Skip to main content
Skip to McMaster Navigation Skip to Site Navigation Skip to main content
McMaster logo
COVID-19 information and updates

Find the most recent updates here, as well as FAQs and information for students, faculty and staff.

Violence on Iraqi bodies: decolonising economic sanctions in security studies

PhD candidate Riva Gewarges publishes article in Third World Quarterly’s special issue on Violence in the Third World

Jan 15, 2019

Congratulations to PhD candidate Riva Gewarges who published an article (with Mariam Georgis) entitled “Violence on Iraqi bodies: decolonising economic sanctions in security studies” in Third World Quarterly. The article is part of the journal’s special issue on Empire to Globalization: Violence In and Against the Third World.

United Nations agencies report that by 1998, Iraqi infant mortality had risen from the pre-Gulf War rate of 3.7% to 12%. Insufficient food and medical supplies and deterioration of sewage and sanitation systems and electrical power systems reportedly caused an increase of 40,000 deaths annually of children under the age of 5 and of 50,000 deaths annually of older Iraqis. Why is this violence on Iraqis absent from analyses of sanctions in international relations and security studies? This paper is concerned with, first, situating sanctions against the Global South as violence by challenging the conventional theorisation of violence inflicted by the hegemon as a mechanism of ‘national security’. Second, we offer a decolonial reading of the sanctions imposed on Iraq by shifting the locus of enunciation from the state to Iraqi people’s suffering.