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

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.

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

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

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

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

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
Abstract only

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
From Nosferatu to Nazism

It has been widely asserted that nationhood is inseparable from narration. This vague claim may be clarified by understanding that nationalism is bound up with the universal prototypical narrative structures of heroic, romantic, and sacrificial tragi-comedy. This essay considers an historically important case of the emplotment of nationalism - the sacrificial organization of German nationalism between the two world wars. It examines one exemplary instance of this emplotment, F. W. Murnau‘s Nosferatu, a Symphony of Horror (1922). However unintentionally, Nosferatu represents the vampire in a way that is cognitively continuous with Nazi representations of Jews. The films sacrificial emplotment of vampirism is, in turn, continuous with Nazi policies. That continuity places the film in a larger discourse that helped to make Nazi policies possible.

Film Studies