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.

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

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.

Author: Sara De Vido

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).

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
Defending democracy
Author: Ami Pedahzur

This book looks at the theoretical issue of how a democracy can defend itself from those wishing to subvert or destroy it without being required to take measures that would impinge upon the basic principles of the democratic idea. It links social and institutional perspectives to the study, and includes a case study of the Israeli response to Jewish extremism and violence, which tests the theoretical framework outlined in the first chapter. There is an extensive diachronic scrutiny of the state's response to extremist political parties, violent organizations and the infrastructure of extremism and intolerance within Israeli society. The book emphasises the dynamics of the response and the factors that encourage or discourage the shift from less democratic and more democratic models of response.

Commerce, diplomacy, and brigandage on the steppe routes between the Ottoman Empire, Poland-Lithuania, and Russia, 1470s–1570s
Alexander Osipian

7 Restraining/encouraging violence: commerce, diplomacy, and brigandage on the steppe routes between the Ottoman Empire, PolandLithuania, and Russia, 1470s–1570s Alexander Osipian This chapter examines the large-scale non-state violence on the trade routes in the buffer zone between the Grand Duchy of Lithuania,1 the Grand Duchy of Moscow,2 the Ottoman Empire, and the Crimean Khanate. Though the rulers constantly declared their will to maintain the diplomatic contacts and protect the caravan trade between these states, execution of their orders was entrusted to

in A global history of early modern violence

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.

Georg Elwert

12 Intervention in markets of violence Georg Elwert Introduction    backbone of a state, the monopoly of violence. The society loses its cohesion. Behind smokescreens of ethnic, political, religious or other ideological goals appears a new – mainly economic – reference for social action: acquisition based upon violence. Markets of violence are highly profitable social systems, which can remain stable over several decades. The dominant actors in this system, the warlords, combine violent appropriation with peaceful exchange. Markets of violence

in Potentials of disorder
Trevor Burnard

11 Atlantic slave systems and violence Trevor Burnard Atlantic slavery was a violent institution. The Atlantic slave trade was even more violent. I hardly need to point out this basic fact. An essay about slavery and the slave trade can easily turn into a sickening litany of appalling acts of violence meted out by slave owners towards enslaved people and the less frequent but often equally violent response of enslaved people undertaking acts of resistance to enslavement, including armed revolt. Luxuriating in the violence of slavery is an easy trap for

in A global history of early modern violence