Texas Wesleyan Law Review
The subsequent three parts of this article take the following form. Part II introduces Article 51. Part III considers the manner in which Article 51 produces a narrative of spectatorship for the West. I draw on Al-Radi's narrative to highlight the massive gap between the narratives of Article 51, as it is perceived in mainstream academic accounts of Operation Desert Storm, and the reality of living with the consequential force. I am particularly concerned with the legal features of proportionality, collective self-defense, and the state as a "self" defending. In Part IV, I use the work of Mclnnes, Orford, and Salecl to demonstrate how the West use a form of self-projection to become both spectator and hero in internal cultural narratives. Drawing on the methodology developed by Gunning, I attend to the inherent essentialism of these narratives rather than attempting to offer alternative non-Western narratives. Finally, in Part V, I return to the force/violence distinction contained in Article 51. How does this regulator of force as legal, and violence as illegal, interact with recent claims that there is also "legitimate" force that can be used, for example, to halt humanitarian crises? I take the words of Arendt and question the shift from force as justified to force as legitimate, to conclude with further questions about emerging narratives of force that currently preoccupy Western cultures.'
Article 51 Self-Defense as a Narrative: Spectators and Heroes in International Law,
Tex. Wesleyan L. Rev.
Available at: https://doi.org/10.37419/TWLR.V12.I1.6