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Introduction: State of Emergency Regimes in the First World War Era

Stibbe, M and Keil, A (2024) Introduction: State of Emergency Regimes in the First World War Era. First World War Studies, 14 (1). pp. 1-27. ISSN 1947-5020

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This article introduces the theme of states of emergency during the First World War era, and provides details on the thirteen different case studies presented in the special issue. It makes the case for seeing states of emergency as being shaped by historical experience as opposed to emerging from the abstract reasoning of legal principle and moral philosophy. Equally, though, it recognizes that moments of exception do have legal and philosophical, as well as historical-political, dimensions. The authors follow the Italian theorist Giorgio Agamben in regarding the year 1914 as a key turning point, not least in the lived historical experience of states of emergency. But it is highly critical of models, Agamben’s included, that emphasize the purely coercive potentials of emergency powers. Instead, it calls for a more pragmatic and empirical approach, focusing on what neutral and belligerent governments did, on how they arranged, regulated and communicated their actions, and on the different political and legal expressions of exceptionality that subsequently emerged, both during and immediately after the 1914-18 conflict.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: 2103 Historical Studies
Subjects: D History General and Old World > D History (General) > D501 World War I
D History General and Old World > DA Great Britain
H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
Divisions: Humanities & Social Science
Publisher: Taylor and Francis Group
SWORD Depositor: A Symplectic
Date Deposited: 19 Jan 2024 11:08
Last Modified: 28 Mar 2024 12:00
DOI or ID number: 0.1080/19475020.2024.2307037
URI: https://researchonline.ljmu.ac.uk/id/eprint/22364
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