The ZiF Research Group on Control of Violence began its work in October 2007 with an agenda of questions regarding changes in forms of violence and possibilities for controlling violence to be examined from internationally and historically comparative perspectives. The starting point was the observation that escalation seems to develop erratically and that violence can no longer be adequately contained by control regimes such as police, state surveillance institutions, preventive action, or international law. But is this perception correct? Do we really face an increasing loss of control over violence, or are there also gains in control whose impact on societal developments has to be examined? And how can control be realized in modern societies? The research group focused on three specific phenomena of violence: school rampage shootings, terrorism, and violence in the context of failing states. Fourteen fellows and five associate members from different countries and disciplines agreed to pursue this ambitious agenda, enabling us to study the question of control of violence from a truly multidisciplinary perspective. The research year began on October 17–20, 2007, with an opening conference funded by the Thyssen Foundation. Questions and themes raised at the conference were elaborated in weekly meetings and lectures by international guests. Two workshops focusing on particular topical phenomena of violence were held: “Explanatory patterns and controllability of terrorism” (funded by the German Foundation for Peace Research) on April 10–12, 2008, and “Control of violence in the context of failing states” on June 4–7, 2008 (founded by the Volkswagen Foundation). The research group proved to be a very fruitful collaboration, opening up many new perspectives and revealing issues demanding further research. The results were presented at a final conference ending the research year on September 10–13, 2008. A book based on these findings is to be published in autumn 2010 by Springer New York.
Frau Dr. Barbara Kaletta
Frau Dipl.-Sozw. Andrea Kirschner
Heitmeyer, Wilhelm; Haupt, Heinz-Gerhardt
Fakultät für Geschichtswissenschaft, Philosophie und Theologie/Abteilung Geschichte
Institut für interdisziplinäre Konflikt- und Gewaltforschung