Presented by Federica Caso. 

The paper explores the idea that, in liberal societies, war is an ordering principle for domestic politics. I refer to this as militarisation of liberal societies. I offer a reconceptualization of liberal militarisation as domestic governance predicated on the idea of war preparation. Thus, the paper emphasises the connection and interplay between domestic and international order. I build the case by looking at militarisation in the context of Australia. It is my contention that Australia curates a particular representation of war as a strategy of nation-building that erases colonial warfare and the ongoing colonial conflict. More specifically, Australia has a vested interest in emphasising World War I as the birth of the nation to the extent that this aids the process of connoting colonial warfare as premodern and therefore of little relevance to modern Australia. Thus, Australia relies on international warfare to cut, edit, and order its domestic warfare. Simultaneously, the militarisation of Australian society understood as domestic governance predicated on the idea of war preparation enables Australia to be a player in the international order covering the role of a post-colonial state.

Federica has recently completed her PhD at UQ with a thesis on liberal militarisation. She looks at representations of war to analyse and understand the social and political narratives that we tell ourselves. Federica also looks at art and aesthetics in relation to neoliberalism and identity politics. 

About Futures of International Order | Seminar Series

There is a widespread fear that the modern, ‘liberal’, international order is in crisis. Faced with multiple global challenges, from climate change and economic governance to nuclear arms control and global people movements, existing institutions increasingly appear outmoded, inefficient, and at times, dysfunctional. Meanwhile, existing institutional arrangements are being challenged by a diverse array of actors, from great powers (such as Russia) and transnational insurgents to right-wing nationalists. This university-wide seminar series is designed to foster an interdisciplinary dialogue on the possible futures of the modern international order. What challenges does it face, how will it evolve in the face of such challenges, what futures are desirable if it is to meet human and planetary needs?

Scholars are wrestling with these issues in a wide range of disciplines, from climate science and economics to history, philosophy, law, and political science. We invited scholars from all fields currently working on issues relating to ‘futures of international order’ to present in this seminar series. 

This program was convened in 2019 by Associate Professor Jacinta O’Hagan, Associate Professor Sarah Percy & Professor Chris Reus-Smit.


Level 5 General Purpose North (39A) The University of Queensland St Lucia, QLD 4072