Unsettling international law and peace-making: An encounter with queer theory

Philipp Kastner, Elisabeth Roy Trudel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

This article examines the usefulness of an encounter with queer theory to contribute to the peaceful resolution of armed conflicts, to question the traditional frontiers of international law, and to lay the groundwork for envisaging different forms of peace and peace-making. In a field where, arguably, little genuine progress has been made to resolve armed conflicts and to address underlying forms of violence, queer theory can reinforce a pluralistic understanding of law and suggest much-needed unsettling and creative approaches. The article focuses on queer theory’s specific critique of the construction and normalization of hierarchies, categories, and identities, which almost always – whether explicitly or implicitly – lie at the heart of armed conflicts and frame peace negotiations, without ever being truly reconsidered. Moreover, queer theory allows appreciating both peace and law beyond predetermined categorizations and as aspirational endeavours that are constantly evolving. Through a dialogue between two figures, which imagines
what Peace and qt* might want to tell each other, this article also attempts to queer the standard academic format and to question the dominant forms of expression and knowledge-production in academia.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages20
JournalLeiden Journal of International Law
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 2020

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