Admission Price: Free to attend, please book a place
Speaker: Dr Robert Knox, Lecturer, Liverpool Law School, University of Liverpool
Abstract: Scholars who trace international law’s entanglements with colonialism and imperialism have drawn our attention to how international law legitimates and promotes the military interventions of powerful states. These accounts do not fully grasp the ways in which international legal interventions already shape the facts on the ground that ‘call for’ intervention.
This paper will argue that modes of military violence are always accompanied by forms of political subjectivity. In order to guarantee an imperial intervention it is necessary to reconfigure political organisation in the peripheries such that they are ‘powerless’ and so must demand outside help.
The paper illustrates this through an examination of recent events in Libya and Syria, arguing that international legal interventions were crucial in creating a situation in which the ‘international community’ would be forced to intervene, thus reasserting imperial power into the revolution process. It then widens its scope to talk about the ways in which the particular forms of military intervention entrench forms of political subjectivity which compel further interventions. Here it focuses particularly on the legal arguments around the war on terror and the role of drone warfare therein.
Drawing on Marxist theories of ideology and interpellation, this paper seeks to demonstrate that international law is both constitutive of the conditions that promote imperial violence, and itself a coercive apparatus of collective subject-formation.
Location: C143, Tait Building, City University London.
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When and where
1.00pm - 3.00pmWednesday 11th November 2015