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    The Pirate Myth

    By: Amedeo Policante

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    "The image of the pirate today haunts the imagination of statesmen, diplomats and international legal scholars as an unlikely global security threat endangering the regularity of oceanic trade networks and legitimizing an unprecedented naval coalition that includes all major international powers. The image of the pirate also casts its shadow over the internet, as cyber-activists, file-sharers and others are condemned for piracy even if that definition is also embraced by some according to the fantasy of a freedom beyond the rigid norms of the state and of the market. But what are the origins of the 'pirate myth' in the Western political imagination? Drawing on history, international law, literature and politics, this book offers an original genealogy of this myth. From the persecutio piratarum that inaugurates the Imperial phase of Roman history to the contemporary global mobilization against Somali pirates, its close reading of the ways in which different Empires have made use of the 'pirate myth' in order to legitimize their hegemonic violence sheds light on the logic of past and present Imperial formations. More specifically, this book shows that the history of piracy the ways in which pirates have been used, outlawed, criminalized, condemned and suppressed by European powers has been, and continues to be, a fundamental element in the formation of the world market.The Pirate Myth: Genealogies of an Imperial Concept will therefore be immense interest to those working and researching in law, politics, and history"--

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