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26 Indiana J. Global Legal Studies 61 (2019)


The U.S.A. P.A.T.R.I.O.T. Act is legislation that simultaneously brings into being very particular notions of the American 'national' and, as its counterpart, a post-9/11 "global." Through a study of the Patriot Act, my paper unpacks the co-constitutions of national/global and a related series of binaries: domestic/foreign; patriot/terrorist; us/them; and innocence/evil. By exploring the structuring logics and language of these binaries in the Act, my paper scrutinizes the global role of U.S. legislative text in our world: a world in which "a global society has come into being but possesses as yet, no institutions proper to its name."1 In the context of our global perpetual war, I challenge our understandings of the categories structuring the Patriot Act to point to the specific ways in which law and war are co-constituted in our present.

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