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Towards a Historical Ontology of Violence

Yusuf Has

My aim in this article is to move the problematic of violence and its role in politics to a historico-ontological plane. I propose a perspective that breaks with the dominant subjectivist concept of human violence and its metaphysical foundations, which fail to distinguish this concept from that of aggression. According to this perspective, we are already in the field of violence in our everyday social existence, regardless of our personal choices or intentions, the sources of which are systemic. The ontological essence of this systemic violence lies in the fact that it is not external to human subjects but is engraved in their very social being by penetrating into the discourses, practices and frames of mind that make up their historical disposition, which makes it in many instances harder to escape than subjective violence. What I call from this ontological perspective the 'violence of closure' has the effect ultimately of suppressing the possibilities of social being open to human beings in their given historical situation, by normalising the existing way of social and political existence, and closing them off to alternatives. I argue that to this violence of closure must be opposed the violence of dis-closure, which, in its various particular intellectual and practical forms, can open up human social existence to its repressed possibilities.

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Ontologies and Politics of Biogenomic 'Race'

Rasmus Grønfeldt Winther and Jonathan Michael Kaplan

All eyes are turned towards genomic data and models as the source of knowledge about whether human races exist or not. Will genomic science make the final decision about whether racial realism (e.g. racial population naturalism) or anti-realism (e.g. racial scepticism) is correct? We think not. The results of even our best and most impressive genomic technologies under-determine whether biogenomic races exist, or not. First, different sub-disciplines of biology interested in population structure employ distinct concepts, aims, measures and models, producing cross-cutting categorisations of population subdivisions rather than a single, universal biogenomic concept of 'race.' Second, within each sub-discipline (e.g. phylogenetics, conservation biology), genomic results are consistent with, and map multiply to, racial realism and anti-realism. Indeed, racial ontologies are constructed conventionally, rather than discovered. We thus defend a constructivist conventionalism about biogenomic racial ontology. Choices and conventions must always be made in identifying particular kinds of groups. Political agendas, social programmes, and moral questions premised on the existence of naturalistic race should accept that no scientifically grounded racial ontology is forthcoming, and adjust presumptions, practices and projects accordingly.

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Online Supplement A

Jean-Paul Gagnon

SUPPLEMENT A

2,234 Descriptions of Democracy: An Update to Democracy’s Ontological Pluralism

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Online Supplement B

Jean-Paul Gagnon

SUPPLEMENT B

2,234 Descriptions of Democracy: An Update to Democracy’s Ontological Pluralism

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Online Supplement C

Jean-Paul Gagnon

SUPPLEMENT C

2,234 Descriptions of Democracy: An Update to Democracy’s Ontological Pluralism

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Democratic Theory as Social Codification

Christian Ewert and Marion Repetti

as semiotic code serves an important purpose. It turns our attention away from ontological and normative claims about democracy; instead, the focus is on sociopolitical discourses and patterns of communication that constitute democratic theory

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Book Symposium

Nancy S. Love, Sanford F. Schram, Anthony J. Langlois, Luis Cabrera, and Carol C. Gould

liberals who understand rights as properties possessed by individuals and conferred by states, Gould adopts what she calls an “interactive approach” based on a “social ontology” that understands “individuals-in-relations” (3). In addition to liberal

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The Will of the People?

Carl Schmitt and Jean-Jacques Rousseau on a Key Question in Democratic Theory

Samuel Salzborn

ontological nature, must eventually become its opposite, thereby negating the current real-world will of the people, that is, the sum of the wills of all individuals, which are always changeable and varying in practice. The following analysis proposes that

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Assessing Democracy In Vitro, In Vivo, and In Actu and the Role of Democratic Theory Today

Anastasia Deligiaouri and Jane Suiter

in different contexts, may be contradictory, providing ground for uncertainty and confusion. Conversely, ambiguity and semantic pluralism are ontologically inherent in the concept of democracy itself and can also be considered as a constructive

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What Is Democratic Theory?

Rikki Dean, Jean-Paul Gagnon, and Hans Asenbaum

Theory. Democratic theory cuts across Warren's (1989) distinction between political theory and political philosophy – the former concerned with explanatory theories, the latter oriented to questions of ontology, epistemology, and normativity