A reply to my critics
(Translated by Cathleen Poehler)
“Law and violence” is a short, thesis-based attempt to explore the possibility of a critique of law. At the center of this critique of law is the
problem of violence, for law does not only start with violence but also
leads to violence.
Law begins with the experience of violence. Law exists because there
is violence, and because recognizing the existence of violence appears
to be tantamount to saying that violence should not exist. “Pain says:
‘Refrain! Away, you pain!’ ”1 This is
broken. It uses violence only by way of substitution: instead of the justification on which it rests. So if violence served the traditional law as
“a means of presentation and substantiation of expectation,”4 which
is to say, as a means to reinforce its legitimacy, it has lost that function in modern law, whose rational legitimation is neither in need of
nor amenable to corroboration by violent means. Its only function
is now to counter the ever-present “risk of dissension”: It serves to
secure the factual existence of the consensus whose normative existence is
also serves to reinforce a wider, but very particular, value system in which Parliament has a sovereign right to make the existence of specific organisations criminal and outlawed (see also Kertzer 1989 ; Lukes 1975 ). This reality-making capability, we suggest, is an inter-subjective one that involves shaping the cognition of those involved in, or addressed by, this ritual, even if ‘the values and norms of ritual actions may be so axiomatic as to preclude the actor from seeing it in relation to either part or all of society’ (Gusfield and Michalowicz 1984 , 421
are separated. Indeed, positivism assumes that the object of knowledge has an existence and a logic of its own and that the function of the scientist (subject) is to discover it. Based on this discovering, the scientist can and must establish causal universally valid laws. This way, the subject of knowledge arrives at an objective universal truth.
As said before, postpositivism emerged in opposition to these assumptions. Thus, it does not conceive of the subject and the object of knowledge as separated. Instead, it assumes that they constitute each other. This way
Extremism and the ‘politics of mutual envy’ in Nigeria?
legitimacy and inspiration from the Sokoto Jihad which brought the Sokoto Caliphate into existence ( Last, 1967 ; Lovejoy and Hogendorn, 1990 ).
From the perspective of states, this so called fanatical adherence to an Islamist ideology serves to undermine the state’s own position through acknowledging the possibility of an authority above the state. Citizens who occupy one end of this continuum may be constructed as unpatriotic, while being on the other end may represent treason. For totalitarian regimes, allegiance is usually top down and enforced through coercion
sovereignty. This involves, as we have seen, (re-)forging a vision of British identity, declaiming its enemies, and, in the process, conferring a permanent existence on the very entities this power is intended to make impermanent. Proscription and its antecedents have been used to such ends for centuries, having changed very little, if at all. For these reasons, proscription might be seen not so much as an unavoidable necessity, but an ancient and treasured privilege of British parliamentary sovereignty.
In the preceding pages, we have focused our attention primarily
conditioned by the direction of each researcher’s knowledge interest. These commitments resonate with arguments made by Max Weber that human beings are cultural beings with the capacity and the will to take a deliberate attitude towards the world and to lend it significance . Whatever this significance may be, it will lead us to judge certain phenomena of human existence in its light and to respond to them as being (positively or negatively) meaningful ( Weber, 1949 , p. 81). Thus, social sciences, and studies on terrorism and violent extremism, are productive of the world
unexpected difficulty faced by the British army during the Anglo-Zulu War (1879) and the First and Second Boer Wars (1880–81 and 1899–1902), led to fears about the potentially degenerate bodies of the military recruits and lent new urgency to the ‘condition of the working class’ question in England. As Ivan Hannaford writes, there seems to have been a growing consensus around the conclusion that, ‘[i]f evolution and natural selection were the principles of natural existence and therefore applicable to social life, it must be true that the poor and the Negro were in their
Christianity in Europe is faltering and unable to protect the people from the harmful effects of modernity, including the increasing class divides, the rise of individualism, the endless demands of work, and the growth of barren materialism. ‘[E]nlightened Europe is not happy’, Tancred muses, when in Syria, ‘[i]ts existence is a fever, which it calls progress. Progress to what?’ 39 Tancred becomes convinced that the Orient is a kind of paradise, characterised by religious vitality and peaceful co-existence among men and women of all ranks. The East, Tancred proclaims, is a
‘History is past politics, politics is present history’
as an arch-racist who celebrated Aryan superiority, I suggest that his views were more complex than they seem. This is not an attempt to vindicate Freeman – his statements on race were often intemperate and, by our modern standards, disgusting. Rather, it is to show that Freeman used the idea of the continued existence of an Aryan race to reinforce the theory of the Unity of History. In line with Arnold’s teachings, Freeman defined ‘Aryan’ in terms of culture rather than blood, represented progress as cyclical rather than unilinear, and expressed doubts about