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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 and 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
Bernadette C. Hayes and 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
Critically interpreting the past
Author: Kirk Simpson

Northern Ireland has entered what is arguably the key phase in its troubled political history—truth recovery and dealing with the legacy of the past—yet the void in knowledge and the lack of academic literature with regard to victims' rights is particularly striking. This book analyses truth recovery as a fundamental aspect of the transition from political violence to peace, democracy and stability in post-conflict Northern Ireland. It argues that it is essential for any process of truth recovery in Northern Ireland to provide the victims of political violence with the opportunity to express and articulate their narratives of suffering within the context of public dialogic processes. The book outlines an original model: that victims of political violence should be enabled to engage in meaningful truth recovery through a Habermasian process of public democratic deliberation and communication involving direct dialogue with the perpetrators of such violence. This process of ‘communicative justice’ is framed within Habermas' theory of communicative action, and can help to ensure that legitimate truth recovery publicly acknowledges the trauma of victims' and subjects' perpetrator narratives of political violence to critical scrutiny and rational deconstruction. Crucially, the book aims to contribute to the empowerment of victims in Northern Ireland by stimulating constructive discussion and awareness of hitherto silenced narratives of the conflict. This difficult and unsettling interrogation and interpretation of the conflict from a comparatively ‘unknown perspective’ is central to the prospects for critically examining and mastering the past in Northern Ireland.

Magdalena Figueredo and 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

This edited collection surveys how non-Western states have responded to the threats of domestic and international terrorism in ways consistent with and reflective of their broad historical, political, cultural and religious traditions. It presents a series of eighteen case studies of counterterrorism theory and practice in the non-Western world, including countries such as China, Japan, India, Pakistan, Egypt and Brazil. These case studies, written by country experts and drawing on original-language sources, demonstrate the diversity of counterterrorism theory and practice and illustrate that how the world ‘sees’ and responds to terrorism is different from the way that the United States, the United Kingdom and many European governments do. This volume – the first ever comprehensive account of counterterrorism in the non-Western world – will be of interest to students, scholars and policymakers responsible for developing counterterrorism policy.

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