The Reign of Terror in the French Revolution was a traumatic event, yet the language of trauma was not available to contemporaries of the revolutionary period. This article examines how physicians, revolutionary leaders, and men of letters thought about the effects of the Terror on self and society before the advent of modern trauma-talk. It shows that, in the context of the medical and philosophical theories available at the time, many saw the Terror as a constructive and therapeutic experience. This finding should complicate how historians apply the concept of trauma to account for past experiences. Based on this proposition, this article argues that it is not that the concept of trauma can help us understand the revolutionary era. Rather, it is that the changes brought about by the revolutionary era created the conditions for the emergence of modern trauma theory.
A Critical Inquiry
Given the frequent failure of internationally established reconciliation tools, traditional conflict resolution mechanisms are increasingly integrated into transitional justice programmes in order to locally root peace. However, traditional justice mechanisms can be highly ambivalent; they can be, at the same time, inclusive and exclusionary, thus promoting peace or triggering new conflict. In Eastern Indonesia, where the author has conducted extensive field research, local actors took up these challenges and try to adapt local justice mechanisms so that they can cope with mass violence and the reintegration of conflict parties and society. Social engineering is promoted as one solution to the problem. This article looks at various conceptualisations and implications of social engineering – from a top‐down authoritarian to a bottom‐up participatory approach – and discusses how far this controversial concept and the deliberate adaption of local traditions to new challenges should be taken into account in future peace research and work as well as in anthropological debates.
Damien Smith Pfister
In the wake of the mass shootings in Dayton, Ohio, and El Paso, Texas, the Trump Administration floated the creation of a new governmental agency named HARPA, the Health Advanced Research Projects Agency, modeled after DARPA, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, that could explore novel ways of curtailing gun violence. For an administration unwilling to entertain serious legislation to address the problem of gun violence in the United States, HARPA offered a way to appear to be doing something about gun violence. HARPA, advocates maintained, could house a project called SAFEHOME, an acronym for “Stopping Aberrant Events by Helping Overcome Mental Extremes.” SAFEHOME would use “breakthrough technologies with high specificity and sensitivity for early diagnosis of neuropsychiatric violence”; the proposal would draw on data from Apple Watches, Fitbits, Amazon Echo, and Google Home to predict when someone might be on the cusp of mass violence (Alemany 2019). The guiding assumption of SAFEHOME is that surveillance of this biophysical data, combined with extant surveillance of textual messaging, search patterns, social networking sites, and discussion boards would alert law enforcement officials to a prospective shooter. Think Minority Report (2002, Steven Spielberg) with digital surveillance technology playing the role of psychic precogs. SAFEHOME is probably (hopefully) a nonstarter in serious conversations about gun violence, given the tenuous link between mental health, physical disposition, and violence; the inevitability of data-profiling being articulated to minoritized subjects and false positives (imagine the first time SAFEHOME flags a SWAT team on someone having sex) and obvious concerns about such an invasive surveillance regime. But the very fact that a program like SAFEHOME is posed as a potentially credible solution points to a dimension of surveillance that complements this forum’s discussion of ubiquity: granularity.
An Exploration of Power and Legitimacy in Transitional Justice
Julie Bernath and Sandra Rubli
.0069 Baines , Erin . 2010 . “ Spirits and Social Reconstruction after Mass Violence: Rethinking Transitional Justice .” African Affairs 109 , no. 436 : 409 – 430 . 10.1093/afraf/adq023 Bell , Christine . 2009 . “ Transitional Justice
Evidence from Rwanda
particularly authoritarian personality type but, rather, various social norms and group pressures that exist in times of normalcy can motivate individuals to join in mass violence. Stanley Milgram (1974) , for example, famously demonstrated that social norms
Healing and Sacrifice in Post-Genocide Rwanda
particularities of the Rwandan genocide as an act of intimate mass violence ( Fujii 2011 ), where perpetrators and victims continue to live side by side, result in lingering social tensions. Adding to this, in the particular case of Emmanuel, is the community
White Nationalism and Its Co-option of Serbian Propaganda
– 191 . 10.1080/00141844.1989.9981391 Kiper , J. ( 2018 ), ‘ Propaganda and Mass Violence in the Yugoslav Wars: A Post-Conflict Ethnography ’, PhD diss. ( University of Connecticut ). Kiper , J. , Y. Gwon and R. A. Wilson ( 2020
Israeli NGOs, Palestinian Witnesses, and the Undoing of Human Rights Bureaucracy
this article, I do not suggest that events in Israel/Palestine are ‘critical moments in history’ following mass violence. However, they are part of ongoing mass violence – whether as nodes or otherwise – and do share certain characteristics with such
. Waldorf (eds), Remaking Rwanda: State Building and Human Rights after Mass Violence ( Madison : University of Wisconsin Press ), 67 – 78 . Lame , Danielle de ( 2005 ), A Hill among a Thousand: Transformations and Ruptures in Rural Rwanda
Recasting the Image of the Post-1945 French Occupation of Germany
French: The French Zone of Occupation in Western Germany, 1945–c.1955,” Contemporary European History 21, 4 (2012): 575–595. 51 Filip Slaveski, The Soviet Occupation of Germany: Hunger, Mass Violence, and the Struggle for Peace, 1945–1947 (Cambridge