It was a year of seismic social and political change. With the wildfire of uprisings and revolutions that shook governments and halted economies in 1968, the world would never be the same again. Restless students, workers, women, and national liberation movements arose as a fierce global community with radically democratic instincts that challenged war, capitalism, colonialism, and patriarchy with unprecedented audacity. Fast forward fifty years and 1968 has become a powerful myth that lingers in our memory.
Released for the fiftieth anniversary of that momentous year, this second edition of Philipp Gassert’s and Martin Klimke’s seminal 1968 presents an extremely wide ranging survey across the world. Short chapters, written by local eye-witnesses and historical experts, cover the tectonic events in thirty-nine countries across the Americas, Europe, Asia, Australia, Africa, and the Middle East to give a truly global view. Included are forty photographs throughout the book that illustrate the drama of events described in each chapter. This edition also has the transcript of a panel discussion organized for the fortieth anniversary of 1968 with eyewitnesses Norman Birnbaum, Patty Lee Parmalee, and Tom Hayden and moderated by the book's editors.
Visually engaging and comprehensive, this new edition is an extremely accessible introduction to a vital moment of global activism in humanity’s history, perfect for a high school or early university textbook, a resource for the general reader, or a starting point for researchers.
The lack of peace in Sri Lanka is commonly portrayed as a consequence of a violent, ethnonationalist conflict between the Sinhalese majority and the Tamil minority. Viewed in this light, resolution could be attained through conflict management. But, as Qadri Ismail reveals, this is too simplistic an understanding and cannot produce lasting peace.
Abiding by Sri Lanka examines how the disciplines of anthropology, history, and literature treat the Sri Lankan ethnic conflict. Anthropology, Ismail contends, approaches Sri Lanka as an object from an “outside” and western point of view. History, addressing the conflict from the “inside,” abides by the place and so promotes change that is nationalist and exclusive. Neither of these fields imagines an inclusive community. Literature, Ismail argues, can.
With close readings of texts that “abide” by Sri Lanka, texts that have a commitment to it, Ismail demonstrates that the problems in Sri Lanka raise fundamental concerns for us all regarding the relationship between democracies and minorities. Recognizing the structural as well as political tendencies of representative democracies to suppress minorities, Ismail rethinks democracy by redefining the concept of the minority perspective, not as a subject-position of numerical insignificance, but as a conceptual space that opens up the possibility for distinction without domination and, ultimately, peace.
Qadri Ismail is associate professor of English at the University of Minnesota. He has also been a journalist in Sri Lanka.
Sophocles' play Antigone is a starting point for understanding the perpetual problems of human societies, families, and individuals, who are caught up in the terrible aftermath of mass violence. What is one to do after the killing has stopped? What can be done to prevent a round of new violence? The tragic and dramatic tension in the play is put in motion by setting an unyielding Antigone against King Creon. As we see through the investigation of how Germany, Japan, Spain, Yugoslavia and Turkey have dealt with their histories of mass violence and genocide in the 20th century, the forces represented by Antigone and Creon remain very much part of our world today. Through a comparison of the five countries, their political institutions, and cultural traditions, we begin to appreciate the different pathways that societies have taken when confronting their violent histories.
Published by Bucknell University Press. Distributed worldwide by Rutgers University Press.
In The Argentine Silent Majority, Sebastián Carassai focuses on middle-class culture and politics in Argentina from the end of the 1960s. By considering the memories and ideologies of middle-class Argentines who did not get involved in political struggles, he expands thinking about the era to the larger society that activists and direct victims of state terror were part of and claimed to represent. Carassai conducted interviews with 200 people, mostly middle-class non-activists, but also journalists, politicians, scholars, and artists who were politically active during the 1970s. To account for local differences, he interviewed people from three sites: Buenos Aires; Tucumán, a provincial capital rocked by political turbulence; and Correa, a small town which did not experience great upheaval. He showed the middle-class non-activists a documentary featuring images and audio of popular culture and events from the 1970s. In the end Carassai concludes that, during the years of la violencia, members of the middle-class silent majority at times found themselves in agreement with radical sectors as they too opposed military authoritarianism but they never embraced a revolutionary program such as that put forward by the guerrilla groups or the most militant sectors of the labor movement.
The image of the anarchist assassin haunted the corridors of power and the popular imagination in the late nineteenth century. Fear spawned a gross but persistent stereotype: a swarthy "Italian" armed with a bloody knife or revolver and bred to violence by a combination of radical politics, madness, innate criminality, and poor genes. That Italian anarchists targeted--and even killed--high-profile figures added to their exaggerated, demonic image. Nunzio Pernicone and Fraser Ottanelli dig into the transnational experiences and the historical, social, cultural, and political conditions behind the phenomenon of anarchist violence in Italy. Looking at political assassinations in the 1890s, they illuminate the public effort to equate anarchy's goals with violent overthrow. Throughout, Pernicone and Ottanelli combine a cutting-edge synthesis of the intellectual origins, milieu, and nature of Italian anarchist violence with vivid portraits of its major players and their still-misunderstood movement. A bold challenge to conventional thinking, Assassins against the Old Order demolishes a century of myths surrounding anarchist violence and its practitioners.
According to political theory, the primary function of the modern state is to protect its citizens—both from each other and from external enemies. Yet it is the states that essentially commit major forms of violence, such as genocides, ethnic cleansings, and large-scale massacres, against their own citizens. In this book Paul Dumouchel argues that this paradoxical reversal of the state’s primary function into violence against its own members is not a mere accident but an ever-present possibility that is inscribed in the structure of the modern state. Modern states need enemies to exist and to persist, not because they are essentially evil but because modern politics constitutes a violent means of protecting us against our own violence. If they cannot—if we cannot—find enemies outside the state, they will find them inside. However, this institution is today coming to an end, not in the sense that states are disappearing, but in the sense that they are increasingly failing to protect us from our own violence. That is why the violent sacrifices that they ask from us, in wars and even in times of peace, have now become barren.
Civil war and conflict within countries is the most prevalent threat to peace and security in the opening decades of the twenty-first century. A pivotal factor in the escalation of tensions to open conflict is the role of elites in exacerbating tensions along identity lines by giving the ideological justification, moral reasoning, and call to violence. Between Terror and Tolerance examines the varied roles of religious leaders in societies deeply divided by ethnic, racial, or religious conflict. The chapters in this book explore cases when religious leaders have justified or catalyzed violence along identity lines, and other instances when religious elites have played a critical role in easing tensions or even laying the foundation for peace and reconciliation.
This volume features thematic chapters on the linkages between religion, nationalism, and intolerance, transnational intra-faith conflict in the Shi’a-Sunni divide, and country case studies of societal divisions or conflicts in Egypt, Israel and Palestine, Kashmir, Lebanon, Nigeria, Northern Ireland, Sri Lanka, Sudan, and Tajikistan. The concluding chapter explores the findings and their implications for policies and programs of international non-governmental organizations that seek to encourage and enhance the capacity of religious leaders to play a constructive role in conflict resolution.
In Blood and Capital: The Paramilitarization of Colombia, Jasmin Hristov examines the complexities, dynamics, and contradictions of present-day armed conflict in Colombia. She conducts an in-depth inquiry into the restructuring of the state’s coercive apparatus and the phenomenon of paramilitarism by looking at its military, political, and legal dimensions. Hristov demonstrates how various interrelated forms of violence by state forces, paramilitary groups, and organized crime are instrumental to the process of capital accumulation by the local elite as well as the exercise of political power by foreign enterprises. She addresses, as well, issues of forced displacement, proletarianization of peasants, concentration of landownership, growth in urban and rural poverty, and human rights violations in relation to the use of legal means and extralegal armed force by local dominant groups and foreign companies.
