Show Summary Details

Page of

PRINTED FROM OXFORD HANDBOOKS ONLINE (www.oxfordhandbooks.com). © Oxford University Press, 2018. All Rights Reserved. Under the terms of the licence agreement, an individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a title in Oxford Handbooks Online for personal use (for details see Privacy Policy and Legal Notice).

date: 19 May 2019

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter explores the phenomenon of political violence in its many forms. It focuses on distinctions among physical, structural or cultural, and symbolic violence, rather than focusing on more traditional forms of political violence, such as riots and assassinations. Thus the chapter analyzes the role of violence at the core of the modern nation-state, especially through discussing Walter Benjamin’s distinction between law-preserving and law-making violence. The chapter concludes that political violence is often at its worst, most intense, and most widespread when trust in political institutions falters and significant portions of a given polity no longer find these institutions credible or legitimate. Conversely, political violence can be minimized through the construction of strong, inclusive, and vibrant political institutions based on principles of inclusion and procedural justice, qualities Johan Galtung saw as the foundations for positive peace.

Keywords: structural violence, symbolic violence, ethnic conflict, legitimacy, political institutions, Walter Benjamin, Pierre Bourdieu, Johan Galtung, Carl Schmitt

Access to the complete content on Oxford Handbooks Online requires a subscription or purchase. Public users are able to search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter without a subscription.

Please subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you have purchased a print title that contains an access token, please see the token for information about how to register your code.

For questions on access or troubleshooting, please check our FAQs, and if you can''t find the answer there, please contact us.