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
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
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
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
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.
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.
This book deals with the inherent violence of race relations in two important countries that remain iconic expressions of white supremacy in the twentieth century. It does not just reconstruct the era of violence, but contrasts the lynch culture of the American South to the bureaucratic culture of violence in South Africa. By contrasting mobs of rope-wielding white Southerners to the gun-toting policemen and administrators who formally defended white supremacy in South Africa, the book employs racial killing as an optic for examining the distinctive logic of the racial state in the two contexts. Combining the historian's eye for detail with the sociologist's search for overarching claims, it explores the systemic connections amongst three substantive areas to explain why contrasting traditions of racial violence took such firm root in the American South and South Africa.
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.
4 Procedural violence
Listen – there's no war that will end all wars.
Haruki Murakami, Kafka on the Shore
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
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.