Hristov documents the penetration of major state institutions by right-wing armed groups and the persistence of human rights violations against social movements and sectors of the low-income population. Blood and Capital raises crucial questions about the promised dismantling of paramilitarism in Colombia and the validity of the so-called demobilization of paramilitary groups, both of which have been widely considered by North American and some European governments as proof of Colombian president Álvaro Uribe’s advances in the wars on terror and drugs.
Between 1946 and 1966a surge of violence in Colombia left 200,000 dead in one of the worst conflicts the western hemisphere has ever experienced. the first seven years of this little-studied period of terror, known as la Violencia, is the subject of Blood and Fire. Scholars have traditionally assumed that partisan politics drove La Violencia, but Mary Roldán challenges earlier assessments by providing a nuanced account of the political and cultural motives behind the fratricide. Although the author acknowledges that partisan animosities played an important role in the disintegration of peaceful discourse into violence, she argues that conventional political conflicts were intensified by other concerns. Through an analysis of the evolution of violence in Antioquia, which at the time was the wealthiest and most economically diverse region of Colombia, Roldán demonstrates how tensions between regional politicians and the weak central state, diverse forms of social prejudice, and processes of economic development combined to make violence a preferred mode of political action. Privatization of state violence into paramilitary units and the emergence of armed resistance movements exacted a horrible cost on Colombian civic life, and these processes continue to plague the country. Roldan’s reading of the historical events suggests that Antioquia’s experience of la Violencia was the culmination of a brand of internal colonialism in which regional identity formation based on assumptions of cultural superiority was used to justify violence against racial or ethnic "others" and as a pretext to seize land and natural resources. Blood and Fire demonstrates that, far from being a peculiarity of the Colombians, la Violencia was a logical product of capitalist development and state formation in the modern world. This is the first study to analyze intersections of ethnicity, geography, and class to explore the genesis of Colombian violence, and it has implications for the study of repression in many other nations.
This book questions the complex relationship between social movements and violence through two contrasted lenses, first through the short-lived radical left wing post '69 revolutionary violence and secondly in the present diffusion of civil disobedience actions, often at the border between non-violence and violence. This book shows how and why violence occurs or does not, and what different meanings it can take. The short-lived extreme left revolutionary groups that grew out of May '68 and the opposition to the Vietnam War (such as the German Red Army Faction, the Italian Red Brigades, and the Japanese Red Army) are without any doubt on the violent side. More ambiguous are the burgeoning contemporary forms of "civil" disobedience, breaking the law with the aim of changing it. In theory, these efforts are associated with nonviolence and self-restraint. In practice, the line is more difficult to trace, as much depends on how political players define and frame political violence and political legitimacy.
El Salvador is widely considered one of the most successful United Nations peacebuilding efforts, but record homicide rates, political polarization, socioeconomic exclusion, and corruption have diminished the quality of peace for many of its citizens. In Captured Peace: Elites and Peacebuilding in El Salvador, Christine J. Wade adapts the concept of elite capture to expand on the idea of “captured peace,” explaining how local elites commandeered political, social, and economic affairs before war’s end and then used the peace accords to deepen their control in these spheres.
While much scholarship has focused on the role of gangs in Salvadoran unrest, Wade draws on an exhaustive range of sources to demonstrate how day-to-day violence is inextricable from the economic and political dimensions. In this in-depth analysis of postwar politics in El Salvador, she highlights the local actors’ primary role in peacebuilding and demonstrates the political advantage an incumbent party—in this case, the Nationalist Republican Alliance (ARENA—has throughout the peace process and the consequences of this to the quality of peace that results.
Latin America experienced an epochal cycle of revolutionary upheavals and insurgencies during the twentieth century, from the Mexican Revolution of 1910 through the mobilizations and terror in Central America, the Southern Cone, and the Andes during the 1970s and 1980s. In his introduction to A Century of Revolution, Greg Grandin argues that the dynamics of political violence and terror in Latin America are so recognizable in their enforcement of domination, their generation and maintenance of social exclusion, and their propulsion of historical change, that historians have tended to take them for granted, leaving unexamined important questions regarding their form and meaning. The essays in this groundbreaking collection take up these questions, providing a sociologically and historically nuanced view of the ideological hardening and accelerated polarization that marked Latin America’s twentieth century. Attentive to the interplay among overlapping local, regional, national, and international fields of power, the contributors focus on the dialectical relations between revolutionary and counterrevolutionary processes and their unfolding in the context of U.S. hemispheric and global hegemony. Through their fine-grained analyses of events in Chile, Colombia, Cuba, El Salvador, Guatemala, Mexico, Nicaragua, and Peru, they suggest a framework for interpreting the experiential nature of political violence while also analyzing its historical causes and consequences. In so doing, they set a new agenda for the study of revolutionary change and political violence in twentieth-century Latin America.
Contributors Michelle Chase Jeffrey L. Gould Greg Grandin Lillian Guerra Forrest Hylton Gilbert M. Joseph Friedrich Katz Thomas Miller Klubock Neil Larsen Arno J. Mayer Carlota McAllister Jocelyn Olcott Gerardo Rénique Corey Robin Peter Winn
For two years, Clemencia Rodríguez did fieldwork in regions of Colombia where leftist guerillas, right-wing paramilitary groups, the army, and drug traffickers made their presence felt in the lives of unarmed civilians. Here, Rodríguez tells the story of the ways in which people living in the shadow of these armed intruders use community radio, television, video, digital photography, and the Internet to shield their communities from armed violence’s negative impacts.
Citizens’ media are most effective, Rodríguez posits, when they understand communication as performance rather than simply as persuasion or the transmission of information. Grassroots media that are deeply embedded in the communities they serve and responsive to local needs strengthen the ability of community members to productively react to violent incursions. Rodríguez demonstrates how citizens’ media privilege aspects of community life not hijacked by violence, providing people with the tools and the platform to forge lives for themselves and their families that are not entirely colonized by armed conflict and its effects.
Ultimately, Rodríguez shows that unarmed civilian communities that have been cornered by armed conflict can use community media to repair torn social fabrics, reconstruct eroded bonds, reclaim public spaces, resolve conflict, and sow the seeds of peace and stability.
What happens when concepts of "truth," "memory," and "human rights" are taken up and adapted by former perpetrators of violence? Peru has moved from the 1980s–90s conflict between its armed forces and Shining Path militants into an era of open democracy, transitional justice, and truth and reconciliation commissions. Cynthia Milton reveals how Peru's military has engaged in a tactical cultural campaign—via books, films, museums—to shift public opinion, debate, and memories about the nation's violent recent past and its part in it.
Milton calls attention to fabrications of our post-truth era but goes further to deeply explore the ways members of the Peruvian military see their past, how they actively commemorate and curate it in the present, and why they do so. Her nuanced approach upends frameworks of memory studies that reduce military and ex-military to a predictable role of outright denial.
