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Drone warfare and the emergence of spaces of exception

Behnke, A. (2020) Drone warfare and the emergence of spaces of exception. In: Bishai, L. S. (ed.) Law, Security and the State of Perpetual Emergency. Palgrave Macmillan, London, UK, pp. 37-65. ISBN 9783030449599

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To link to this item DOI: 10.1007/978-3-030-44959-9

Abstract/Summary

‘Sovereign’, writes Carl Schmitt, ‘is he who decides on the exception’ (Schmitt 2005: 5). The customary pithiness of his proposition might however distract from the ambivalence it contains. Does the decision on the exception reside within an ontologically given sovereign, and is the former merely indicative of the latter? Or does the (successful) decision constitute or produce (in the sense of ‘bring forth’) the sovereign? To assume the latter methodological and analytical position avoids reifying ‘the sovereign’ and allows us to focus on the various practices involved in making relevant decisions that bring it into recognisable existence and that structure political space via the sovereign decisions about friend or enemy and life or death. The present chapter pursues this strategy in order to investigate the exceptional practices that are involved in the production of a particular (geo-)political space beyond the state proper that I shall call ‘meta-sovereign space’. This space, I argue, is co-produced by the now systematic and regular employment of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV), commonly known as ‘drones’ in the Global War on Terror (GWoT) and what is left of it today.

Item Type:Book or Report Section
Refereed:Yes
Divisions:Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Social Science > School of Politics, Economics and International Relations > Politics and International Relations
ID Code:90920
Publisher:Palgrave Macmillan

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