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Behemoth. A Journal on Civilisation 2 (2009), 1


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Zeitschrift:Behemoth. A Journal on Civilisation
Herausgeber:Im Auftrag des Profilbildenden Forschungsbereichs „Riskante Ordnungen“ der Universität Leipzig herausgegeben von Prof. Ulrich Bröckling, Prof. Wolfgang Fach und apl. Prof. Rebecca Pates
Akademie Verlag,
Weitere Angaben:April, August, Dezember
Ausgabe:2 (2009), 1 - Violence beyond the State? Approaches to Theory and Forms

Violence beyond the State? – Approaches to Theory and Forms
Heidrun Zinecker (Ed.)

Violence beyond the state, also referred to as privatized violence, is dominant today. However, unlike is implied in the relevant literature today, it concerns not only (and possibly not in particular) violence “outsourced” by the state that should redress the social and political order: “violence beyond the State” does not necessarily concern the state, and not only when it is not violence against the state. Yet the boundaries of such a force always appear diffuse: to what extent is it political or already criminal? Or alternatively: to what extent is it criminal or already political? These “diffuse” forms of violence - with a focus on the well known and particularly violence intensive global South - are at the center of this edition of Behemoth. An exemplary challenge confronts the present issue of Behemoth at the same time as it offers insights that are to a large extent absent from the relevant literature. As such, it will analyze not only forms of violence, but also offer theoretical approaches to explain these phenomena. It presents unusual approaches, for it is not mainstream political scientists or criminologists who jump into the breach, but experts who approach the phenomenon “from the other side”, from other theoretical fields including international law, political economy and ethnology.


Heidrun Zinecker

Hartmut Elsenhans
Rente und subnationale Gewalt. Der Beitrag der politischen Ökonomie

Rents are a basic element of the political economy of underdeveloped economies. They hinder and often block the mechanism of social integration through gainful employment and veto the power of labour, which characterizes capitalist societies and the constitution of citizenship. The impact of rent on political structures is, however, ambiguous. Anomie is only one possible result. Hence the link between raw material exports and non-state violence is also ambiguous. Many societies, which are characterized by rents, have developed quite powerful mechanisms of keeping internal peace, possibly with limited participation. The conditions of differential impacts of rent on social structures and political behaviour call for an analysis of internal interest mediation.

Thomas Zitelmann
_Gewalt diesseits, jenseits und am Rande des Staates.
Ethnologische Positionen_

Approaching anthropological research on violence means to approach a field of questions rather than of answers. It offers manifold perspectives on competing interpretations: comparative perspectives on a multitude of articulations between war and peace in small societies; on physiological and bodily practices of violence; on cultural, symbolic and cognitive patterns of violence; systemic channels and alternatives for violence derived from conflicts of interests; structural patterns with a perspective on relations between local violence; intermediate processes of inclusion/exclusion and over-arching political-economic relations. A strong current in recent research relates to the transposition of phenomena of violence formerly observed outside the sphere of “the state” to post-Cold War phenomena now observed under the simultaneous conditions of globalisation and fragmentation of statehood.

Michael Bothe
Violence beyond the State. The International Law Approach

International law upholds a fundamental difference between the organised use of force by States and organised violence by non-State actors. Even though the use of force in international relations is prohibited by international law, the conduct of war is nevertheless regulated. Violence by non-State actors is only in certain respects restrained and only as an exception regulated by international law. Persons other than the members of the armed forces are in many respects engaged in the use of organized force. International law has reacted to this phenomenon not by abandoning the difference between organized interstate violence and non-State violence but by addressing the problem in a differentiated way which, on the one hand, has maintained the privileged position of the use of armed force by State organs, but on the other hand does not simply render non-State violence lawless.

Peter Kreuzer
Private Political Violence and Boss-Rule in the Philippines

Despite its rather strong and venerable democratic credentials the Philippines is still marred by political violence. Targeted killings and physical harassment by vigilantes, death squads, private armed groups, para-military militias, the police or members of the armed forces as well as violent competition for political jobs cost hundreds of lives every year. One central anchor point of this broad range of violent actors and forms are the locally embedded political bosses. (Defective) democracy provides an ideal frame for the continuing competition between various segments of the highly fragmented elite. The paper shows how the bosses succeeded in controlling most means of political violence employed and were thereby able to advance their interests to an extraordinary extent. Upholding private control over means of violence furthered their interests as a political class even though it weakened the state.

Stacey L. Hunt
Rethinking State, Civil Society and Citizen Participation.
The Case of the Colombian Paramilitaries

Throughout Latin America, processes of democratization have coincided with increasing levels of violent crime, the privatization of justice and security, and widespread support for heavy-handed policing. The Colombian paramilitaries are perhaps the most notorious case of brutal violence committed against civilians with general support from both state and society. The article explores the surprising amalgam of actors of which the paramilitaries are comprised. It illustrates the way in which their development was shrouded in and facilitated by legal ambiguity, and distinguish their war tactic of targeting the civilians from the guerrilla’s strategy. Finally, it discusses the political success of the paramilitaries in terms of their land and wealth consolidation, their insertion into the political science, and their legal demobilization. It is suggested to conceive paramilitary violence not merely as havoc wrecked in the margins of the state, but as a central component of contemporary governance.





Alexandra Hees
Institut für Soziologie – Universität Freiburg
Rempartstraße 15
79085 Freiburg
E-Mail: <behemothuni-freiburg.de>

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