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Bullets, ballots and bases
David Styan

15 Chad’s political violence at 50: bullets, ballots and bases David Styan Chad is arguably the least cohesive and most bloodstained state to emerge from the decolonisation of French Equatorial Africa in 1960. This chapter takes the Chadian state’s 50th anniversary as a prism to examine selected aspects of the political violence which has marked the lives of Chadians throughout the half century. The chapter is divided into four sections: first it chronicles the events and debates surrounding the delayed 50th anniversary in Chad itself, contrasting the ceremony

in Francophone Africa at fifty
A Habermasian model of truth recovery
Kirk Simpson

Simpson 04 30/3/09 09:32 Page 77 4 Victims of political violence A Habermasian model of truth recovery Introduction How can people in Northern Ireland (and by extension other post-conflict societies) come to ‘know the past’, after thirty-eight years of violent conflict? That is perhaps the most pressing and vexing question of all, particularly for victims. In this chapter, this issue is addressed via an in-depth discussion of a unique and original model for truth recovery that is based on the communicative rationality theory of Jurgen Habermas (1984). One

in Truth recovery in Northern Ireland
Disputed boundaries of a postcolonial state
Evan A. Laksmana
Michael Newell

's counterterrorism policies are entangled with historical state reactions to internal security challenges – ranging from social violence to terrorism and secessionism – since the country's independence in 1945. While these different conflicts had diverse political, ideological, religious and territorial characteristics, disputes over the basic institutions and boundaries of the state run as a common thread. As such, the Indonesian state's response to contemporary political violence – including the separatist movement in Aceh and the threat of transnational terrorism

in Non-Western responses to terrorism
Michael Loadenthal

1 Concerning method and the study of political violence Ah hell. Prophecy’s a thankless business, and history has a way of showing us what, in retrospect, are very logical solutions to awful messes … Things are certainly set up for a class war based on conveniently established lines of demarcation, and I must say that the basic assumption of the present set up is a grade A incitement to violence. (Vonnegut 1999, chap. IX) When asked about anarchism’s association with violence, I often reply by inquiring whether one would ask the same thing of a retail clerk, a

in The politics of attack
Narratives of Islamist organisations in Western Europe

This book addresses debates around radicalisation and political violence, and presents a timely analysis of the politics of emotions in narratives of political activism and violence. Drawing on extensive primary data consisting of texts, audios, and videos produced by five Islamist organisations active in the UK in the 2000s and Germany in the early 2010s, the book explores how collective actors move from moderate politics to (violent) extremism. The book develops an innovative theoretical and methodological framework at the intersection of world politics, peace and conflict studies, critical terrorism research, literary studies, and transdisciplinary emotion research. In the first part, Clément problematises previous categorisations of Islamist activism and reconstructs organisations’ phases of activism in a data-driven, systematic way. In the second part, the analysis centres on how organisations legitimise changes in activism narratively. Specifically, the book delves into the performance of collective emotions in and through narrative and interrogates their effects on (violent) collective action. By introducing the concept of ‘narrative emotionalisation’, Clément adds to our understanding of narrative deployments in the context of political violence. While organisations couch radical changes in activism in a strikingly similar romantic narrative, the compared analysis across cases reveals that ‘narrative emotionalisation’ fully unfolds only in phases of extremism. By exploring how non-state actors manage collective emotions, this book extends beyond the ideology-centric and strategic-rationalist approaches to group radicalisation. It offers an insightful and nuanced account of non-state agency and emotion dynamics in political conflicts.

Bernadette C. Hayes
Ian McAllister

Agreement was ratified by 71 per cent of voters, formally ending almost three decades of civil strife. For the first time, representatives from both religious communities came together to endorse an elite-driven political accommodation designed to respect their differing traditions and to end the political violence. Unlike previous political initiatives, a key aspect of the Agreement was to acknowledge the

in Conflict to peace
Keith Krause

In discussions of conflict, war and political violence, dead bodies count. Although the politics and practices associated with the collection of violent-death data are seldom subject to critical examination, they are crucial to how scholars and practitioners think about how and why conflict and violence erupt. Knowledge about conflict deaths – the who, what, where, when, why and how – is a form of expertise, created, disseminated and used by different agents. This article highlights the ways in which body counts are deployed as social facts and forms of knowledge that are used to shape and influence policies and practices associated with armed conflict. It traces the way in which conflict-death data emerged, and then examines critically some of the practices and assumptions of data collection to shed light on how claims to expertise are enacted and on how the public arena connects (or not) with scholarly conflict expertise.

Human Remains and Violence: An Interdisciplinary Journal
Magdalena Figueredo
Fabiana Larrobla

Between 1975 and 1979, thirty-one unidentified bodies bearing marks of torture appeared at various locations along Uruguays coastline. These bodies were material proof of the death flights implemented in neighbouring Argentina after the military coup. In Uruguay, in a general context of political crisis, the appearance of these anonymous cadavers first generated local terror and was then rapidly transformed into a traumatic event at the national level. This article focuses on the various reports established by Uruguayan police and mortuary services. It aims to show how,the administrative and funeral treatments given at that time to the dead bodies, buried anonymously (under the NN label) in local cemeteries, make visible some of the multiple complicities between the Uruguayan and Argentinean dictatorships in the broader framework of the Condor Plan. The repressive strategy implemented in Argentina through torture and forced disappearance was indeed echoed by the bureaucratic repressive strategy implemented in Uruguay through incomplete and false reports, aiming to make the NN disappear once again.

Human Remains and Violence: An Interdisciplinary Journal
Open Access (free)
Brad Evans

of selfhood and right to participate in this world. Moreover, violence is absolutely integral to the markings of subjectivity, setting apart claims about identity, along with notions of civility and barbarism. Violence is always mediated through expressed dichotomies between acceptable and unacceptable behaviours, between the right to punish and the intolerable transgression, between the force of normative law and the terror of the minority. In fact, there is an entire political ecology at work in the very diagnosis of something as political violence in itself

Journal of Humanitarian Affairs
Belfast since 1780

Civic identity and public space, focussing on Belfast, and bringing together the work of a historian and two social scientists, offers a new perspective on the sometimes lethal conflicts over parades, flags and other issues that continue to disrupt political life in Northern Ireland. The first part of the book shows how these disputes had their origins in the changes that took place during the nineteenth century in the character of urban living, creating new forms of public space whose regulation was from the start a matter of contention and debate. Later chapters show how the establishment of a new Northern Ireland state, with Belfast as its capital, saw unionism and Protestantism achieve a near-complete monopoly of public space. In more recent decades, this monopoly has broken down, partly as a result of political violence, but also through the influence of new ideas of human rights and of a more positive vision of political and cultural diversity. Today policy makers and politicians struggle to devise a strategy for the management of public space in a divided city, while endeavouring to promote a new sense of civic identity that will transcend long-standing political and sectarian divisions.