Call for Papers

Violence. A Journal: “Perpetrating Violence”

Violence. A Journal is launching a call for papers on the theme “Perpetrating Violence.” This special feature will be coordinated by Sabrina MELENOTTE (Violence and Exiting Violence platform)
Your article should be sent to Violence before March 18, 2019.

Violence. A Journal  is also welcoming articles dealing with a wider range of topics, on the issues of violence and exiting violence. Each issue will be coordinated by its two Editors-in-Chief: Scott STRAUS (UW-Madison) and Michel WIEVIORKA (FMSH). Articles not intended to be part of a special feature can be sent to Violence anytime throughout the year.

Special Feature Theme

The special feature “Perpetrating Violence” will concentrate on acts of violence associated with collective processes, even when the action is individual. It will leave legal questions to the side.
What drives some people to commit violent acts? Conversely, why do some others, similar in all respects, not commit them? What is this liminal space that opens up between mental radicalization (this moment of the fiction of violence, of its imagination) and its enactment? Does this moment exist in all experiences? Of course, the analysis must take account of the context, according to whether it is peacetime or wartime, for example. Moreover, doesn’t there exist a switch (rapid or not, conscious or not) towards the enactment of murderous deeds?

Often inexpressible or quiet, but not necessarily so, the moment of acting violently can be rich in meanings, giving rise to many questions that this special feature is intended to explore. In acts of extreme and mass violence, the executioners’ interest is not always limited to killing the enemy, and the body can become the vehicle for messages of war. Cruelty can go from humiliation to animalization; it can be gratuitous, or it may be purposeful, turning terror and fear into methods of control and domination by killing and “re-killing” the body through postmortem mutilations. The Shoah demonstrated the heights of cruelty and sophistication that can be reached by the will to completely destroy a human group and, thus, the individuals comprising it. Collective violence, as in incidents of lynching and stoning, may arise from a runaway process in which actors use rudimentary methods that presuppose a face-to-face confrontation. Torture, systematized in certain wars (the Algerian War for example), and used by dictatorships like those of Latin America in the 1970s, transgresses the codes of war, to the detriment of civilian populations in particular. Modern communication technologies allow actors to stage their cruelty as a spectacle; for example, we see this with some Mexican drug traffickers, with ISIS, or, in France, with Mohammed Merah, responsible for a series of murders in Toulouse and Montauban in March 2012, which raises many questions about the reasons for this staging and the use of social networks.

By avoiding the twofold pitfalls of a sociologism that explains everything by collective processes and a psychologism that ignores them, it will thus serve to analyze, in a dynamic and possibly transversal manner, what connects—or fails to connect—Nazi executioners, global jihadists, Mexican drug traffickers, volunteers or conscripts in guerrillas and contemporary wars, each time they perpetrate violence. This special feature is intended to bring together all the disciplines comprising the social sciences, without exclusion; it will also welcome the words and thoughts of actors who are well placed to have observed these questions closely, for example, within NGOs.
What do we know about committing acts of violence, about individuals who perpetrate them, about the processes of subjectivation and desubjectivation that animate them, about the methods of which they make use, about the contexts that make acting violently easier or more difficult? Should the knowledge produced by research on perpetrating violence allow us to construct models, strategies, and modes of action for the prevention of extreme and mass violence, and if so, according to what criteria? This special feature will help us to better understand not only individual or collective violence, whether political, social, religious, etc., but also to better understand pre- and post-violence conditions. Is it possible to construct models, strategies, and modes of action for the prevention of extreme and mass violence, and if so, according to what criteria?

Calendar

Articles should be sent to Violence’s editorial board before March 18, 2019, if they are intended for the special feature, or for the first issue of Violence in general. Otherwise, you can submit your article(s) anytime throughout the year. You can send your article to Violence’s Managing Editor, Charlotte Groult: charlotte.groult@msh-paris.fr.

Articles should include a summary and a detailed bibliography. The editors also welcome preliminary proposals. In this case, your proposal should be sent several weeks before the deadline of March 18, 2019, if you want your article to be part of the first issue of the journal, especially its special feature. It should also be detailed enough to allow the Editorial Board to clearly understand the research materials on which the article is based, as well as the argument and the author’s intellectual approach, the principal hypotheses, the research findings, the central concepts, and the references.

If your article is accepted by the Editorial Board, it will then be sent out for peer review by the journal. Each article should be between 6,000 and 8,000 words in length (including footnotes and bibliography). 
The author should make a special effort to use a writing style that will make the article easily understandable to the educated layperson and not merely to academic circles. Violence. A Journal has the ambition to reach a wider readership than an academic journal, especially the “actors” involved in preventing and exiting violence: NGOs, associations, politics, legal experts, and civil society.
Violence will be published both in print and online and will be available entirely in english. However, you can also write your article in French; Violence. A Journal will take care of the translation.

 

 

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