State Violence and the Execution of Law: Biopolitcal Caesurae of Torture, Black Sites, Drones, 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

State Violence and the Execution of Law

Biopolitcal Caesurae of Torture, Black Sites, Drones, 1st Edition

By Joseph Pugliese


240 pages

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State Violence and the Execution of Law stages a provocative analysis of how the biopolitical divide between human and animal has played a fundamental role in enabling state violence, including torture, secret imprisonment and killing-at-a-distance via drones. Analyzing the complex ways in which the United States government deploys law in order to consolidate and further imperial relations of power, Pugliese tracks the networks that enable the diffusion and normalization of the state’s monopoly of violence both in the US and in an international context. He demonstrates how networks of state violence are embedded within key legal institutions, military apparatuses, civilian sites, corporations, carceral architectures, and advanced technologies. The author argues that the exercise of state violence, as unleashed by the war on terror, has enmeshed the subjects of the Global South within institutional and discursive structures that position them as non-human animals that can be tortured, killed and disappeared with impunity. Drawing on poststructuralist, critical race and whiteness, and critical legal theories, the book is transdisciplinary in its approach and value. It will be invaluable to university students and scholars in Critical Legal and Socio-Legal Studies, Cultural Studies, Race and Ethnicity Studies, International Politics, and Postcolonial Studies.

Table of Contents

Introduction: Anatomies of State Violence and the (In)Execution of Law 1. Biopolitical Caesura of State Violence 2. Shadow Archives of Torture 3. Biopolitcal Hierarchies of Life 4. Epidemiologies of State Bioterror 5. Black Sites, Redacted Bodies 6. Prosthetics of Empire and the Anomic Violence of Drones

About the Author

Joseph Pugliese is an Associate Professor of Cultural Studies at Macquarie University, Sydney. Recent publications include the edited collection Transmediterranean: Diasporas, Histories, Geopolitical Spaces and the monograph Biometrics: Bodies, Technologies, Biopolitics which was short-listed for the Surveillance Studies Book Prize 2010.

About the Series

Law and the Postcolonial

Ethics, Politics, & Economy

Law and the Postcolonial: Ethics, Politics, & Economy seeks to expand the critical scope of racial, postcolonial, and global theory and analysis, focusing on how the global juridico-economic apparatus has been, and continues to be, shaped by the Colonial and the Racial structurings of power. It includes works that seek to move beyond the previous privileging of culture in considerations of racial and postcolonial subjectivity to offer a more comprehensive engagement with the legal, economic and moral issues of the global present.

If you are interested in submitting a proposal for the series, please contact:

Denise Ferreira da Silva

The University of British Columbia


Mark Harris

The University of British Columbia


Colin Perrin


2 Park Square

Milton Park



OX14 4RN


Learn more…

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
LAW / General
LAW / International
POLITICAL SCIENCE / Political Freedom & Security / International Security
POLITICAL SCIENCE / Political Freedom & Security / Terrorism
POLITICAL SCIENCE / Colonialism & Post-Colonialism