Skip to main content Accessibility help
×
Home
Hostname: page-component-684bc48f8b-kl86h Total loading time: 1.672 Render date: 2021-04-11T08:31:02.591Z Has data issue: true Feature Flags: { "shouldUseShareProductTool": true, "shouldUseHypothesis": true, "isUnsiloEnabled": true, "metricsAbstractViews": false, "figures": false, "newCiteModal": false, "newCitedByModal": true }

Narrative Kill or Capture: Unreliable Narration in International Law

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  30 October 2015

Abstract

This article evaluates the benefits of a ‘turn to narration’ in international legal scholarship. It argues that significant attention should be paid to the narrators who employ international law as a vocabulary to further their professional projects. Theories of unreliable narration help map consensus within international law's interpretive community in a manner that is acutely sensitive to point of view and perspective. The article examines the existence and extent of unreliable narration through a case study: the practice of targeted killing by the Obama administration in the United States. The struggle for control of the narrative, by narrators with different professional roles and cognitive frames, is ultimately a struggle for interpretive power, with the resulting ability to ‘kill or capture’ divergent narrative visions. Unreliable narration offers a critical heuristic for assessing how narratives are generated, sustained, and called into question in international law, while fostering reflexive inquiry about international law as a professional discipline.

Type
INTERNATIONAL LEGAL THEORY
Copyright
Copyright © Foundation of the Leiden Journal of International Law 2015 

Access options

Get access to the full version of this content by using one of the access options below.

References

1 S. Rushdie, Joseph Anton (2013), at 360.

2 R. Barthes, ‘Introduction to the Structural Analysis of Narrative’, in Image, Music, Text (1977), at 79.

3 Phelan, J. and Rabinowitz, P., ‘Narrative as Rhetoric’, in Herman, D.et al., Narrative Theory: Core Concepts and Critical Debates (2012), 3Google Scholar, at 5.

4 P. Goldie, The Mess Inside: Narrative, Emotion, and the Mind (2012), at 2.

5 Miller, J. H., ‘Narrative’, in Lentricchia, F. and McLaughlin, T. (eds.), Critical Terms for Literary Study (1995)Google Scholar, at 67. See generally Herman, D., Jahn, M., and Ryan, M. (eds.), Routledge Encyclopaedia of Narrative Theory (2005)Google Scholar; Herman, L. and Vervaeck, B. (eds.), Handbook of Narrative Analysis (2006)Google Scholar.

6 J. Culler, The Pursuit of Signs: Semiotics, Literature, Deconstruction (2001), at 189. Narratology traditionally drew on two main sources: first, Claude Lévi-Strauss’ application of linguistic principles to the study of myths, concluding that apparently disparate mythical narratives could be reduced to a limited number of component mythemes; and secondly, the formalist analysis of Russian folk tales, which revealed that a small number of narrative ‘functions’ and roles constituted the underlying grammar of storytelling. See D. Macey, The Penguin Dictionary of Critical Theory (2000), at 264; Lévi-Strauss, C., ‘The Structural Study of Myth’, (1955) 68 Journal of American Folklore 428CrossRefGoogle Scholar; V. Propp, Morphology of the Folktale (1968); C. Bremond, Logique du récit (1973); A. Greimas, Sémantique structurale: Recherche de method (1966).

7 Bremond, C., ‘The Logic of Narrative Possibilities’, (1980) 11 (3)NLH 387CrossRefGoogle Scholar.

8 M. Aristodemou, Law & Literature: Journeys From Her to Eternity (2000), at 3: ‘Narratives thus invent rather than reflect our lives, ourselves and our worlds . . . [N]arratives are not neutral: they investigate, but also suggest, create and legislate meanings’.

9 Brooks, P., ‘Narrative Transactions – Does the Law Need a Narratology?’, (2006) 18 (1)Yale J.L.& Human. 1Google Scholar, at 24.

10 Miller, supra note 5, at 69. For a discussion of the interaction between narrative and ideology, see Herman, L. and Vervaeck, B., ‘Ideology’ in Herman, D. (ed.), Cambridge Companion to Narrative (2007)CrossRefGoogle Scholar, at 217; T. Eagleton, The Ideology of the Aesthetic (1990); A. Gramsci, Selections from the Prison Notebooks (1971).

note 5

11 See, e.g., Ryan, M. (ed.), Narrative Across Media: The Languages of Storytelling (2004)Google Scholar; Hyvärinen, M., Hatavara, M., and Hydén, L. (eds.), The Travelling Concepts of Narrative (2013)Google Scholar.

12 Herman, Jahn, and Ryan, supra note 5, at ix.

note 5

13 Cognitive narratology is discussed under the rubric of ‘postclassical narratology’: Herman, D. (ed.), Narratologies: New Perspectives on Narrative Analysis (1999)Google Scholar. See generally Herman, D. (ed.), Narrative Theory and the Cognitive Sciences (2003)Google Scholar; M. Ryan, Possible Worlds, Artificial Intelligence and Narrative Theory (1991); M. Turner, Reading Minds: The Study of English in the Age of Cognitive Science (1991); M. Fludernik, Towards a ‘Natural’ Narratology (1996); Bernaerts, L., De Geest, D., Herman, L., and Vervaeck, B. (eds.), Stories and Minds: Cognitive Approaches to Literary Narrative (2013)CrossRefGoogle Scholar.

