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International Law as Violence: Competing Absences of the Other

Hamzić, Vanja (2017) 'International Law as Violence: Competing Absences of the Other.' In: Otto, D., (ed.), Queering International Law: Possibilities, Alliances, Complicities, Risks. Abingdon; New York: Routledge, pp. 77-90. (Routledge Research in International Law)

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Abstract

This paper analyses the would-be paradox of international law’s continuous evolution towards evermore-diverse forms of juridical violence. From the falsehood of imperial pacifism, through the perils of its multiple turns to ‘pragmatism’ and quasi-proportionality with regards to legally sanctioned uses of force, to the infinitude of contemporary warfare – international law’s spectacles of violence seem to proliferate at an unprecedented pace. It is thus pertinent to ask what historical and present-day insights can be gained if international law is posited no longer as a discipline and practice intrinsically committed to regulation of violence, but as violence itself. The paper surveys an array of analytic traditions on the Left that disclose the inherent violence of international law. The discussion is framed in relation, in Badiousian terms, to an anti-Event: the ‘first-ever’ UN Security Council meeting on the persecution of ‘LGBT Syrians and Iraqis’ by the so-called ‘Islamic State’, which took place on the 24th of August 2015. Whilst dealing with but also perpetrating and perpetuating multiple forms of violence, this anti-Event, at the same time, reveals some productive voids, especially with regards to the dominant framing of the subjectivities and subjects of the international legal discourse and intervention. Such voids, I argue, allow for theorising the absence of international law and, in turn, the absence of the subject of juridical violence.

Item Type: Book Chapters
SOAS Departments & Centres: Departments and Subunits > School of Law
Legacy Departments > Faculty of Law and Social Sciences > School of Law
ISBN: 9781138289918
Depositing User: Vanja Hamzic
Date Deposited: 10 Sep 2017 18:15
URI: http://eprints.soas.ac.uk/id/eprint/24515

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