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The miracle of generative violence. René Girard and the use of force in International law

Publiceringsår: 2008
Språk: Engelska
Sidor: 563-580
Publikation/Tidskrift/Serie: Leiden Journal of International Law
Volym: 21
Nummer: 3
Dokumenttyp: Artikel
Förlag: CUP


In this article, I apply René Girard's theory of generative violence to the international law relating to the use of force. I argue that texts of international law make gestures of referral towards an immanent normativity on the fettering of divine violence. The means to this end is a form of sacrificial violence that seeks to promote the preservation and cohesion of the ‘international community’. The structuring of this violence through international law and its repeated staging reproduces the relationship of prophecy to miracle. Empirically, I draw mainly on excerpts from the 2006 US National Security Strategy.



  • Law and Political Science
  • Girard
  • National Security Strategy
  • necessity
  • use of force
  • pre-emption
  • gesture
  • weapons of mass destruction
  • violence
  • mänskliga rättigheter
  • human rights



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