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Reading: ‘I am Iraq’Law, life and violence in the formation of the Iraqi state

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‘I am Iraq’
Law, life and violence in the formation of the Iraqi state

Author:

Perveen Ali

Abstract

This paper investigates how law, life and violence combined to reconfigure sovereignty in the 2003 invasion of Iraq and the subsequent rise of the insurgency. It considers how legal practices, including justifications for military intervention, neoliberal democratic governance, states of emergency and normative discourses were also spatial practices in the formation of the new Iraqi state and were critical to the emergence of differing visions of political authority within it. They facilitated the spatiotemporal manifestations of the states of exception that proliferated within Iraq, as Iraq was unilaterally designated as an exception within the global order, and insurgent and sectarian militias challenged, appropriated and reproduced these expressions of sovereign power and decisions upon life in their violent competition for control of the state. However, as the state of exception emerged as the dominant paradigm of governance, and the emergency became indistinguishable from the norm, sovereignty was revealed as contingent and processual, delocalised and decentred - an ideology and fiction of power.
DOI: http://doi.org/10.18352/ulr.159
How to Cite: Ali, P., (2011). ‘I am Iraq’
Law, life and violence in the formation of the Iraqi state. Utrecht Law Review. 7(2), pp.4–28. DOI: http://doi.org/10.18352/ulr.159
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Published on 14 Apr 2011.
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