<P>Between the 1880s and 1920s, a broad coalition of American dissidents, which included rabble-rousing cartoonists, civil liberties lawyers, socialist detectives, union organizers, and revolutionary martyrs, forged a culture of popular radicalism that directly challenged an emergent corporate capitalism. Monopoly capitalists and their allies in government responded by expanding conspiracy laws and promoting conspiracy theories in an effort to destroy this anti-capitalist movement. The result was an escalating class conflict in which each side came to view the other as a criminal conspiracy.</P><P>In this detailed cultural history, Michael Mark Cohen argues that a legal, ideological, and representational politics of conspiracy contributed to the formation of a genuinely revolutionary mass culture in the United States, starting with the 1886 Haymarket bombing. Drawing on a wealth of primary sources, The Conspiracy of Capital offers a new history of American radicalism andÂ the alliance between the modern business corporation and national security state through a comprehensive reassessment of the role of conspiracy laws and conspiracy theories in American social movements.</P>
Combining the tools of political, social, cultural, and intellectual history, Consumption and Violence: Radical Protest in Cold-War West Germany explores strategies of legitimization developed by advocates of militant resistance to certain manifestations of consumer capitalism. The book contributes to a more sober evaluation of West German protest movements, not just terrorism, as it refrains from emotional and moral judgments, but takes the protesters’ approaches seriously, which, regarding consumer society, had a rational core. Political violence is not presented as the result of individual shortcomings, but emerges in relation to major societal changes, i.e., the unprecedented growth of consumption. This new perspective sheds important light on violence and radical protest in post-war Germany, as previous books have failed to examine to what extent these forms of resistance should be regarded as reactions to changing regimes of provision. Continuing the recently growing interest in the interdependence of countercultures and consumer society, the focus on violence gives the argument a unique twist, making the book thought-provoking and engaging.
The Cultural Revolution began from above, yet it was students and workers at the grassroots who advanced the movement's radical possibilities by acting and thinking for themselves. Resolving to suppress the resulting crisis, Mao set events in motion in 1968 that left out in the cold those rebels who had taken it most seriously, Yiching Wu shows.
Fought in the wake of a decade of armed struggle against colonialism, the Mozambican civil war lasted from 1977 to 1992, claiming hundreds of thousands of lives while displacing millions more. As conflicts across the globe span decades and generations, Stephen C. Lubkemann suggests that we need a fresh perspective on war when it becomes the context for normal life rather than an exceptional event that disrupts it. Culture in Chaos calls for a new point of departure in the ethnography of war that investigates how the inhabitants of war zones live under trying new conditions and how culture and social relations are transformed as a result.
Lubkemann focuses on how Ndau social networks were fragmented by wartime displacement and the profound effect this had on gender relations. Demonstrating how wartime migration and post-conflict return were shaped by social struggles and interests that had little to do with the larger political reasons for the war, Lubkemann contests the assumption that wartime migration is always involuntary. His critical reexamination of displacement and his engagement with broader theories of agency and social change will be of interest to anthropologists, political scientists, historians, and demographers, and to anyone who works in a war zone or with refugees and migrants.
The Deaf-Mute Boy
Joseph Geraci University of Wisconsin Press, 2006 Library of Congress PS3607.E725D43 2006 | Dewey Decimal 813.6
The Deaf-Mute Boy—equal parts travel story, love story, and a resonant confrontation with the Muslim world—is the tale of a gay American professor immersed in a North African society. Maurice Burke, an archaeologist, is invited to speak at a conference in the bustling port town of Sousse, Tunisia. At first disillusioned by its rampant tourism and squalid commercialism, Maurice becomes intrigued by his surroundings after meeting a local deaf-mute boy. While exploring a vibrant souk, Maurice encounters a religious leader who guides him on a fateful introduction to the boy’s family. As Maurice’s involvement with the deaf-mute boy intensifies, he finds himself drawn into a maze of Tunisian politics, culture, and religion.
Empire and Underworld
Miranda Frances Spieler Harvard University Press, 2011 Library of Congress F2462.S69 2011 | Dewey Decimal 988.2
The French Revolution invented the notion of the citizen, but it also invented the noncitizen—the person whose rights were nonexistent. The South American outpost of Guiana became a depository for these outcasts of the new French citizenry, and an experimental space for the exercise of new kinds of power and violence against marginal groups.
In the late 1960s, between one and two million people were killed by Indonesian president Suharto's army in the name of suppressing communism-and more than fifty years later, the issue of stigmatisation is still relevant for many victims of the violence and their families. The End of Silence presents the stories of these individuals, revealing how many survivors from the period have been so strongly affected by the strategy used by Suharto and his Western allies that these survivors, still afraid to speak out, essentially serve to maintain the very ideology that led to their persecution.
Fighting Monsters in the Abyss offers a deeply insightful analysis of the efforts by the second administration of Colombian President Álvaro Uribe Vélez (2006–2010) to resolve a decades-long Marxist insurgency in one of Latin America’s most important nations. Continuing work from his prior books about earlier Colombian presidents and yet written as a stand-alone study, Colombia expert Harvey F. Kline illuminates the surprising successes and setbacks in Uribe’s response to this existential threat.
In State Building and Conflict Resolution in Colombia, 1986–1994, Kline documented and explained the limited successes of Presidents Virgilio Barco and César Gaviria in putting down the revolutionaries while also confronting challenges from drug dealers and paramilitary groups. The following president Andrés Pastrana then boldly changed course and attempted resolution through negotiations, an effort whose failure Kline examines in Chronicle of a Failure Foretold. In his third book, Showing Teeth to the Dragons, Kline shows how in his first term President Álvaro Uribe Vélez more successfully quelled the insurrection through a combination of negotiated demobilization of paramilitary groups and using US backing to mount more effective military campaigns.
Kline opens Fighting Monsters in the Abyss with a recap of Colombia’s complex political history, the development of Marxist rebels and paramilitary groups and their respective relationships to the narcotics trade, and the attempts of successive Colombian presidents to resolve the crisis. Kline next examines the ability of the Colombian government to reimpose rule in rebel-controlled territories as well as the challenges of administering justice. He recounts the difficulties in the enforcement of the landmark Law of Justice and Peace as well as two significant government scandals, that of the “false positives” (“falsos positivos”) in which innocent civilians were killed by the military to inflate the body counts of dead insurgents and a second scandal related to illegal wiretapping.
In tracing Uribe’s choices, strategies, successes, and failures, Kline also uses the example of Colombia to explore a dimension quite unique in the literature about state building: what happens when some members of a government resort to breaking rules or betraying their societies’ values in well-intentioned efforts to build a stronger state?
"A sophisticated and persuasive late-modernist political analysis that consistently draws the reader into the narratives of the author and those of the people of violence in Northern Ireland to whom he talked. . . . Simply put, this book is a feast for the intellect"—Thomas M. Wilson, American Anthropologist
"One of the best books to have been written on Northern Ireland. . . . A highly imagination and significant book. Formations of Violence is an important addition to the literature on political violence."—David E. Schmitt, American Political Science Review
In her book, Oksala shows that the arguments for the ineliminability of violence from the political are often based on excessively broad, ontological conceptions of violence distinct from its concrete and physical meaning and, on the other hand, on a restrictively narrow and empirical understanding of politics as the realm of conventional political institutions.
Fractured Rebellion is the first full-length account of the evolution of China's Red Guard Movement in Beijing, the nation's capital, from its beginnings in 1966 to its forcible suppression in 1968. Andrew Walder combines historical narrative with sociological analysis as he explores the radical student movement's crippling factionalism, devastating social impact, and ultimate failure.
Reports from war zones often note the obscene victimization of women, who are frequently raped, tortured, beaten, and pressed into sexual servitude. Yet this reign of terror against women not only occurs during exceptional moments of social collapse, but during peacetime too. As this powerful book argues, violence against women should be understood as a systemic problem—one for which the state must be held accountable.
