Normalization of Violence: Conceptual Analysis and Reflections from Asia, 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

Normalization of Violence

Conceptual Analysis and Reflections from Asia, 1st Edition

Edited by Irm Haleem


104 pages

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Hardback: 9780367423292
pub: 2019-10-23
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This book offers both a conceptual and an empirical analysis of how violence is normalized. In its conceptual analysis, Irm Haleem offers a framework of explanation that she argues is universal in its narratives, which she submits is premised on moralizing, legalizing, and popularizing violence. Haleem engages Stathis Kalyvas’ notion of the two stages of violence (process and outcome), and proposes the notion of ‘metaphysical’ violence as distinct from physical violence. Through drawing upon works of scholars such as Hannah Arendt, Noam Chomsky, WJT Mitchell, Michel Foucault, Jacques Derrida, George Kateb, and others, she illustrates why these distinctions (of stages and types of violence) are critical in understanding how violence is normalized.

In its empirical analysis, Naoko Kumada argues that the contemporary changes in narratives and educational curriculum in Japan are intended to moralize the historic glory days of imperial Japan, which, she argues, may subsequently normalize militarism. Stefanie Kam focuses on how China has normalized violence in Xinjiang through narratives of the imperatives of security, thereby both legalizing and moralizing violence. Jennifer Dhanaraj argues how the denial of citizenship to the Rohingya community in Myanmar has provided both the moral and legal justifications for Buddhist extremists and the military to wage a brutal and unbridled war against the Rohingyas. Finally, Abdul Basit examines how the ex-communication of the Ahmadi sectarian minority in Pakistan has criminalized the minority, thus paving the way for unbridled violence against them from extremist mobs that have justified their violence in moral and legal terms. In all the cases in this book, we see how violence is popularized as being either a matter of the will of the people, or as being for the greater good of the people.

This book is a valuable resource for scholars of the theory of violence, both evaluating and building on existing theory in an Asian context.

Table of Contents



Introduction: Stages and Types of Violence (Irm Haleem)

1. How Violence Is Normalized: On the Process of Violence (Irm Haleem)

2. Moralizing Militarism through Educational Curriculum in Japan (Naoko Kumada)

3. China’s Security Imperatives and Violence in XinJiang (Stefanie Kam)

4. From Pacifism to Violence in Buddhist Myanmar (Jennifer Dhanaraj)

5. Demonization of the Ahmadi Sectarian Group in Pakistan (Abdul Basit)

Concluding Remarks: ‘Process’ and ‘Outcome’ as Concurrent Phenomenon (Irm Haleem)

About the Editor

Irm Haleem is Assistant Professor in the Strategic Studies Program at S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies (RSIS), Nanyang Technological University (NTU) in Singapore, where she is also the Deputy Coordinator of MS (International Relations) Program at S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies (RSIS). Haleem received a PhD in Political Science from Boston University, and her work focuses on the conceptual study of violence. She is the author of the book The Essence of Islamist Extremism: Recognition through Violence, Freedom through Death (Routledge 2012, paperback 2014). She has taught at Northeastern University, Seton Hall University, and Princeton University.

About the Series

Routledge Contemporary Asia Series

The aim of this series is to publish original, high-quality work by both new and established scholars on all aspects of contemporary Asia.

Learn more…

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Regional Studies