Subjectivity and vulnerability: On the war with Iraq

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

181 Downloads (Pure)


When US President George W Bush and UK Prime Minister Tony Blair argued in favour of war with Iraq, they offered a variety of reasons ranging from the now infamous claim that the country possessed weapons of mass destruction to the need to effect regime change. Such arguments were roundly criticized by opponents of the war, because the claims were, even if true, not regarded as legitimate reasons for war or because the factuality of the claims was rejected in the first place. In contrast to such lines of critique this article does not consider whether these claims could be considered accurate or sufficient. Rather, it uses Judith Butler's critique of ethical violence to elucidate the political implications of speaking and acting ethically. In particular, it explores the problematic of subjectivity and vulnerability and suggests that arguments for the war cannot effectively be contested logically; rather we must highlight the way in which they produce what they claim to name.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)58-71
Number of pages13
JournalInternational Politics
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2007


Dive into the research topics of 'Subjectivity and vulnerability: On the war with Iraq'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this