The twelve essays in Gender Violence in Peace and War present a continuum of cases where the state enables violence against women—from state-sponsored torture to lax prosecution of sexual assault. Some contributors uncover buried histories of state violence against women throughout the twentieth century, in locations as diverse as Ireland, Indonesia, and Guatemala. Others spotlight ongoing struggles to define the state’s role in preventing gendered violence, from domestic abuse policies in the Russian Federation to anti-trafficking laws in the United States.
Bringing together cutting-edge research from political science, history, gender studies, anthropology, and legal studies, this collection offers a comparative analysis of how the state facilitates, legitimates, and perpetuates gender violence worldwide. The contributors also offer vital insights into how states might adequately protect women’s rights in peacetime, as well as how to intervene when a state declares war on its female citizens.
In the summer of 1967, in response to violent demonstrations that rocked 164 U.S. cities, the National Advisory Commission on Civil Disorders, a.k.a. the Kerner Commission, was formed. The Commission sought reasons for the disturbances, including the role that law enforcement played. Chief among its research projects was a study of 23 American cities, headed by social psychologist Robert Shellow. An early draft of the scientists’ analysis, titled “The Harvest of American Racism: The Political Meaning of Violence in the Summer of 1967,” provoked the Commission’s staff in November 1967 by uncovering political causes for the unrest; the team of researchers was fired, and the controversial report remained buried at the LBJ Presidential Library until now.
The first publication of the Harvest report half a century later reveals that many of the issues it describes are still with us, including how cities might more effectively and humanely react to groups and communities in protest. In addition to the complete text of the suppressed Harvest report, the book includes an introduction by Robert Shellow that provides useful historical context; personal recollections from four of the report’s surviving social scientists, Robert Shellow, David Boesel, Gary T. Marx, and David O. Sears; and an appendix outlining the differences between the unpublished Harvest analysis and the well-known Kerner Commission Report that followed it.
“The [Harvest of American Racism] report was rejected by Johnson administration functionaries as being far too radical—politically ‘unviable’… Social science can play an extremely positive role in fighting racial and other injustice and inequality, but only if it is matched with a powerful political will to implement the findings. That will has never come from within an American presidential administration—that will has only been forged in black and other radical communities’ movements for justice. The political power for change, as incremental as it has been, has come from within those communities. Washington responds, it does not lead."
—from the Foreword by Michael C. Dawson
The revolutionary war launched by Shining Path, a Maoist insurgency, was the most violent upheaval in modern Peru’s history, claiming some 70,000 lives in the 1980s–1990s and drawing widespread international attention. Yet for many observers, Shining Path’s initial successes were a mystery. What explained its cult-like appeal, and what actually happened inside the Andean communities at war?
In How Difficult It Is to Be God, Carlos Iván Degregori—the world’s leading expert on Shining Path and the intellectual architect for Peru’s highly regarded Truth and Reconciliation Commission—elucidates the movement’s dynamics. An anthropologist who witnessed Shining Path’s recruitment of militants in the 1970s, Degregori grounds his findings in deep research and fieldwork. He explains not only the ideology and culture of revolution among the insurgents, but also their capacity to extend their influence to university youths, Indian communities, and competing social and political movements.
Making Degregori’s most important work available to English-language readers for the first time, this translation includes a new introduction by historian Steve J. Stern, who analyzes the author’s achievement, why it matters, and the debates it sparked. For anyone interested in Peru and Latin America’s age of “dirty war,” or in the comparative study of revolutions, Maoism, and human rights, this book will provide arresting new insights.
For over a decade, operations associated with irregular warfare have placed large demands on U.S. ground forces and have led to development of new Army and Joint doctrine. This report helps analysts identify and assess twelve key factors that create and perpetuate environments susceptible to insurgency, terrorism, and other extremist violence and instability to inform military decisions on allocation of analytic and security assistance resources.
How acts of violence are rhetorically "managed" by social movements: In the Wake of Violence explores the immediate and longer term aftermath of violence committed by independent radicals involved in single-issue movements. Cheryl R. Jorgensen-Earp explores several specific incidents in recent history—the arson of a Vail ski resort by environmentalists, the murder of Dr. John Britton by an antiabortion activist, and the torching of a University of California research laboratory by animal rights activists among them—to discover how the perpetrators of the violence and the majority of reformers involved in their movements rhetorically framed the violent act for a potentially outraged public. In the Wake of Violence, claims Jorgensen-Earp, the perpetrators are often forthcoming with both explanations for and a defense of their actions, casting themselves as righteous actors or martyrs for a cause. However, ardent reformers within the same cause might look with genuine revulsion at the actions of their own radical wing. This study claims that the nonviolent majority in single-issue reform movements employs a predictable constellation of rhetorical strategies to manage the impact of radical fringe violence. The primary goal of this rhetoric is to avoid a backlash against the larger movement by a public alienated by violent acts.
In examining specific rhetorical responses by the nonviolent majority in antiabortion, animal welfare, environmental reform, abolition, and women’s suffrage movements, Jorgensen-Earp considers a wide range of discourse types—from newspaper articles, interviews, and editorials to private letters; from editorial cartoons to the homemade signs of movement activists; and from speeches to modern Internet sites. She discovers that the image restoration techniques brought to bear for a reform cause are similar to those employed by a corporation accused of wrongdoing. Ultimately, she finds that the majority of proponents of the causes she examines believe that the violence can or will be condoned and that it must be rhetorically mitigated.
In The Making of a Human Bomb, Nasser Abufarha, a Palestinian anthropologist, explains the cultural logic underlying Palestinian martyrdom operations (suicide attacks) launched against Israel during the Al-Aqsa Intifada (2000–06). In so doing, he sheds much-needed light on how Palestinians have experienced and perceived the broader conflict. During the Intifada, many of the martyrdom operations against Israeli targets were initiated in the West Bank town of Jenin and surrounding villages. Abufarha was born and raised in Jenin. His personal connections to the area enabled him to conduct ethnographic research there during the Intifada, while he was a student at a U.S. university.
Abufarha draws on the life histories of martyrs, interviews he conducted with their families and members of the groups that sponsored their operations, and examinations of Palestinian literature, art, performance, news stories, and political commentaries. He also assesses data—about the bombers, targets, and fatalities caused—from more than two hundred martyrdom operations carried out by Palestinian groups between 2001 and 2004. Some involved the use of explosive belts or the detonation of cars; others entailed armed attacks against Israeli targets (military and civilian) undertaken with the intent of fighting until death. In addition, he scrutinized suicide attacks executed by Hamas and Islamic Jihad between 1994 and 2000. In his analysis of Palestinian political violence, Abufarha takes into account Palestinians’ understanding of the history of the conflict with Israel, the effects of containment on Palestinians’ everyday lives, the disillusionment created by the Oslo peace process, and reactions to specific forms of Israeli state violence. The Making of a Human Bomb illuminates the Palestinians’ perspective on the conflict with Israel and provides a model for ethnographers seeking to make sense of political violence.
Achille Mbembe Duke University Press, 2019 Library of Congress JC328.6.M3913 2019
In Necropolitics Achille Mbembe, a leader in the new wave of francophone critical theory, theorizes the genealogy of the contemporary world, a world plagued by ever-increasing inequality, militarization, enmity, and terror as well as by a resurgence of racist, fascist, and nationalist forces determined to exclude and kill. He outlines how democracy has begun to embrace its dark side---what he calls its “nocturnal body”---which is based on the desires, fears, affects, relations, and violence that drove colonialism. This shift has hollowed out democracy, thereby eroding the very values, rights, and freedoms liberal democracy routinely celebrates. As a result, war has become the sacrament of our times in a conception of sovereignty that operates by annihilating all those considered enemies of the state. Despite his dire diagnosis, Mbembe draws on post-Foucauldian debates on biopolitics, war, and race as well as Fanon's notion of care as a shared vulnerability to explore how new conceptions of the human that transcend humanism might come to pass. These new conceptions would allow us to encounter the Other not as a thing to exclude but as a person with whom to build a more just world.
