Ian McEwan’s The Children Act and the limits of the legal practices in Menke’s ‘Law and violence’
Law in action: Ian McEwan’s The Children
Act and the limits of the legal practices in
Menke’s ‘Law and violence’
We could put this less paradoxically by saying that a successful performance –as decision or practice –is made possible insofar as we no
longer think of it as made possible by us (i.e., by us alone).
Christoph Menke, “Ability and Faith,” 609.1
1. Introduction: Eluding the law
I want briefly to set out one of the central issues that Christoph Menke
confronts in his essay, before showing how a reading of Ian McEwan’s
[Studienausgabe, 1st edn, 1934], ed.
Matthias Jestaedt (Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck, 2008), 19).
27 That is Hegel’s description of “unintentional” (or “ingenuous”: unbefangen)
wrong; see G. W. F. Hegel, Elements of the Philosophy of Right, trans. H. B.
Nisbet (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1991), §§ 84–86.
28 For the retributive justice, “there is as yet no performance of an act” (G. W.
F. Hegel, Phenomenology of Mind, trans. J. B. Baillie (London: MacMillan,
29 Giorgio Agamben has described this structure of the relation between
the performance of sovereignty. Why is death a problem for political
authority? Sovereignty only exists if it is recognised by the population
made subject (Edkins and Pin-Fat 1999 ) –
consider, as counterpoint, the sudden collapse of sovereignty when
recognition is removed during revolutions. To maintain the recognition,
and thus constitution, of sovereignty, the state performs itself as
Richard Kerr, Thomas Wolfe, Rebecca Donegan and Aris Pappas
The intelligence community’s
uneven performance on Iraq from 2002 to 2004 raised significant
questions concerning the condition of intelligence collection, analysis,
and policy support. The discussion of shortcomings and failures that
follows is not meant to imply that all surprises can be prevented by
even good intelligence. There are too many targets and too many ways of
responder guidelines, which instead take the tone of logistical and
humanitarian action. Given the traditional formulation of security as an
anticipatory technique against future dangers, ‘security’
gets lost in non-anticipatory guidelines. We expose something about the
performance of security when we explore the uncomfortable situation of
in-the-moment emergency response within security policy.
So how do we
administration, setting out criteria
for good performance in policy coordination, service delivery,
efficiency, human resource management and ethics. 7
There are, however, significant national differences in
public attitudes to government bureaucracy and in the relationship
between the civil service and the elected government. In the Westminster
system, for example, senior civil servants generally remain in their
prospect of resilient recovery after the crisis. Death has quietly made
its way into the performance of security and the mitigation of mortality
has changed tone.
This chapter explores the discourses of the resilience era to
ascertain the contemporary relationship between death and security. But
rather than finding a genuine shift in that relationship from the
The European Union (EU) has emerged as an important security actor qua actor, not only in the non-traditional areas of security, but increasingly as an entity with force projection capabilities. This book investigates how the concept of security relates to or deals with different categories of threat, explores the relationship between forms of coordination among states, international institutions, and the provision of European security and the execution of security governance. It also investigates whether the EU has been effective in realising its stated security objectives and those of its member states. The book commences with a discussion on the changing nature of the European state, the changing nature and broadening of the security agenda, and the problem of security governance in the European political space. There are four functional challenges facing the EU as a security actor: the resolution of interstate conflicts, the management of intrastate conflicts, state-building endeavours, and building the institutions of civil society. The book then examines policies of prevention, particularly the pre-emption of conflict within Europe and its neighbourhood. It moves on to examine policies of assurance, particularly the problem of peace-building in south-eastern Europe. EU's peace-building or sustaining role where there has been a violent interstate or intrastate conflict, especially the origins and performance of the Stability Pact, is discussed. Finally, the book looks at the policies of protection which capture the challenge of internal security.
The reconstruction of Kosovo after 1999 was one of the largest and most ambitious international interventions in a post conflict country. Kosovo was seen by many international actors as a ‘green fields’ site on which to construct the government institutions and practices they considered necessary for future peace and prosperity. For a while Kosovo was close to being a laboratory for the practice of institution building and capacity development. This book looks beyond the apparently united and generally self congratulatory statements of international organisations and donors to examine what actually happened when they tried to work together in Kosovo to construct a new public administration. It considers the interests and motivations and the strengths and weaknesses of each of the major players and how these affected what they did, how they did it, and how successful they were in achieving their goals. Although in general the international exercise in Kosovo can be seen as a success, the results have been uneven. Some public administration institutions perform well while others face ongoing challenges. The book argues that to a significant extent the current day performance of the Kosovo government can be traced to the steps taken, or sometimes not taken, by various international actors in the early years of the international intervention.
(see, for example, the WRAP (Workshop to Raise
Awareness of Prevent) training (Home Office, 2014 )).
These provide examples of real-life occurrences that are seen by
policymakers to be indicative of potential future violence, and are thus
important for practitioners to be aware of. They therefore enable an
understanding of the particular performances and identifications
which are, by nature of their perceived threatening potential, in need of mediation. That they are selected by those implementing
policy guidance as