled Westoxification: Islamic Makings of the West. Her work has been published in the journals Polity and International Feminist Journal of Politics (forthcoming).

    Jonathan Havercroft is Assistant Professor of Political Science at the University of Oklahoma with specialization in political theory. His primary research focus is on the historical transformation of sovereignty in the discourses of political philosophy from the 17th century to the present. He has also published essays grappling with conceptions of freedom, power, and sovereignty in early modern and contemporary political thought. His work has appeared in Constellations and Review of International Studies. His book, Captives of Sovereignty, was published by Cambridge University Press in 2011.

    "Contributors explore what The Wire, with its compelling narrative about institutional corruption and systemic failures in civic life, can teach viewers about political theory...this collection emphasizes quality over quantity, and each essay is as smart as the one before."--S. Pepper, Northeastern Illinois University, CHOICE