Abstract: The purpose of this review essay is not so much to dwell on the numerous virtues of Mathias Thaler’s Naming Violence and Elizabeth Frazer’s and Kimberly Hutchings’ Can Political Violence Ever be Justified?, but rather to enter into a critical discussion with the authors and to carve out some major points of disagreement. In both cases I am not entirely convinced by how the authors conceptualize potential responses to political violence. After discussing the two books in isolation from each other, the essay’s conclusion brings some of the previous arguments together and opens a space in which we can develop a theory of judging and responding to violence.
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Our Summer 2022 issue is out! It features an essay on the Mande "Hunters' Oath"—including the first full translation of the text from Mandenkan into English—as well as articles on a humanizing monetary ontology that advances the work of Frantz Fanon and Paulo Freire; the shifting focus from land-based idioms of humanitarianism to maritime aid; a conceptual history of China's advocacy for a "human community of fate"; the strategic quantification of civilian casualties in Afghanistan; state and humanitarian coordination in Lebanon and its unintended impact on Syrian refugees; and populist appropriations of human rights discourse.View entire issue >
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This essay is part of a forum on new histories of the Cold War. All contributions to the forum can be found here. At this point, we know a lot about the Cold War. In part, that has been the product of archival access. Across Eastern Europe, formerly communist states and ex-Soviet republics have flung open their archives, willing—indeed, eager—to share the closely-held secrets of the past. The passage of time, too, has brought mandatory declassifications and regular releases from national archives, foreign ministries, presidential Continue reading →