Violence and the State|
Violence is a problematic and paradoxical concept in modern politics. On the one hand, effective control over the means of violence affords modern states the power to preserve peace, maintain the rule of law, and guarantee rights within their territories. On the other hand, the state's overwhelming capacity to inflict violence has the effect of turning the state (and specifically its military, penal, and security apparatuses) into a threat to the population, to democracy, and to political and biological life in general. In this reading-intensive seminar, we will explore how modern political theory has approached this dilemma and how violence has been conceptualized by philosophers and by political and social theorists in the Euro-Atlantic tradition. We will examine how these authors explain the sources, functions, and dynamics of violence; and we will critically assess their proposals for how violence should be wielded by and against the state. The reading will be organized according to the following thematic clusters: (1) violence and human nature; (2) the state monopoly of violence; (3) state violence: war and terror; (4) violence and the law; (5) violence against the state; (6) violence and democracy.
This seminar promotes the interdependence of practices of interpretation and writing. Regular writing assignments are designed to emphasize writing as a continuous intellectual practice and as essential to interpretation.
||Gen Ed Area Dept:
|Course Format: Seminar||Grading Mode: Graded|
||Fulfills a Major Requirement for: None
||Past Enrollment Probability: Not Available
|Major Readings: Wesleyan RJ Julia Bookstore
Arendt, Hannah. ON VIOLENCE
Fanon, Frantz. THE WRETCHED OF THE EARTH
Freud, Sigmund. CIVILIZATION AND ITS DISCONTENTS
Foucault, Michel. DISCIPLINE AND PUNISH: THE BIRTH OF THE PRISON
Hobbes, Thomas. LEVIATHAN
Merleau-Ponty, Maurice. HUMANISM AND TERROR: THE COMMUNIST PROBLEM
Sorel, Georges. REFLECTIONS ON VIOLENCE
Weber, Max. POLITICS AS A VOCATION
Selected essays and book chapters by Hannah Arendt, Georges Bataille, Cesare Beccaria, Carl von Clausewitz, Johan Galtung, and Robert Cover.
|Examination and Assignments: |
Weekly response papers; final paper; encyclopedia entries in a DICTIONARY OF VIOLENCE.
|Additional Requirements and/or Comments: |
Prerequisite: Familiarity with theoretical and philosophical texts; prior coursework in philosophy, political, social, or cultural theory.
|Instructor(s): Winter,Yves Times: ..T.... 07:00PM-09:50PM; Location: TBA|
|Total Enrollment Limit: 15||SR major: 4||JR major: 4|| || |
|Seats Available: 3||GRAD: 0||SR non-major: 4||JR non-major: 3||SO: X||FR: X|
|Drop/Add Enrollment Requests|
|Total Submitted Requests: 2||1st Ranked: 0||2nd Ranked: 0||3rd Ranked: 0||4th Ranked: 0||Unranked: 2|