Skip to main content

Distributed for University of British Columbia Press

Disarming Intervention

A Critical History of Non-Lethality

Non-lethal weapons take many forms – from rubber bullets to electroshock and long-range acoustic devices – which their proponents argue are ethical, legal, and humane. Social scientists, historians, legal scholars, and activists have long challenged the use of non-lethal weapons in policing and war. Until now, little scholarly attention has been paid to the social, historical, and legal relations that animate the concept of non-lethality, nor is there a comprehensive account of how the concept has achieved social and political acceptance. Disarming Intervention tells the story of how the concept of non-lethality emerged in a series of nineteeth-century legal codes that governed the conduct of international hostilities, and how it continued to legitimate US-led armed conflicts as ethical, legal, and humane throughout the twentieth century.

168 pages

Table of Contents

Introduction: On the Rise of Non-Lethality in Domestic and International Intervention

1 Locating Non-Lethality

2 Governmentality, Technology, and Security

3 The Conduct of Conflict: Historicizing Non-Lethality

4 Non-Lethality, Riot-Control, and the Governance of US Cities

5 “Softening Fires”: Non-Lethality in Vietnam

6 Tragic Consequence: University Unrest and the Ethico-Politics of Tragedy

7 Paper Traces: Towards a Genealogy of Non-Lethality

Conclusion: Articulations of Past and Present

Notes; References; Index

Be the first to know

Get the latest updates on new releases, special offers, and media highlights when you subscribe to our email lists!

Sign up here for updates about the Press