Institutional Violence

Front Cover
Deane W. Curtin, Robert Litke
Rodopi, 1999 - Social Science - 413 pages
Violence can be physical and psychological. It can characterize personal actions, forms of group activity, and abiding social and political policy. This book includes all of these aspects within its focus on institutional forms of violence. Institution is also a broad category, ranging from formal arrangements such as the military, the criminal code, the death penalty and prison system, to more amorphous but systemic situations indicated by parenting, poverty, sexism, work, and racism. Violence is as complex as the human beings who resort to it; its institutional forms pervade our relational lives. We are all participants in it as victims and perpetrators. The chapters in this book were written in the hope that violence can be explicated, even if not fully understood, and that such clarification can help us in devising less violent forms of living, even if it does not lead to its total abolition. The studies bring new aspects of violence to light and offer a number of suggestions for its remedy.

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ONE Is Poverty Violence?
THREE Compromised Childhoods
FOUR The Death Penalty as a Peace Issue
SIX Work and Peacemaking
NINE Genocide and Moral Philosophy
Shell in Nigeria
SIXTEEN The Limits of Tolerance
EIGHTEEN Institutional Violence as Systemic Evil
TWENTYFOUR Power Public Authority and Nonviolence
TWENTYSIX Epistemological Violence
Reference Bibliography
About the Authors

TWELVE Feminist Justice and Sexual Harassment
Philosophy of Peace

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Page 25 - Defenceless villages are bombarded from the air, the inhabitants driven out into the countryside, the cattle machinegunned, the huts set on fire with incendiary bullets: this is called pacification. Millions of peasants are robbed of their farms and sent trudging along the roads with no more than they can carry: this is called transfer of population or rectification of frontiers. People are imprisoned for years without trial, or shot in the back of the neck or sent to die of scurvy in Arctic lumber...
Page 25 - In our time, political speech and writing are largely the defence of the indefensible. Things like the continuance of British rule in India, the Russian purges and deportations, the dropping of the atom bombs on Japan, can indeed be defended, but...

About the author (1999)

DEANE CURTIN is Professor of Philosophy and Sponberg Chair of Ethics at Gustavus Adolphus College, where he directs the Community Development in India program, a national program for college students based in Madras. He has lived in Japan and India, recently returning from a semester in India spent studying the effects of the GATT agreement on indigenous peoples. In addition to coediting this volume, his books include (with Lisa Heldke) Cooking, Eating, Thinking: Transformative Philosophies of Food (1992), and the forthcoming Chinnagounder's Challenge: The Question of Ecological Citizenship.
ROBERT LITKE teaches philosophy at Wilfrid Laurier University. He specializes in issues of power, violence, and peace. He has published and delivered lectures on these themes in Canada, Great Britain, Israel, and the United States. He is coeditor of this volume.

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