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The nomenclature of human shields did not exist in 19th century colonialism, but one can find its proxies in the debates regarding the principles of distinction and proportionality when defining legitimate targets. Its specters appeared in the discussions weighing human life and moderating warfare, revealing how the imperatives of colonial conquest inflected "humanitarian reason" and its epistemic and political investments. The colonized territory rendered all civilians as potential humandoi:10.1017/aju.2016.6 fatcat:25olsngyhjfcvdrpdsqfva6qaq