Three Theses on War and Policing:
- War is the violence used to establish sovereignty.
- Policing is the state violence used to preserve law.
- Securitization either exceeds or falls short of war and policing.
War is indissociable from sovereignty and conquest; it presides over the birth of nations. While there are ‘rules of war’, there isn’t a law-preserving quality to them. Rather, a functionalist definition of war is the violence used to found sovereignty. In the Middle Ages when sovereignty was based in divine right to rule, it functioned like a game of chess whereby the objective was to capture the king. The post-dynastic raison d’etre shifted, founding the state on more clearly delineated territorial boundaries where norms and political institutions were established to guarantee the well-being and security of the population. The cartographic fixity of national borders highlights the intense importance war’s spatiality. The divergence between theories of International Relations and domestic policy in political science demonstrates the sharp analytic boundary between inside and outside that lies at the center of modern nation-states.
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