1st Edition

Normalization of Violence Conceptual Analysis and Reflections from Asia

Edited By Irm Haleem Copyright 2020
    108 Pages
    by Routledge

    106 Pages
    by Routledge

    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’s 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, W.J.T. 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.

    List of Contributors



    Introductionto violence: process, outcome, and types (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. Legalisation of violence against the Pakistani Ahmadis  (Abdul Basit)

    Some Reflections: ‘process’ and ‘outcome’ as simultaneous phenomenon (Irm Haleem)



    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 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.