The chapter explores Johan Galtung’s theory of cultural violence from the perspective of a hegemony centered account of the social. It argues that once we take hegemony as a central organizing idea of the social, it becomes possible to recognize the limits of Galtung’s account of cultural violence and why his response to it remains weak. It defends a politics of contestation and a politics of disruption as possible ways to counter the risks introduced by cultural violence.
The aim of this chapter is to uncover a specifically political conception of violence which will capture our interest in violence as it relates to a fundamental problem for society. The chapter will first analyze (and reject) several existing definitions of violence in terms of whether they successfully describe a fundamental problem, then propose a new conception of violence that directs our attention towards problematic attitudes rather than types of actions. This new conception allows us to (...) consider the relationship between women, violence and agency from a new perspective, drawing our attention to forms of violence that are generally overlooked on the standard, narrow conception, and redefining the ways in which women may be both subject to, and participants in, violence. Secondly, the chapter will explore how adopting this definition allows us to reconceive the relationship between women and violence, via two test cases. Specifically, it will demonstrate how the conception of violence as an attitude allows us to describe pornography as violence, followed by some exploratory remarks on the implications of this view for feminist philosophy more generally. (shrink)
This paper examines how a delusive social imaginary of criminal-justice has underpinned contemporary U.S. mass incarceration and encouraged widespread indifference to its violence. I trace the complicity of this criminal-justice imaginary with state-organized violence by comparing it to an imaginary that supported colonial violence. I conclude by discussing how those of us outside of prison can begin to resist the entrenched images and institutions of mass incarceration by engaging the work and imagining the perspective of incarcerated people.
Book synopsis: Philosopher, cultural critic, and agent provocateur Slavoj Žižek constructs a fascinating new framework to look at the forces of violence in our world. Using history, philosophy, books, movies, Lacanian psychiatry, and jokes, Slavoj Žižek examines the ways we perceive and misperceive violence. Drawing from his unique cultural vision, Žižek brings new light to the Paris riots of 2005; he questions the permissiveness of violence in philanthropy; in daring terms, he reflects on the powerful image and (...) determination of contemporary terrorists. Violence, Žižek states, takes three forms--subjective, objective, and systemic --and often one form of violence blunts our ability to see the others, raising complicated questions. Does the advent of capitalism and, indeed, civilization cause more violence than it prevents? Is there violence in the simple idea of "the neighbour"? And could the appropriate form of action against violence today simply be to contemplate, to think? Beginning with these and other equally contemplative questions, Žižek discusses the inherent violence of globalization, capitalism, fundamentalism, and language, in a work that will confirm his standing as one of our most erudite and incendiary modern thinkers. (shrink)
In this paper, our goal is to survey some of the legal contexts within which violence risk assessment already plays a prominent role, explore whether developments in neuroscience could potentially be used to improve our ability to predict violence, and discuss whether neuropredictive models of violence create any unique legal or moral problems above and beyond the well worn problems already associated with prediction more generally. In Violence Risk Assessment and the Law, we briefly examine the (...) role currently played by predictions of violence in three high stakes legal contexts: capital sentencing, civil commitment hearings, and sexual predator statutes. In Clinical vs. Actuarial Violence Risk Assessment, we briefly examine the distinction between traditional clinical methods of predicting violence and more recently developed actuarial methods, exemplified by the Classification of Violence Risk software created by John Monahan and colleagues as part of the MacArthur Study of Mental Disorder and Violence . In The Neural Correlates of Psychopathy, we explore what neuroscience currently tells us about the neural correlates of violence, using the recent neuroscientific research on psychopathy as our focus. We also discuss some recent advances in both data collection and data analysis that we believe will play an important role when it comes to future neuroscientific research on violence. In The Potential Promise of Neuroprediction, we discuss whether neuroscience could potentially be used to improve our ability to predict future violence. Finally, in The Potential Perils of Neuroprediction, we explore some potential evidentiary, constitutional, and moral issues that may arise in the context of the neuroprediction of violence. (shrink)
Standard accounts of civil disobedience include nonviolence as a necessary condition. Here I argue that such accounts are mistaken and that civil disobedience can include violence in many aspects, primarily excepting violence directed at other persons. I base this argument on a novel understanding of civil disobedience: the special character of the practice comes from its combination of condemnation of a political practice with an expressed commitment to the political. The commitment to the political is a commitment to (...) engaging with others as co-members in the on-going political project of living together. I show how such an understanding of civil disobedience is superior to the Rawlsian strain of thought, which focuses on fidelity to law. Rawls was concerned with civil disobedience solely in the context of overriding political obligation. The project of characterizing a contestatory political practice that can be distinguished and used in a wider variety of contexts than Rawls is concerned with, including under illegitimate regimes, beyond the nation-state, or on behalf of anarchism, requires a different understanding of civil disobedience. (shrink)
Contrary to what we might initially think, domestic violence is not simply a violation of respect. This characterization of domestic violence misses two key points. First, the issue of respect in connection with domestic violence is not as straightforward as it appears. Second, domestic violence is also a violation of care. These key points explain how domestic violence negatively affects a victim’s autonomy and agency—the ability to choose and pursue her own goals and life plan.We (...) have a moral responsibility to respond to the problem of domestic violence as individuals. But the state also has a responsibility to respond. According to Kant in the Doctrine of Right, one of the purposes of the state is to secure just treatment for everyone. I argue that this includes an obligation to put in place policies and services that will promote the autonomy and agency of victims of domestic violence. (shrink)
I argue that silencing (the act of preventing someone from communicating, broadly construed) can be an act of both interpersonal and institutional violence. My argument has two main steps. First, I follow others in analyzing violence as violation of integrity and show that undermining someone’s capacities as a knower can be such a violation. Second, I argue that silencing someone can violate their epistemic capacities in that way. I conclude by exploring when silencing someone might be morally justifiable, (...) even if doing so is an act of violence. (shrink)
This paper lays the groundwork for developing a thorough-going phenomenological description of different phenomena of violence such as physical, psychic and structural violence. The overall aim is to provide subject-centered approaches to violence within the social sciences and the humanities with an integrative theoretical framework. To do so, I will draw primarily on the phenomenological accounts of Maurice Merleau-Ponty and Alfred Schutz, and thereby present guiding clues for a phenomenologically grounded theory of violence.
How can black feminist and women of color feminist theoretical interventions help create frameworks for discerning agentic action in the context of power, oppression, and violence? In this paper, I explore the social dimension of agency and argue that intention is not just authored by the agent as a function of practical reasoning, but is also socially authored through others' discernment and translation of her action. Further, when facilitated by reasoning designed to reinforce and rationalize systems of domination, social (...) authoring systematically distorts the intentions of some agents. Although some theorists have argued that those agents whose intentions are not recognized by others are forced to exercise a diminished agency, I contend that this account obscures agency that is practiced despite or through conditions of oppression. As an alternative, I propose that feminist of color theory that examines the structural and existential erasures of women of color maps a conceptual space to help us better discern agentic action that is practiced by those subjects whose acts are defined away from them. (shrink)
Rather than focusing on political and legal debates surrounding attempts to determine if and when genocidal rape has taken place in a particular setting, this essay turns instead to a crucial, yet neglected area of inquiry: the moral significance of genocidal rape, and more specifically, the nature of the harms that constitute the culpable wrongdoing that genocidal rape represents. In contrast to standard philosophical accounts, which tend to employ an individualistic framework, this essay offers a situated understanding of harm that (...) features the importance of interdependence and relationality and that conceptualizes harms as embodied and contextual. The paper ultimately reveals what is distinctive about this particular crime of sexual violence by exploring the logic of genocidal rape: genocidal rape involves the harm of forced self-betrayal unleashed relationally, causing victims as representatives of their group to participate inadvertently in the destruction of that group. (shrink)
Violence is one of the most pervasive problems in the world today. Despite all efforts to apply the powers of reason in order to contain, if not completely eliminate violence, violence proves to be capable of escaping capture and re-emerging in new and unexpected forms. Reason and rationality appear to be powerless against violence. The paper explores some philosophical issues that shed new light on the persistence of violence in the modern world. It argues that (...) the failure of modernity to recognize and come to grips with the process of construction that constitutes the basis of our relationship with reality plays a critical role in the continued survival of violence. (shrink)
From "Materialism and Revolution" through _Hope Now_, Jean-Paul Sartre was deeply engaged with questions about the meaning and justifiability of violence. In the first comprehensive treatment of Sartre’s views on the subject, Ronald Santoni begins by tracing the full trajectory of Sartre’s evolving thought on violence and shows how the "curious ambiguity" of freedom affirming itself against freedom in his earliest writings about violence developed into his "curiously ambivalent" position through his later writings.
Cyber warfare has changed the scenario of war from an empirical and a theoretical viewpoint. Cyber war is no longer based on physical violence only, but on military, political, economic and ideological strategies meant to exploit a state’s informational resources. This means that a deeper understanding of what cyber war is requires us to adopt an informational approach. This approach may enable us to account for the two-dimensional nature of cyber war, to revise the notion of violence on (...) which war is premised and to understand to what extent the traditional ideas of ‘just war’ may apply to the scenario of cyber warfare. This point is crucial, since it concerns whether a cyber war is meant to restore a broken international political and legal order or to participate in its construction. (shrink)
Reflecting on peace is intimately connected to how one conceptualizes violence. Moreover, thinking about violence is closely tied to how one conceives of socio-political life and the fundamental problems or threats that it faces. Political disagreement then, translates into disparate notions of violence and of peace. In light of this, some theorists, including Johan Galtung, advocate adoption of a singular, extended definition of violence that can accommodate this divide, paired with a corresponding two-part understanding of peace. (...) In this paper, I argue there are reasons to be wary of this strategy, and to doubt the success of Galtung’s efforts. Specifically, I problematize the methods that obscure substantive disagreement concerning violence and that ultimately limit our ability to conceptualize forms of peace. I then demonstrate the depths such disagreement can reach and thus illustrate both the limitations of existing extended notions of violence (such as Galtung’s) as well as the correspondingly divergent ideals of peace. I end by sketching an alternative account of violence that aims to avoid these flaws and thus offer grounds for a novel understanding of peace. (shrink)
In the popular misconception fostered by blockbuster action movies and best-selling thrillers--not to mention conventional explanations by social scientists--violence is easy under certain conditions, like poverty, racial or ideological hatreds, or family pathologies. Randall Collins challenges this view in Violence, arguing that violent confrontation goes against human physiological hardwiring. It is the exception, not the rule--regardless of the underlying conditions or motivations. -/- Collins gives a comprehensive explanation of violence and its dynamics, drawing upon video footage, cutting-edge (...) forensics, and ethnography to examine violent situations up close as they actually happen--and his conclusions will surprise you. Violence comes neither easily nor automatically. Antagonists are by nature tense and fearful, and their confrontational anxieties put up a powerful emotional barrier against violence. Collins guides readers into the very real and disturbing worlds of human discord--from domestic abuse and schoolyard bullying to muggings, violent sports, and armed conflicts. He reveals how the fog of war pervades all violent encounters, limiting people mostly to bluster and bluff, and making violence, when it does occur, largely incompetent, often injuring someone other than its intended target. Collins shows how violence can be triggered only when pathways around this emotional barrier are presented. He explains why violence typically comes in the form of atrocities against the weak, ritualized exhibitions before audiences, or clandestine acts of terrorism and murder--and why a small number of individuals are competent at violence. (shrink)
This book pursues the problem of whether violence can be understood to be constitutive of its own sense or meaning, as opposed to being merely instrumental. Dodd draws on the resources of phenomenological philosophy, and takes the form of a series of dialogues between figures both inside and outside of this tradition. The central figures considered include Carl von Clausewitz, Carl Schmitt, Hannah Arendt, Jean-Paul Sartre, Ernst Jünger, and Martin Heidegger, and the study concludes with an analysis of the (...) philosophy of Jan Patocka. (shrink)
In Italy, a judge reduced the sentence of a defendant by 1 year in response to evidence for a genetic predisposition to violence. The best characterized of these genetic differences, those in the monoamine oxidase A (MAOA), were cited as especially relevant. Several months previously in the USA, MAOA data contributed to a jury reducing charges from 1st degree murder (a capital offence) to voluntary manslaughter. Is there a rational basis for this type of use of MAOA evidence in (...) criminal court? This paper will review in context recent work on the MAOA gene–environment interaction in predisposing individuals to violence and address the relevance of such findings to murder trials. Interestingly, the MAOA genetic variants impact future violence and aggression only when combined with the adverse environmental stimuli of childhood maltreatment. Thus nature and nurture interact to determine the individual’s risk. Based on current evidence, I argue there is a weak case for mitigation. But should future experiments confirm the hypothesis that individual differences in impulse control and response to provocation found in MAOA-L men (without abuse) are significantly magnified when combined with childhood maltreatment, the case could turn into a stronger one. (shrink)
Obstetric violence has been analyzed from various perspectives. Its psychological effects have been evaluated, and there have been several recent sociological and anthropological studies on the subject. But what I offer in this paper is a philosophical analysis of obstetric violence, particularly focused on how this violence is lived and experienced by women and why it is frequently described not only in terms of violence in general but specifically in terms of gender violence: as (...) class='Hi'>violence directed at women because they are women. For this purpose, I find feminist phenomenology most useful as a way to explain and account for the feelings that many victims of this violence experience and report, including feelings of embodied oppression, of the diminishment of self, of physical and emotional infantilization. I believe that the insights to be found in feminist phenomenology are crucial for explaining how and why this phenomenon is different in kind from other types of medical violence, objectification, and reification. Iris Marion Young’s description of feminine existence under patriarchy, as conformed by a perpetual oppressive “I cannot,” is at the center of my analysis. I argue that laboring bodies are at least potentially perceived as antithetical to the myth of femininity, undermining the feminine mode of bodily comportment under patriarchy and thereby seriously threatening the hegemonic powers. Violence, then, appears to be necessary in order to domesticate these bodies, to make them “feminine” again. (shrink)
The neurosciences challenge the ‘standard social science’ model of human behaviour particularly with reference to violence. Although explanations of violence are interdisciplinary it remains controversial to work across the division between the social and biological sciences. Neuroscience can be subject to familiar sociological critiques of scientism and reductionism but this paper considers whether this view should be reassessed. Concepts of brain plasticity and epigenetics could prompt reconsideration of the dichotomy of the social and natural while raising questions about (...) the intersections of materiality, embodiment and social action. Although violence is intimately bound up with the body, sociologies of both violence and the body remain on the surface and rarely go under the skin or skulls of violent actors. This article argues for a non-reductionist realist explanation of violent behaviour that is also interdisciplinary and offers the potential to generate nuanced understandings of violent processes. It concludes that sociology should engage critically and creatively with the neuroscience of violence. (shrink)
Acts of intimate partner violence and abuse of nonhuman animals are common, harmful, and co-occurring phenomena. The aim of the present study was to identify perpetrator subtypes based on variable paths hypothesized to influence physical violence toward both partners and nonhuman animals: callousness and instrumental representations of aggression and rejection-sensitivity and expressive representations of aggression. Strong associations emerged between callousness and instrumental representations and between rejection-sensitivity and expressive representations. For males, callousness directly predicted both IPV and animal abuse. (...) For females, rejection-sensitivity predicted IPV. Instrumental representations mediated the relationship between callousness and animal abuse for females but not for males. Results suggest that IPV and animal abuse functionally interconnect, that perpetration of animal abuse may differ in function across gender, and that identifying distinct pathways to violence may facilitate violence prediction and prevention. (shrink)
In an effort to think through possible impossibilities, and enfold current problems within Catholicism into the luminous darkness of the cloud of the im/possible, this response to Catherine Keller's Cloud of the Impossible considers what might happen should Keller's cloud of mindful unknowing and nonseparable difference billow over and through one particular Catholic conundrum: how to respond to the terrifying reality of domestic violence in the context of a marriage defined as indissoluble, imperishable—inescapable.
The paper starts from a phenomenology of violence that reconsiders the phenomenal contours of the seemingly opposed concepts of violence, on the one hand physical violence and on the other hand structural violence. We argue that the implied definiteness of their reciprocal separableness is not given. Instead, violence should be understood as the negation of sociality. As such, it is closely related to a basic form of trust in relation to people’s self-awareness, and their relation (...) to others and to the world. It operates as a background assumption that can only be grasped ex negativo. Shattered trust is induced by interpersonal violence. That is why we focus on traumatizing and traumatic experiences and its social implications. We argue that such an analysis is only rarely done within the discipline of sociology and we therefore suggest a systematic heuristic to study the social implications of traumata. Researching those implications in turn helps us to understand the phenomenon of violence and (basic) trust alike. (shrink)
Religion is one of the most powerful forces running through human history, and although often presented as a force for good, its impact is frequently violent and divisive. This provocative work brings together cutting-edge research from both evolutionary and cognitive psychology to help readers understand the psychological structure of religious morality and the origins of religious violence. Introduces a fundamentally new approach to the analysis of religion in a style accessible to the general reader Applies insights from evolutionary and (...) cognitive psychology to both Judaism and Christianity, and their texts, to help understand the origins of religious violence Argues that religious violence is grounded in the moral psychology of religion Illustrates its controversial argument with reference to the 9/11 terrorist attacks, and the response to the attacks from both the terrorists and the President. Suggests strategies for beginning to counter the divisive aspects of religion Discusses the role of religion and religious criticism in the contemporary world. Argues for a position sceptical of the moral authority of religion, while also critiquing the excesses of the “new atheists” for failing to appreciate the moral contributions of religion Awarded Honourable Mention, 2010 Prose Awards. (shrink)
The dominant narrative today of modern political power, inspired by Foucault, is one that traces the move from the spectacle of the scaffold to the disciplining of bodies whereby the modern political subject, animated by a fundamental fear and the will to live, is promised security in exchange for obedience and productivity. In this essay, I call into question this narrative, arguing that that the modern political imagination, rooted in Hobbes, is animated not by fear but instead by the desire (...) for glory and immortality, a desire that is spectacularly displayed in the violence of the modern battlefield. I go on to argue that Hannah Arendt, writing in the ruins of the Second World War, rethinks the modern legacy of political glory. I claim that Arendt's reflections on violence and glory, which she rethinks from her earliest writings on violence in the 1940s to her later reflections on war in the 1960s, offer the possibility of a new political imagination wherein glory and the desire for immortality is now rooted in the responsibility of bearing an enduring world. (shrink)
Religion and violence are related in an ambivalent, paradoxical way, for the systems of religious knowledge tend to prohibit violence and to motivate it at the same time. This paper looks for the roots of that ambivalence and reveals particular mechanisms that generate violence within religious systems and their associated practices. It argues that violence in religious systems is present in at least three forms: It is inherent to communication with the “sacred,” it is generated by (...) processes of inclusion and exclusion, shaping religiously interpreted lifeworlds, and it is motivated or moderated by the respective semantics of religious narratives. The paper concludes that violence as a moment of hierophany is constitutive for the living experience in religious systems and cannot be eliminated entirely by moderating semantics. (shrink)
This paper will address Foucault’s analysis of the Hebrew and Christian pastor and argue that Foucault’s analysis of pastoral power in Security, Territory, Population neglects an important characteristic of the shepherd/pastor figure: violence. Despite Foucault’s close analysis of the early development of the Hebrew pastor, he overlooks the role of violence and instead focuses on sacrifice. However the sacrificial pastor does not figure in the Hebrew Scriptures. The Hebrew pastor is called to lead, feed and protect the flock, (...) not sacrifice for them. This is not to suggest that the theme of sacrifice is absent in the Hebrew Scriptures but that sacrifice is not a role attributed to the pastor until Jesus’ reinterpretation of the “good shepherd” in Chapter 10 of The Gospel of John.4 In distinguishing the Hebrew and Christian formulations of the pastor, the roles of violence and sacrifice in each can be understood more clearly. Beginning with the Hebrew Scriptures I will demonstrate the importance of violence in the figure of David as the first “shepherd of men”. I will argue that violence and the ability to protect the flock was a significant and determining characteristic of the Hebrew pastor. Contrary to Foucault’s assertion I will demonstrate that sacrifice was not a role attributed to the Hebrew pastor. While the words and life of Jesus provide a new sacrificial paradigm for understanding the “shepherd of men,” it is Paul who provides the foundation on which the practice of the Christian pastor is established in the Church. Therefore I will examine the writing of Paul to demonstrate the way violence operates in the Christian pastorate. I will argue that sacrifice does not replace violence but violence is subsumed in the sacrificial pastor and continues to operate. Finally I will suggest that the introduction of violence into Foucault’s analysis establishes a deeper connection between pastoral power and biopower. Thus, this connection engenders a richer understanding of the tension in Foucault’s work between care and violence in the poles of biopower: to make live and let die. (shrink)
The Marxian Thesis about the role of violence in History, as it is enunciated in The Capital, is investigated through an analysis of the Hegelian character of its syntax, and the way Engels develops it; a non-teleological interpretation of the thesis is then defended, one that understands that violence presents a plurality of forms, a pervasive character and a heavy materiality.Trata-se de investigar a tese marxiana acerca do papel da violência na história, tal como enunciada em O Capital, (...) analisando sua sintaxe de matriz hegeliana e o modo como Engels articula tal tese, para então defender uma interpretação não-teleológica da violência, segundo a qual esta apresenta uma pluralidade de formas, um caráter totalmente difuso e uma pesada materialidade. (shrink)
_ Source: _Volume 45, Issue 2, pp 191 - 213 With the recent publication of Jacques Derrida’s seminar of 1964–65, Heidegger: The Question of Being and History, it has become abundantly clear that when the full history of Derrida’s half-century-long engagement with Heidegger is finally written a special place will have to be reserved for the question of history itself, and especially the question of history or historicity in its irreducible relationship to language and to violence. In this essay, (...) I look at just a few key passages from “Violence and Metaphysics,” first published in 1964, and Derrida’s seminar on Heidegger from that same year in order to try to isolate what appears to be an important transitional moment in Derrida’s rethinking of the questions of language, violence, and history, in large part, it seems, thanks to, or accompanied by, Heidegger. Indeed, while Derrida’s engagement with Heidegger over the next four decades will go on to include questions of technology, the animal, species difference, sexual difference, and so on, the relationship between language, history, and violence that came to draw his attention in the early 1960s and that would be crucial to what Derrida will go on to call deconstruction will continue to haunt him, as I will suggest in conclusion, right up to his very last seminar, The Beast and the Sovereign, in 2002–2003. (shrink)
The question of the imperatives induced by the Gandhian concept of non-violence towards animals is an issue that has been neglected by specialists on the thinking of the Mahatma. The aim of this article is to highlight the systematic – and significant – character of this particular aspect of his views on non-violence. The first part introduces the theoretical foundations of the duty of non-violence towards animals in general. Gandhi's critical interpretation of cow-protection, advocated by Hinduism, leads (...) to a general reflection on the duty of non-violence towards animals, the cow being transformed into the representative of all dumb creation. The approach adopted by Gandhi to solving the problem of cow-protection focuses on its practical dimensions and is based primarily on reforming animal husbandry. What limits should be imposed on the exploitation of farm animals within the framework of non-violence? Gandhi devoted nearly 30 years to elaborating an animal husbandry system that would be both economically viable and in conformity with the universal ethical principles he drew from religions (especially Hinduism). The interdiction to kill is absolute, since Gandhi not only rejects the breeding of farm animals for the purposes of butchery but also the slaughtering of animals that are no longer capable of providing the services required of them. He therefore concentrated his efforts on drawing up a scheme to reorganize this activity on a national scale while taking into consideration these constraints, which are less contradictory than they may seem to be at first sight. Reviewing the age-old activity of animal husbandry in the light of non-violence is clearly based on the specific nature of Hindu traditions. However, it goes far beyond cultural or religious relativism, since it is also founded on universal ethical principles. (shrink)
The 2013 FOIM (Fellowship of Indian Missiologists) Conference was hosted at Punalur, Kerala. 12 papers from this conference were compiled and published in Christian Mission in the Midst of Violence under the editorship of Dr. Joy Thomas SVD, director of Ishvani Kendra of Pune and Secretary of FOIM and Dr. Siga Arles, director of the Centre for Contemporary Christianity of Bangalore.
In terms of medical science and legal responsibility, the sleep disorder category of parasomnias, chiefly REM sleep behavior disorder and somnambulism, pose an enigmatic dilemma. During an episode of parasomnia, individuals are neither awake nor aware, but their actions appear conscious. As these actions move beyond the innocuous, such as eating and blurting out embarrassing information, and enter the realm of rape and homicide, their degree of importance and relevance increases exponentially. Parasomnias that result in illegal activity, particularly violence, (...) are puzzling phenomena for medicine and the law. Via a review of the pertinent medical literature, a general overview of the current scientific knowledge of parasomnias will be provided. Though this knowledge is far from complete, it can provide some neurobiological information about the nature of parasomnia, including conclusions about a sleepwalker’s level of intention as well as factors that predispose one to such episodes. Although a parasomniac’s complete lack of consciousness warrants acquittal from criminal liability, it does not exclude responsibility for subjecting oneself to exacerbating factors that result in these violent parasomnias. Individuals should be held accountable if they could be expected to control these factors. In addition, they should undergo appropriate treatment and management in order to prevent future parasomnia behaviors. Establishing a legal defense for parasomnia will prove difficult due to the strong potential for malingering, so specific criteria will be outlined in order to distinguish between true and fraudulent claims of crimes committed during parasomniac states. (shrink)
Michelle Madden Dempsey’s compelling book sets out a normative feminist argument as to why and when prosecutors should continue to pursue prosecutions in domestic violence cases where the victim refuses to participate in or has withdrawn their support for the prosecution. This paper will explore two of the key aspects of her argument—the centrality and definition of the concept of patriarchy, and the definition of domestic violence—before concluding with some final thoughts as to the appropriate parameters of feminist (...) prosecutorial decision-making. The paper argues that Madden Dempsey could offer a more detailed and nuanced argument about the role that patriarchy plays, particularly its relevance in marking out appropriate cases for pursuit; and that her thesis requires a more convincing exposition of the precise reasons for offering such a narrow account of domestic violence. (shrink)
Critique of Violence is a highly original and lucid investigation of the heated controversy between poststructuralism and critical theory. Leading theorist Beatrice Hanssen uses Walter Benjamin's essay 'Critique of Violence' as a guide to analyse the contentious debate, shifting the emphasis from struggle to dialogue between the two parties. Regarding the questions of critique and violence as the major meeting points between both traditions, Hanssen positions herself between the two in an effort to investigate what critical theory (...) and poststructuralism have to offer each other. In the course of doing so, she assembles imaginative new readings of Benjamin, Arendt, Fanon and Foucault, and incisively explores the politics of recognition, the violence of language, and the future of feminist theory. This groundbreaking book will be essential reading for all students of continental philosophy, political theory, social studies and comparative literature. Also available in this series: Essays on Otherness Hb: 0-415-13107-3: £50.00 Pb: 0-415-13108-1: £15.99 Hegel After Derrida Hb: 0-415-17104-4: £50.00 Pb: 0-415-17105-9: £15.99 The Hypocritical Imagination Hb: 0-415-21361-4: £47.50 Pb: 0-415-21362-2: £15.99 Philosophy and Tragedy Hb: 0-415-19141-6: £45.00 Pb: 0-415-19142-4: £14.99 Textures of Light Hb: 0-415-14273-3: £42.50 Pb: 0-415-14274-1: £13.99 Very Little ... Almost Nothing Pb: 0-415-12821-8: £47.50 Pb: 0-415-12822-6: £15.99. (shrink)
One common approach to autonomy begins by drawing boundaries around the agent, dividing her from external forces that limit her options, hostile agents who would harness her to their projects, and rebellious motivations embedded within her own psychology. Relational approaches to autonomy blur these boundaries, demonstrating the ways in which autonomy is possible only in mutually respectful, caring relationships. I develop a particular kind of relational approach, on which autonomy requires others’ recognition that certain choices belong to us. That is (...) because agency involves responsibility for one’s actions. Crucially, the responsibility in question is not simply causal responsibility. Rather, to be an agent is to be the proper object of reactive attitudes like resentment or gratitude for specific actions. Whether one is responsible (in this sense) for any state of affairs depends, not simply on whether one caused that state of affairs to occur, but on whether the choice to bring this state of affairs about belonged to you. Moreover, I argue that that while some tools – specifically, violence – might bolster one’s causal powers, they simultaneously threatening the social contexts that make “choice-ownership” possible. While these tools seem apt to secure our agency, they in fact threaten to destroy it. (shrink)
This paper addresses how states improve their responsiveness to violence against women in developing countries with little political will and few resources to do so. One key to engendering justice and improving responsiveness is building specialized institutions within the state that facilitate the implementation of laws addressing violence against women. Why and how do states engage in institution-building to protect marginalized populations in these contexts? I propose that developing countries are more likely to create and maintain specialized institutions (...) when domestic and international political and legal frameworks make the state more vulnerable to women’s demands, and when civil society coordinates with the state and/or international organizations to take advantage of this political opportunity. This coordination brings necessary pressure and resources that would be difficult, if not impossible, to deliver otherwise. This inter-institutional coordination is necessary for building and maintaining new state institutions and programs that help to monitor the implementation of laws, develop public policies, provide services for victims, and improve responsiveness of the justice system. This fills an important lacuna in the literature, which focuses on women’s state institutions as an important catalyst for responsiveness to violence against women, but does not explain how these institutions are initially constructed. (shrink)
In this article I examine the legal framework for addressing violence against women in post war Guatemala. Since the signing of the Peace Accords in 1996, judicial reform in Guatemala has included the passing of laws in the area of women‘s human rights, aimed at eliminating discrimination and violence against women. These laws constitute a response to and have occurred concurrently to an increase in violent crime against women, particularly in the form of mass rapes and murders. Drawing (...) on fieldwork conducted in Guatemala‘s Metropolitan Area, this paper juxtaposes the laws for addressing violence against women to Guatemalan women‘s complex, multilayered and multi-dimensional life experiences. The latter expose the limitations of strictly legal understandings of the phenomenon of gender-based violence, and highlight the need for broad social justice approaches that take into account the different structures of violence, inequality, and injustice present in women‘s lives. (shrink)
This volume sets out to give a philosophical "applied" account of violence, engaged with both empirical and theoretical debates in other disciplines such as cognitive science, sociology, psychiatry, anthropology, political theory, ...
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.
Is violence senseless or is it at the origin of sense? Does its destruction of meaning disclose ourselves as the origin of meaning? Or is it the case that it leaves in its wake only a barren field? Does it result in renewal or only in a sense of dead loss? To answer these questions, I shall look at James Dodd’s, Hegel’s, and Carl Schmitt’s accounts of the creative power of violence—particularly with regard to its ability to give (...) individuals and groups their sense of self-identity. I shall also follow up on Peg Birmingham’s suggestion that Socrates’ defense at his trial points to an alternate source of our self-identity—one that is ultimately less barren. (shrink)
The sociology of violence still struggles with two critical questions: What motivates people to act violently on behalf of groups and how do they come to identify with the groups for which they act? Methodologically the article addresses these puzzling problems in favor of a relational sociology that argues against both micro- and macro-reductionist accounts, while theoretically it proposes a twofold reorientation: first, it makes a plea for the so called cognitive turn in social theory; second, it proposes following (...) praxeological accounts of social action that focus on the dynamic interpenetration of cognition and socio-cultural practices. The argument is that symbolic boundaries constitute the “missing link” that allows for overcoming the micro-macro gap in violence research: Symbolic boundaries can cause people's participation in collective violence by providing the essential relational resources for violent action and by triggering the cognitive/affective mechanisms necessary for social actors to become drawn into mobilization processes that can cause their engaging in coordinated attacks on sites across the boundary. The article offers a new theoretical argument by drawing on knowledge from violence research, social action theory and cognitive science allowing for a non-reductionist theory of action that explains how and why people engage in collective violence. (shrink)
Guided by principles of life history strategy development, this study tested the hypothesis that sexual precocity and violence are influenced by sensitivities to local environmental conditions. Two models of strategy development were compared: The first is based on indirect perception of ecological cues through family disruption and the second is based on both direct and indirect perception of ecological stressors. Results showed a moderate correlation between rates of violence and sexual precocity (r = 0.59). Although a model incorporating (...) direct and indirect effects provided a better fit than one based on family mediation alone, significant improvements were made by linking some ecological factors directly to behavior independently of strategy development. The models support the contention that violence and teenage pregnancy are part of an ecologically determined pattern of strategy development and suggest that while the family unit is critical in affecting behavior, individuals’ direct experiences of the environment are also important. (shrink)
The purpose of this paper is to establish a proper context for reading Jacques Derrida's The Gift of Death, which, I contend, can only be understood fully against the backdrop of "Violence and Metaphysics." The later work cannot be fully understood unless the reader appreciates the fact that Derrida returns to "a certain Abraham" not only in the name of Kierkegaard but also in the name of Levinas himself. The hypothesis of the reading that follows therefore would be that (...) Derrida writes The Gift of Death not as an attempt to re-present Kierkegaard's Abraham either rightly or wrongly but as an effort to do with Kierkegaard's Abraham what is possible with his thought in a broadly Levinasian/Derridean framework. That the reading he provides of the Abraham story would not be recognizable to Kierkegaard is not the principal point of Derrida's effort; his aim is to demonstrate that Levinas should not have been so hasty to dismiss Kierkegaard but could have recovered his interpretation of Abraham for purposes that Derrida and Levinas both share. (shrink)
In this paper I discuss two related ideas and cross-reference them, as it were, on the common ground of the Spinozistic text. First, I want to construct a Spinozistic account of domestic violence and a Spinozistic response to such violence. This will involve attempting to explicate the phenomenon (or at least one aspect of it, to be defined) through the terms and conceptual structure of Spinoza's Ethics. Second, I want to discuss a feminist reading (interpretation) of Spinoza, that (...) of Luce Irigaray. The projects work together, as a better Spinozistic account requires a charitable reading of Spinoza to which Irigaray points the way. Irigaray will turn out to be more Spinozistic that Spinoza himself. In addition, the construction of a Spinozistic response to domestic violence will highlight the textual basis of Irigaray’s reading. It is hoped that this will contribute to making Irigaray’s reading accessible to philosophers trained in the analytic tradition. The undercurrent of both discussions will be an attempt to explicate and further what I take to be a shared moral insight in the late twentieth century, namely, that domestic violence, and particularly violence against women as wives and partners, is morally wrong. (shrink)
In 1998 Ghia Van Eeden was sexually assaulted by a serial rapist who had escaped from police custody due to the negligence of the South African police authorities. Claiming that the State owed a common law duty of care to potential victims to protect them from violent crimes, Van Eeden sought damages for the harm she had suffered. In a path-breaking decision, the Supreme Court of Appeal (S.C.A.) found that a duty of care did indeed exist and that its execution (...) had to be considered in line with the constitutional requirement to protect women's right to be free from violence and the constitutional obligation to develop the common law so as to promote the spirit, purport and objects of the South African Bill of Rights. Examining the Van Eeden decision in terms of its substantial development of the circumstances in which the State may be judged liable for a wrongful omission, this note positions the S.C.A.'s decision in the context of the evolving case law of the Constitutional Court on sexual violence and ultimately questions its practical significance for addressing the prevalent abuse of women in South Africa. (shrink)
The current financial crisis is one rooted not in recent deregulation but in the breaking of ancient (religious) laws, and this crisis is one of many ethical problems today that have religious roots. The tone of this essay is informed by a document from the World Council of Churches, which affirms "greed as violence" and that Christians do not have all the answers to the problem of greed; therefore, Christians need to seek solutions with other religious communities. Furthermore, religious (...) leaders, theologians, and ethicists, by their very station in life, are not able to effectively listen to the voices of the poor and marginalized people of the world. Self-critically examining the mainstream traditions within Christianity for its allegiance to empires, the article calls for engaging the alternative, rather than the mainstream traditions within religions whose interpretations of Scripture have provided insights that are at variance with the mainstream. It calls those who engage in this work to be double-headed: to examine others' beliefs from the perspective of the other—while continuing to be rooted in one's own center—and to recognize that the voices of those in poor or marginalized communities are inaccessible, unless those who are poor themselves become the mediators of dialogue. (shrink)
Lorenzo Magnani’s Understanding Violence: The Intertwining of Morality, Religion and Violence is a big 23 book. Not big in the sense of page count or prepublication advertisement, but big in the sense of pregnant 24 with potential application. Professor Magnani is explicit in his intentions, “to show how violence is de facto 25 intertwined with morality, and how much violence is hidden, and invisibly or unintentionally performed" 26 (page 273) while confessing a personal motivation, “warning myself (...) (and every reader) that violence is 27 traceable back to my (our) own door.” (page 66) This is not an easy task, given the slippery expanse of his 28 subject, to drag violence out of the shadows, bringing it home to each personal purveyor. But Magnani 29 succeeds, and fruitfully. Understanding Violence deftly exposes violence in its myriad forms from individual 30 aggression to colliding global-historical narratives. It does this by detailing the processes whereby people act 31 from moralities of their own creation, adopting various moral frameworks including those specific to 32 religions, social and political groups, as well as personal constructs, and in terms of which "they engage and 33 disengage both intentionally and unintentionally, in a strict interplay between morality and violence." (page 34 184) Resolving these complex dynamics through simple models and illustrations, Understanding Violence 35 elevates the reader from the forest-for-the-trees perpetual-crisis-blindness symptomatic of the present era, to 36 a position from which personal moral commitments as practical, as necessary, and as the source of hidden 37 violence are clearly visible. Moreover, due to the practicality of Magnani’s demonstrations, it continues in 38 this work long after the text itself is laid back on the shelf. (shrink)