For “Against Self-Determination”

This post is part of a symposium on Joseph Massad’s essay “Against Self-Determination.” All contributions to the symposium can be found here. Self-determination has been impressively well studied by international jurists, political philosophers, and, more latterly, as a renascent source of inquiry for historians.[1] Joseph Massad’s work contributes to what is a daunting field, and also, interacts with the more austere scholarly terrain on the subversive functioning of the discourse.[2] It also, more obliquely, confirms the salience of the recent pursuit of more globally oriented Continue reading →

The Continued (if Limited) Emancipatory Potential of Self-Determination

This post is part of a symposium on Joseph Massad’s essay “Against Self-Determination.” All contributions to the symposium can be found here. Joseph Massad’s article “Against Self-Determination” offers a passionate, even polemical critique of what he calls the Wilsonian vision of self-determination. This is not the Wilsonian vision as laid out by Erez Manela, however, but rather a legitimizing ideology for the “right of conquest” of settler-colonial nations and peoples, as against the more emancipatory vision of Lenin and like-minded anticolonial nationalists. “Settler-colonists would only Continue reading →

Indigenous Self-Determination: A Response to Massad

This post is part of a symposium on Joseph Massad’s essay “Against Self-Determination.” All contributions to the symposium can be found here. In his essay, Massad argues that the dominant form of self-determination has actually been used to reject various nations’ claims to self-determination. States only became open to the recognition of the right of self-determination, Massad claims, when such recognition would not include independence. Massad draws analogies between the Palestinian case and the cases of indigenous peoples around the world and discusses how colonisers Continue reading →

Decolonial Self-Determination and ‘No-State Solutions’

This post is part of a symposium on Joseph Massad’s essay “Against Self-Determination.” All contributions to the symposium can be found here. In his trenchant essay, “Against Self-Determination,” Joseph Massad deftly argues that colonizing states crafted the dominant form of self-determination to limit the claims of anticolonial nationalism and enhance the claims of colonialism. He further zones in on the ways in which these structural limitations have served settler colonial states in ways that constrain indigenous peoples’ claims and access to their traditional territories—lands that Continue reading →

Response

This post is part of a symposium on Joseph Massad’s essay “Against Self-Determination.” All contributions to the symposium can be found here. I am most grateful for these four serious engagements with my essay. I had already learned much from the scholarship of all four respondents when I wrote my essay, which cites their important work. The essay, which is a short version of a much larger chapter that constitutes one third of my current book project, sought to provide a genealogy of the political Continue reading →

“No Right to Judge”: Alessandrini on Çubukçu, For the Love of Humanity

This post is part of a symposium on Ayça Çubukçu’s book For the Love of Humanity: The World Tribunal on Iraq (University of Pennsylvania Press, 2018). All contributions to the symposium can be found here. Attempting the Impossible, Doing the Necessary Sometimes, in trying to think through the history of the present, it’s helpful to begin at the end and work your way back. The reader who takes this approach to Ayça Çubukçu’s For the Love of Humanity: The World Tribunal on Iraq will be Continue reading →

Allen on Çubukçu, For the Love of Humanity

This post is part of a symposium on Ayça Çubukçu’s book For the Love of Humanity: The World Tribunal on Iraq (University of Pennsylvania Press, 2018). All contributions to the symposium can be found here. For the Love of Humanity tells the story of the global anti-war movement’s efforts to put the United States, the United Kingdom, and their allies on trial for crimes committed during the invasion and occu­pation of Iraq. It is an intensely creative and also a vexing book. How it troubles Continue reading →

Hopgood on Çubukçu, For the Love of Humanity

This post is part of a symposium on Ayça Çubukçu’s book For the Love of Humanity: The World Tribunal on Iraq (University of Pennsylvania Press, 2018). All contributions to the symposium can be found here. Much as its liberal cosmopolitan advocates might wish otherwise, “human rights” are a floating signifier. Small libraries have been built on the effort to give “human rights” settled and permanent philosophical and legal meaning, as well as cultural and historical grounding in a variety of genealogies of moral progress, but Continue reading →

Krever on Çubukçu, For the Love of Humanity

This post is part of a symposium on Ayça Çubukçu’s book For the Love of Humanity: The World Tribunal on Iraq (University of Pennsylvania Press, 2018). All contributions to the symposium can be found here. When Bertrand Russell organized an International War Crimes Tribunal in 1966 to investigate and condemn United States imperialism in Vietnam, the institutional form chosen was highly original. Backed by no state and unable to compel individuals to stand accused or to impose sanctions, the tribunal would nonetheless use the model Continue reading →

Wilder on Çubukçu, For the Love of Humanity

This post is part of a symposium on Ayça Çubukçu’s book For the Love of Humanity: The World Tribunal on Iraq (University of Pennsylvania Press, 2018). All contributions to the symposium can be found here. Ayça Çubukçu’s original and insightful book is an exemplary work of critical scholarship for our times. This ethnography of the 2003–2005 World Tribunal on Iraq (WTI), of which she was an organizer, boldly relates theory to practice as well as scholarship to activism. Her method, which she calls “political philosophy Continue reading →