raving reviews on a promising future paper

hey, remember my long essay about waging unlimited war on the idea of limited war? bit of an oddball that one, eh.

well. my prof liked it! I’m still not sure I understand how ucl marking scales work, given the numerical grade and the comment I got (see below). but it’s a good enough comment I don’t really care.


This is a thoughtful and original essay, which situates key authors of international political thought within the debates regarding the idea of irregular civilian participation in armed conflict in modern and contemporary thought. This essay provides a competent account of irregularity by exploring the categories of pirates, partisans and terrorists in the thought of Alberico Gentili (1552 – 1608), Carl von Clausewitz (1780 – 1831) and Carl Schmitt (1888 – 1985). This might seem like an arbitrary or even anachronistic choice, but the essay demonstrates the inherent argumentative links of these authors who wrote in very different times and historical contexts. The essay rightly and convincingly argues that Gentili provides a less morally charged conceptualisation of armed conflict, setting the stage for the development of the figure of the irregular fighter (p. 2). Regulation of war demands regular combatants and mutual acceptance of fundamental rules of engagement. The essay analyses how the figure of Schmitt’s partisan stands in active dialogue with the thought of von Clausewitz and Gentili, as well as with the military and political developments of modernity (p. 3). It is rightly argued that the partisan is negatively defined as irregular, because in an asymmetric conflict the partisan exploits the regular conduct of war and behaves differently than the regular forces he opposes. The discussion of enmity is equally (p. 4-5) is also very pertinent and again based on a close reading of primary and secondary material. The long conclusion is superb and reinforces the differentiated analyses of the challenges of regular and irregular warfare.

This is an excellent and insightful essay, using a wealth of material.

sometimes you have an idea, and you think about it for a few months, and then you proceed to write it down in 18 consecutive hours, and then a german professors says: you know what, this is actually a good idea.