1st Edition

International Law, Necropolitics, and Arab Lives The Legalization of Creative Chaos in Arabia

By Khaled Al-Kassimi Copyright 2023
    318 Pages
    by Routledge

    318 Pages
    by Routledge

    International Relations and International Law continue to be accented by epistemic violence by naturalizing a separation between law and morality. What does such positivist juridical ethos make possible when considering that both disciplines reify a secular (immanent) ontology?

    International Law, Necropolitics, and Arab Lives emphasizes that positivist jurisprudence (re)conquered Arabia by subjugating Arab life to the power of death using extrajudicial techniques of violence seeking the implementation of a "New Middle East" that is no longer "resistant to Latin-European modernity", but amenable to such exclusionary telos. The monograph goes beyond the limited remonstration asserting that the problématique with both disciplines is that they are primarily "Eurocentric". Rather, the epistemic inquiry uncovers that legalizing necropower is necessary for the temporal coherence of secular-modernity since a humanitarian logic masks sovereignty inherently being necropolitical by categorizing Arab-Islamic epistemology as an internal-external enemy from which national(ist) citizenship must be defended. This creates a sense of danger around which to unite "modern" epistemology whilst reinforcing the purity of a particular ontology at the expense of banning and de-humanizing a supposed impure Arab refugee.

    This book will be of interest to graduate students, scholars, and finally, practitioners of international relations, political theory, philosophical theology, and legal-theory.

    Introduction 1: Positivist Jurisprudence: The Secularization of Revealed Law in International Law 2: Naturalizing a Separation Between Law & Morality: Pre-emptive War as Just in Arabia 3: (Neo)-Orientalist Imaginaries & the "Arab Spring": Inclusive Exclusion as Ethos of International Law 4: Bethlehem Legal Principles & Operation Timber Sycamore: Legalizing Killing Arab Lives by Hiring War-Machines 5: The "Islamist Winter" and Necropolitics: The Displaced Arab as Muselmänner and the Coherence of Secular Modernity 6: Conclusion: Harmonizing Revelation with Reason: A Necessary Ontological Limit Structuring a Spiritual Epistemology


    Khaled Al-Kassimi is Assistant Professor of Political Science and International Relations at the American University in the Emirates (AUE).

    "Plying centuries of legal doctrine, necropolitics, and biopolitics, Khaled Al-Kassimi reveals how the idea of the ‘Arab Spring’ manifests a potent social technology of governance over and through bodies variously captured by or vacated from positivist legal regimes. This meticulously researched, insightful, and persuasively argued book is essential reading for anyone seeking to better understand the advanced colonial complicities of jus gentium." J. Marshall Beier, Professor of Political Science, McMaster University

    "A strong, sophisticated, and well-researched book that will interest scholars working at the intersection of law, theology, and political philosophy. Dr. Al-Kassimi is an elegant writer and a provocative thinker. Here, he's at his very best." Roberto D. Sirvent, Professor of Political and Social Ethics, Hope International University

    "To speak truth about the plight of the Arab world today, especially as concerns the beleaguered Palestinians, takes courage. To do so persuasively requires informed awareness and intelligence. Such are the qualities that inform Khaled Al-Kassimi’s excellent book." Charles E. Butterworth, Emeritus Professor, Department of Government & Politics, University of Maryland

    "Written with great lucidity and insight, International Law, Necropolitics and Arab Lives provides an urgently needed genealogy of international law that reveals the racialized exclusions that continue to haunt international politics and deny Arab nations full sovereignty, autonomy, and democracy." Peter Nyers, Professor of the Politics of Citizenship and Intercultural Relations, McMaster University

    "Some books are not just books but intellectual events, and this is such a book. Khaled Al-Kassimi’s breathtaking analysis challenges readers to understand how the politics of death, and not life, has come to dominate the Arab world. This highly original book deserves to be read, savored, and then vigorously debated by anyone interested in the international legal order and the real value placed on human life." Khaled Abou El Fadl, Omar and Azmeralda Alfi Distinguished Professor of Law, University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA)