Pirates, rebels and mercenaries

This book is a story about the importance of stories in International Relations. It brings insights from Literary Studies and Narratology into IR and political science by developing a new discourse analytical method of narrative analysis. Focusing on the three narrative elements of setting, characterization and emplotment, the book argues that narratives are of fundamental importance for human cognition and identity construction. Narratives help us understand the social and political world in which we live. The book emphasizes the idea of intertextual narratability which holds that for narratives to become dominant they have to link themselves to previously existing stories. Empirically the book looks at narratives about pirates, rebels and private military and security companies (PMSCs). The book illustrates in the case of pirates and rebels that the romantic images embedded in cultural narratives influence our understanding of modern piracy in places like Somalia or rebels in Libya. Dominant romantic narratives marginalize other, less flattering, stories about these actors, in which they are constituted as terrorists and made responsible for human rights violations. In contrast, in the case of PMSCs in Iraq the absence of such romantic cultural narratives makes it difficult for such actors to successfully narrate themselves as romantic heroes to the public.

Rothenburg, 1561–1652
Author: Alison Rowlands

Given the widespread belief in witchcraft and the existence of laws against such practices, why did witch-trials fail to gain momentum and escalate into ‘witch-crazes’ in certain parts of early modern Europe? This book answers this question by examining the rich legal records of the German city of Rothenburg ob der Tauber, a city that experienced a very restrained pattern of witch-trials and just one execution for witchcraft between 1561 and 1652. The book explores the factors that explain the absence of a ‘witch-craze’ in Rothenburg, placing particular emphasis on the interaction of elite and popular priorities in the pursuit (and non-pursuit) of alleged witches at law. By making the witchcraft narratives told by the peasants and townspeople of Rothenburg central to its analysis, the book also explores the social and psychological conflicts that lay behind the making of accusations and confessions of witchcraft. Furthermore, it challenges the existing explanations for the gender-bias of witch-trials, and also offers insights into other areas of early modern life, such as experiences of and beliefs about communal conflict, magic, motherhood, childhood and illness. Written in a narrative style, the study invites a wide readership to share in the drama of early modern witch trials.

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Liminal lives in the early modern Mediterranean

This book explores how Muslims, Christians and Jews interacted in frontier zones of the early modern Mediterranean (primarily 1530–1670), and how they developed a frontier consciousness that took into account how their interlocutors thought and acted. Sources used include the gamut of genres ranging from factual to fictive, from inquisitional records and different sorts of treatises to plays, novels and (auto)biographies, in numerous languages of the Mediterranean. The Muslim-Christian divide in the Mediterranean produced an unusual kind of slavery, fostered a surge in conversion to Islam, offered an ideal setting for Catholic martyrdom in its rivalry with Protestantism, and provided a haven of sorts for Spanish Muslims (Moriscos) as well as Jews. The book argues that identities and alterities were multiple and versatile, that there was no war between Christianity and Islam during the early modern period, that ‘popular religion’ prevailed over theological principles, that women experienced slavery and religious conversion differently from men, that commerce prevailed over ideology and dogma, and that ‘positive’ human relations among people of different categories were not only possible but inevitable despite prevailing hostile conditions. In the spirit of Braudel, who asserts that ‘the Mediterranean speaks with many voices; it is a sum of individual histories’, this book endeavours to allow the people of the early modern Mediterranean to be heard more than one can find in any other study till now, and strives to cast all its major themes in a new light.

Alexander Spencer

1 Narrative analysis as an approach in IR Humans are storytelling animals. The human can not only be described as Homo sapiens, Homo oeconomicus or Homo sociologicus, but also as Homo narrans (Mumby 1993; Ewick and Silbey 1995; Hutto 2007). It is this ability to tell and comprehend stories which sets us apart from other living things on this planet. It is something uniquely human and as research into artificial intelligence has shown, it is something even the most sophisticated computers have tremendous difficulty with (Herman 2002: 1). As Hayden White famously

in Romantic narratives in international politics
Alexander Spencer

3 British narratives of the rebel in Libya This chapter will retell a romantic story of rebellion by indicating the persistence of a romantic story about the rebel from the period of romanticism via romantic representations in movies such as Lawrence of Arabia to more current media reporting and parliamentary debates on rebels in the Libyan conflict in 2011. The romanticization of the rebels in Libya is somewhat unsurprising as they represent actors who are considered to be fighting on the same side as the Western ‘us’ against an evil Gaddafi ‘other’. Yet, the

in Romantic narratives in international politics
Alexander Spencer

2 German narratives of the pirate in Somalia We all love pirates and stories about pirates. When asked many years ago, most of us would have probably preferred to have become a pirate rather than follow the occupation we ended up in. Even Per Steinbrück, the former German finance minister and former leader of the German Social Democrats, according to the Süddeutsche wanted to become a pirate rather than finance minister.1 We used to play with pirate ships or pirate board games or we pretended to be brave, adventurous pirates on our bunk-bed pirate ship. Our

in Romantic narratives in international politics
Alexander Spencer

4 US narratives of private military and security companies in Iraq While many of us wanted to be a pirate in our childhood or had sympathies with rebels such as Che Guevara in our teenage years, very few people wanted to be a mercenary or private military and security company (PMSC) operative when they were young. And still nobody seems to like PMSCs. As Kateri Carmola (2010: 9) points out, ‘whatever they are, we do not like them’. At least since reports broke out of several fatal shootings in post-invasion Iraq – including the killing of seventeen civilians by

in Romantic narratives in international politics
Marking and remarking
Editors: Kate Watson and Katharine Cox

Tattoos in crime and detective narratives: Marking and remarking examines representations of the tattoo and tattooing in literature, television and film, from two periods of tattoo renaissance (1851–1914, and around 1955 to the present). The collection reads tattoos and associated scarification, such as branding, as mimetic devices that mark and remark crime and detective narratives in complex ways. The chapters utilise a variety of critical perspectives drawn from posthumanism, spatiality, postcolonialism, embodiment and gender studies to read the tattoo as individual and community bodily narratives. The collection develops its focus from the first tattoo renaissance and considers the rebirth of the tattoo in contemporary culture through literature, children's literature, film and television. This book has a broad appeal and will be of interest to all literature and media scholars and, in particular, those with an interest in crime and detective narratives and skin studies.

Marking women and nonhuman animals
Kate Watson and Rebekah Humphreys

society; a value and status ‘inscribed by culture and counterinscribed by individuals’ (DeMello 2000 : 9). Relatedly, this chapter provides an analysis of the marking, both literal and metaphorical, of nonhuman beings and women via an examination of contemporary crime narratives, including Jeffery Deaver’s novel The skin collector ( 2014b ) and Peter Robinson’s Abattoir blues published in 2014 . 1 In doing so, it links the exploitation and objectification of the bodies of women and of nonhumans. MARKING AND CONSUMPTION: WOMEN AND CRIME

in Tattoos in crime and detective narratives
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Sam Rohdie

Narrative Most histories (Histoires), most histories of the cinema (histoires du cinéma) and most of the films that form part of that history and that tell stories (histoires) are narratives. They narrate events that have already occurred. The events so narrated are usually presented chronologically, a series of sequences, scenes, shots that progress in a more or less linear fashion, that begin and are concluded and resolved. One of the features of such narratives is that their elements belong to a hierarchy of importance and significance. Some passages are

in Film modernism