Introduction: State of Emergency Regimes in the First World War Era

KEIL, André and STIBBE, Matthew (2023). Introduction: State of Emergency Regimes in the First World War Era. First World War Studies, 14 (1).

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This article introduces the theme of states of emergency during the First World War era, and provides details on the thirteen different case studies presented in the special issue. It makes the case for seeing states of emergency as being shaped by historical experience as opposed to emerging from the abstract reasoning of legal principle and moral philosophy. Equally, though, it recognizes that moments of exception do have legal and philosophical, as well as historical-political, dimensions. The authors follow the Italian theorist Giorgio Agamben in regarding the year 1914 as a key turning point, not least in the lived historical experience of states of emergency. But it is highly critical of models, Agamben’s included, that emphasize the purely coercive potentials of emergency powers. Instead, it calls for a more pragmatic and empirical approach, focusing on what neutral and belligerent governments did, on how they arranged, regulated and communicated their actions, and on the different political and legal expressions of exceptionality that subsequently emerged, both during and immediately after the 1914-18 conflict.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: 2103 Historical Studies; 4303 Historical studies; 4705 Literary studies
SWORD Depositor: Symplectic Elements
Depositing User: Symplectic Elements
Date Deposited: 23 Nov 2023 15:05
Last Modified: 23 Nov 2023 15:05

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