Geopolitics and genocide: The Gambia vs. Myanmar at the International Court of Justice
At a time of increasing prominence of the workings and judgements of international courts, recent interdisciplinary work has illuminated the deeply uneven ways in which violence is labelled, understood, and acted upon. Attempting to place work in genocide studies in conversation with current geographical scholarship, this paper argues that there are intrinsic spatial qualities to deliberations over whether an act of violence constitutes genocide. Understanding these invocations of space helps explain how accountability for violence is spatially contained, often severing judgement from wider historical or geopolitical contexts. This argument is made through analysis of the build up to, and enactment of, the legal deliberations at the International Court of Justice brought by The Gambia against Myanmar in relation to the expulsion of the Rohingya from Rakhine State, Myanmar. Such investigative work reveals the intrinsically geographical nature of both designations of genocidal acts and the intimate processes of legal deliberation itself.