enlightened fashion, offering a marked and much needed departure from the destructive but ultimately powerless (in the positive sense of the word) self-serving neo-con, then it is possible to detect a more intellectually vociferous shift taking place which is rendering all forms of political difference to be truly dangerous on a planetary scale. With this in mind, I would like your thoughts on the Global State of War today. What for instance do you feel have been the most important changes in the paradigm since you first proposed the idea? And would you argue that war is still the permanent social relation of global rule? Hardt: The notion of a global civil war starts from the question of sovereignty. Traditionally war is conceived (in the field of international relations, for instance, or in international law) as armed conflict between two sovereign power s whereas civil war designates conflict within a single territory in which one or both of the parties is not sovereign. War designates, in other words, a conflict in some sense external to the structures of sovereignty and civil war a conflict internal to them. It is clear that few if any of the instances of armed conflict around the world today fit the classic model of war between sovereign states. And perhaps even the great conflicts of the cold war, from Korea and Vietnam to countries throughout Latin America, already undermined the distinction, draping the conflict between sovereign states in the guise of local civil wars. Toni Negri and I thus claimed that in our era there is no more war but only civil wars or, really, a global civil war. It is probably more precise to say instead that the distinction between war and civil war has been undermined, in the same way that one might say, in more metaphorical terms, not that there is no more outside but rather that the division between inside and outside has been eroded. This claim is also widely recognized, it seems to me, among military and security theorists. The change from the framework of war to that of civil war, for instance, corresponds closely to thinking of armed
conflicts as not military campaigns but police actions, and thus a shift from the external to the internal use of force. The general rhetorical move from war to security marks in more general terms a similar shift. The security mantra that you cite – “war by other means” – also indicates how the confusion between inside and outside implies the mixture of a series of fields that are traditionally separate: war and politics, for example, but also killing and generating forms of social life. This opens a complicated question about the ways in which contemporary military actions have become biopolitical and what that conception helps us understand about them. Rather than pursuing that biopolitical question directly, though, I want first to understand better how the shift in the relationship between war and sovereignty that Toni and I propose relates to your notion of liberal and humanitarian war.
You've reached the end of your free preview.
Want to read all 156 pages?
- Winter '16
- Jeff Hannan
- World War II, Greater East Asia Co-Prosperity Sphere