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Deleuze & War: An Introduction

Evans, B and Guillaume, L (2010) Deleuze & War: An Introduction. Theory & Event, 13 (3). ISSN 1092-311X


Gilles Deleuze’s work displays an intimate relationship with the problem of war. Beginning for instance with his highly original co-authored Treatise on Nomadology, he borrowed from an array of sources including anthropology, military strategy, the human sciences, literature, aesthetics, and history, not only to illustrate how the ‘State itself’ has always been formed ‘in relation with an outside’, but to expose us to a whole plethora of competing dualisms which when combined constituted the very of order of historical battle: nomos/polis, smooth/striated, deterritorialisation/re-territorialisation, lines of flight/lines of articulation, active/reactive, movement/strata, rhizome/aborescent, minor/major, singularity/totality, heterogeneity/homogeneity, molecular/molar, so on. Importantly, for Deleuze, when this nomadology versus the State narrative was subsequently coupled with his and Felix Guattari’s concept of the “war machine” it then at once became possible to offer an alternative reading of the history of state power which, exposing the war like origin of all modern forms of civic ordering, posed uncomfortable questions for those grounded in the peaceful sermons of conventional political orthodoxy. For the history of State politics becomes the continuation of war by other means. The history of state power is fractured and multiplied if we consider the ways in which military force and warrior logic operates at the level of the unfolding of social relations rather than simply from the perspective of sovereign statehood. Once this perspective is adopted then our entire understanding of social and spatial ordering, the role of science, the deployment of technologies for rule, the formation of power/knowledge relations, the claims to truth and justice, along with the function of aesthetics factors accordingly.

Item Type: Article
Institution: The University of Leeds
Academic Units: The University of Leeds > Faculty of Education, Social Sciences and Law (Leeds) > School of Politics & International Studies (POLIS) (Leeds)
Depositing User: Symplectic Publications
Date Deposited: 17 Feb 2011 10:52
Last Modified: 08 Feb 2013 17:30
Published Version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1353/tae.2010.0010
Publisher: The John Hopkins University Press
Identification Number: 10.1353/tae.2010.0010
URI: http://eprints.whiterose.ac.uk/id/eprint/42839

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