14 Jahn, ‘Cognitive Narratology’, in Herman, Jahn, and Ryan, supra note 5, at 67; M. Ryan, ‘Toward a Definition of Narrative’ in Herman, supra note 10, at 27: ‘[S]tories can exist in the mind as pure patterns of information, inspired by life experience or created by the imagination, independently of their representation through the signs of a specific medium’.

note 5
note 10

15 D. Herman, ‘Towards a Transmedial Narratology’ in Ryan, supra note 11, at 47. See Sternberg, M., ‘Universals of Narrative and Their Cognitivist Fortunes’, (2003) 24 (2)Poetics Today 297CrossRefGoogle Scholar, at 306: ‘Tentacles would appear the right word for such expansionist, all-devouring interdisciplinarity, stretchable to everything possibly associated with cognitive representations, yet accountable to nothing beyond its own psychological methodology’.

note 11

16 For differing perspectives on the relationship between narrativity and fictionality, see J. R. Searle, ‘The Logical Status of Fictional Discourse’, in Expression and Meaning: Studies in the Theory of Speech Acts (1979), at 65; D. Cohn, The Distinction of Fiction (1999); R. Walsh, The Rhetoric of Fictionality: Narrative Theory and the Idea of Fiction (2007).

17 R. Smith, Being Human: Historical Knowledge and the Creation of Human Nature (2007), at 174; White, H., ‘The Question of Narrative in Contemporary Historical Theory’, (1984) 23 (1)Hist. Theory 1CrossRefGoogle Scholar; H. White, The Content of The Form: Narrative Discourse and Historical Representation (1990).

18 D. Carr, Time, Narrative and History (1991), at 65.

19 P. Ricoeur, ‘The Narrative Function’, in Hermeneutics & the Human Sciences (1981), at 274.

20 Ibid., at 284. See P. Ricoeur, Time and Narrative (1990).

Ibid.

21 Ibid., at 294. See also A. MacIntyre, After Virtue: A Study in Moral Theory (1981), at 248: ‘we enter upon a stage which we did not design and we find ourselves part of an action that was not of our own making’; C. Taylor, Sources of the Self: The Making of the Modern Identity (1992), at 208: narrative history is ‘the basic and essential genre for the characterization of human actions’.

Ibid.

22 Ibid., at 278.

Ibid.

23 Ibid., at 278.

Ibid.

24 Ibid., at 279.

Ibid.

25 Ibid., at 279.

Ibid.

26 Exceptions include ‘Legal Storytelling’, (1989) 89 Mich. L. Rev. 2073; Brooks, P. and Gewirtz, P. (eds.), Law's Stories: Narrative and Rhetoric in the Law (1998)Google Scholar; Wolff, L., ‘Let's Talk About Lex: Narrative Analysis as Both Research Method and Teaching Technique in Law’, (2014) 35 Adel. L. Rev. 3Google Scholar.

27 Edwards, L. H., ‘The Convergence of Analogical and Dialectical Imaginations in Legal Discourse’, (1996) 20 Leg. Stud. Forum 7Google Scholar.

28 See, e.g., R. Burns, A Theory of the Trial (1998); H. Porter Abbott, Cambridge Introduction to Narrative (2008), at 179: ‘a trial can be described as a huge, unpolished narrative compendium featuring the contest of two sets of authors, each trying to make their central narrative of events prevail by spinning narrative segments for their rhetorical impact’.

29 See Levinson, S., ‘Law as Literature’, (1982) 60 Tex. L. Rev. 373Google Scholar; R. Posner, Law and Literature (2009); I. Ward, Law and Literature: Possibilities and Perspectives (2008); Aristodemou, supra note 8.

note 8

30 R. Dworkin, Law's Empire (1986), at 228–32.

31 Cover, R. M., ‘The Supreme Court 1982 Term – Foreword: Nomos and Narrative’, (1983) 97 Harv. L. Rev. 4CrossRefGoogle Scholar, at 5.

32 Brooks, P., ‘Narrative in and of the Law’ in Phelan, J. and Rabinowitz, P. (eds.), A Companion to Narrative Theory (2008)Google Scholar, at 415.

33 P. Goodrich, Law in the Courts of Love: Literature and Other Minor Jurisprudences (1996), at 112: ‘Law is a literature which denies its literary qualities. It is a play of words which asserts an absolute seriousness; it is a genre of rhetoric which represses its moments of invention or of fiction; it is a language which hides its indeterminacy in the justificatory discourse of judgment; it is procedure based on analogy, metaphor and repetition and yet it lays claim to being a cold or disembodied prose, a science without poetry or desire; it is a narrative which assumes the epic proportions of truth; it is, in short, a speech or writing which forgets the violence of the word and the terror or jurisdiction of the text’.

34 C. Douzinas and R. Warrington, Postmodern Jurisprudence: The Law of the Text in the Text of the Law (1991).

35 Singh, S., ‘Narrative and Theory: Formalism's Eternal Return’, (2014) 84 BYBIL 304Google Scholar, at 309: ‘[N]arrative analysis seeks to look beyond a legal theory text's apparent coherence and unity, its apparent self-sufficiency, rather seeking to highlight and then breach its “strategies of containment”’; West, R., ‘Jurisprudence as Narrative: An Aesthetic Analysis of Modern Legal Theory’, (1985) 60 N.Y.U.L.Rev. 145Google Scholar.

36 A. Amsterdam and J. Brunner, Minding the Law (2000), at 111.

37 Brooks, supra note 9, at 24.

note 9

38 Simpson, G., ‘The Sentimental Life of International Law’, (2015) 3 (1)London Review of International Law 3CrossRefGoogle Scholar, at 11.

39 F. Kratochwil, The Status of Law in World Society: Meditations on the Role and Rule of Law (2014), at 136; T. Skouteris, The Notion of Progress in International Law Discourse (2010); Altwicker, T. and Diggelmann, O., ‘How is Progress Constructed in International Legal Scholarship?’, (2014) 25 (2)EJIL 425CrossRefGoogle Scholar.

40 Ricoeur, supra note 19, at 294; Kennedy, D., ‘The Disciplines of International Law and Policy’, (1999) 12 LJIL 9CrossRefGoogle Scholar, at 90: ‘an elaborate disciplinary practice retelling international law's progressive development, which serves as a common intellectual background for professionals in the field’.

note 19

41 See, e.g., R. Teitel, Humanity's Law (2011); A. Trindade, The Access of Individuals to International Justice (2011); Frankenberg, G., ‘Human Rights and the Belief in a Just World’, (1999) 12 ICON 35Google Scholar.

