CfP for a Conference on ‚Social figurations of violence and war beyond the state‘

Organisers: Jutta Bakonyi and Günther Schlee (Max Planck Institute for Social Anthropology)
Berit Bliesemann de Guevara und Katrin Radtke (Working Group \’Orders of Violence\‘ of the German Political Science Association)

(Excerpt from the CfP:)

Organisers: Jutta Bakonyi and Günther Schlee (Max Planck Institute for Social Anthropology)
Berit Bliesemann de Guevara und Katrin Radtke (Working Group \’Orders of Violence\‘ of the German Political Science Association)

(Excerpt from the CfP:)
Weak states, state failure and state decay are catchwords utilised to describe transformations of the global and local political order based on the state. Most of these publications draw on a rather \’absolutist view\‘ of the state, imagining it as the sole founder and main guarantor of law and order and hence the main source of social rules, norms and values guiding the everyday life of its people. Putting into question such state-centric approaches, empirical studies have meanwhile revealed that alternative forms of social regulation and governance may be prevalent under the cover of formal state control, either because the state has not managed or because it has not intended to extend its power into all (peripheral) areas and/or social fields within its demarcated territory.
Such social and territorial realms, in which violence is widespread and mainly (though not necessarily exclusively) shaped and regulated by non-state actors, and in which alternative sources of profit, power and legitimacy have been established, are at the centre of this workshop. Areas and societal niches of interest include: a) remote/peripheral areas which are spatially and socially distinct from the administrative state centers; b) urban niches or \’ghettos\‘ shaped by (juvenile) delinquency and gang violence; c) areas of long lasting banditry; d) zones of violent conflicts and war.

We invite contributions which scrutinise social actions and processes taking place within such realms and/or during violent conflicts and wars and which examine how a variety of social actors – violent and non-violent, individual and collective, state and non-state – are engaged in these social settings, how they interact, which goals and world-views they follow, and how their interactions (often unintentionally) shape the emergence of structures, social rules and institutions which, in turn, regulate and transform the daily practices within these settings.

The workshop\’s overarching aim is to contribute to a deeper understanding of social processes and institutions shaping violent orders beyond the state. For that purpose we would like to bring together scholars from different disciplines and with a variety of ideas, experiences and expertise in this field of study.

The following interrelated fields are envisaged for comparisons and in-depth analyses of violent formations:
(1) Actors in violent settings
(2) Violence and legitimacy – power and identity
(3) Violence, subjectivity and the body
(4) Transformations of violent orders

We would like to encourage scholars and researchers from different disciplines such as anthropology, sociology, political science, geography and history to send in their proposals. Case studies of current as well as historical cases are both most welcome. Contributions should address a specific context and explore one of the fields outlined above. Proposals should not exceed 3 pages. Travel and accommodation costs of paper-givers will be covered. Venue: Max Planck Institute for Social Anthropology, Halle/Saale, Germany

Please send your proposals to Jutta Bakonyi: bakonyi@eth.mpg.de