An International State of Exception
Topics covered include:
• The emergency imaginary • humanitarian governance • progress and civilization • contemporary missionary logics • military intervention
Fassin, Didier, & Pandolfi, Mariella, “Introduction: Military and Humanitarian Government in the Age of Intervention,” pp. 9-25, in: Didier Fassin & Mariella Pandolfi (eds.). (2010). Contemporary States of Emergency: The Politics of Military and Humanitarian Interventions. New York: Zone Books.
Calhoun, Craig, “The Idea of Emergency: Humanitarian Action and Global (Dis)Order,” pp. 29-58, in: Didier Fassin & Mariella Pandolfi (eds.). (2010). Contemporary States of Emergency: The Politics of Military and Humanitarian Interventions. New York: Zone Books.
Mattei, Ugo, “Emergency-Based Predatory Capitalism: The Rule of Law, Alternative Dispute Resolution, and Development,” pp. 89-105, in: Didier Fassin & Mariella Pandolfi (eds.). (2010). Contemporary States of Emergency: The Politics of Military and Humanitarian Interventions. New York: Zone Books.
Libya: Race, Empire, and the Invention of Humanitarian Emergency
“Based on the Maximilian Forte’s latest book, Slouching Towards Sirte: NATO’s War On Libya and Africa (Baraka Books, Montreal, 2012), and nearly two years of extensive documentary research, this film places the 2011 US/NATO war in Libya in a more meaningful context than that of a war to ‘protect civilians’ driven by the urgent need to ‘save Benghazi’. Instead it counters such notions with the actual destruction of Sirte, and the consistent and determined persecution of black Libyans and African migrant workers by the armed opposition, supported by NATO, as it sought to violently overthrow Muammar Gaddafi and the Jamahiriyah. This film takes us through some of the stock justifications for the war, focusing on protecting civilians, the responsibility to protect (R2P), and ‘genocide prevention,’ and examines the racial biases and political prejudice that underpinned them. The role of Western human rights organizations, as well as misinformation spread through ‘social media’ with the intent of fostering fear of rampaging black people, are especially scrutinized.”
» Presentations, peer review (worth 10%): Five students presenting for this session, commentary and questions expected from seminar participants.
Optional Readings in the New Imperialism Course Pack on Reserve:
Humanitarian Imperialism: Using Human Rights to Sell War (Monthly Review Press, 2006) – Ch. 3, “Questions to Human Rights Defenders,” 61-90
The New Military Humanism: Lessons from Kosovo (Common Courage Press, 1999) – Ch. 1, “In the Name of Principles and Values,” 1-23
- Woodrow Wilson: Wikipedia entry
- Woodrow Wilson: Fourteen Points Speech, 1918
- Senator Henry Cabot Lodge on the League of Nations, 12 August 1919
- Senator Robert M. LaFollette: “Within a few months, Under a pretext of carrying democracy to the rest of the world, we have done more to undermine and destroy democracy in the United States than it will be possible for us as a nation to repair in a generation of time.”
- Senator Robert A. Taft: Wikipedia entry
- George W. Bush: “A light shines in the darkness, and the darkness shall not overcome it.” — The President’s Radio Address, December 22, 2001
- George W. Bush: “our cause is even larger than our country. Ours is the cause of human dignity; freedom guided by conscience and guarded by peace. This ideal of America is the hope of all mankind. That hope drew millions to this harbor. That hope still lights our way. And the light shines in the darkness. And the darkness will not overcome it.” — September 11 Anniversary Address, New York, September 11, 2002