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Description - The Politics of Atrocity and Reconciliation by Michael Humphrey

How does the experiencing and witnessing of violence shape contemporary social and cultural worlds? The Politics of Atrocity and Reconciliation examines contemporary political violence and atrocity in the context of the crisis of the nation-state. It explores the way violence is used to unmake the social world and how its product, suffering, is used to try to remake the social world. Humphrey considers both the unmaking of the world through torture, war, urbicide and ethnic cleansing and the resultant remaking of the world through testimony and witnessing in the forums of truth commissions and trials. The discussion thus moves from terror to trauma. Humphrey argues that 'suffering' is the interface between war and peace. Suffering is both an objective of violence - 'terror' - as well as a legacy of it - 'trauma'. Thus suffering remains a central issue in any resolution of violence. In the project of national reconstruction testimony to violence constructs the victim through which a community of suffering is forged. The book argues that by emphasising reconciliation over justice violence tends to be neutralised by putting it in the past. The dilution or negation of past violence potentially jeopardises the project of recreating the moral community, the declared purpose of national reconstruction. This book has an innovative approach, providing a theoretical and comparative analysis of the legacies of violence for social reconstruction. It includes a number of case studies focusing on Bosnia, Rwanda, Northern Ireland, South Africa, Chile, Vietnam and Cambodia among others.

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Book Details

ISBN: 9780415274135
ISBN-10: 0415274133
Format: Hardback
(234mm x 156mm x 14mm)
Pages: 192
Imprint: Routledge
Publisher: Taylor & Francis Ltd
Publish Date: 21-Mar-2002
Country of Publication: United Kingdom

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