It is a long-held belief that states must retain the monopoly over political violence in order to be states, and to survive. However, there are recent criticisms of this view forcing us to consider not just the state's use of political violence but the very nature of the state. Elizabeth Frazer and Kimberly Hutchings's Can Political Violence Ever Be Justified? argues that it cannot. Ned Dobos's Ethics, Security, and the War-Machine raises a series of arguments against states having standing militaries, and Alex Vitale's The End of Policing similarly raises a series of arguments against the institution of the police. In this review essay, I suggest that these arguments all force us to revisit the very nature of the state. There are concerns about simply abolishing these institutions of political violence, but we can indeed conceive of states without the monopoly on violence.
|Journal||Ethics and International Affairs|
|Publication status||Published - 2021|