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Palgrave Macmillan

Our Violent World

Terrorism in Society

ISBN 9780230224735
Publication Date April 2013
Formats Hardcover Ebook (PDF) Paperback 
Publisher Palgrave Macmillan

What can the analysis of violence and terror tell us about the modern world? Why is violence often used to achieve religious, cultural or political goals? Can we understand the search for the extreme that increasingly shapes violence today?
 
From 1960s student movements to today's global jihad, this text explores the factors and debates shaping violence and terrorism in our contemporary society. Each chapter confronts examples of disturbing terrorist acts and events of mass violence from recent history and uses these to examine key questions, theories and concepts surrounding this sensitive and controversial topic. In particular, the book:

- identifies core tools for the analysis of public violence
- explores the processes that mutate social movements into violent groups
- describes the cultural, embodied, experiential and imagined dimensions of violence
- highlights different periods and varying forms of terrorist violence
- examines the role of globalization, media, technology and the visual in violence and terror today.

Our Violent World shows how the social sciences can contribute to an understanding of violence and responses to terror, as well as the construction of a social world less dominated by fear of the other. It is a must-read for students and citizens.

Kevin McDonald is Professor and Director of the Centre for Cultural Diversity and Wellbeing at Victoria University, Melbourne, Australia. He is also a research associate at the Centre d'Analyse et d'Intervention Sociologiques at the Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales, Paris, France. His books include Struggles for Subjectivity and Global Movements.

1. The Return of Violence
2. Terrorism
3. Competing Perspectives
4. Terror, Violence and the Student Movement
5. Violence and Nation: the Palestinian Experience
6. Apocalypse Now?
7. Violence, the Mask and the Extreme
8. The Martyr
9. Mediatizing Violence: From Snapshots to the Internet
10. Conclusion: Beyond Terror?

Reviews

"A lucid and highly sophisticated study of terrorism as a global fact, this is the only book I know of that manages both to analyse existing accounts of the phenomenon, while at the same time offering us provocative new ways of considering it. This is an important intervention on one of the most controversial topics of our times".- Faisal Devji, University Reader in Modern South Asian History and Fellow at St. Antony's College, Oxford, UK
"Kevin McDonald dissects theories of terrorism and modern violence, vividly conveying the history of movements and the subjectivities of both terrorists and victims. The result is a comprehensive account, integrating the major aspects of terrorism." - Randall Collins, Professor of Sociology, University of Pennsylvania, USA
"Our Violent World is smart and provocative. Kevin McDonald challenges students and scholars who look for the strategies behind collective violence to take seriously its affective and experiential dimensions." - Jeff Goodwin, Professor of Sociology, New York University, USA
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