42 See, e.g., K Alter, The New Terrain of International Law: Courts, Politics, Rights (2014); Kingsbury, B., ‘International Courts: Uneven Judicialisation in Global Order’, in Crawford, J. and Koskenniemi, M. (eds.), The Cambridge Companion to International Law (2012)Google Scholar, at 203–27.

43 See, e.g., Simma, B., ‘From Bilateralism to Community Interest in International Law’, (1994) 250 RCADI 217Google Scholar; H. Weiler, J. H., ‘The Geology of International Law – Governance, Democracy and Legitimacy’, (2004) 64 ZaöRV 547Google Scholar.

44 Diggelmann, O., ‘The Periodization of the History of International Law’, in Fassbender, B. and Peters, A. (eds.), The Oxford Handbook of the History of International Law (2012), 997Google Scholar, at 1008.

45 Koller, D., ‘. . . and New York and The Hague and Tokyo and Geneva and Nuremberg and . . .: The Geographies of International Law’, (2012) 23 (1)EJIL 97CrossRefGoogle Scholar, at 100.

46 See, e.g., M. Koskenniemi, The Gentle Civilizer of Nations: The Rise and Fall of International Law 1870–1960 (2001), at 2: ‘no assumption about history as a monolithic or linear progress narrative is involved’; S. Moyn, The Last Utopia: Human Rights in History (2010); Fassbender, B. and Peters, A., ‘Introduction: Towards a Global History of International Law’, in Fassbender, B. and Peters, A. (eds.), The Oxford Handbook of the History of International Law (2012), 1Google Scholar, at 2.

47 J. Lyotard, The Postmodern Condition: A Report on Knowledge (1979), at xxiv.

48 Boldizar, A. and Korhonen, O., ‘Ethics, Morals and International Law’, (1999) 10 EJIL 279, at 294CrossRefGoogle Scholar.

49 Kennedy, D., ‘Law and the Political Economy of the World’, (2013) 26 LJIL 7CrossRefGoogle Scholar, at 23.

50 Simpson, G., ‘Linear Law: The History of International Criminal Law’ in Schwöbel, C. (ed.), Critical Approaches to International Criminal Law (2014)Google Scholar, at 159 (historical narratives that are privileged in international criminal tribunals include individualized historical narratives over structural histories; linear over fragmentary histories; and hegemonic histories which celebrate agency over counter-hegemonic, or social, accounts).

51 Kratochwil, supra note 39, at 167.

note 39

52 Ricoeur, supra note 19, at 278.

note 19

53 See Lixinski, L., ‘Narratives of the International Legal Order and Why They Matter’, (2013) 6 (1)Erasmus L.Rev. 2Google Scholar.

54 J. Halverson et al., Master Narratives of Islamist Extremism (2011), at 14.

55 M. Koskenniemi, From Apology to Utopia: The Structure of International Legal Argument (2005), at 512.

56 M. Koskenniemi, ‘The Fate of Public International Law: Between Technique and Politics’, in The Politics of International Law (2011), 331, at 355.

57 See, e.g., J. Klabbers, A. Peters, and G. Ulfstein, The Constitutionalization of International Law (2009); Kumm, M., ‘The Legitimacy of International Law: A Constitutionalist Framework of Analysis’, (2004) 15 EJIL 907CrossRefGoogle Scholar; Collins, R., ‘Constitutionalism as Liberal-Juridical Consciousness: Echoes from International Law's Past’, (2009) 22 (2)LJIL 251CrossRefGoogle Scholar; de Wet, E., ‘The International Constitutional Order’, (2006) 55 ICLQ 51CrossRefGoogle Scholar.

58 For critique, see Rosenfeld, M., ‘Is Global Constitutionalism Meaningful or Desirable?’, (2014) 25 (1)EJIL 177CrossRefGoogle Scholar; Dunoff, J.et al., ‘Hard Times: Progress Narratives, Historical Contingency and the Fate of Global Constitutionalism’, (2015) 4 (1)Global Constitutionalism 1CrossRefGoogle Scholar.

59 See UN International Law Commission, Fragmentation of International Law: Difficulties Arising from the Diversification and Expansion of International Law, A/CN.4/L.682, 13 April 2006; Benvenisti, E. and Downs, G. W., ‘The Empire's New Clothes: Political Economy and the Fragmentation of International Law’, (2007) 60 Stan.L.Rev. 101Google Scholar; Young, M. (ed.), Regime Interaction in International Law: Facing Fragmentation (2012)Google Scholar.

60 N. Krisch, Beyond Constitutionalism: The Pluralist Structure of Postnational Law (2010), at 23; Walker, N., ‘Beyond Boundary Disputes and Basic Grids: Mapping the Global Disorder of Normative Orders’, (2008) 6 ICON 373Google Scholar; N. Roughan Authorities (2013); P. Berman, Global Legal Pluralism: A Jurisprudence of Law Beyond Borders (2012).

61 S. Douglas-Scott, ‘Brave New World? The Challenges of Transnational Law and Legal Pluralism to Contemporary Legal Theory’, in Nobles, R. and Schiff, D. (eds.), Law, Society and Community: Socio-Legal Essays in Honour of Roger Cotterell (2014)Google Scholar.

62 Koskenniemi, supra note 56, at 353–4. For that reason, Koskenniemi advocates a constitutionalist mindset, understood as a ‘programme of moral and political regeneration’ rather than an architectural project: ‘Constitutionalism as a Mindset: Reflections on Kantian Themes about International Law and Globalisation’, (2007) 8 Theo Inq L 9, at 18.

note 56

63 Kingsbury, B., Krisch, N., and Stewart, R., ‘The Emergence of Global Administrative Law’, (2005) 68 LCP 15Google Scholar, at 17.

