GIR Colloquium Series | Queering Governance and International Law: The Case of the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) | Dr Caitlin Biddolph
GIR Colloquium Series
Queering Governance and International Law: The Case of the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY)
Speaker: Dr Caitlin Biddolph
Social Sciences Building (A02), Room 341 and Zoom
International law is a site of governance that depends on violence for its existence. It also engages in violent practices through, for example, the ability of international courts and tribunals to represent and adjudicate crimes. International law offers a legal account of violence and authorises its various bodies (e.g., courts, tribunals, councils, etc.) as knowable (and knowing) sites of governance. But these juridical practices are unstable, constituted not by a fixed legal truth about violence, but by plural, contested discourses and logics that shape how violent and violated bodies are known and governed. Such discursive practices are entangled with ideas about gender, sexuality, and violence, upholding the norm of the straight, cis-gender legal subject. What might it mean, then, to read international law as queer, even as it (re)installs exclusionary gendered, sexual(ised), and racial(ised) configurations of (il)legality? And how might queer work complicate international law’s exclusionary and subversive discourses of gender, sexuality, and violence?
My research proceeds from a discomfort with, a tension in, a “queer curiosity” (Weber 2016) about, the ways in which ideas about gender, sexuality, and violence cohere through international law. Using the ICTY as a case study, I undertake a queer analysis of this site to problematise and complicate the violent, governing practices of international law. Through the development and application of queer poststructural discourse analysis, this research traces the ways in which discourses of gender, sexuality, and violence at/of the ICTY depend on and perpetuate cis-heteronormativity and pejorative civilisational logics about the former Yugoslavia. I also identify moments where such discourses are subverted, and explore how the Tribunal comes to be known, to know, and to govern bodies through international law. My research findings about the ICTY expose the gendered and gendering, discursive and agential, and violent and violating capacities of international law, as well as its plural, contested, and queer potential.
Dr Caitlin Biddolph is a Postdoctoral Research Fellow in Gender and Global Governance in the School of Social and Political Sciences, at the University of Sydney, Australia. Her research takes a queer approach to global governance and international law, with a specific focus on the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY). Caitlin’s work explores discourses of gender, sexuality, and violence, civilisational logics, and the cis-heteronormative foundations of international criminal justice. She has recently published articles in Millennium: Journal of International Studies, Griffith Law Review, and the Australian Journal of Human Rights.
Zoom URL: https://uni-sydney.zoom.us/j/84335367993