Center for Interdisziplinary Research

Control of Violence

Date: October 17 - 20, 2007

Organizers: Wilhelm Heitmeyer (Bielefeld), Heinz-Gerhard Haupt (Bielefeld)

Homicides, terrorist attacks, violence accompanying the failure or collapse of states: at first sight, finding a framework that subsumes interdisciplinary analyses on the possibility to control such different phenomena of violence seems to be an enormous challenge. But, in fact, one finds several potential connectors between those targets of analysis. Shedding light on these is the aim of the opening conference. Thus, possible connections between the scholars' works shall be shown and the way for doing complementary forms of research together during the research year shall be paved. In doing so, a first step will be to focus on the logic of interdisciplinarity itself which will be the topic of a keynote-talk given by Jürgen Kocka. Subsequent to speeches that highlight aspects of the respective phenomena of violence-terrorism, state failure and amok runs-overarching issues will be discussed so as to obtain an integrated perspective on the various phenomena of violence. In this regard it will be dealt with the role of religion which, on the one hand, may amplify scarcely controllable violence and, on the other hand, have an impact on the prevention and control of violence.

Another issue to be discussed is the role of regimes of control. Here, the impact of the erosion of the state monopoly of violence will be treated as well as constraints and capabilities of different types of control regimes. Furthermore, we address the role of the media for controlling violence when light is thrown on media logic that may lead to a loss of control and, on the contrary, on media that visualize lawless spaces and possibly enable a reestablishment of control. Finally we will examine conditions that foster or diminish self-control and how they relate to control of violence. The conference will be closed by a final talk on ›The Making of Antiterrorism‹ by Michel Wieviorka.

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