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Title: Justifying force : a feminist analysis of the international law on the use of force
Author: Heathcote, Gina
Awarding Body: London School of Economics and Political Science (University of London)
Current Institution: London School of Economics and Political Science (University of London)
Date of Award: 2009
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The thesis argues that feminist approaches to international law provide relevant and necessary methods for understanding the limitations of the international law on the use of force. The primary argument is that justifications for violence made under international law replicate, at a conceptual level, the construction of justifications for interpersonal violence within Western legal systems. Consequently, feminist legal theories that expose the sexed and gendered limitations of interpersonal justifications help demonstrate the sexed and gendered contours of international justifications for the use of force. In adopting a structural feminism methodology, the thesis examines the legal reasoning developed by states to justify the use of force. In particular, the thesis offers critical insight into five types of situations where force may be deployed: Security Council authorised force, Article 51 self-defence, self-determination, humanitarian intervention and justifications for the use of force under the 'War on Terror'. Recommendations for action are developed through the use of a law as narrative technique that situates legal accounts within (as opposed to above or separate to) other social and cultural discourses. This includes the use of women's narratives of violence that link the violence experienced by women in the private sphere of with the public violence of states and militaries. I also demonstrate how the domestic analogy can be utilised to develop contours for reform through an analysis of feminist accounts of the limitations of mandatory interventions into domestic (intimate partner) violence. The thesis contributes to the literature on the international law on the use of force with a detailed feminist response to justifications for the use of force, as well as through strategies for reform that return to the foundational aspects of the international legal regime, including the collective security structure. To this end the thesis argues Arendt's political model of natality offers the type of foundation that future feminist and mainstream accounts must engage with to shift beyond the persistent dilemmas evidenced through the domestic analogy and the law as narrative techniques.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available