64 Marks, S., ‘Naming Global Administrative Law’, (2005) 37 N.Y.U.J.Int'l Law & Pol. 995Google Scholar, at 1001.

65 Ranganathan, S., ‘The Value of Narratives: The India-USA Nuclear Deal in Terms of Fragmentation, Pluralism, Constitutionalisation and Global Administrative Law’, (2013) 6 (1)Erasmus L.Rev. 17Google Scholar, at 30.

66 R. Goodman and D. Jinks, Socializing States: Promoting Human Rights Through International Law (2013), at 25.

67 Harrison, J., ‘The Case for Investigative Legal Pluralism in International Economic Law Linkage Debates’, (2014) 2 (1)London Review of International Law 115CrossRefGoogle Scholar, at 116. For a defence of international law as a system, see Crawford, J., ‘Chance, Order, Change: The Course of International Law’, (2013) 365 RCADI 137252Google Scholar.

68 Kratochwil, supra note 39, at 139.

note 39

69 Marks, supra note 64, at 996.

note 64

70 Burgis-Kasthala, M. L., ‘Over-stating Palestine's UN Membership Bid? An Ethnographic Study on the Narratives of Statehood’, (2014) 25 (3)EJIL 677CrossRefGoogle Scholar, at 690: ‘It is with storytelling that it may be possible to assign responsibility and authority to the speaker as situated within a disciplinary dialogue’.

71 Solum, L. B., ‘Narrative, Normativity, and Causation’, (2010) Mich.St.L.Rev. 597Google Scholar, at 602.

72 F. Johns, Non-Legality in International Law (2013), at 218.

73 Ranganathan, supra note 65, at 30.

note 65

74 See the discussion of voice, distance, and focalization in Abbott, supra note 28, at 70–75. Narrative perspective is a central preoccupation of enunciative narratology: see, generally, Patron, S., ‘Enunciative Narratology: A French Speciality’, in Olson, G. (ed.), Current Trends in Narratology (2011)Google Scholar, at 312.

note 28

75 R. Scholes and R. Kellogg, The Nature of Narrative (1966), at 240. Cf. no-narrator approaches to narrative theory: see, e.g., A. Banfield, Unspeakable Sentences: Narration and Representation in the Language of Fiction (1982).

76 Brooks, supra note 9, at 25.

note 9

77 Herman, supra note 10, at 282.

note 10

78 ‘Unreliable Narration’ in Herman, Jahn, and Ryan, supra note 5, at 623.

note 5

79 W. Booth, The Rhetoric of Fiction (1961). See also W. Riggan, Picaros, Madmen, Naifs, and Clowns: The Unreliable First-Person Narrator (1981).

80 Ibid., at 158.

Ibid.

81 Ibid., at 155.

Ibid.

82 V. Nabokov, Lolita (1959).

83 Riggan, supra note 79, at 14.

note 79

84 Booth, supra note 79, at 307.

note 79

85 See T. Kindt and H. Müller, The Implied Author: Concept and Controversy (2006); Nünning, A., ‘Deconstructing and Reconceptualizing the Implied Author: The Resurrection of an Anthropomorphized Passepartout or the Obituary of a Critical Phantom?’, (1997) 8 (2)Anglistik 95Google Scholar.

86 See, e.g., Yacobi, T., ‘Narrative and Normative Patterns: On Interpreting Fiction’, (1987) 3 (2)J.Lit.Stud. 18CrossRefGoogle Scholar; J. Phelan, Living To Tell About It: A Rhetoric and Ethics of Character Narration (2005), at 38–49; Shen, D., ‘Implied Author, Authorial Audience and Context’, (2013) 21 (2)Narrative 140CrossRefGoogle Scholar.

87 See S. Chatman, Coming to Terms: The Rhetoric of Narrative in Fiction and Film (1990), at 77.

88 Nünning, A., ‘Reconceptualizing Unreliable Narration: Synthesising Cognitive and Rhetorical Approaches’, in Phelan, J. and Rabinowitz, P. (eds.), A Companion to Narrative Theory (2005), 89CrossRefGoogle Scholar, at 92.

89 For cognitively-influenced accounts of narrative perspective, see Van Peer, W. and Chatman, S. (eds.), New Perspectives on Narrative Perspective (2001)Google Scholar.

90 S. Rimmon-Kennan, Narrative Fiction: Contemporary Poetics (1983), at 87.

91 Nünning, supra note 88, at 95.

note 88

92 Ibid., at 105.

Ibid.

93 See, e.g., Cohn, D., ‘Discordant Narration’, (2000) 34 (2)Style 307Google Scholar; Olson, G., ‘Reconsidering Unreliability: Fallible and Untrustworthy Narrators’, (2003) 11 (1)Narrative 93CrossRefGoogle Scholar.

94 Phelan, supra note 86, at 31–65.

note 86

95 Rimmon-Kennan, supra note 90, at 7–8.

note 90

96 P. K. Hansen, ‘Reconsidering the Unreliable Narrator’, (2007) Semiotica 165, at 241–4.

97 Heyd, T., ‘Understanding and Handling Unreliable Narratives: A Pragmatic Model and Method’, (2006) 162 Semiotica 217Google Scholar (citing Grice, ‘Logic and Conversation’, in Cole, P. and Morgan, J. (eds.), Syntax and Semantics, Vol 3: Speech Acts (1975), at 41Google Scholar; D. Sperber and D. Wilson, Relevance: Communication and Cognition (1995)).

98 On the difference between narrativity and fictionality, supra note 16.

note 16

99 Phelan, supra note 86, at 67.

note 86

100 Fludernik, M., ‘Fiction vs Non-Fiction: Narratological Differentiation’, in Füger, W. and Helbig, J. (eds.), Erzählen und Erzähltheorie im 20 (2001)Google Scholar, at 85–103.

101 Shen, D. and Xu, D., ‘Intratextuality, Intertextuality and Extratextuality: Unreliability in Autobiography versus Fiction’, (2007) 28 (1)Poetics Today 43CrossRefGoogle Scholar.

