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War without end(s): grounding the discourse of 'global war'

Chandler, David C. (2009) War without end(s): grounding the discourse of 'global war'. Security Dialogue, 40 (3). pp. 243-262. ISSN 0967-0106

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Official URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/0967010609336204


This article seeks to explain the limits of critical discourses of 'global war' and biopolitical framings of 'global conflict' that have arisen in response to the globalization of security discourses in the post-Cold War era. The central theoretical insight offered is that 'global war' should not be understood in the framework of contested struggles to reproduce and extend the power of regulatory control. 'Global war' appears 'unlimited' and unconstrained precisely because it lacks the instrumental, strategic framework of 'war' understood as a political-military technique. For this reason, critical analytical framings of global conflict, which tend to rely on the 'scaling up' of Michel Foucault's critique of biopolitics and upon Carl Schmitt's critique of universal claims to protect the 'human', elide the specificity of the international today. Today's 'wars of choice', fought under the banner of the 'values' of humanitarian intervention or the 'global war on terror', are distinguished precisely by the fact that they cannot be grasped as strategically framed political conflicts.

Item Type:Article
Research Community:University of Westminster > Social Sciences, Humanities and Languages, School of
ID Code:7053
Deposited On:25 Nov 2009 16:14
Last Modified:25 Nov 2009 16:14

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