Small worlds of violence: a global grammar for torture

Austin, Jonathan

Geneva : Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies, 2017 . - X, 484 p.


Directeurs de thèse : Professeurs Keith Krause et Ricardo Bocco


Abstract: How is torture possible? How does a human being know how to harm another? Face-to-face, body-to-body, side-by-side, scream-to-scream, blow-to-blow? This is a practical question. And to it this text offers a practical guide. Unlike accounts that have come before it, the pages to follow show the ‘doing’ of torture and direct the reader towards the being and becoming of its violence, its sensemaking, its how-possible conditions: as many elements as could be assembled that reveal how we – you, the reader, and I the author – as well as any other, can become torturers. It guides us collectively through to an answer to the question of how our bodies – bodies we feel to be good – can do bad, can see their muscles tense to flick out the motor movements that do harm, can see their emotional response to witnessing another cry out in pain, in admonishment to desist, offer no resistance, and can commit these acts in symmetry with other bodies across borders, in a choreography of violence that echoes its movements here at home, and over there abroad, wherever that may be. This is a guide to violence as something more intimate to you than you know. It is a microsocial guide to the globality of torture’s ontology. A guide to the global grammar of torture today.


HEITH 1202

R008635703

The record appears in these collections:
Master's Dissertations and PhD Theses > PhD Theses
PhD in International Relations

 Record created 2017-04-11, last modified 2017-05-04


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