Friday, May 30, 2008

Heather Wilson the post-colonial scholar?

marjorie says...

David Alire Garcia has an excellent article today over at NMI about Heather Wilson's dissertation as a Rhode Scholar in the 80s. In it, she explored whether or not the use of force is a legitimate tactic for national liberation movements.

Wilson labels the argument in favor of extending the right of armed struggle to national liberation movements "a justification within the bounds of the [U.N.] Charter." And she goes on to elaborate on what she calls "a more fundamental idea: that the denial of self-determination by colonial domination, alien occupation, or racism is so abhorrent that the use of force to eradicate these evils is justified… In other words, wars of national liberation are an exception to the general prohibition of the use of force. David writes:
Wilson acknowledges in her book that her inquiry has big consequences: "The idea that national liberation movements may legitimately use force in world politics has profound implications for our conception of international society."
But she defends the idea with emphatic language in the final paragraph of her 209-page book's conclusion:

"The world in which there was nothing distasteful about empire is gone. In its place is a system of over 150 sovereign States"—today there are 192—"in which the principle of self-determination is part of the body of rules governing the relationships among them. In this post-colonial world, the denial of self-determination is generally considered to be a [sic] evil of such magnitude that the use of force to secure it may be justified.

Who knew Wilson was a post-colonial scholar?