Understanding the logics of violence

Three logics of violence in graphical comparison.

Three logics of violence in graphical comparison.

 

Understanding the logics of violence: A victim-centered, multidimensional approach to concept and measurement
Jule Krüger and Christian Davenport

Understanding the logic of violence essentially involves understanding how the recipients of violent activity are selected into its application. Prior research established the categories of selective, indiscriminate, and collective logic. We discuss this current approach to conceptualizing and measuring these selection mechanisms, deriving the weaknesses in existing work. We then provide a refined theoretical concept of violent logic by distinguishing the process and outcome of each selection mechanism. Contrary to past research that tends to use scale to differentiate between logics, we suggest a focus on patterns in victim characteristics across a variety of dimensions relative to the full population from which victims are drawn. We illustrate the usefulness of our revised approach in studying the logics of violence at the example of violence against civilians in Kosovo between 1998 and 1999.

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