Friday, February 10, 2017

Schillings, "Enemies of All Humankind"

New from Dartmouth College Press: Enemies of All Humankind: Fictions of Legitimate Violence (2017), by Sonja Schillings (Justus Liebig University, Giessen, Germany). A description from the Press:
Sonja Schillings argues that the legal fiction designating certain persons or classes of persons as enemies of all humankind does more than characterize them as inherently hostile: it supplies a narrative basis for legitimating violence in the name of the state. The book draws attention to a century-old narrative pattern that not only underlies the legal category of enemies of the people, but more generally informs interpretations of imperial expansion, protest against structural oppression, and the transformation of institutions as “legitimate” interventions on behalf of civilized society. Schillings traces the Anglo-American interpretive history of the concept, which she sees as crucial to understanding US history, in particular with regard to the frontier, race relations, and the war on terror.
A few blurbs:
“Schillings expands the discussion of legal and philosophical concepts in the current context of the 'war on terror' with greater historical depth than is usually found in such conversations, and she also makes a highly welcome contribution to the study of narrative fiction in such contexts.” —Ingo Berensmeyer

“This is he best kind of legal-historical scholarship. . . . Schillings illuminates central concepts, such as that of legal fictions, and explains their usefulness in situations that are from a legal perspective inchoate." —Greta Olson
More information is available here.