The Global War Machine: The Laws of War, State Soldiers, Private Military and Security Contractors, and Veterans.


This thesis examines and constructs a new narrative on the Global War on Terror through the theoretical lens of Deleuze and Guattari’s war machine, in order to demonstrate how certain ways of life are being privileged over others in the Middle East. The thesis sets out the ways in which such privileging is achieved through a range of practices that depend on particular workings of neoliberal capitalism, gender, sexuality, race, ethnicity, law and military power. The analysis is spatio-temporally focused on the 2001 war in Afghanistan and the 2003 invasion of Iraq. A number of case-studies based around the GWOT in the Middle East, as well as case-studies based around PTSD, are analyzed through Foucauldian and feminist post-structuralist discourse analysis, discourse theory, and a Derridean deconstructive approach. Further, this thesis utilizes Foucault’s monster and Derrida’s werewolf as theoretical prisms as a means to conceptualize and articulate the gaps, fissures, and shortcomings of specific laws governing the resort to the use of force in international law (as subsumed under the laws of armed conflict), international humanitarian law, and more broadly, law and the Symbolic. In so doing, it examines the liminal and ambiguous legal positions of States with regards to the use of force, state soldiers and private and military contractors in armed conflicts, as well as beyond with veterans and post-traumatic stress disorder. In analyzing the specific laws governing the resort to the use of force and international humanitarian law, a unique three-stage analysis was applied. This analysis begins by with examining the political aspects of law-making and law interpretation, before addressing the inherent instability of language through différance and a deconstructive reading. The last stage of the analysis draws upon Lacanian psychoanalysis to provide an in-depth explanation of the fundamental gap not just in law, but in the Symbolic generally. This thesis therefore contributes to critical security studies, critical military studies, and critical legal theory

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White Rose E-theses Online

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