The abortion fight has long been a crucible of political tactics, with both sides employing strategies ranging from litigation to civil disobedience to outright violence. Anti-abortion activists have arguably been more tactically innovative than their pro-choice peers. Opposition and Intimidation looks at how their use of political harassment fits—or doesn't—with more conventional political efforts in the struggle over abortion.
Alesha Doan's insightful interviews and observations powerfully portray anti-abortion activists' relationship to the objects of their protest. Her portrait is augmented by thorough quantitative analysis of harassment's role within the movement's multitiered strategy—a strategy that Doan shows has forced a decline in the availability and popularity of abortions. Using her unique study of the anti-abortion movement as a model, Doan extends her findings to propose a novel and valuable theory of the new politics of harassment.
"An interesting and sophisticated account. Seamlessly weaves narrative and analysis, tying local action to national strategy. Explores uncharted territory in the abortion controversy and expands our understanding of political action."
—Deborah R. McFarlane, University of New Mexico
"For 40 years, abortion politics have been endlessly fascinating to American scholars and journalists alike because they generate unique political phenomena that challenge traditional theories of political behavior. In this book, Doan goes straight to the heart of the matter by describing, evaluating, and explaining one of the most characteristic and complex of these phenomena—political harassment. In a well-written narrative that weaves qualitative and quantitative data, she gives us the first scholarly look at this political tactic, whose relevance and use go well beyond American abortion politics."
—Chris Mooney, University of Illinois at Springfield
"The book contributes to political theory and knowledge by adding new empirical data gathered from interviews with those in the front lines of the struggle over abortion. The author refines and develops a category of unconventional political participation—political harassment of nongovernmental actors—and explains why it is particularly effective in undermining the rights of women seeking abortions, as well as the rights of abortion service providers."
—Nikki R. Van Hightower, Texas A&M University
Alesha E. Doan is Assistant Professor of Political Science at the University of Kansas.
In 2010, Jamaican police and military forces entered the West Kingston community of Tivoli Gardens to apprehend Christopher “Dudus” Coke, who had been ordered for extradition to the United States on gun and drug-running charges. By the time Coke was detained, somewhere between seventy-five and two hundred civilians had been killed. In Political Life in the Wake of the Plantation, Deborah A. Thomas uses the incursion as a point of departure for theorizing the roots of contemporary state violence in Jamaica and in post-plantation societies in general. Drawing on visual, oral historical, and colonial archives, Thomas traces the long-term legacies of the plantation system and how its governing logics continue to shape and replicate forms of violence. She places affect at the center of sovereignty to destabilize disembodied narratives of liberalism and progress and to raise questions about recognition, repair, and accountability. In tying theories of politics, colonialism, race, and affect together with Jamaica's history, Thomas presents a robust framework for understanding what it means to be human in the plantation's wake.
Gandhi and Nehru helped create a myth of nonviolence in ancient India that obscures a troubled, complex heritage: a long struggle to reconcile the ethics of nonviolence with the need to use violence to rule. Upinder Singh documents the tension between violence and nonviolence in ancient Indian political thought and practice, 600 BCE to 600 CE.
In Punk and Revolution Shane Greene radically uproots punk from its iconic place in First World urban culture, Anglo popular music, and the Euro-American avant-garde, situating it instead as a crucial element in Peru's culture of subversive militancy and political violence. Inspired by José Carlos Mariátegui's Seven Interpretive Essays on Peruvian Reality, Greene explores punk's political aspirations and subcultural possibilities while complicating the dominant narratives of the war between the Shining Path and the Peruvian state. In these seven essays, Greene experiments with style and content, bends the ethnographic genre, and juxtaposes the textual and visual. He theorizes punk in Lima as a mode of aesthetic and material underproduction, rants at canonical cultural studies for its failure to acknowledge punk's potential for generating revolutionary politics, and uncovers the intersections of gender, ethnicity, class, and authenticity in the Lima punk scene. Following the theoretical interventions of Debord, Benjamin, and Bakhtin, Greene fundamentally redefines how we might think about the creative contours of punk subculture and the politics of anarchist praxis.
The significant anarchist, black, and socialist world-movements that emerged in the late nineteenth century and early twentieth adapted discourses of sentiment and sensation and used the era's new forms of visual culture to move people to participate in projects of social, political, and economic transformation. Drawing attention to the vast archive of images and texts created by radicals prior to the 1930s, Shelley Streeby analyzes representations of violence and of abuses of state power in response to the Haymarket police riot, of the trial and execution of the Chicago anarchists, and of the mistreatment and imprisonment of Ricardo and Enrique Flores Magón and other members of the Partido Liberal Mexicano. She considers radicals' reactions to and depictions of U.S. imperialism, state violence against the Yaqui Indians in the U.S.-Mexico borderlands, the failure of the United States to enact laws against lynching, and the harsh repression of radicals that accelerated after the United States entered the First World War. By focusing on the adaptation and critique of sentiment, sensation, and visual culture by radical world-movements in the period between the Haymarket riots of 1886 and the deportation of Marcus Garvey in 1927, Streeby sheds new light on the ways that these movements reached across national boundaries, criticized state power, and envisioned alternative worlds.
Regimes and Repertoires
Charles Tilly University of Chicago Press, 2006 Library of Congress JC491.T53 2006 | Dewey Decimal 322.4
The means by which people protest—that is, their repertoires of contention—vary radically from one political regime to the next. Highly capable undemocratic regimes such as China's show no visible signs of popular social movements, yet produce many citizen protests against arbitrary, predatory government. Less effective and undemocratic governments like the Sudan’s, meanwhile, often experience regional insurgencies and even civil wars. In Regimes and Repertoires, Charles Tilly offers a fascinating and wide-ranging case-by-case study of various types of government and the equally various styles of protests they foster.
Using examples drawn from many areas—G8 summit and anti-globalization protests, Hindu activism in 1980s India, nineteenth-century English Chartists organizing on behalf of workers' rights, the revolutions of 1848, and civil wars in Angola, Chechnya, and Kosovo—Tilly masterfully shows that such episodes of contentious politics unfold like loosely scripted theater. Along the way, Tilly also brings forth powerful tools to sort out the reasons why certain political regimes vary and change, how the people living under them make claims on their government, and what connections can be drawn between regime change and the character of contentious politics.
In October 1973 a mass movement forced Thailand’s prime minister to step down and leave the country, ending nearly forty years of dictatorship. Three years later, in a brutal reassertion of authoritarian rule, Thai state and para-state forces quashed a demonstration at Thammasat University in Bangkok. In Revolution Interrupted, Tyrell Haberkorn focuses on this period when political activism briefly opened up the possibility for meaningful social change. Tenant farmers and their student allies fomented revolution, she shows, not by picking up guns but by invoking laws—laws that the Thai state ultimately proved unwilling to enforce.
In choosing the law as their tool to fight unjust tenancy practices, farmers and students departed from the tactics of their ancestors and from the insurgent methods of the Communist Party of Thailand. To first imagine and then create a more just future, they drew on their own lived experience and the writings of Thai Marxian radicals of an earlier generation, as well as New Left, socialist, and other progressive thinkers from around the world. Yet their efforts were quickly met with harassment, intimidation, and assassinations of farmer leaders. More than thirty years later, the assassins remain unnamed.
