War, liberalism, and modernity: the biopolitical provocations of ‘Empire’

Reid, Julian (2004) War, liberalism, and modernity: the biopolitical provocations of ‘Empire’. Cambridge Review of International Affairs, 17 (1). pp. 63-79. ISSN 0955-7571

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The relationships between war, liberalism and modernity remain heavily under‐theorised within international relations. Existing critiques emphasise the ways in which the developments of liberal societies have been facilitated by the deployment of instrumental forms of force and violence in the extension and control of spaces beyond the boundaries of the zone of ‘liberal peace’. Yet, the ordinary functioning of liberal societies themselves can also be understood in terms of the roles of war. This article utilises ideas derived from Michel Foucault and Antonio Negri to advance our understanding of the ways in which liberal powers pursue security through the creation of what this author terms a logistical order of relations between the subjects that they govern. Simultaneously, the strategisation of social relations within liberal societies fosters the development of new forms of antagonistic subjectivities that contest the logistical foundations of liberal societies. This dual set of developments poses problematic questions as to how we should understand the relationships between the organisation of liberal societies and the forms of resistance that emerge in their midst. As the author details, these questions are made all the more pressing by the current context of the War on Terror.

Item Type: Article
Schools and Departments: School of Law, Politics and Sociology > Politics
Depositing User: EPrints Services
Date Deposited: 21 Feb 2012 10:03
Last Modified: 10 Aug 2012 08:46
URI: http://sro.sussex.ac.uk/id/eprint/37930
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