Faculty of Education, Social Sciences and Law

School of Politics and International Studies

Research Student: Dr Stephanie Talbut

The Role of the Rogue State in International Relations

In a post 9/11 world the United States has sought to place itself above the rules and norms of International Society; for its own protection and the protection of the societal structure itself. The attacks of 9/11 illustrated the threat of international terrorism, however, with that lacking a state based face the United States sought to construct one. The rogue state is a direct consequence of the 'shadowy' identity of the terrorist. The rogue state provides a recognisable enemy which governments can identify more easily than shadowy terrorists. The rogue state is a vital part of the War on Terror dialogue that is seriously under researched.

This thesis attempts to provide an International Relations based understanding of the 'Rogue State', what it contributes to International Society and its role in legitimising this American exceptionalism to the norms, values and laws around of International Society. This thesis will explore an English School conception of International Society supported and developed by Social Constructivism to provide a conceptual basis for analysis of the rogue state. The rogue state itself is understood as a concept constructed out of the perceived threats found in the behaviour of one state by another.

The role of the rogue state in International Relations is as a politicised tool to define the necessity for the action taken against. To understand the relationship between the politicised tool of the rogue state and the action it consequentially legitimates this thesis will draw on the philosophy of Carl Schmitt. His philosophy entertains the idea of the exception to the norm and how this dictates the behaviour of others who exist within it. By relating the English School conception of International Society and how its norms, values and laws create an inside; this thesis posits that the rogue state is constructed in terms to create an outside that is exceptional.

This thesis will demonstrate the role of the rogue state in creating this space of exceptionalism through a case study focusing on the justifications and legitimation for the 2003 Iraq conflict offered by the Bush administration.

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