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Governing from the Skies by Thomas Hippler

Governing from the Skies

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Governing from the Skies by Thomas Hippler
Hardcover $24.95
Jan 17, 2017 | ISBN 9781784785956

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“What is original about Thomas Hippler’s essay is the way he examines the ‘government of the world’ from the early twentieth century through to our own time in the light of its ‘privileged instrument: air bombing with “police” objectives.’ Utilizing testimonies, reports and other historical material, which he synthesizes with eloquence, Hippler develops a political philosophy of war around this topical question: how can one understand ‘the extension of colonial practices to the world population as a whole’?”
Le Monde

“In November 2011, the first bombs dropped from an Italian aeroplane in Libya inaugurated a century of violence from the skies. In an essay both fascinating and disturbing, Thomas Hippler traces this history to reveal the ‘political philosophy of the bomb’, as theorized in particular by the Italian Giulio Douhet, the key figure in this book. The bomb is not only the emblematic weapon of colonial domination, but also became the weapon of ‘total war’ with the annihilation of British, German and Japanese cities between 1939 and 1945 and the employment of drones in today’s ‘low-intensity conflicts.’ The author links this sequence of events to the reputedly ‘democratic’ character of aerial bombardment, an instrument of domination applied from a distance that by its nature is indiscriminate, targeting an entire body politic, life in the air-raid shelter becoming its striking microcosm. A stimulating and very Foucauldian reflection on the power to ‘overfly and destroy.’”

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