The deployment of remotely piloted air platforms (RPAs) - or drones - has become a defining feature of contemporary counter-insurgency operations. Scholarly analysis and public debate has primarily focused on two issues: the legality of targeted killing and whether the practice is effective at disrupting insurgency networks, and the intensive media and activist scrutiny of the policy processes through which targeted killing decisions have been made. While contributing to these ongoing discussions, this book aims to determine how targeted killing has become possible in contemporary counter-insurgency operations undertaken by liberal regimes.
Each chapter is oriented around a problematisation that has shaped the cultural politics of the targeted killing assemblage. Grayson argues that in order to understand how specific forms of violence become prevalent, it is important to determine how problematisations that enable them are shaped by a politico-cultural system in which culture operates in conjunction with technological, economic, governmental, and geostrategic elements. The book also demonstrates that the actors involved - what they may be attempting to achieve through the deployment of this form of violence, how they attempt to achieve it, and where they attempt to achieve it - are also shaped by culture.
The book demonstrates how the current social relations prevalent in liberal societies contain the potential for targeted killing as a normal rather than extraordinary practice. It will be of great use for academic specialists and graduate students in international studies, geography, sociology, cultural studies and legal studies.
Chapter One: The Cultural Politics of the Targeted Killing Assemblage
Chapter Two: Beyond the Exception: The Legal Problematisation of Targeted Killing
Chapter Three: The Politics of Targeted Killing
Chapter Four: Science, Capitalism, and the RPA
Chapter Five: The Aesthetic Subjects of Targeted Killing
Chapter Six: The Quotidian Geopolitics of Targeted Killing Strikes
Chapter Seven: Concluding Remarks on the Cultural Politics of Targeted Killing
The Series provides a forum for innovative and interdisciplinary work that engages with alternative critical, post-structural, feminist, postcolonial, psychoanalytic and cultural approaches to international relations and global politics. In our first 5 years we have published 60 volumes.
We aim to advance understanding of the key areas in which scholars working within broad critical post-structural traditions have chosen to make their interventions, and to present innovative analyses of important topics. Titles in the series engage with critical thinkers in philosophy, sociology, politics and other disciplines and provide situated historical, empirical and textual studies in international politics.
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‘As Michel Foucault has famously stated, "knowledge is not made for understanding; it is made for cutting" In this spirit The Edkins - Vaughan-Williams Interventions series solicits cutting edge, critical works that challenge mainstream understandings in international relations. It is the best place to contribute post disciplinary works that think rather than merely recognize and affirm the world recycled in IR's traditional geopolitical imaginary.’
Michael J. Shapiro, University of Hawai'i at Manoa, USA