Intimate War

Citation:

Pain, Rachel. 2015. "Intimate War." Political Geography 44: 64-73.

Author: Rachel Pain

Abstract:

Contending that domestic violence and modern international warfare are part of a single complex of violence, this paper identifies their shared intimate dynamics. Both violences operate through emotional and psychological registers that are as central to their effectiveness as incidents of direct physical harm. While these dynamics are intimate, they are present across scale, and read here through a feminist lens on intimacy-geopolitics where neither framing has primacy. Research on the connections between domestic violence and international warfare is longstanding, most recently highlighting how intimate violence is produced within warzones. The analysis here begins instead from intimate dynamics, to draw out the warlike nature of domestic violence in peacetime. Tactics of modern warfare are juxtaposed with the dynamics of domestic violence in suburban Scottish homes: shock and awe, hearts and minds, cultural and psychological occupation, just war and collateral damage. Resisting the temptation to regard domestic violence as everyday militarism, the relation is rotated: both violences continuously wind through the intimate-geopolitical. This spatial reconfiguration is structured by gender, race, class, nation and citizenship, resulting in uneven impacts from all kinds of intimate war. The interweaving of military and intimate themes is intended as a casting-off point for progressing political geographies that are attentive to intimacy as foundational in the workings of power across scale.

Keywords: domestic violence, war, intimacy, geopolitics, emotions, military tactics, militarism

Topics: Armed Conflict, Domestic Violence, Gender, Women, Men, Gender-Based Violence, Military Forces & Armed Groups, Militarism, Violence

Year: 2015

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