Non-Fiction Books:

Control of Violence

Historical and International Perspectives on Violence in Modern Societies



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Control of Violence
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The Control of Violence in Modern Society, starts from the hypothesis that in modern society we will face an increasing loss of control over certain phenomena of violence. This leads to unpredictable escalations and violence can no longer be contained adequately by the relevant control regimes, such as police, state surveillance institutions, national repression apparatuses and international law. However, before investigating this hypothesis from an internationally and historically comparative perspective, the terms and "tools" for this undertaking have to be rendered more precisely. Since both "control" and "violence" are all but clear-cut terms but rather highly debatable and contested concepts that may take multiple connotations. The main question is whether an increase in certain forms of violence can be explained by the failure or, in turn, "overeffectiveness" of certain control mechanisms. It is asked, for instance, which contribution religion can make to limit violence and, in turn, which destructive potential religion might have in its fundamentalist form. Moreover, the concept of individual self-control as well as social institutions and strategies of collective disengagement and de-radicalization are investigated with regard to their potential for controlling violence. The Control of Violence in Modern Society concludes with a re-examination of the hypothesis of a loss of control by specifying in what cases and under which circumstances we can speak of a loss of control over violence.

Author Biography

Wilhelm Heitmeyer (Dr. phil.) is Professor of Socialization and Director of the Institute for Interdisciplinary Research on Conflict and Violence at Bielefeld University. His research interests concentrate on violence, social disintegration, right-wing extremism, and ethnic-cultural conflicts. His publications include International Handbook of Violence Research (co-edited with John Hagan); Rechtsextremistische Orientierungen bei Jugendlichen [Right-Wing Extremism Among Young People] (1987); Gewalt [Violence] (1995); Bedrohte Stadtgesellschaften [Urban Societies Under Threat] (co-edited with Reimund Anhut) (2000). He is Editor-in Chief of the International Journal of Conflict and Violence (with D. Massey et al.). He is organizer of the international research group "Control of Violence" at the Center for Interdisciplinary Research (ZiF), Bielefeld University (with Heinz Gerhard-Haupt/ Bielefeld, Florence). Heinz-Gerhard Haupt (Dr. phil.) is Professor of Social History at Bielefeld University and Head of the department of history and civilization at the European University Institute in Florence, Italy. His work focuses on social History and political History of Modern Europe, Methodology of Comparative History. His current research projects encompass History of Political Violence in 19th and 20th Century Europe, History of Consumption in 19th and 20th Century Europe, History of Social Movements and Classes: The First of May in Europe after 1945, Comparative History of European Nationalism: Nation and Religion in 19th and 20th Century. Recent publications include Neue Politikgeschichte [New political history](with Ute Frevert, eds.) (2005); Exklusion und Partizipation [Exclusion and particpiation] (with C. Gusy, Eds.); Terrorismus in der Bundesrepublik: Medien, Staat und Subkulturen in den 1970er Jahren [Terrorism in the Federal Republic of Germany: Media, state, and subcultures] (with K. Weinhauer and J. Requate, Eds.) (2006). He is organizer of the international research group "Control of Violence" at the Center for Interdisciplinary Research (ZiF), Bielefeld University (with Wilhelm Heitmeyer/ Bielefeld).
Release date Australia
April 1st, 2010
Edited by Andrea Kirschner Edited by Heinz-Gerhard Haupt Edited by Stefan Malthaner Edited by Wilhelm Heitmeyer
Country of Publication
United States
2011 ed.
XVI, 622 p.
Springer-Verlag New York Inc.
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