Drawing on hundreds of newspaper articles, cremation volumes, activist and state documents, and oral histories, Haberkorn reveals the ways in which the established order was undone and then reconsolidated. Examining this turbulent period through a new optic—interrupted revolution—she shows how the still unnameable violence continues to constrict political opportunity and to silence dissent in present-day Thailand.
“Africa is no more prone to violent conflicts than other regions. Indeed, Africa’s share of the more than 180 million people who died from conflicts and atrocities in the twentieth century is relatively modest.… This is not to underestimate the immense impact of violent conflicts on Africa; it is merely to emphasize the need for more balanced debate and commentary.”
—From the introduction by Paul Tiyambe Zeleza
Violent conflicts have exacted a heavy toll on Africa’s societies, polities, and economies. This book presents African scholars’ views of why conflicts start in their continent. The causes of conflict are too often examined by scholars from the countries that run the proxy wars and sell the arms to fuel them. This volume offers theoretically sophisticated, empirically grounded, and compelling analyses of the roots of African conflicts.
In Sacred Violence, the distinguished political and legal theorist Paul W. Kahn investigates the reasons for the resort to violence characteristic of premodern states. In a startling argument, he contends that law will never offer an adequate account of political violence. Instead, we must turn to political theology, which reveals that torture and terror are, essentially, forms of sacrifice. Kahn forces us to acknowledge what we don't want to see: that we remain deeply committed to a violent politics beyond law.
Paul W. Kahn is Robert W. Winner Professor of Law and the Humanities at Yale Law School and Director of the Orville H. Schell, Jr. Center for International Human Rights.
Cover Illustration: "Abu Ghraib 67, 2005" by Fernando Botero. Courtesy of the artist and the American University Museum.
Salt in the Sand is a compelling historical ethnography of the interplay between memory and state violence in the formation of the Chilean nation-state. The historian and anthropologist Lessie Jo Frazier focuses on northern Chile, which figures prominently in the nation’s history as a site of military glory during the period of national conquest, of labor strikes and massacres in the late nineteenth century and early twentieth, and of state detention and violence during World War II and the Cold War. It was also the site of a mass-grave excavation that galvanized the national human rights movement in 1990, during Chile’s transition from dictatorship to democracy. Frazier analyzes the creation of official and alternative memories of specific instances of state violence in northern Chile from 1890 to the present, tracing how the form and content of those memories changed over time. In so doing, she shows how memory works to create political subjectivities mobilized for specific political projects within what she argues is the always-ongoing process of nation-state formation. Frazier’s broad historical perspective on political culture challenges the conventional periodization of modern Chilean history, particularly the idea that the 1973 military coup marked a radical break with the past.
Analyzing multiple memories of state violence, Frazier innovatively shapes social and cultural theory to interpret a range of sources, including local and national government archives, personal papers, popular literature and music, interviews, architectural and ceremonial commemorations, and her ethnographic observations of civic associations, women's and environmental groups, and human rights organizations. A masterful integration of extensive empirical research with sophisticated theoretical analysis, Salt in the Sand is a significant contribution to interdisciplinary scholarship on human rights, democratization, state formation, and national trauma and reconciliation.
Jairus Victor Grove contends that we live in a world made by war. In Savage Ecology he offers an ecological theory of geopolitics that argues that contemporary global crises are better understood when considered within the larger history of international politics. Infusing international relations with the theoretical interventions of fields ranging from new materialism to political theory, Grove shows how political violence is the principal force behind climate change, mass extinction, slavery, genocide, extractive capitalism, and other catastrophes. Grove analyzes a variety of subjects—from improvised explosive devices and drones to artificial intelligence and brain science—to outline how geopolitics is the violent pursuit of a way of living that comes at the expense of others. Pointing out that much of the damage being done to the earth and its inhabitants stems from colonialism, Grove suggests that the Anthropocene may be better described by the term Eurocene. The key to changing the planet's trajectory, Grove proposes, begins by acknowledging both the earth-shaping force of geopolitical violence and the demands apocalypses make for fashioning new ways of living.
Aid flowing into Syria is intended to determine the outcome of the conflict between rebel factions and Damascus. Instead, it could perpetuate the civil war and ignite larger regional hostilities that could reshape the political geography of the Middle East. This report examines the main factors likely to contribute to or impede the spread of violence from civil war and insurgency in Syria, and then examines how they apply to neighboring states.
How have we come to depend so greatly on the words terror and terrorism to describe broad categories of violence? David Simpson offers here a philology of terror, tracking the concept’s long, complicated history across literature, philosophy, political science, and theology—from Plato to NATO.
Introducing the concept of the “fear-terror cluster,” Simpson is able to capture the wide range of terms that we have used to express extreme emotional states over the centuries—from anxiety, awe, and concern to dread, fear, and horror. He shows that the choices we make among such words to describe shades of feeling have seriously shaped the attribution of motives, causes, and effects of the word “terror” today, particularly when violence is deployed by or against the state. At a time when terror-talk is widely and damagingly exploited by politicians and the media, this book unpacks the slippery rhetoric of terror and will prove a vital resource across humanistic and social sciences disciplines.
States of Violence
Fernando Coronil and Julie Skurski, Editors University of Michigan Press, 2005 Library of Congress HM886.S83 2006 | Dewey Decimal 303.6
This extraordinary collection of essays recasts prevailing understandings of the role of violence in the formation of the modern world. By illuminating the links between exceptional ruptures and the routine maintenance of social order, the collection expands and redefines our understanding of political violence.
By means of a combination of detailed historical studies and imaginative reflection, this book explores the often unrecognized violent foundations of modern nations. Focusing on the relations between the state and the domestic order, it directs attention to contests over the establishment and representation of meanings and addresses the impact of state-centered categories and narratives on the organization and collective remembering of violence. The essays cover a wide range of regions, time periods, and processes, including the Middle East, South Asia, Latin America, the United States, and Europe, and span violent uprisings as well as the quotidian administration of the law. As its title suggests, States of Violence brings together the stable and the transient, the institutional and the experiential, the state sanctioned and the insurgent, inviting recognition of the multiple intersections of practices of governance and processes of feeling.
"Few scholars have managed as effectively as these to denature the place of violence in modern social life and thought. They make it abundantly plain that the frank brutality, often associated with colonial contexts, is inseparable from less acknowledged forms of "peaceful violence" that pervade much of our contemporary political life."
-Jean Comaroff, Bernard E. and Ellen C. Distinguished Service Professor, University of Chicago
Fernando Coronil, a Venezuelan citizen, is Associate Professor of Anthropology and History at the University of Michigan and Director of the Latin American and Caribbean Studies Program. His research focuses on contemporary historical transformations in Latin America and on theoretical issues concerning the state, modernity, and postcolonialism. His numerous publications include The Magical State: Nature, Money, and Modernity in Venezuela; "Beyond Occidentalism: Towards Non-Imperial Geohistorical Categories"; and the introductory essay in Cuban Counterpoint: Tobacco and Sugar, by Fernando Ortiz. He is completing a book on the coup against President Chávez of Venezuela.
Julie Skurski teaches in the Departments of Anthropology and History at the University of Michigan and is the Associate Director of the Doctoral Program in Anthropology and History. Her research concerns the intersections of national, racial, and gender relations in Latin America, with a focus on popular religiosity. Her publications include "The Ambiguities of Authenticity in Latin America: Doña Bárbara and the Construction of National Identity," in Becoming National, G. Eley and R. Suny, eds. She is currently completing Civilizing Barbarism, a book on gender, mestizaje, and the state in Venezuela.
