Violence in International Politics

  • Created by: LilyIM
  • Created on: 10-05-18 15:39

Week 1

How do you understand violence?

How is violence portrayed in the media?

Nero's guests, Deepa Bhatia

  • Mr Sainath (reporter) investigates farmer suicides in India. 
  • Nero, Emperer in Rome used slaves to illuminate his party. 
  • Sainath compares Nero's treatment as simular to the way Indias ruling class uses the working class. 
  • 'Business friendly' ventures that screw over farmers. 
  • Took Finance minister 2 hours to console Dala street millionares when Sensex plunged. But 10 yrs for PM to visit the families of farmers suicides. 
  • Journalist points to Nero's guests, who allow this to happen (compare general population). 

Week 2

  • What is violence? What counts as violence?
  •  Is violence natural and inevitable
  • Is violence ever justified?
  • Is violence an instrument of politics?
  • How does IR theory approach violence?
  • What is structural and cultural violence?
  • Do only states exercise the monopoly of the legitimate use of physical violence?
  • Is a strict monopoly of violence necessary?


War on the decline?

  • Human security report: 50 was per year 1990's, rising since 9/11. 
  • US highest rates of imprisonment 
  • Drone attacks (e.g. in Yemen, US vs al Qiada, killing families)
  • Boko Haram (Sexual slavery women/kids, April 14th kidnapped 200 schoolgirls in Chibok)
  • Structural inequalities. 

Why does IR not talk about violence?

  • IR suppose to center around violence. 
  • Terms used are too narrow and biased, e.g. force, intervention, offensive strategies. 
  • In 'Man and the State of War'- Waltz, uses the term violence 11 times in whole book: 'To state Inter-state war' 


  • Term 'Violence' is used when states want to make it illegitiment. 
  • Mearsheimer in 'The tragedy of great power politics' uses language to make war illegitimate e.g. Italy 'focused it's agressive intentions' and Japan 'act[ed] agressively' 
  • Tony Blair played up the 'uncivilised other' to highlight why go to Iraq war. 

State of Violence

  • As the opposite of peace and order.
  • 'Liberation of African and Asian people from European Empires...[caused] violence and disorder.' 

Can violence be legitimised?

  • Liberation struggles like African National Congress in SA.
  • Franz Fanon said 'violence is a cleansing force...makes him fearless and restores his self respect'

Structural Violence

  • Gultung: Violence is a disparity between a persons actual/potential (someone does unessarily of a disease when it could of been preventable, but couldn't access the help). 
  • Direct violence-visable violence, physical and psycological abuse.
  • Cultural violence- unseen violence, use to legitimise direct violence. 
  • Structural violence- When social/political/economical structures prefer people, maginalised don't reach it needs (e.g. colonialism and slavery). 
  • For example Flint Water crisis, water change lead to dangerous levels of lead in water, 40% residents below povety line, most African American. Wasn't being resolved. 
  • Isamaphobia US, muslim country ban Donald Trump (6 countries)


Amoore, Lousie, Goede

  • Legitimising (Tony Blair 2010 Iraq inquiry, 'nihilists' -pointless violence al-queda, IRA 'certain framework you can understand' 
  • Iraq justified by the other and unknown, new forms of violence through terrorism justifies 'emergency ethics' -Walzer.
  • Afpak border: Terrorist threat thats real, but unspecified. 
  • 2010 drones killed over 1000 milititants and 531 civilians. 
  • Max Weber


No comments have yet been made