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Invisible Leviathan: How to Write a History of State Violence in 'Peaceful Times’ ? (Europe 1956-1991)

Dates:
  • Wed 07 Jun 2017 15.30 - 17.00
  Add to Calendar 2017-06-07 15:30 2017-06-07 17:00 Europe/Paris Invisible Leviathan: How to Write a History of State Violence in 'Peaceful Times’ ? (Europe 1956-1991)

Hec Colloquium

In this project I intend to bring to fruition my long-term work on communism by blending it into a comparative and entangled history of contemporary Europe as a whole. It explores the transformation of European statehood from the late 1950s to 2000 through the lens of the study of violence. My main question is how the state’s exercise and control of violence shaped the relationship between states and citizens in two diverse ideological systems, i.e. Soviet state socialism and liberal capitalism. Analysing the interplay of domination and discontent on both sides of the Iron Curtain, I contend that state violence did not vanish but was systematically concealed or rendered ‘exceptional’.

Tracing the ways in which repressive forms of domination gradually gave way to more lenient biopolitical means, I ask how these two ways of exercising power – crucially shaped by gender representations – coexisted both in the East and West. As case studies, I envisage the ideology of ‘peace and order’; the transformation of riot police; the politics of capital punishment; domination and resistance in prisons; border and migration regimes; and the containment of domestic violence. In all these fields, mutual perceptions, transfers and entanglements across the East-West divide were crucial

Sala degli Stemmi 1st Floor, V.Sa. DD/MM/YYYY
  Sala degli Stemmi 1st Floor, V.Sa.

Hec Colloquium

In this project I intend to bring to fruition my long-term work on communism by blending it into a comparative and entangled history of contemporary Europe as a whole. It explores the transformation of European statehood from the late 1950s to 2000 through the lens of the study of violence. My main question is how the state’s exercise and control of violence shaped the relationship between states and citizens in two diverse ideological systems, i.e. Soviet state socialism and liberal capitalism. Analysing the interplay of domination and discontent on both sides of the Iron Curtain, I contend that state violence did not vanish but was systematically concealed or rendered ‘exceptional’.

Tracing the ways in which repressive forms of domination gradually gave way to more lenient biopolitical means, I ask how these two ways of exercising power – crucially shaped by gender representations – coexisted both in the East and West. As case studies, I envisage the ideology of ‘peace and order’; the transformation of riot police; the politics of capital punishment; domination and resistance in prisons; border and migration regimes; and the containment of domestic violence. In all these fields, mutual perceptions, transfers and entanglements across the East-West divide were crucial


Location:
Sala degli Stemmi 1st Floor, V.Sa.

Affiliation:
Department of History and Civilization

Type:
Lecture

Organiser:
Prof. Luca Molà (EUI - Department of History and Civilization)
Corinna Ruth Unger

Speaker:
Pavel Kolar (EUI - Department of History and Civilization)
 
 

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