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
Methodological approaches

Mass violence is one of the defining phenomena of the twentieth century, which some have even called the 'century of genocides'. The study of how the dead body is treated can lead us to an understanding of the impact of mass violence on contemporary societies. Corpses of mass violence and genocide, especially when viewed from a biopolitical perspective, force one to focus on the structures of the relations between all that participates in the enfolding case study. Argentina is an extraordinary laboratory in the domain of struggle against impunity and of 'restoration of the truth'. It constitutes a useful paradigm in the context of reflection on the corpses of mass violence. Its special character, in the immediate aftermath of the military dictatorship, is to test almost the entirety of juridical mechanisms in the handling of state crimes. The trigger for both the intercommunal violence and the civil war was the mass murders by the Ustaša. This book discusses the massacres carried out by the Ustaša in Croatia during the Second World War. After a brief presentation of the historical background, the massacres carried out by the Ustaša militia and their corpse disposal methods are described. Using Rwanda as a case study, the book proposes an agenda for ethnographic research to explore the relationship between concealment and display in contexts of genocide. This relationship is explored in detail after a discussion of the historical background to the 1994 genocide.

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Christoph Menke in dialogue
Series: Critical Powers
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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.

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.

Catherine Akurut

Introduction Men experience sexual violence during armed conflict situations, which affects their physical, social and psychological well-being. However, this is under-researched and under-reported ( Vojdik: 2014 : 931), and often misunderstood and mischaracterised ( Kapur and Muddell, 2016 : 4). Consequently, men who experience conflict-related sexual violence (CRSV) have been severely overlooked within the humanitarian

Journal of Humanitarian Affairs

Human Remains and Violence: An Interdisciplinary Journal is a biannual, peer-reviewed publication which draws together the different strands of academic research on the dead body and the production of human remains en masse, whether in the context of mass violence, genocidal occurrences or environmental disasters. Inherently interdisciplinary, the journal publishes papers from a range of academic disciplines within the humanities, social sciences and natural sciences. Human Remains and Violence invites contributions from scholars working in a variety of fields and interdisciplinary research is especially welcome.

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The book explores the relationship between violence against women on one hand, and the rights to health and reproductive health on the other. It argues that violation of the right to health is a consequence of violence, and that (state) health policies might be a cause of – or create the conditions for – violence against women. It significantly contributes to feminist and international human rights legal scholarship by conceptualising a new ground-breaking idea, violence against women’s health (VAWH), using the Hippocratic paradigm as the backbone of the analysis. The two dimensions of violence at the core of the book – the horizontal, ‘interpersonal’ dimension and the vertical ‘state policies’ dimension – are investigated through around 70 decisions of domestic, regional and international judicial or quasi-judicial bodies (the anamnesis). The concept of VAWH, drawn from the anamnesis, enriches the traditional concept of violence against women with a human rights-based approach to autonomy and a reflection on the pervasiveness of patterns of discrimination (diagnosis). VAWH as theorised in the book allows the reconceptualisation of states’ obligations in an innovative way, by identifying for both dimensions obligations of result, due diligence obligations, and obligations to progressively take steps (treatment). The book eventually asks whether it is not international law itself that is the ultimate cause of VAWH (prognosis).

Open Access (free)
Daniel Loick

96 3 Law without violence Daniel Loick “Law is itself violence” (p. 3) –​this claim is not only an “observation” about forms of law existing hitherto, but a thesis about the very concept of law as such. According to Christoph Menke, there never was and never can be any law without violence. The reason for this dependency of law on violence lies in its need to be enforced; Menke follows Kant’s definition according to which law consists in a reciprocal authority to use coercion. The aim of my essay is to question this basic assumption. While it is certainly true

in Law and violence
Open Access (free)
Towards a re-thinking of legal justice in transitional justice contexts
María del Rosario Acosta López

79 2 Between law and violence: towards a re-​thinking of legal justice in transitional justice contexts María del Rosario Acosta López In the already extensive literature connecting philosophy and law, there is a long tradition of framing this encounter in terms of what I will provisionally call a “negative critique.” As it is clear in Walter Benjamin’s canonical essay, a philosophical critical perspective seems to be capable of bringing to light the main paradox at the core of the law, namely, that its foundation coincides with its violence. Violence exists

in Law and violence
Open Access (free)
Christoph Menke

3 1 Law and violence Christoph Menke (Translated by Gerrit Jackson) Preface Any attempt to understand the relation between law and violence must begin with two observations that are at odds with each other, if not even contradictory. The first observation is that law is the opposite of violence; legal forms of decision-​making are introduced to disrupt the endless sequence of violence and counterviolence and counter-​ counterviolence, which is to say, to dispel the compulsion to answer violence with new violence. The second observation is that law is itself

in Law and violence