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States of EmergencyColonialism, Literature and Law$
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Stephen Morton

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9781846318498

Published to Liverpool Scholarship Online: May 2014

DOI: 10.5949/liverpool/9781846318498.001.0001

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(p.1) Introduction
States of Emergency

Stephen Morton

Liverpool University Press

This introductory chapter first sets out the book's purpose, which is to demonstrate the important contribution of writing and literary fiction to understanding the relationship between colonialism, law and political violence in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. Specifically, it assesses the multiple and conflicting ways in which literary and cultural texts have either contributed to and/or interrogated the necessity for emergency legislation across a range of different historical and political contexts. The chapter then examines one of the foundational critical texts on states of emergency: Benjamin's Eighth Thesis on the concept of history. It goes on to discuss the literature of empire — an important resource for understanding the legal and extra-legal nuances of colonial states of emergency. An overview of the subsequent chapters is also presented.

Keywords:   state of emergency, emergency powers, writing, colonial fiction, emergency legislation, colonialism, colonial state

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