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Open Access (free)
Christoph Menke in dialogue
Series: Critical Powers

This book focuses on the paradoxical character of law and specifically concerns the structural violence of law as the political imposition of normative order onto a "lawless" condition. The paradox of law which grounds and motivates Christoph Menke's intervention is that law is both the opposite of violence and, at the same time, a form of violence. The book develops its engagement with the paradox of law in two stages. The first shows why, and in what precise sense, the law is irreducibly characterized by structural violence. The second explores the possibility of law becoming self-reflectively aware of its own violence and, hence, of the form of a self-critique of law in view of its own violence. The Book's philosophical claims are developed through analyses of works of drama: two classical tragedies in the first part and two modern dramas in the second part. It attempts to illuminate the paradoxical nature of law by way of a philosophical interpretation of literature. There are at least two normative orders within the European ethical horizon that should be called "legal orders" even though they forego the use of coercion and are thus potentially nonviolent. These are international law and Jewish law. Understanding the relationship between law and violence is one of the most urgent challenges a postmodern critical legal theory faces today. Self-reflection, the philosophical concept that plays a key role in the essay, stands opposed to all forms of spontaneity.

Open Access (free)
Christoph Menke

just like the violation it answers. The justification of retribution and its violence are indissolubly linked: Retribution is measure for measure and excess that then requires another retributive deed to restore the balance of measures. The violence of retribution consists in its necessary perpetuation: in the “frenzy of mutual murder” (Agamemnon, 1575–​76). Any retributive deed is ambivalent: It repays and repeats an excessive crime. For any retributive deed occupies two places at once in the sequence of events. There are two narratives about any retributive deed

in Law and violence
Open Access (free)
Towards a re-thinking of legal justice in transitional justice contexts
María del Rosario Acosta López

violence is 86 86 Responses therefore not merely the violence of its reproduction, but even more so the compulsion of its repetition. The question that retribution raises, but leaves unanswered, also sets the stage for the beginning and the origin of the law, the task and the challenge that will be taken up by the sphere of law as right: “is there a deed of justice whose operation does not continue without end –​that is not violence?” (p. 10) Law, according to Menke, begins with this question. It is the sphere that must conceive of justice in its narrative character

in Law and violence
Reflections on Menke’s ‘Law and violence’
Alessandro Ferrara

, for the other counts as a new offense (“the spilling of fresh blood”) calling for more retributive violence. In the justice-​of-​the-​law paradigm, however, the figure of a “non-​partisan party,” or the impartial judge, is introduced, who relativizes every narrative of violence as just “one side of the story,” normatively inert until “the other side” is offered a fair hearing. Thus the justice-​of-​the-​law paradigm reconceptualizes justice as a way of understanding “the matter in a way that is not partial 114 114 Responses but sees both sides” (p. 12). Indeed

in Law and violence
Open Access (free)
Ian McEwan’s The Children Act and the limits of the legal practices in Menke’s ‘Law and violence’
Ben Morgan

straightforwardly materialistic understanding of human behavior, seeing it as determined by, among other things, genetic dispositions or the effects of lipoprotein-​a on the blood vessels in the brain (Saturday, 165). But the view taken by the narrative itself is more holistic: here, as in The Children Act, behavior is altered by context and interaction. The novel reflects on the resulting shades of responsibility and impotence, capturing them in a formulation that occurs early in the text as the surgeon watches a burning plane cross 146 146 Responses the London sky and

in Law and violence
Andreas Fischer- Lescano

departure for conceptions that continue to assign a central function in the genesis of political collectivity and lawmaking to the narratives of communities of fate and homogeneous cultures and values, even if they acknowledge, in postmodernist fashion, that such communities do not strictly speaking exist. They maintain that the European Union suffers from a constitutionality deficit because the space beyond the state lacks the necessary homogeneity, and they argue that the idea of international constitutional law championed by Jürgen Habermas17 is doomed to fail a priori

in Law and violence
Lessons for critical security studies?
Emmanuel-Pierre Guittet

of mobility. However, as a contributor to this literature I must confess that the concept of mobility itself was something of a second-order concern. The third trend in which mobility figures large is driven by an interest in analysing the narratives of threat and risk in relation to migration, circulation, and freedom of movement (Guild and Bigo 2005 ). In many ways, the

in Security/ Mobility
Open Access (free)
Virtuousness, virtuality and virtuosity in NATO’s representation of the Kosovo campaign
Andreas Behnke

’. The rest of the pre-air-strike narrative provides a tale of institutional networking, with hypertext links to UN Security Council Resolutions 1199 and 1203, to the Contact Group, as well as to the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE). NATO supported the OSCE by providing a military task force for use in a possible emergency evacuation of members of the Kosovo Verification

in Mapping European security after Kosovo
Data becoming risk information
Nathaniel O’Grady

throughout Britain, the IRS includes data import and export functions to two key sites of fire governance that submit data as fire incidents unfold. The IRS is connected, firstly, to local FRS control rooms, which oversee and coordinate response by communicating with the public and operative FRS response personnel. Control rooms generate for the IRS what are called narrative logs; a recording of all data communicated to

in Security/ Mobility
Ontological coordination and the assessment of consistency in asylum requests
Bruno Magalhães

chapter dwells on the notion of consistency and the impact it has over the outcome of asylum claims. Taking the work of asylum screening in Brazil as a setting, I propose to look at how examiners are steered towards denials when considering the degree of consistency in asylum seeker's narratives. Along with the assessment of legal fit and empirical support, the judgment of

in Security/ Mobility