What do we know about war crimes and justice? What are the discursive practices through which the dominant images of war crimes, atrocity and justice are understood?
In this wide ranging text, Michael J. Shapiro contrasts the justice-related imagery of the war crimes trial (for example the solitary, headphone-wearing defendant at the Hague listening with intent to a catalogue of charges) with ?literary justice?: representations in literature, film, and biographical testimony, raising questions about atrocities and justice that juridical proceedings exclude.
By engaging with the ambiguities exposed by the artistic and
experiential genres, reading them alongside policy and archival
documentation and critical theoretical discourses, Shapiro?s War
Crimes, Atrocity, and Justice challenges traditional notions of
?responsibility? in juridical settings. His comparative readings
instead encourage a focus on the conditions of possibility for war
crimes as they arise from the actions of states, non-state agencies
and individuals involved in arms trading, peace keeping, sex
trafficking, and law enforcement and adjudication.
Theory springs to life as Shapiro draws on examples from legal discourse, literature, media, film, and television, to build a nuanced picture of politics and the problem of justice. It will be of great interest to students of film and media, literature, cultural studies, contemporary philosophy and political science
* Exam copies only available to lecturers for whom the book may be suitable as a course text.
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"We should all read and learn from Michael Shapiro's brilliantly
conceived, strikingly original, and profoundly illuminating text.
His use of movies, literature, and philosophy to expand our
consciousness of the deep roots of atrocity, while contrasting what
justice means for the imaginative mind with what passes for justice
in a court of law, transforms conventional understandings of war
—Richard A. Falk, Princeton University
"Michael Shapiro is one of the most perceptive political
analysts of our time. He is especially attuned to the dangers of
unwarranted certainty and premature judgment, and is often
brilliant at making connections between apparently distinct events.
The argument is at once astute, provocative, and uplifting."
—R.B.J. Walker, University of Victoria, Canada and PUC-Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Preface and Acknowledgments vii
1 The Global Justice Dispositif 13
2 Atrocity, Securitization, and Exuberant Lines of Flight 50
3 What does a Weapon See? 80
4 Borderline Justice 119
5 Justice and the Archives 154