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Histories of Violence


While there is a tacit appreciation that freedom from violence will lead to more prosperous relations among peoples, violence still continues to be deployed for various political and social ends. Yet the problem of violence still defies neat description, subject to many competing interpretations depending upon particular viewpoints.

Offering an accessible yet compelling introduction to post-war critical thought, Histories of Violence examines the problem of violence as it appears in the corpus of canonical figures – from Hannah Arendt to Frantz Fanon, Michel Foucault to Slavoj Žižek – who continue to influence and inform contemporary political, philosophical, sociological, cultural, and anthropological study.

Written by a team of internationally renowned experts, this is an essential interrogation of critical thought as it relates to violence.

These introductions, penned by some of the most important political thinkers writing today, shed light on the urgent need for a sustained reflection on the why and how of violence. A necessary addition to any classroom curriculum.

Davide Panagia


Brings together insights from across the canon of contemporary theory in an accessible but thought provoking manner. This is a remarkable collection that will no doubt become essential reading for everyone interested in the nature of violence.

Simon Tormey


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