Author Archives: Mathias Thaler

About Mathias Thaler

Mathias Thaler is Senior Lecturer in Political Theory at the University of Edinburgh. His main research interest is in contemporary political theory. Thaler’s recent publications have appeared in the British Journal of Political Science, Constellations, Contemporary Political Theory, Political Studies, Political Theory, and Review of Politics. He is the author of Naming Violence: A Critical Theory of Genocide, Torture and Terrorism (Columbia UP, 2018), Moralische Politik oder politische Moral? Eine Analyse aktueller Debatten zur internationalen Gerechtigkeit (Campus, 2008), and co-editor (with Mihaela Mihai) of On the Uses and Abuses of Political Apologies (Palgrave, 2014).

Radicalizing the Critique of Just War Thinking

This post is part of a symposium on Jessica Whyte’s essay “The ‘Dangerous Concept of the Just War.’” All contributions to the symposium can be found here. Jessica Whyte’s essay sets itself the timely and ambitious goal of revealing the hidden history of just war thinking in the late 20th Century.[1] While several scholars have been pursuing the broader project of revisiting the dominant historiography, Whyte’s approach is highly original due to its detailed analysis of the concrete circumstances in which the Additional Protocols to Continue reading →

Dead bodies (do not) matter

Edinburgh, October 2018 From migrants facing death at borders around the world, to the different chapters of the “War on Terror,” to the politics of post-genocide, our era seems to be marked by the constant politicisation of death. Social and physical death are increasingly intertwined in various spectacles of horror. Clearly, not all deaths are treated equally. Trenchant questions remain over what kinds of death are deemed morally, political and legally significant; and what kinds of death are rendered visible or invisible, and with what Continue reading →