Another extremely interesting Call for Papers for the Annual Meeting of the Association of American Geographers in Los Angeles, 9-13 April 2013:


Organizers: Michael Smith (University of British Columbia) and Craig Jones (University of British Columbia)

War may have always entailed rhetorics of justification and regimes of authorization, but perhaps more than ever, late modern war requires a legal armature to secure its legitimacy and organize its conduct.  In the ‘age of lawfare’ (Weizman 2010), for example, law has become a vital weapon in asymmetric warfare, used by states and non-state actors alike. But there are many different kinds of war – including undeclared wars, metaphorical wars, even “military operations other than war” – just as there are multiple forms, systems and scales of law. War’s “nomospheres” – to borrow from Delaney (2010) – mobilizes a host of subjects, discourse, practices and institutions which in turn reconfigure the spaces of war-law, moving us toward what Derek Gregory (2011) has called an “everywhere war”. The question, then, of the interplay of war and law – how they underpin, disrupt, enable, elide, or efface one another – remains a critical site for scholarship, one that warrants more attention from geographers (c.f. Gregory 2006; Reid-Henry 2006). What is the relationship between law and (organized state) violence? How does law feature in the putative transition from the battlefield to the hyper-networked battlespace?  If war is potentially everywhere, where – so to speak – is law?

This session invites both theoretical and empirical research that engages with the intersections between war, law and space from a diverse range of approaches and perspectives. It asks contributors to consider how law makes war and vice versa, but it also asks how these productions might be interrupted and resisted. It seeks to understand the spaces of war-law through the institutions, agents and practices that authorize, enact and resist them. We welcome contributions from geographers, lawyers and other scholars on themes that may include (but are not limited to):

  • Legal violence and the law as a weapon of war: ‘lawfare’ & the ‘legal war on terror’
  • Targeted killing/assassination, detention and cyber warfare
  • International humanitarian law (IHL), human rights law (HRL) and the laws of armed conflict (LOAC)
  • Genealogies of law in armed conflict
  • The links between law and legitimacy
  • The representational regimes of law/war: new media, propaganda & the “citizen journalist”
  • How law facilitates the political economy of war: its role in the logistics, organization, privatization and marketization of war
  • War inside/outside the border: International, transnational and domestic variations of lawfare
  • Witnessing war – Legal subjectivities, narrations and testimony from those who inhabit the warscape (e.g. lawyers, soldiers, civilians)

Please submit abstracts of 250-300 words to Craig Jones (venga@interchange.ubc.ca) and Michael Smith (mdsgeog@gmail.com) before 15 October 2012.