The Outcomes of Political Violence: Ethical, theoretical and methodological challenges
Title: The Outcomes of Political Violence: Ethical, theoretical and methodological challenges
Citation: Seraphim SEFERIADIS and Hank JOHNSTON (eds), Violent Protest, Contentious Politics, and the Neoliberal State, Farnham, Ashgate, 2012, The Mobilization Series on Social Movements, Protest, and Culture, 29-38
ISBN: 9781409418764; 9781409418771
In this chapter we focus specifically on the outcomes of political violence, especially violence committed by armed groups. The literature on political violence and terrorism has grown massively since 9/11, but has so far been mostly silent about outcomes This is even more striking if we consider that the very purpose of the vast majority of tactical political violence is precisely to elicit reactions from the state. First, we focus on the range of potential outcomes associated with political violence. Second, we briefly review the difficulties of research on the outcomes of political violence. Third, we compare nonviolent and violent action, from the less extreme to the more extreme, and ask which is more likely to be successful and under which conditions. We conclude by underlining some avenues for further research and how research on political violence contributes as well to the social movement literature, particularly by enriching the relatively scant attention it has paid to violent forms of political action. Throughout, we draw on empirical examples obtained from the literature on contentious politics.
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