102 Nünning, supra note 88, at 104.

note 88

103 Ibid.

Ibid.

104 E. Goffman, Frame Analysis: An Essay on the Organization of Experience (1974), at 3 (distinguishing between the ‘content of a current perception and the reality status we give to what is thus enclosed or bracketed within perception’).

105 See, e.g., Minsky, M., ‘A Framework for Representing Knowledge’, in Haugeland, J. (ed.), Mind Design II: Philosophy, Psychology, Artificial Intelligence (1997)Google Scholar, at 111; R. Schank and R. Abelson, Scripts, Plans, Goals and Understanding: An Inquiry Into Human Knowledge Structures (1977).

106 See Jahn, M., ‘Frames, Preferences and the Reading of Third-Person Narratives: Towards a Cognitive Narratology’, (1997) 18 Poetics Today 441CrossRefGoogle Scholar.

107 Wählisch, M., ‘Cognitive Frames of Interpretation in International Law’, in Bianchi, A., Peat, D., and Windsor, M. (eds.), Interpretation in International Law (2015), 331CrossRefGoogle Scholar, at 334–5.

108 Schachter, O., ‘The Invisible College of International Lawyers’, (1977) 72 NWULR 217Google Scholar; d'Aspremont, J., Gazzini, T., Nollkaemper, A., and Werner, W. (eds), International Law as a Profession (2016)Google Scholar (forthcoming); Crawford, J., ‘International Law as Discipline and Profession’, (2012) 106 Proceedings of the Annual Meeting (ASIL) 471CrossRefGoogle Scholar; M. Reisman, ‘International Law as a Profession: Dilemmas of Identity and Commitment’, in The Quest for World Order and Human Dignity in the Twenty-First Century (2012), at 455–79.

109 M. Weber, Max Weber on Law in Economy and Society (1954), at 6–7.

110 Kennedy, D., ‘One, Two, Three Many Legal Orders: Legal Pluralism and the Cosmopolitan Dream’, (2007) 31 NYU Rev.L.&Soc.Change 641Google Scholar, at 650.

111 M. Koskenniemi, ‘Between Commitment and Cynicism: Outline for a Theory of International Law as Practice’, in The Politics of International Law (2011), 271, at 293.

112 See, e.g., Kennedy, D., ‘The Politics of the Invisible College: International Governance and the Politics of Expertise’ (2001) 5 EHRLR 463Google Scholar.

113 Koskenniemi, M., ‘International Law: Constitutionalism, Managerialism and the Ethos of Legal Education’, (2007) 1 E.J.Leg.Stud. 1Google Scholar, at 8.

114 Roberts, A., ‘Clash of Paradigms: Actors and Analogies Shaping the Investment Treaty System’, (2013) 107 (1)AJIL 45Google Scholar, at 56.

115 Koskenniemi, supra note 56, at 337.

note 56

116 S. Fish, Is There a Text in this Class? The Authority of Interpretive Communities (1982); I. Johnstone, The Power of Deliberation: International Law, Politics and Organizations (2011), at 33–54; M. Waibel, ‘Interpretive Communities in International Law’, in Bianchi, A., Peat, D., and Windsor, M. (eds.), Interpretation in International Law (2015)CrossRefGoogle Scholar, at 147–65. On situatedness, see Korhonen, O., ‘New International Law: Silence, Defence or Deliverance?’, (1996) 7 EJIL 1CrossRefGoogle Scholar; Peat, D. and Windsor, M., ‘Playing the Game of Interpretation: On Meaning and Metaphor in International Law’, in Bianchi, A., Peat, D., and Windsor, M. (eds.), Interpretation in International Law (2015), 3CrossRefGoogle Scholar, at 14–15.

117 Johnstone, supra note 116, at 44.

note 116

118 Ibid., at 41.

Ibid.

119 Ibid., at 41–43.

Ibid.

120 I. Venzke, How Interpretation Makes International Law (2012), at 62–64.

121 Johnstone, supra note 116, at 44.

note 116

122 Marks, supra note 64, at 996.

note 64

123 Scobbie, I., ‘A View of Delft: Some Thoughts About Thinking About International Law’ in Evans, M. (ed.), International Law (2014), 53CrossRefGoogle Scholar, at 64.

124 Hansen, supra note 96.

note 96

125 Venzke, supra note 120, at 62–64.

note 120

126 Wählisch, supra note 107, at 332.

note 107

127 Dehm, S., ‘Framing International Migration’, (2015) 3 (1)London Review of International Law 133CrossRefGoogle Scholar, at 137.

128 See, e.g., Alston, P., ‘The CIA and Targeted Killing Beyond Borders’, (2011) 2 Harv. National Security J. 283Google Scholar; Heller, K., ‘One Hell of a Killing Machine: Signature Strikes and International Law’, (2013) 11 (1)JICJ 89Google Scholar; Goodman, R., ‘The Power to Kill or Capture Enemy Combatants’, (2013) 24 (3)EJIL 819CrossRefGoogle Scholar; Finkelstein, C., Ohlin, J., and Altman, A. (eds.), Targeted Killings: Law and Morality in an Asymmetric World (2012)CrossRefGoogle Scholar.

129 See, e.g., N. Melzer, Targeted Killing in International Law (2009).

130 A. Orford, Reading Humanitarian Intervention (2003), at 158–85.

131 National Security Strategy of the United States (2002). See Flint, C. and Falah, G.-W., ‘How the United States justified its war on terrorism: prime morality and the construction of a “Just War”’, (2004) 25 (8)Third World Q. 1379CrossRefGoogle Scholar; R. Krebs, Narrative and the Making of US National Security (2015); A. Hodges, The ‘War on Terror’ Narrative: Discourse and Intertextuality in the Construction and Contestation of Sociopolitical Reality (2011).