The key to democratization lies within the experience of the popular movements. Those who engaged in the popular struggle in Guatemala have a deep understanding of substantive democratic behavior, and the experience of Guatemala's civil society should be the cornerstone for building a meaningful formal democracy.
In Terror in the Countryside Rachel May offers an in-depth examination of the relationship between political violence and civil society. Focusing on Guatemala, Professor May develops a theoretical scheme that calls into question the more conventional understandings of both violence and civil society.
By elaborating a cyclical model of violence, and suggesting a typology of rural (campesino) popular organizations, Terror in the Countryside provides both a history and an analysis of late-twentieth-century violence and of the role of campesino organizations during the worst years of conflict in Guatemala.
This history details the way ideologies, organizational structures, and mobilization strategies evolved in response to the climate of terror, emphasizing the courage and sacrifice of those who worked for justice and human rights.
This book argues that the peace accords can be considered only as a first step to eliminate a violence that has become deeply rooted in the political life of the country.
Natural right—the idea that there is a collection of laws and rights based not on custom or belief but that are “natural” in origin—is typically associated with liberal politics and freedom. In The Terror of Natural Right, Dan Edelstein argues that the revolutionaries used the natural right concept of the “enemy of the human race”—an individual who has transgressed the laws of nature and must be executed without judicial formalities—to authorize three-quarters of the deaths during the Terror. Edelstein further contends that the Jacobins shared a political philosophy that he calls “natural republicanism,” which assumed that the natural state of society was a republic and that natural right provided its only acceptable laws. Ultimately, he proves that what we call the Terror was in fact only one facet of the republican theory that prevailed from Louis’s trial until the fall of Robespierre.
A highly original work of historical analysis, political theory, literary criticism, and intellectual history, The Terror of Natural Right challenges prevailing assumptions of the Terror to offer a new perspective on the Revolutionary period.
One of the most troubling but least studied features of mass political violence is why violence often recurs in the same place over long periods of time. Douglas Kammen explores this pattern in Three Centuries of Conflict in East Timor, studying that region’s tragic past, focusing on the small district of Maubara.
Once a small but powerful kingdom embedded in long-distance networks of trade, over the course of three centuries the people of Maubara experienced benevolent but precarious Dutch suzerainty, Portuguese colonialism punctuated by multiple uprisings and destructive campaigns of pacification, Japanese military rule, and years of brutal Indonesian occupation. In 1999 Maubara was the site of particularly severe violence before and after the UN-sponsored referendum that finally led to the restoration of East Timor’s independence. Beginning with the mystery of paired murders during East Timor’s failed decolonization in 1975 and the final flurry of state-sponsored violence in 1999, Kammen combines an archival trail and rich oral interviews to reconstruct the history of the leading families of Maubara from 1712 until 2012.
Kammen illuminates how recurrent episodes of mass violence shaped alliances and enmities within Maubara as well as with supra-local actors, and how those legacies have influenced efforts to address human rights violations, post-conflict reconstruction, and the relationship between local experience and the identification with the East Timorese nation. The questions posed in Three Centuries of Conflict in East Timor about recurring violence and local narratives apply to many other places besides East Timor—from the Caucasus to central Africa, and from the Balkans to China—where mass violence keeps recurring.
To Swim with Crocodiles: Land, Violence, and Belonging in South Africa, 1800–1996 offers a fresh perspective on the history of rural politics in South Africa, from the rise of the Zulu kingdom to the civil war at the dawn of democracy in KwaZulu-Natal. The book shows how Africans in the Table Mountain region drew on the cultural inheritance of ukukhonza—a practice of affiliation that binds together chiefs and subjects—to seek social and physical security in times of war and upheaval. Grounded in a rich combination of archival sources and oral interviews, this book examines relations within and between chiefdoms to bring wider concerns of African studies into focus, including land, violence, chieftaincy, ethnic and nationalist politics, and development. Colonial indirect rule, segregation, and apartheid attempted to fix formerly fluid polities into territorial “tribes” and ethnic identities, but the Zulu practice of ukukhonza maintained its flexibility and endured. By exploring what Zulu men and women knew about and how they remembered ukukhonza, Kelly reveals how Africans envisioned and defined relationships with the land, their chiefs, and their neighbors as white minority rule transformed the countryside and local institutions of governance.
Jorgensen-Earp provides a new understanding of the recurrent rhetorical need to employ conservative rhetoric in support of a radical cause.
The Women's Social and Political Union, the militant branch of the English women's suffrage movement, turned to arson, bombing, and widespread property destruction as a strategy to achieve suffrage for women. Because of its comparative rarity, terrorist violence by reform (as opposed to revolutionary) movements is underexplored, as is the discursive rhetoric that accompanies this violence. Largely because of the moral stance that drives such movements, the need to justify violence is greater for the reformist than for the revolutionary terrorist. The burden of rhetorical justification falls even more heavily on women utilizing violence, an option
generally perceived as open only to men.
The militant suffragettes justifed their turn to limited terrorism by arguing that their violence was part of a "just war." Appropriating the rhetoric of a just war in defense of reformist violence
allowed the suffragettes to exercise a traditional rhetorical vision for the sake of radical action. The concept of a just war allowed a spinning out of a fantasy of heroes, of a gallant band fighting against the odds. It challenged the imagination of the public to extend to women a heroic vision usually reserved for men and to accept the new expectations inherent in that vision. By incorporating the concept of a just war into their rhetoric, the WSPU leaders took the most conventional justification that Western tradition provides for the use of violence and adapted it to meet their unique circumstance as women using violence for political reform.
This study challenges the common view that the suffragettes' use of military metaphors, their vilification of the government, and their violent attacks on property were signs of hysteria and self-destruction. Instead, what emerges is a picture of a deliberate, if controversial, strategy of violence supported by a rhetorical defense of unusual power and consistency.
Political violence does not end with the last death. A common feature of mass murder has been the attempt at destroying any memory of victims, with the aim of eliminating them from history. Perpetrators seek not only to eliminate a perceived threat, but also to eradicate any possibility of alternate, competing social and national histories. In his timely and important book, Unchopping a Tree, Ernesto Verdeja develops a critical justification for why transitional justice works. He asks, “What is the balance between punishment and forgiveness? And, “What are the stakes in reconciling?”
Employing a normative theory of reconciliation that differs from prevailing approaches, Verdeja outlines a concept that emphasizes the importance of shared notions of moral respect and tolerance among adversaries in transitional societies. Drawing heavily from cases such as reconciliation efforts in Latin America and Africa—and interviews with people involved in such efforts—Verdeja debates how best to envision reconciliation while remaining realistic about the very significant practical obstacles such efforts face
Unchopping a Tree addresses the core concept of respect across four different social levels—political, institutional, civil society, and interpersonal—to explain the promise and challenges to securing reconciliation and broader social regeneration.
Portuguese and Brazilian slave-traders shipped at least four million slaves to Brazil—in contrast to the five hundred thousand slaves that English vessels brought to the Americas. Controlling the vast number of slaves in Brazil became of primary importance. The Unpast: Elite Violence and Social Control in Brazil, 1954–2000 documents the ways in which the brutal methods used on plantations led directly to the phenomenon of Brazilian death squads.
