Podcast: New Voices: cultural and moral dimensions of torture and mercenaries

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Manage episode 231244397 series 1125877
By War Studies and Department of War Studies. Discovered by Player FM and our community — copyright is owned by the publisher, not Player FM, and audio is streamed directly from their servers. Hit the Subscribe button to track updates in Player FM, or paste the feed URL into other podcast apps.
Date of Publication: 13/04/2019 Description: This podcast is part of the War Studies New Voices series which showcases emerging research from our PhD community. Emily Brown researches the ways in which torture and prisoner abuse narratives in American popular culture have helped to conceptualise the practice of judicial torture. Since the attacks on US soil on September 11th, 2001, it has become increasingly obvious that torture is considered acceptable in fictional representations of American counter-terror practices, even if only in extraordinary circumstances. What has been largely ignored, however, is the part popular culture has played in normalising the extraordinary into ordinary, everyday practice. The way in which we understand torture relies on how we consume popular culture, which presents torture as an unpleasant but unremarkable past occurrence that has been integrated into the ordinary. Helene Olsen studies the relationship between mercenaries and legitimacy. She looks at how mercenaries have been objected against and de-legitimised using specific speech-acts – moral objections – and how these seem to transcend historical settings. She explores the tension between the extensive use of mercenaries in warfare and the apparent moral opposition to their presences and actions and suggests that mercenaries are objected against and de-legitimised when they behave as disruptors of the ideal polity. In this edition, Emily Brown and Helene Olsen discuss areas where their research may overlap and diverge.

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