132 Soueif, A., ‘The Function of Narrative in the “War on Terror’’’, in Miller, C. (ed.), War on Terror: The Amnesty Lectures (2009)Google Scholar, at 28. See also A. Kundnani, The Muslims are Coming: Islamophobia, Extremism and the Domestic War on Terror (2014).

133 The US described its drone program in terms of its ability to ‘distinguish . . . effectively between an Al Qaeda terrorist and innocent civilians’, and describes its drones as capable of conducting strikes with ‘astonishing’ and ‘surgical’ precision: J. Brennan, ‘The Ethics and Efficacy of the President's Counter-Terrorism Strategy’, 30 April 2012. Available at: http://www.lawfareblog.com/2012/04/brennanspeech/ (accessed 7 August 2015).

134 See Johns, F., Joyce, R., and Pahuja, S. (eds.), Events: The Force of International Law (2011)Google Scholar.

135 Kahn, P. W., ‘Imagining Warfare’ (2013) 24 (1)EJIL 199, at 224CrossRefGoogle Scholar.

136 See, e.g., Satia, P., ‘Drones: A History From the British Middle East’, (2014) 5 (1)Humanity 1CrossRefGoogle Scholar.

137 Moyn, S., ‘Drones and Imagination: A Response to Paul Kahn’, (2013) 24 (1)EJIL 227, at 229CrossRefGoogle Scholar.

138 Ibid., at 233.

Ibid.

139 See, e.g., Milanovic, M., ‘The Lost Origins of Lex Specialis: Rethinking the Relationship between Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law’ in Ohlin, J. (ed.), Theoretical Boundaries of Armed Conflict and Human Rights (2014)Google Scholar; d'Aspremont, J. and Tranchez, E., ‘The Quest for a Non-Conflictual Coexistence of International Human Rights Law and Humanitarian Law: Which Role for the Lex Specialis Principle?’, in Kolb, R. and Gaggioli, G. (eds.), Research Handbook on Human Rights and Humanitarian Law (2013)Google Scholar.

140 ‘A Court for Targeted Killings’, New York Times (13 February 2013).

141 See, e.g., UN Human Rights Council, Report of the Special Rapporteur on Extrajudicial, Summary, or Arbitrary Executions, Philip Alston – Study on Targeted Killings, A/HRC/14/24/Add.6, 28 May 2010; Buchanan, A. and Keohane, R., ‘Toward a Drone Accountability Regime’, (2015) 29 (1)Ethics and International Affairs 15CrossRefGoogle Scholar; N. Crawford, Accountability for Killing: Moral Responsibility for Collateral Damage in America's Post-9/11 Wars (2013).

142 D. Kennedy, Of War and Law (2006), at 127.

143 UN Human Rights Council, supra note 141.

note 141

144 Ibid., at 1.

Ibid.

145 Ibid., at 87.

Ibid.

146 Ibid., at 93.

Ibid.

147 Al-Awlaqi v. Obama, 727 F. Supp.2d 1, 46–52 (DDC 2010). See generally Dehn, J. and Heller, K., ‘Targeted Killing: The Case of Anwar al-Awlaki’, (2011) 159 U.Pa.L.Rev. 175Google Scholar; Chesney, R., ‘Who May Be Killed? Anwar al-Awlaki as a Case Study in the International Legal Regulation of Lethal Force’, (2010) 13 YIHL 3Google Scholar.

148 Ibid., (Complaint for Declaratory and Injunctive Relief).

Ibid.

149 Ibid.

Ibid.

150 Ibid.

Ibid.

151 Ibid.

Ibid.

152 See Gray, C., ‘Targeted Killing: Recent US Attempts to Create a Legal Framework’, (2013) 66 CLP 75Google Scholar. For a discussion of speechmaking, see Ingber, R., ‘Interpretation Catalysts and Executive Branch Legal Decisionmaking’, (2013) 38 Yale J.Int'l L. 359Google Scholar.

153 H. H. Koh, ‘The Obama Administration and International Law’, Annual Meeting of the American Society of International Law, 25 March 2010. Available at: http://www.state.gov/s/l/releases/remarks/139119.htm/ (accessed 7 August 2015). See McKelvey, T., ‘Defending the Drones: Harold Koh and the Evolution of US Policy’, in Bergen, P. and Rothenberg, D. (eds.), Drone Wars: Transforming Conflict, Law and Policy (2015)Google Scholar, at 85.

154 E. Holder, Speech at Northwestern University School of Law, 5 March 2012. Available at: www.justice.gov/lso/opa/ag/speeches/2012/ag.speech-1203051.html/ (accessed 7 August 2015).

155 Brennan, supra note 133.

note 133

156 Koh, supra note 153.

note 153

157 Living Under Drones: Death, Injury, and Trauma to Civilians from US Drone Practices in Pakistan (September 2012). Available at: http://livingunderdrones.org/ (accessed 7 August 2015).

158 Ibid., at v.

Ibid.

159 Ibid., at ix.

Ibid.

160 New York Times and ACLU v. US Department of Justice 11 Civ 9336 (2 January 2013).

161 See Kaye, D., ‘International Law Issues in the Department of Justice White Paper on Targeted Killing’, (2013) 17 (8)ASIL Insights 1Google Scholar; D. Cole, ‘How We Made Killing Easy’, New York Review of Books (6 February 2013).

162 Obama, ‘Remarks by the President at the National Defense University’, 23 May 2013. Available at: http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2013/05/23/remarks-president-national-defense-university (accessed 7 August 2015).

163 Ibid.

Ibid.

164 UN General Assembly, Extrajudicial, Summary or Arbitrary executions, A/68/382, 13 September 2013.

165 Ibid., at 108.

Ibid.

166 UN General Assembly, Promotion and Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms while Countering Terrorism, 18 September 2013, at 41.

167 UN Human Rights Committee, Concluding Observations on the Fourth Report of the United States of America, adopted by the Committee in its 110th session, 10–28 March 2014.

168 Ibid., at 9.

Ibid.

