Book Chapter: Perfect War and its Contestations

The newly released book from Bloomsbury titled Spaces of War, War of Spaces is a rich, international and multi-disciplinary engagement with the convergence of war and media through the conceptual lens of ‘space’.

Included in the book is a chapter from IRW’s own Jolle Demmers, Lauren Gould and David Snetselaar. Drawing on Foucault’s notion of ‘regime of truth’, their chapter titled Perfect War and its Contestations examines the spaces of contention through which the US-led anti-IS coalition legitimises the violence it wages.

Demmers, Gould and Snetselaar detail how monitoring organisations like Airwars make counter-claims to the US-led Coalition air-strike campaign against IS in Syria and Iraq. The Coalition’s sanctioning of information, its discursive embracement of watchdog criticism, as well as its adoption of specialist technologies, reinforce a regime of truth in which remote warfare is portrayed as ‘precise’ and ‘caring’: a form of perfect war which saves lives, not just of ‘our own’ but also of ‘civilian others’. It outlines how this regime of truth about remote wars promotes violence rather than limits it. This prompts them to look at the ontology of remote war, and its capacity to ward off political questions on how it has transformative effects and (re)produces and sustains regimes of power.

Website Link:

Spaces of War, War of Spaces

Order the book:

Demmers, J., L. Gould, and D. Snetselaar. 2020. ‘Perfect War and Its Contestations’. In Spaces of War, War of Spaces, edited by S. Maltby, B. O’Loughlin, K. Parry, and L. Roselle, 1st ed., 256. Bloomsbury Publishing.

Download the chapter: