Violence in world politics

Lecture 1 - Intro

What types of violence are there in the world?

  • Physical - war, terrorism
  • Structural - use of structural features of the world to enact violence on people, e.g. structural reajustment programmes and economic violence
  • Cultural - a mixture of the two, can also be the prefferential treatment of one culture above another. E.g. the use of only Hebrew on road signs in Israel, stopping those who only know Arabic to have the same freedom.

Key texts/media

Nero's Guests

  • Documentary about inter-generaltional debt in rural India.
  • Thousands of Jobs lost in industry
  • Top-down economics did not work (Structural Readjustment Programes)
  • 200,000 suicides by 1997
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Lecture 2 - the Omnipresence of violence

How is violence all around us?

Violence has evolved to be a constant aspect of many peoples lifes.

Steven Pinker - 'Violence has been declining' 

I do not belive this to be true as whilst physical violence has declined, other forms may be employed. Western Centic point of view.

The language of violence is euphemistic and legitimising. 

  • Waltz - the word violence only used 11 times
  • Mearsheimer - violence is never used in the founding text of 'offensive realism'
  • Blair - humanitarian intervention instead of violence

What is violence? Does having a broad definition harm the impact of the term itself?

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Lecture 3 Part 1 - Ethnopolitical conflict

Seperation makes violence

The idea of the nation state is problematic as what is a nation but one exclusive grouping of people, which can sometimes not be representative of the citizens within the state. - Arendt

Counter enlightment - Shared collective conciousness in state. - Shared culture - social constructs.

Types of national movements - George Shutfield

  • Renenl Movement: where formal statehood exists, nationalists wants to revive past tradions in that state.
  • Irredentist Movements: Very common in Europe before 1945. Nation- State lays claim to a territory that was incorporated into the 'wrong' state.
  • Automist movements: outright independence is not the goal.
  • Secessionist movements: where one state or territory within a state wants to leave to achieve independence. 
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Lecture 3 part 2 - Seperatist violence

Solutions for seperatist violence

  • The establishment of constituional mechanisms such as power sharing used to be. E.g.  Northern Ireland Bifurification. 
  • Federalism: constituionally entrenched power sharing. Switzerland.
  • Autonomy: whereby distinct units within a state are given some power form the centre. UK
  • Intergration: where the core ethnoculture community tries to homgenise everyone else around a set of independent civic principles. France - > rhetoric since 1789.

When these do not work

  • Offically sanctioned discrimination. -> Latvia many Roma born stateless.
  • Mass deportation: used in the Balkens in 1870's, Jacobite sectes after Culloden in 1746. People smuggled into another country, smuggled back again.
  • State sponsored violence, programms against minorities, could be used with enthic cleansing and genocide. For instance Nazi Germany.
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Lecture 3 part 3 - National movements

Kurdish nationalism

  • Kurdish territory shared with 4 countries + other nationalities.
  • The political representative of the others have had greater success in establishing modern-nation states.
  • States and non-nationalist movements competes with other nationalist projects. The Kurdish movement remains divided on tribal, ideological and language grounds.
  • No internal Kurdish consensus upon the nature of the end game of the movement itself.

Part of post-colonial fall out.

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Lecture 4 - Colonialism

The Battle of Algiers

Inspiration for the Black Panthers, Al Queda and was banned in France, but Pentagon screened film in 2003, for warning against failer in counter insurgency.

Is Torture an efficient counter terror method?

Why is the state the only legitimate origin of force?

Colonialism does not come to an end with the declaration of independence in the form of psycological changes + financial chains.

Architechture used as a show of power. E.g. the seperation wall and lookout towers in the occupied sections of Palestien.  

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Lecture 5 Part 1 - Terrorism

Terrorism is one of the most contested type of violence.

Old type of definition - 'Terror is nothing other than Justice promt and fexible' - Robespierre, 1789 after the reign of terror in France. - links purely to the state.

Hoffman 2006 'it is violence... used and directed in the pursuit of, or in service of, a political aim' - now links to any political group using violence.

Main signifiers of modern day terrorism

  • Conscious and well calculated acts of violence to instill fear
  • Large number of people are affected
  • Random or an important power base is targeted
  • The acts tries to create outrage in the population effected
  • The acts try to initiate a debate regarding the political demands of the group 
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Lecture 5 Part 2 - Main typologies of Terrorism

Main typologies

  • Ideological terrorism: motivated by political system of belief. -  Left wing: overthrow capitalism -  Right wing: contest liberal Government and preserve traditional social orders
  • Ethno-nationalist/Seperatist: Grievances with the current composition of a country
  • Religious: motivated by the belief that an otherworldly power has sanctioned the approval of terrorist violence for faith
  • State terrorism: Government commites acts of terror against it's own citizens.


  • Grievances: disenfranchised minority 
  • Lack of political expression: current political involvement does not allow for change
  • Identify with percieved victims of social injustice
  • Do not agree with policies of the state
  • Psychological cuases oof terrorism: feel rewarded psychologically/mental health issues
  • A political tool: e.g. deeds not words 
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Lecture 5 part 3 - Counter terrorism

Main types of counter terrorism

  • Persuasion and incentives through diplomacy, e.g. medation talks, or cease fires
  • Inclusive political processes and reintergration of disenfranchised peoples
  • The state or supernational groups supporting the work of NGO's
  • Multi-lateral law enforcement e.g. Interpol
  • Monitoring funding to terrorist groups or states commiting terror on it's citizens and citizens in other countries e.g. sanctions
  • Coercive and non-coercive tactics -> military
  • Inteligence agencies monitoring international action and working together to stop spread of ideas of certain terrorist groups.
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Lecture 6 -> film screening

About Kashmiri persecution

  • Hands cut off with metal wire by hanging
  • Petrol anally fed to them so insides burnt out
  • Beaten for voting for muslim front in the '87 elections + not free and fair elections
  • Religious tensions starting rapidly increasing in 1990 -> mass hindu exodus
  • Enforced detention/ disappearence 
  • Killing of non-combatants
  • Mass **** -> attack those most vulnerable -> gendered violence
  • Full legal immunity of state to burn houses down that COULD have a millitant reciding in them

'National' security -> Which 'nationality' does it protect? Is it a meaningless term if it does not fit the object?  

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Guest lecture 1 - Islam and International Relation

Being an islamic state only changes the relation between the state and the society.

  • Cannot be as loyal to the state as loyal to the religion
  • Umma -> community of believers-> split into nationalities instead of solidarity
  • Umma -> rule over people Vs rule over territory (state)

Islam Vs secularism in IR

  • Islam must be political islam to abide to the secular foundation of IR

Islamic IR uses different language than tradtional IR

Normative political Islam                                           Islam as politics

  • no one version of Islam                                     Link to normative
  • Islam as faith -> link to transdentalism
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Guest Lecture 1 - IR in the Muslim world

Subsume religion for something else

Marxism does not encompass everything/Constructivism -> motive + programmes for political action (Owens, 2009)

Realism has problems with theoretical questions -> only seen thorough liberal context

IR of Africa

  • Vastly underrepresented as a continent

IR of South East Asia

  • Case study of Indonesia: modernising (international - good) Vs authenticity (Domestic - bad)
  • Interpretive realism

Most radical alternative -> Din wa dawa-> religion and state

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Guest Lecture 1 - Islam through Liberal thought

Liberalism is the main theory that the international community works through.

The problem with tolerence -> emphasises lowering ones self to deal with another group of people, stops true discussion and debate

Liberalism -> 'civilisation' Vs Islam -> God

              Violence -> 0-sum conflict

Global IR -> Framework to bring ideas 'from the margins' broadening from Eurocentric view.

                -> Normative political Islam represents 1 marginal thought

Value puralism dares IR to find purpose not in the spread of one form of international politics, but the mangement of various, competing value claims.

  • The idea of liberalism as a religion in itself (working with a similar framework)
  • Political Islam concept from 'Dead Brown Men' instead of DWEM's. 
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Guest lecture 2 - Israel/Palestine conflict, histo

History of the conflict

  • Israel created -> more than half displaced, ethnic cleansing?
  • 1967 war -> 6 days, Israeli expansion and occupation
  • Seperation Barrier -> Architectural violence, checkpoints, water distribution management, demolition of houses
  • Cultural violence -> 'any aspect of a culture that can be used to legitimise violence' (Galtung 1992: 291)

Key theorists

  • Johann Galtung -> creator of cultural violence
  • Theodor Herzel -> Historian
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Guest lecture 2 - Examples of violence in Israel/P

Denial of Palestine identity

  • 'Empty land' -> without certain identity
  • 'A land without people for a people without land' - typical Israeli saying, completly forgetting the Palestinian people already there.

Ownership of land

  • The Eretz Yisrael, the promised land for the Jewish 'chosen people'


  • The word 'Occupation' and the phrase 'occupied territory' are banned
  • Instead Judea and Samaria are used
  • Settlement changed to 'redemption' in Hebrew
  • School books are changed -> indoctrination of the people to think that the occupation was ok

Delegitimisation and dehumanisation -> Palestinians as terrorists

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Guest lecture 2 - Orientalism

Edward Said -> the Occident has vast power over the Orient by dominating restructuring and having authority over it. Change the education about the Orient, change the power play between the two.
Orient seen as inferior through years of oppression and Eurocentric education.

Essentialisation and generalisation -> stresses one aspect over another to link with Western ideals of the East -> e.g. The importance of Islam.

Links with colonialism -> 'civilising mission'

3 major claims of orientalism

  • 'World of Islam' -> homogeneous identity
  • Islam is flawed -> decline of civilisation
  • Defined by lack of progress

Huntington -> major ideological problems due to instilled ideas of middle eastern technology.

Feminist orientalism -> portrayal of women in Middle East -> women need saving.

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Lecture 7 - Structural violence, capitalism

Massive inequality in rich countries

Inheritance, education and economic power of earlier generations help the rich of today.

Colonialism and slavery,caste and mitigation help, inequality

Galtung -> 'violence wherein Some social structure... may harm people' 1969

Neo-lib policies of capitalism

  • Top down policies
  • Wealth favours the wealthy
  • Roll back welfare state

Neo-patriarchy -> Nadine Shanta Murshid
Neo-lib policies that enhance economic positions without social structure changing
Sexual harassment

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