War Time: An Idea, Its History, Its Consequences

Mary L. Dudziak, WAR-TIME: AN IDEA, ITS HISTORY, ITS CONSEQUENCES, pp. 3-9, Oxford University Press, 2012

USC Legal Studies Research Papers Series No. 12-1

10 Pages Posted: 15 Jan 2012  

Mary L. Dudziak

Emory University School of Law

Date Written: January 9, 2012

Abstract

When is wartime? On the surface, it is a period of time in which a society is at war. But we now live in what President Obama has called "an age without surrender ceremonies," as the Administration announced an "end to conflict in Iraq," even though conflict on the ground is ongoing. It is no longer easy to distinguish between wartime and peacetime. In this inventive meditation on war, time, and the law, Mary Dudziak argues that wartime is not as discrete a time period as we like to think. Instead, America has been engaged in some form of ongoing overseas armed conflict for over a century. Meanwhile policy makers and the American public continue to view wars as exceptional events that eventually give way to normal peace times. This has two consequences. First, because war is thought to be exceptional, "wartime" remains a shorthand argument justifying extreme actions like torture and detention without trial. Second, ongoing warfare is enabled by the inattention of the American people. More disconnected than ever from the wars their nation is fighting, public disengagement leaves us without political restraints on the exercise of American war powers.

This paper consists of the Table of Contents and Introduction to the book.

Keywords: wartime, war, peace, military, rights, executive power, national security

Suggested Citation

Dudziak, Mary L., War Time: An Idea, Its History, Its Consequences (January 9, 2012). Mary L. Dudziak, WAR-TIME: AN IDEA, ITS HISTORY, ITS CONSEQUENCES, pp. 3-9, Oxford University Press, 2012 ; USC Legal Studies Research Papers Series No. 12-1. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1982116

Mary L. Dudziak (Contact Author)

Emory University School of Law ( email )

1301 Clifton Road
Atlanta, GA 30322
United States

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