The Unpast examines how and why, after the abolition of slavery, elites in Brazil imported new methods of killing, torturing, or disfiguring dissidents and the poor to maintain dominance. Bringing a critical-historical analysis to events following the 1954 suicide of President Getúlio Vargas, R. S. Rose takes the reader along a fifty-year path that helped to shape a nation’s morals. He covers the misunderstood presidency of João Goulart; the overthrow of his government by a U.S.-assisted military; the appalling dictatorship that followed; the efforts to rid the countryside of troublemakers; and the ongoing attempt to cleanse the urban environment of the needy, an endeavor that produced 32,675 victims in just two Brazilian states between 1954 and 2000.
The largest and most comprehensive documentation of suspected death-squad victims ever undertaken, The Unpast is an exposé of practices and attitudes toward the poor in Latin America’s largest country.
An Argentine naval officer remorsefully admits that he killed thirty people during Argentina’s Dirty War. A member of General Augusto Pinochet’s intelligence service reveals on a television show that he took sadistic pleasure in the sexual torture of women in clandestine prisons. A Brazilian military officer draws on his own experiences to write a novel describing the military’s involvement in a massacre during the 1970s. The head of a police death squad refuses to become the scapegoat for apartheid-era violence in South Africa; he begins to name names and provide details of past atrocities to the Truth Commission. Focusing on these and other confessions to acts of authoritarian state violence, Leigh A. Payne asks what happens when perpetrators publicly admit or discuss their actions. While mechanisms such as South Africa’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission are touted as means of settling accounts with the past, Payne contends that public confessions do not settle the past. They are unsettling by nature. Rather than reconcile past violence, they catalyze contentious debate. She argues that this debate—and the public confessions that trigger it—are healthy for democratic processes of political participation, freedom of expression, and the contestation of political ideas.
Payne draws on interviews, unedited television film, newspaper archives, and books written by perpetrators to analyze confessions of state violence in Argentina, Chile, Brazil, and South Africa. Each of these four countries addressed its past through a different institutional form—from blanket amnesty, to conditional amnesty based on confessions, to judicial trials. Payne considers perpetrators’ confessions as performance, examining what they say and what they communicate nonverbally; the timing, setting, and reception of their confessions; and the different ways that they portray their pasts, whether in terms of remorse, heroism, denial, or sadism, or through lies or betrayal.
Curtis J. Austin’s Up Against the Wall chronicles how violence brought about the founding of the Black Panther Party in 1966 by Huey P. Newton and Bobby Seale, dominated its policies, and finally destroyed the party as one member after another—Eldridge Cleaver, Fred Hampton, Alex Rackley—left the party, was killed, or was imprisoned. Austin shows how the party’s early emphasis in the 1960s on self-defense, though sorely needed in black communities at the time, left it open to mischaracterization, infiltration, and devastation by local, state, and federal police forces and government agencies. Austin carefully highlights the internal tension between advocates of a more radical position than the Panthers took, who insisted on military confrontation with the state, and those such as Newton and David Hilliard, who believed in community organizing and alliance building as first priorities. Austin interviewed a number of party members who had heretofore remained silent. With the help of these stories, Austin is able to put the violent history of the party in perspective and show that the “survival” programs, such as the Free Breakfast for Children program and Free Health Clinics, helped the black communities they served to recognize their own bases of power and ability to save themselves.
Combining different disciplinary perspectives, War and Diplomacy argues that the key events that portended the beginning of the end of the multiethnic Ottoman Empire were the The Russo-Turkish War of 1877–1878 and the Treaty of Berlin. The essays in this volume analyze how the war and the treaty permanently transformed the political landscape both in the Balkans and in the Caucasus. The treaty marked the end of Ottoman hegemony in the Balkans by formally recognizing the independence or de facto sovereignty of Romania, Serbia, and Montenegro, and the autonomy of Bulgaria.
By introducing the unitary nation-state as the new organizing concept, the treaty planted the seeds of future conflict, from the Balkan Wars of 1912–1913 and the First World War to the recent civil wars and ethnic cleansing in former Yugoslavia. The magnitude of the defeat of the Ottoman Empire by Russia—and eventually by the other great powers—and the human, material, and territorial losses that followed proved fatal to the project of Muslim liberal reform and modernization that the Ottoman state had launched in the middle of the 19th century. War and Diplomacy offers the first comparative examination of the treaty and its socio-political implications for the Balkans and the Caucasus by utilizing the theoretical tools and approaches of political science, sociology, history, and international relations. Representing the latest scholarship in the field of study, this volume documents the proceedings of a conference on the Treaty of Berlin that was held at the University of Utah in 2010. It provides an important contribution to understanding the historical background of these events.
War and Diplomacy documents the proceedings of the first of three conferences:
1878 Treaty of Berlin (in 2010)
Balkan Wars (in 2011)
World War I (in 2012)
Proceedings of the final two conferences will also be published by the University of Utah Press.
Why do some individuals engage in political violence in Yemen, while others do not? We examine the role that social, political, and economic factors play on individual behavior toward violence in the midst of Yemen’s bloody and multiyear civil war. We use a unique national survey conducted in Yemen in 2016 to better understand why Yemenis may reject political violence despite persistent conflict and civil unrest across the country.
When Rains Became Floods is the gripping autobiography of Lurgio Gavilán Sánchez, who as a child soldier fought for both the Peruvian guerrilla insurgency Shining Path and the Peruvian military. After escaping the conflict, he became a Franciscan priest and is now an anthropologist. Gavilán Sánchez's words mark otherwise forgotten acts of brutality and kindness, moments of misery and despair as well as solidarity and love.
In 1888 a group of armed and masked Democrats stole a ballot box from a small town in Conway County, Arkansas. The box contained most of the county’s black Republican votes, thereby assuring defeat for candidate John Clayton in a close race for the U.S. Congress. Days after he announced he would contest the election, a volley of buckshot ripped through Clayton’s hotel window, killing him instantly. Thus began a yet-to-be-solved, century-old mystery.
More than a description of this particular event, however, Who Killed John Clayton? traces patterns of political violence in this section of the South over a three-decade period. Using vivid courtroom-type detail, Barnes describes how violence was used to define and control the political system in the post-Reconstruction South and how this system in turn produced Jim Crow. Although white Unionists and freed blacks had joined under the banner of the Republican Party and gained the upper hand during Reconstruction, during these last decades of the nineteenth century conservative elites, first organized as the Ku Klux Klan and then as the revived Democratic Party, regained power—via such tactics as murdering political opponents, lynching blacks, and defrauding elections.
This important recounting of the struggle over political power will engage those interested in Southern and American history.
A well-known novelist and journalist from the coastal city of Jableh, Samar Yazbek witnessed the beginning four months of the uprising first-hand and actively participated in a variety of public actions and budding social movements. Throughout this period she kept a diary of personal reflections on, and observations of, this historic time. Because of the outspoken views she published in print and online, Yazbek quickly attracted the attention and fury of the regime, vicious rumours started to spread about her disloyalty to the homeland and the Alawite community to which she belongs. The lyrical narrative describes her struggle to protect herself and her young daughter, even as her activism propels her into a horrifying labyrinth of insecurity after she is forced into living on the run and detained multiple times, excluded from the Alawite community and renounced by her family, her hometown and even her childhood friends. With rare empathy and journalistic prowess Samar Yazbek compiled oral testimonies from ordinary Syrians all over the country. Filled with snapshots of exhilarating hope and horrifying atrocities, she offers us a wholly unique perspective on the Syrian uprising. Hers is a modest yet powerful testament to the strength and commitment of countless unnamed Syrians who have united to fight for their freedom. These diaries will inspire all those who read them, and challenge the world to look anew at the trials and tribulations of the Syrian uprising.