Leo Strauss and the Invasion of Iraq: Encountering the Abyss

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8 Citations (Scopus)


The political philosophy of Leo Strauss has been the subject of significant scholarly and media attention in recent years, particularly in the context of the decision to invade Iraq in 2003. Allegations that a group of Strauss-inspired Neo-conservatives intervened in the foreign policy establishment of the US in order to realise the policy of 'regime change' began to emerge soon after the invasion, and unanswered questions remain a decade later.

This book addresses these claims, focusing specifically on a group of Straussians active in the spheres of intelligence production, think tanks, and the media during the period from the 9/11 attacks to the invasion in 2003. Such an examination is intended not simply to identify and expose their activities promoting the policy of 'regime change' in Iraq during this period, but also to challenge them and the Straussian logics underpinning them. Utilising the thought of Jacques Derrida, the book enacts a deconstructive challenge to Strauss’ political philosophy which unsettles the fundamental assumptions it relies upon. In doing so, it exposes the securitising imperative underpinning Straussian thought and the Straussian interventions. It thereby simultaneously addresses crucial issues in political theory and contemporary foreign policy studies, while asserting that these dimensions of international politics can and should be dealt with in conjunction with each other.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationAbingdon; New York
Number of pages222
ISBN (Electronic)9780203380406
ISBN (Print)9780415621625
Publication statusPublished - 17 Jun 2013


  • Leo Strauss
  • Invasion of Iraq
  • Neoconservatism
  • Abyss
  • Friedrich Nietzsche
  • Jacques Derrida
  • deconstruction
  • 9/11


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