Violence Regimes: A Useful Concept for Social Politics, Social Analysis, and Social Theory

Theory and Society 51 (4):565-594 (2022)
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Abstract

This paper critically interrogates the usefulness of the concept of violence regimes for social politics, social analysis, and social theory. In the first case, violence regimes address and inform politics and policy, that is, social politics, both around various forms of violence, such as gender-based violence, violence against women, anti-lesbian, gay and transgender violence, intimate partner violence, and more widely in terms of social and related policies and practices on violence and anti-violence. In the second case, violence regimes assist social analysis of the interconnections of different forms and aspects of violence, and relative autonomy from welfare regimes and gender regimes. Third, the violence regime concept engages a wider range of issues in social theory, including the exclusion of the knowledges of the violated, most obviously, but not only, when the voices and experiences of those killed are unheard. The concept directs attention to assumptions made in social theory as incorporating or neglecting violence. More specifically, it highlights the significance of: social effects beyond agency; autotelic ontology, that is, violence as a means and end in itself, and an inequality in itself; the relations of violence, sociality and social relations; violence and power, and the contested boundary between them; and materiality-discursivity in violence and what is to count as violence. These are key issues for both violence studies and social theory more generally.

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World Poverty and Human Rights.Thomas Pogge - 2002 - Ethics and International Affairs 19 (1):1-7.
The Subject and Power.Michel Foucault - 1982 - Critical Inquiry 8 (4):777-795.
Violence: A Micro-sociological Theory.Randall Collins - 2009 - Princeton University Press.

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