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Conspiracy, security and human care in Donnersmarck's "Leben der Anderen"

Verschwörung, Sicherheit und menschliche Sorge in Donnersmarcks "Leben der Anderen"
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Hamilton, John T.

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Abstract "Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck's acclaimed film, 'Das Leben der Anderen' (2006), affords a provocative opportunity for investigating the relation between conspiracy and security. Although state-sponsored conspiracies breed insecurity among the citizenry, they nonetheless also provide the ground for epistemological security, insofar as the threat can be decisively located. In pressing the literal definition of security as 'the removal of concern', this article interprets the film according to shifting modalities of care. Considered as a vast conspiratorial network against its own populace, the East German Ministry for State Security (the Stasi) represents a mechanized, dispassionate ideal that strives to eliminate concerns about whatever may jeopardize the regime. To counter this security project, Donnersmarck presents us with characters who display a fundamentally human care that is instigated by governmental practices and yet ultimately works against state-oriented securitization and legitimation." (author's abstract)
Keywords German Democratic Republic (GDR); security; Ministry of State Security (GDR); national state; film; interpretation; analysis; human security; legitimation; historical analysis; science of history; network; humanitarianism
Classification General History; Peace and Conflict Research, International Conflicts, Security Policy; Other Media
Method empirical; qualitative empirical; historical
Free Keywords Verschwörungstheorie; Securitization
Document language English
Publication Year 2013
Page/Pages p. 129-141
Journal Historical Social Research, 38 (2013) 1
Issue topic Security and conspiracy in history
ISSN 0172-6404
Status Published Version; peer reviewed
Licence Creative Commons - Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works