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Networks, international law and violence: a history of a 'dialogical interplay'

Memon, Ahmed Raza (2020) Networks, international law and violence: a history of a 'dialogical interplay'. Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) thesis, University of Kent,. (doi:10.22024/UniKent/01.02.86579) (KAR id:86579)

Language: English

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I examine international law in this thesis as a dialogical interplay between its jurisprudential use and its operation as a network. I define networks as a set of actors who are connected through a common purpose, be it secular, religious, commercial, political or economic. Rather than placing networks as something new and antithetical to our conventional understandings of international legal concepts such as territorial sovereignty, or understandings of the international as only a network of actors, an understanding of international law as a dialogical interplay highlights its nature as a relational process between webs of social actors and its static, territorially centered jurisprudence. This approach demonstrates that networks of social actors deploy, develop and benefit from conventional international legal jurisprudence as much as international law develops, and foregrounds itself, through the operation of networks.

My formulation of international law is grounded in sociology of knowledge production with a leaning towards critical history to understand the context in which social actors operate. From the sociologically grounded analysis that I advance in this thesis, it becomes clear how the interplay between international law as network and as a particular body of territorially centered jurisprudence produces a kind of invisibility that hides the effect of the network operation. This effect of the network operating in tandem and through conventional jurisprudence takes violent forms through hegemonic governance over particularly human (economic, political, social and intellectual) life. This undercurrent of violence is characteristically silent and constantly evolving to direct and control individual and community lives, often taking both physical and non-physical forms.I explore the dialogical interplay and this violence through key historical moments in the development of doctrines of sovereignty and the separation between war and peace. I start my examination with the colonization of the New World by the Spanish Empire. Here we see the genesis of the dialogical interplay through the missionaries of the Holy Roman Church and the Spanish Empire. This is followed by the expansion of merchant networks of the Dutch East India Company and the British East India Company. In this era mercantile networks evolved into the imperial British State as a supra-national organization with a network of imperial state administrators. This evolution laid the ground for the League of Nations international expert networks. In the post-1945 era, this continued through international financial institutions and the universal acceptance of the knowledge, for example, of the World Bank's development discourse. Here, the expertise of international development came from within the state through local experts trained in the development discourse of international financial institutions. Finally, in the post-9/11 era, when network organization and technology have reached an unprecedented level, I show how the US Joint Special Operation Forces Network operates across territorial boundaries reminiscent of earlier network structures yet ushering a new era of imperialism. Its novelty is characterized by its contingency on technology to erase any spatio-temporal limitation - a feat not possible in previous forms of networks - so that it becomes an omnipresent techno- hegemony.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctor of Philosophy (PhD))
Thesis advisor: Eslava, Luis
Thesis advisor: Haslam, Emily
DOI/Identification number: 10.22024/UniKent/01.02.86579
Uncontrolled keywords: International Law, Sociology of International Law, Third World Approaches to International Law, International Law and Network
Divisions: Divisions > Division for the Study of Law, Society and Social Justice > Kent Law School
SWORD Depositor: System Moodle
Depositing User: System Moodle
Date Deposited: 12 Feb 2021 15:10 UTC
Last Modified: 09 Dec 2022 12:29 UTC
Resource URI: (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)
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