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Open Access (free)
Brad Evans

Introduction How we understand violence is key to how we conceptualise every single political category. We know nothing of claims to democracy, security, rights, justice and human development without attending to its underwriting demands. But what if the ways this understanding was framed rested upon highly contestable assumptions and political claims? We know violence is a complex phenomenon that continues to defy neat description. And we know it is poorly understood if reduced to actual bodily assault. Violence is an attack upon a person’s dignity, sense

Journal of Humanitarian Affairs
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Paul Jackson

people a threat of violence would remain for some time to come. 1 While such comments are concerning, they raise the basic question: is the threat of extreme right violence really increasing? The answer here is complex, and context is important to consider. According to the most recent iteration of an authoritative annual survey of extreme right violence by the Centre for Research on Extremism (C-REX) based at the University of

in Pride in prejudice
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Louise A. Jackson
Angela Bartie

4 Violence Louise Jackson and Angela Bartie Across the postwar period crimes against the person remained a tiny minority of charges for which juveniles were brought before the British courts. They formed less than 0.5 per cent of proceedings against boys in the late 1940s, rising to little more than 3 per cent by the late 1960s; cases involving girls were even fewer.1 Yet, at the same time, there was a series of ‘moral panics’ linking male youth with criminal gangs, violence and offensive weapons, and depicting teenagers – particularly those who adopted sub

in Policing youth
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Andrew McMillan

Manchester: Something rich and strange Violence – Andrew McMillan I met my friend in Piccadilly Gardens and we walked through the loitering crowds on our way to the Gay Village. Everyone seemed to be looking at something. Standing still, their shopping bags resting between their legs, all eyes staring in the same direction. A young black girl was on the ground; two, maybe three police officers were on top of her. She was screaming. One officer was holding a long kitchen knife, its blade as long as his forearm. Some of the people were filming the girl. She was

in Manchester
Open Access (free)
Christoph Menke in dialogue
Series: Critical Powers

This book focuses on the paradoxical character of law and specifically concerns the structural violence of law as the political imposition of normative order onto a "lawless" condition. The paradox of law which grounds and motivates Christoph Menke's intervention is that law is both the opposite of violence and, at the same time, a form of violence. The book develops its engagement with the paradox of law in two stages. The first shows why, and in what precise sense, the law is irreducibly characterized by structural violence. The second explores the possibility of law becoming self-reflectively aware of its own violence and, hence, of the form of a self-critique of law in view of its own violence. The Book's philosophical claims are developed through analyses of works of drama: two classical tragedies in the first part and two modern dramas in the second part. It attempts to illuminate the paradoxical nature of law by way of a philosophical interpretation of literature. There are at least two normative orders within the European ethical horizon that should be called "legal orders" even though they forego the use of coercion and are thus potentially nonviolent. These are international law and Jewish law. Understanding the relationship between law and violence is one of the most urgent challenges a postmodern critical legal theory faces today. Self-reflection, the philosophical concept that plays a key role in the essay, stands opposed to all forms of spontaneity.

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Everyday life and conflict in eastern Sri Lanka

This book focuses on the experiences of Tamil-speaking people who have lived through and continue to face conflict and violence in Sri Lanka on a daily basis. It focuses on the years between 2005 and 2007 when the country was facing massive change in the lead up to the defeat of the Liberation Tigers of Tamils Eelam (LTTE). At this time, while violence waxed and waned, intensifying at times and at others casting a dark shadow over daily encounters, people carried on with their lives, negotiating through and around the violence. The way in which the topics in the book flow reflects the author's journey of research and the various issues that became important along the way. Thus, in following the author's experiences through the conflict and the tsunami, the book builds up a larger and richer picture of life in Batticaloa that moves between accounts of everyday violence and suffering. Using ethnographic experiences and narratives collected over twenty-two months between 2004 and 2007, the book argues that to look to the moments of hope and imagination as well as the everyday endurance must constitute a core element of anthropological representations of violence and suffering. This includes highlighting the non-violent spaces or parts of daily life, which are less dramatically framed by violence, and are often lost in contexts of conflict, faded out as weak shadows to the more forceful violence.

Postmodern war in Kosovo and Chechnya

This book draws on several years of field research, as well as hermeneutic global politics and analysis of empirical source material, in order to shed light on contemporary violence. Drawing on interpretive approaches to international relations, the book argues that founding events and multiple contexts informed the stories used by different members of the Kosovan and Chechen movements involved, respectively, in conflicts with the federal authorities in Serbia and Russia. The book examines why elements within the Kosovo Liberation Army and the armed forces of the Chechen Republic of Ichkeria employed regional and local strategies of war in the Balkans and the North Caucasus in the late 1990s. Using post-positivist analysis, the book unravels the complex relationship between regional politics and trans-local accounts of identity, social networks and narratives, globalisation and visual aspects of contemporary security. These themes, together with criminality and emotionality, draw attention to the complex dynamics within the armed resistance movements in Kosovo and the North Caucasus, and the road to war in these regions at the end of the twentieth century.

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Elke Schwarz

4 Procedural violence Listen – there's no war that will end all wars. Haruki Murakami, Kafka on the Shore (2005: 416) The biopolitical anti-politics of modernity is a dubious form of politics for Arendt, one that has ceased to have meaning, beyond meaninglessness, once it becomes nothing more than ‘a necessary evil for sustaining the life of humanity

in Death machines

By expanding the geographical scope of the history of violence and war, this volume challenges both Western and state-centric narratives of the decline of violence and its relationship to modernity. It highlights instead similarities across early modernity in terms of representations, legitimations, applications of, and motivations for violence. It seeks to integrate methodologies of the study of violence into the history of war, thereby extending the historical significance of both fields of research. Thirteen case studies outline the myriad ways in which large-scale violence was understood and used by states and non-state actors throughout the early modern period across Africa, Asia, the Americas, the Atlantic, and Europe, demonstrating that it was far more complex than would be suggested by simple narratives of conquest and resistance. Moreover, key features of imperial violence apply equally to large-scale violence within societies. As the authors argue, violence was a continuum, ranging from small-scale, local actions to full-blown war. The latter was privileged legally and increasingly associated with states during early modernity, but its legitimacy was frequently contested and many of its violent forms, such as raiding and destruction of buildings and crops, could be found in activities not officially classed as war.

The Secret History of Las Vegas
Annalisa Oboe
Elisa Bordin

author entitled the short story, contain the themes and the two interlaced plots that constitute the axis of Abani’s latest novel, such as the power of story-telling, the intersection of history and identitarian processes, the institutionalised racism of South Africa, the queerness of certain bodies, and the ontological and political violence of human life. As the Callaloo short story anticipates, The Secret History of Las Vegas expands subject matters already present in Abani’s previous novels, such as an interest in the body as

in Chris Abani