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Feminist Reflections on the 'End' of the War on Terror

Heathcote, Gina (2010) 'Feminist Reflections on the 'End' of the War on Terror.' Melbourne Journal of International Law, 11 (2).

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Abstract

This article examines the range of arguments articulated to justify the use of force under the ‘War on Terror’. The three key justifications for unilateral force directed against terrorist actors, pre-emptive force, implied authorisation and the use of force to prevent terrorist actors operating from failed states, are demonstrated as analogous to domestic provocation excuses. As such, the article argues the ‘end’ of the ‘War on Terror’ has been in name only as the Obama Administration in the United States continues to develop practice in line with that of its predecessor. The analogy with domestic provocation excuses demonstrates weaknesses of contemporary US practice and of the pre-emptive force justification. Using a feminist understanding of the limitations of provocation defences and of the relationship between social, cultural, political and legal norms, the legacy of the ‘War on Terror’ is demonstrated as an assertion of a limited model of security that ignores the role militaries play in women’s insecurity and which limits women’s participation through the use of sexual stereotypes. The article concludes with a discussion of the range of feminist strategies that might be invoked to challenge the legacy of the ‘War on Terror’.

Item Type: Articles
SOAS Departments & Centres: Faculty of Law and Social Sciences > School of Law
Depositing User: Gina Heathcote
Date Deposited: 29 Feb 2012 15:26
URI: http://eprints.soas.ac.uk/id/eprint/13162

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