alexa The Obsolescence of the Westphalian Model and the Retur
ISSN: 2332-0761

Journal of Political Sciences & Public Affairs
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Research Article

The Obsolescence of the Westphalian Model and the Return to A Maximum State of Exception

Khaled Al-Kassimi*
McMaster University, 2711 Windjammer Rd, Mississauga, L5L1T3, Ontario, Canada
Corresponding Author : Khaled Al-Kassimi, PhD
McMaster University
2711 Windjammer Rd
Mississauga, L5L1T3
Ontario, Canada
Tel: +1 905-525-9140
E-mail: [email protected]
Received December 16, 2015; Accepted December 24, 2015; Published December 29, 2015
Citation: Al-Kassimi K (2015) The Obsolescence of the Westphalian Model and the Return to A Maximum State of Exception. J Pol Sci Pub Aff S2:007. doi:10.4172/2332-0761.S2-007
Copyright: © 2015 Al-Kassimi K. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.
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The international system is based on the modern conception of the Westphalian model, which organizes and monopolizes violence under the exclusive authority of a sovereign state. This conception only began to characterize global politics in the 19th century and more so at the beginning of the 20th century, contrary to the political myth that perceives the year 1648 as the moment where world state leaders monopolized, organized and structured violence. Author characterize the international system prior to the Westphalian model to be a period of maximum state of exception because states de-monopolized violence and authorized the use of nonstate actors to conduct violence which dominated the international system. The international system transitioned from a maximum state of exception to a minimum state of exception when the Westphalian model began characterizing the international system. In a minimum state of exception, the Weberian state entailed a state monopolization on the authority to deploy violence beyond its borders and the states acceptance of responsibility for violence emanating from its territory. Violence in a minimum state of exception shifted from nonstate actors to citizen-soldier actors. It is the objective of this research paper to highlight three consecutive Revolutions in Military Affairs (RMA) that occurred in the international system which have modified the actors invovled in war. The latest RMA that occurred at the highpoint of the coldwar, but more so after the declaraction of the Global War on Terror (GWOT), has rendered the Westphalian model obscolescent. The modification of the primary actors in combat has consequently reverted the interntional system to a maximum state of exception where war is now global and an everlasting state in global affairs.


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