Although a wave of democratization appears to be sweeping the globe, torture persists in more than seventy-five nations. Despite widespread condemnation of torture and the efforts of international and nongovernmental organizations to end it, the "politics of pain" continues in a broad range of social and political systems. This book is one of the first to systematically examine the psychological, cultural, and social origins of torture. It provides profiles of torturers and of those who direct them in their brutal activities. The contributors provide case studies from the past and present, including Somoza's National Guard in Nicaragua and regimes in the Southern Cone of Latin America and in Greece.
Foreword -- Introduction: The Politics of Pain -- Torturers and Their Masters -- The Social Context of Torture: Policy Process and Authority Structure -- In Their Own Words: The World of the Torturer -- The Military, Torture and Human Rights: Experiences from Argentina, Brazil, Chile and Uruguay -- Torture: Psychological and Cultural Origins -- Somoza's National Guard: A Study of Human Rights Abuses, Psychological Health and Moral Development -- The Official Torturer: A Learning Model for Obedience to the Authority of Violence -- Torture—Definition and Legal Instruments