The Global War on Terror has killed or harmed far more innocent people than “terrorism” over the last twenty years. This observation has led some critical scholars to reverse the mainstream question on political violence. Instead of asking how and why some people become “terrorists”, they analyse how the violence of the Global War on Terror has been produced and reproduced. Mathias’ research contributes to this critical scholarship by investigating two cases: First, the “enhanced interrogation” policy implemented by the Bush administration and, second, French aerial bombings in Afghanistan and Mali. Mathias’ central argument is that the classical theories of violence which emphasize the logics of de-humanization are only partly heuristic. Although some de-humanizing tendencies are at stake, the partisans and executants of the global war on terror also draw upon some more original “frames of war” (Judith Butler) in order to naturalize the violence which they perpetrate. In a book published in 2021, Mathias emphasizes the centrality of three principles which he calls the fetishisms of lawfulness, proportionality, and lesser intentionality.
Some publications on this topic:
🇬🇧 Mathias Delori (2022): “The ‘Global War on Terror’ and the Fetishism of Lesser Intentionality,” Political Anthropological Research on International Social Sciences (PARISS) 3 (1), 7-28.
🇫🇷 Mathias Delori (2021): Ce que vaut une vie. Théorie de la violence libérale. Paris: Éditions Amsterdam.
🇩🇪 Mathias Delori (2017): “Brüssel bombardieren! Einige Widersprüche im Krieg gegen den Terrorismus,” Berliner Debatte Initial, 27(1), 94-99.