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Christoph Menke in dialogue
Series: Critical Powers

This book focuses on the paradoxical character of law and specifically concerns the structural violence of law as the political imposition of normative order onto a "lawless" condition. The paradox of law which grounds and motivates Christoph Menke's intervention is that law is both the opposite of violence and, at the same time, a form of violence. The book develops its engagement with the paradox of law in two stages. The first shows why, and in what precise sense, the law is irreducibly characterized by structural violence. The second explores the possibility of law becoming self-reflectively aware of its own violence and, hence, of the form of a self-critique of law in view of its own violence. The Book's philosophical claims are developed through analyses of works of drama: two classical tragedies in the first part and two modern dramas in the second part. It attempts to illuminate the paradoxical nature of law by way of a philosophical interpretation of literature. There are at least two normative orders within the European ethical horizon that should be called "legal orders" even though they forego the use of coercion and are thus potentially nonviolent. These are international law and Jewish law. Understanding the relationship between law and violence is one of the most urgent challenges a postmodern critical legal theory faces today. Self-reflection, the philosophical concept that plays a key role in the essay, stands opposed to all forms of spontaneity.

Open Access (free)
Christoph Menke

law as its remedy. Tragedy, on the other hand, presents the violence from which law breaks as arising not from natural drives or sheer arbitrariness but, on the contrary, from an order of iron necessity: Law, as tragedy’s realism indicates, results from the objection to the violence of retribution. Retribution, however, is a form of the implementation of justice. The violence that law overcomes is not the violence that, according to the philosophical fiction, constitutes the state of nature, but the violence of a first, an earlier order of justice: the violence of a

in Law and violence
Abstract only
Lindsey Dodd

translation of that scene’s ‘impression’ on the mind of the painter.1 We are several steps removed from reality. Representing that reality needs a human filter. So too for history; yet while positivistic modes of representing the world – realism, naturalism – have lost their totalising grip in the artistic world, a certain ‘scientific’ kind of history still chases that goal. Another mode of history writing is more impressionistic. Channelled through the storyteller or the historian, the past is recognisable, striking, but not an exact replica of ‘what actually happened

in French children under the Allied bombs, 1940–45
A framework of inclusion and exclusion
Mark Webber

dimension, but equally have been characterised by intra-state conflict. Further, the general pattern of inter-state security relations in Europe has been more that of cooperation than conflict. The inaccuracy of Mearsheimer’s prediction stems from the logic of his theoretical starting point, that of neo-realism. For Mearsheimer states exist in an international system that is anarchic in the sense that there

in Inclusion, exclusion and the governance of European Security
Rethinking neutrality through constructivism
Christine Agius

Luke ‘realist discourses and designs for world order are decaying’. (1993: 230; see also Vasquez, 1997 ) Neo-realism’s failure to predict the largely peaceful end of the Cold War raised serious challenges to its orthodoxy. For George, the realist tradition was ‘exposed as a politico-philosophical emperor at best only scantily clad’. (George, 1996: 33; see also Baldwin, 1995; Lebow, 1994 ; Sørensen

in The social construction of Swedish neutrality
Abstract only
Christine Agius

empirical research on neutrality that engages with IR theory and moves away from chronological analysis (Hakovirta, 1988 : 1-2). Only traditional idealism (Wilsonian internationalism) and realism have commented on neutrality, but neutrality remains of marginal interest to both, given the nature of their own projects and investigations. Traditional idealism, with its universalist assumptions and emphasis on collective security

in The social construction of Swedish neutrality
Abstract only
From the Peloponnesian War to the Cold War
Christine Agius

laid the accusation that idealism could not explain world events (such as Manchuria, Abyssinia, the failure of the League and the descent into WWII). Realism on the other hand, could explain such events and could also predict patterns and prescribe actions (Wilson, 1998: 6). For traditional or classic realists, a state-centric account of the world was a more appropriate way to explain what

in The social construction of Swedish neutrality
Stephen Benedict Dyson

of their security services in capturing terrorists within their borders. 46 This seemed inadequate to Bush. Realists stress the impossibility of achieving perfect security or eradicating all enemies. Instead, vigilant maintenance of a credible deterrent posture, and adroit management of alliances, can reduce the overall level of threat and keep conflict to a minimum. But at the core of realism is the

in Leaders in conflict
Charlotte Heath-Kelly

security, because security is no longer the protection of individual citizens. Security is the evolutionary and adaptive potential within life itself. Where classical realism argued that state security in the international arena was played out within cyclical temporalities of failure, resilience embodies the reversal of the classical realist tragedy. Where security is an inevitable failure in classical realism

in Death and security
Abstract only
Jean-François Caron

desperate and useless rearguard battle. The forces of politics, realism, and the military-industrial complex are too powerful to be ignored. The pen will be stronger than the sword only if political philosophy takes a balanced approach to the future nature of warfare by trying to assess the value of these technologies as well as their inherent problems. As argued in this book, despite the flaws of capacity-increasing technologies

in A theory of the super soldier