169 J. Jaffer, ‘Obama's Drone Memo is Finally Public’, The Guardian (24 June 2014).

170 J. Jaffer, ‘The Drone Memo Cometh’, Just Security (21 June 2014).

171 ‘A Thin Rationale for Drone Killings’, New York Times (23 June 2014).

172 Johnstone, supra note 116, at 93.

note 116

173 K. Anderson in J. Goldsmith, Power and Constraint: The Accountable Presidency after 9/11 (2012), at 200.

174 Kingsbury, Krisch, and Stewart, supra note 63.

note 63

175 For a discussion of ‘lawfare’, see Goldsmith, supra note 173, at 223–33.

note 173

176 See H. Bruff, Bad Advice: Bush's Lawyers in the War on Terror (2009), at 61–83.

177 Shroff, M., ‘The Worldly Task’, in Geiringer, C. and Knight, D. (eds.), Seeing the World Whole: Essays in Honour of Sir Kenneth Keith (2008), at 267Google Scholar.

178 M. Weller, Iraq and the Use of Force in International Law (2010), at 253.

179 Goldsmith, J., ‘The Irrelevance of Prerogative Power, and the Evils of Secret Legal Interpretation’, in Fatovic, C. and Kleinerman, B. (eds.), Extra-Legal Power and Legitimacy: Perspectives on Prerogative (2013), 214CrossRefGoogle Scholar, at 230–31.

180 For analysis of the deficiencies of the speeches, see Gray, supra note 152, at 105.

note 152

181 Supra note 161. See Pozen, D., ‘The Leaky Leviathan: Why the Government Condemns and Condones Unlawful Disclosures of Information’, (2013) 127 Harv.L.Rev. 512Google Scholar.

note 161

182 G. Greenwald, ‘The NYT and Obama Officials Collaborate to Prosecute Awlaki After He's Executed’, The Guardian (11 March 2013). See generally R. Sagar, Secrets and Leaks (2013).

183 Jaffer, supra note 169.

note 169

184 Koh, H. H., ‘The State Department Legal Adviser's Office: Eight Decades in Peace and War’, (2012) 100 Geo.L.J. 1747Google Scholar, at 1754.

185 T. Cheng, When International Law Works: Realistic Idealism after 9/11 and the Global Recession (2012), at 49–53.

186 Bethlehem, D., ‘The Secret Life of International Law’, (2012) 1 (1)CJICL 23CrossRefGoogle Scholar, at 29; Bethlehem, D., ‘Self-Defense Against an Imminent or Actual Armed Attack by Nonstate Actors’, (2013) 106 AJIL 770Google Scholar.

187 Marks, supra note 64, at 998.

note 64

188 Johns, supra note 72, at 7–8.

note 72

189 Gray, supra note 152, at 87.

note 152

190 Bianchi, A., ‘On Power and Illusion: The Concept of Transparency in International Law’, in Bianchi, A. and Peters, A. (eds.), Transparency in International Law (2013), 1CrossRefGoogle Scholar, at 14–15.

191 See Julius Stone's discussion of precise criteria as a ‘trap for the innocent and a signpost for the guilty’: Conflict Through Consensus: UN Approaches to Aggression (1977).

192 Peters, A., ‘Towards Transparency as a Global Norm’ in Bianchi, A. and Peters, A. (eds.), Transparency in International Law (2013), 534CrossRefGoogle Scholar, at 568–9.

193 Krasmann, S., ‘Targeted Killing and its Law: On A Mutually Constitutive Relationship’, (2012) 25 (3)LJIL 665CrossRefGoogle Scholar.

194 On the potential effects of the US drone strikes on the development of international law, see Aronsson, M., ‘Remote Law-Making? American Drone Strikes and the Development of Jus Ad Bellum’, (2014) 1 (2)Journal on the Use of Force and International Law 273Google Scholar.

195 S. Shane and J. O. Becker, ‘Secret Kill List Proves a Test of Obama's Principles and Will’, New York Times (29 May 2012). See also Sanders, R., ‘(Im)plausible Legality: The Institutionalization of Human Rights Abuses in the American “Global War on Terror”’, (2011) 15 (4)IJHR 605Google Scholar.

196 G. Chamayou, Drone Theory (2015), at 163.

197 Leander, A., ‘Technological Agency in the Co-Constitution of Legal Expertise and the US Drone Program’, (2013) 26 (4)LJIL 811CrossRefGoogle Scholar; D. Hollis, ‘The Fog of Technology and International Law’, Opinio Juris (15 May 2015).

198 A. Christie, The Murder of Roger Ackroyd (1993), Ch. 23.

199 Brooks, supra note 9, at 28.

note 9

200 Riggan, supra note 79, at 10.

note 79

201 Kennedy, D., ‘Lawfare and Warfare’, in Crawford, J. and Koskenniemi, M. (eds.), The Cambridge Companion to International Law (2012)Google Scholar, at 158.

202 Venzke, I., ‘Legal Contestation about Enemy Combatants or the Exercise of Power in Legal Interpretation’, (2009) 5 Journal of International Law and International Relations 155Google Scholar.

203 Werner, W., ‘Book Review – Ian Johnstone The Power of Deliberation’, (2013) 10 IOLR 247Google Scholar, at 252.

204 See Dawes, J. and Gupta, S., ‘On Narrative and Human Rights’, (2014) 5 (1)Humanity 149CrossRefGoogle Scholar.

205 For a discussion of role-differentiated morality, see Windsor, M., ‘Government Legal Advisers Through the Ethics Looking Glass’, in Feldman, D. (ed.), Law in Politics, Politics in Law (2013)Google Scholar, at 117–37. See also Kassop, N., ‘Rivals for Influence on Counterterrorism Policy in the Obama Administration: White House Political Staff versus Executive Branch Legal Advisers’, (2013) 43 (2)Presidential Studies Quarterly 252CrossRefGoogle Scholar.

