Acknowledgements / Abbreviations / Transgressive Chemicals, Brian Rappert and Alex Mankoo / From Reviled Poisons to State Arsenals: The Un(necessary) Proliferation of Chemical Weapons, Jeanne Guillemin / Lesser Appreciations: A History of Inter-War Chemical Warfare, James Revill & Marcos Favero / Biological Warfare, Chemical Warfare and the Public Body, Etienne Aucouturier / Opening Spaces through Exhibiting Absences: Representing Secretive Pasts, Brian Rappert, Kathryn Smith, and Chandré Gould / Tear Gas Epistemology: The Himsworth Committee and Weapons as Drugs, Brian Balmer, Alex Spelling, Caitriona McLeish / What Counts as a Chemical Weapon?: The Category of Law Enforcement in the Chemical Weapons Convention, Michael Crowley / Tear Gas and Colonial Bodies in the British Interwar Period, Anna Feigenbaum / Controlling and Caring for Public Bodies: Civil Defence Gas Tests in WWII Britain, Alex Mankoo / ‘Chemical Bodies’ and the Future of Control, Alex Mankoo and Brian Rappert
Chemical Bodies gathers notable experts, using case studies across time and space, to examine how chemical agents have been framed as weapons (or not), by whom, for whom, and the political/policy stakes involved. The book is a critical read for academics, intelligence officials, and policymakers who wrestle with how to make sense of chemical and biological threats past and present.
At a time of intense political scrutiny of chlorine and acid attacks, this book takes a deeper dive into historical framings of the chemical weapons taboo. The contextually rich body of work carefully teases out how chemical agents have been justified and resisted as instruments of control, coercion and warfare across time and space. Its portrayal of the dynamics and shifting notions of normative values makes the book indispensable reading to anyone who holds dear the ban on chemical weapons.