Violence is a key feature of human social relations, yet has received comparatively little attention from social scientists. With increasing levels of conflict and violence in the modern world, Anthropology of Violence and Conflict offers a timely contribution to this growing area of anthropological research. The authors provide a balanced approach to the causes of violence and the human experience behind it, examining how violent conflict is often represented differently by perpetrators, victims and observers, as well as by winners and losers in war. To what extent are the conditions that lead to conflicts commonly experienced across cultures? From each discussion emerges the importance of viewing contemporary violence as grounded in long-term antagonistic processes. Drawing on examples from North and South America, Africa and the recent civil strife in Sri Lanka, Albania and the former Yugoslavia, this volume examines well-known conflicts, past and present, and provides ample evidence of the fact that violence is never an isolated event. All conflict is reliant on perpetrators, victims and witnesses.
The authors all agree on the dialectical nature of violence: conflict is both imagined and performed and this duality is crucial when examining the nature of violent conflict. By providing an anthropological perspective on this fascinating subject, this volume is a crucial addition to the literature of violence and warfare. Ingo W. Schroder, Bettina E. Schmidt, Glenn Bowman, Ernst Halbmayer, Stephanie Schwandner-Sievers, Jon G. Abbink, Francesca Declich, Peter Kloos, Ivana Macek
Bettina E. Schmidt and Ingo W. Schroeder are both Research Associates at the Department of Anthropology, University of Marburg, Germany.