206 Simpson, G., ‘International Law in Diplomatic History’, in Crawford, J. and Koskenniemi, M. (eds.), The Cambridge Companion to International Law (2012), 25CrossRefGoogle Scholar, at 25.

207 Chamayou, supra note 196, at 167.

note 196

208 Compare Koh, supra note 153, with Koh, ‘How to End the Forever War?’ (Oxford Union, 7 May 2013). In March 2015, a group of students at New York University wrote an open letter of no-confidence in Koh's academic appointment at that institution, on the basis of his ‘direct facilitation of the US government's extrajudicial imposition of death sentences’. A counter-petition circulated, lauding Koh's ‘unquestionable personal commitment to human rights’. For discussion, see ‘Drone Strikes and International Law: Fallout Reaches The Ivory Tower’, The Economist (22 April 2015); E. Massimino, ‘The Wrong Litmus Test for Activists’, The Washington Post (30 April 2015); P. Alston, ‘Harold Koh and the Battle of the Dueling Petitions’, Just Security (20 April 2015); R. Goodman, ‘Advancing Human Rights From Within: The Footsteps of Harold Koh’, Just Security (10 April 2015). See generally Edelson, C., ‘The Law in Service to Power: Academics and Executive Branch Lawyers’, (2013) 43 (3)Presidential Studies Quarterly 618CrossRefGoogle Scholar.

note 153

209 Bianchi, A., ‘The International Regulation of the Use of Force: The Politics of Interpretative Method’, in van den Herik, L. and Schrijver, N. (eds.), Counter-Terrorism Strategies in a Fragmented International Legal Order (2013)Google Scholar, at 283–316.

210 Luban, D., ‘Military Necessity and the Cultures of Military Law’, (2013) 26 (2)LJIL 315CrossRefGoogle Scholar, at 315: ‘For military lawyers, the starting point is military necessity, and the reigning assumption is that legal regulation of war must accommodate military necessity. For humanitarian lawyers, the starting point is human dignity and human rights. The result is two interpretive communities that systematically disagree not only over the meaning of particular law-of-war norms, but also over the sources and methods of law that could be used to resolve the disagreements.’

211 D. Kennedy, supra note 142, at 116.

note 142

212 M. Mazzetti, C. Savage, and S. Shane, ‘How a US Citizen Came to Be in America's Cross Hairs’, New York Times (9 March 2013).

213 Greenwald, supra note 182. See Hakimi, M., ‘The Role of Media as Participants in the International Legal Process’, (2006) 16 Duke J.Comp.& Int'l L. 1Google Scholar.

note 182

214 MacIntyre, supra note 21, at 253.

note 21

215 Solum, supra note 71.

note 71

216 For a discussion of cognitive frames and norm entrepeneurs, see Finnemore, M. and Sikkink, K., ‘International Norm Dynamics and Political Change’, (1998) 52 (4)International Organization 887CrossRefGoogle Scholar.

217 On the concerning normalization of targeted killing as a state practice, see J. Waldron, ‘Death Squads and Death Lists: Targeted Killing and the Character of the State’ (presentation at Ethics in War conference, West Point, 27 March 2015).

218 Sennett in P. Brooks (ed.), The Humanities and Public Life (2014), at 102.

219 Kennedy, D., ‘The Hermeneutic of Suspicion in Contemporary American Legal Thought’, (2014) 25 Law Critique 91CrossRefGoogle Scholar. On ideology, see Herman and Vervaeck, supra note 10; Marks, S., ‘Big Brother is Bleeping Us – With the Message That Ideology Doesn't Matter’, (2001) 12 EJIL 109CrossRefGoogle Scholar; Olesen, J., ‘Towards a Politics of Hermeneutics’, in Bianchi, A., Peat, D., and Windsor, M. (eds.), Interpretation in International Law (2015), at 311–30CrossRefGoogle Scholar.

note 10

220 Marks, supra note 64, at 996; Alber, ‘Narrativisation’, in Herman, Jahn and Ryan, supra note 5, at 386: ‘the process of narrativisation consists of giving narrative form to a discourse for the purpose of facilitating a better understanding of the represented phenomena’.

note 64
note 5

221 See F. Jameson, The Political Unconscious: Narrative as a Socially Symbolic Act (1982).

222 J. Butler, Frames of War: When Is Life Grievable? (2010), at 9.

223 Ibid., at 12.

Ibid.

224 White, J. B., ‘Law as Language: Reading Law and Reading Literature’, (1982) 60 Tex.L.Rev. 415Google Scholar, at 444.

Altmetric attention score

Full text views

Full text views reflects PDF downloads, PDFs sent to Google Drive, Dropbox and Kindle and HTML full text views.

Total number of HTML views: 54
Total number of PDF views: 270 *
View data table for this chart

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between September 2016 - 11th April 2021. This data will be updated every 24 hours.

Send article to Kindle

To send this article to your Kindle, first ensure no-reply@cambridge.org is added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings on the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account. Then enter the ‘name’ part of your Kindle email address below. Find out more about sending to your Kindle. Find out more about sending to your Kindle.

Note you can select to send to either the @free.kindle.com or @kindle.com variations. ‘@free.kindle.com’ emails are free but can only be sent to your device when it is connected to wi-fi. ‘@kindle.com’ emails can be delivered even when you are not connected to wi-fi, but note that service fees apply.

Find out more about the Kindle Personal Document Service.

Narrative Kill or Capture: Unreliable Narration in International Law
Available formats
×

Send article to Dropbox

To send this article to your Dropbox account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your <service> account. Find out more about sending content to Dropbox.

Narrative Kill or Capture: Unreliable Narration in International Law
Available formats
×

Send article to Google Drive

To send this article to your Google Drive account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your <service> account. Find out more about sending content to Google Drive.

Narrative Kill or Capture: Unreliable Narration in International Law
Available formats
×
×

Reply to: Submit a response


Your details


Conflicting interests

Do you have any conflicting interests? *