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Chapter 10

Social Probs notes ch.10: War and Terrorism

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University of Toronto St. George
Lorne Tepperman

Social Probs Ch. 10: War and Terrorism -seems that as societies form, wars inevitably occurwarfare and violent conflict appear to be a human universal, at least to some degree -Canada is an especially un-warlike nation (compared to US, Forces are less equipped) and usually only go into war if pushed -since most Canadians seem to lack desire for war, stating that the wish to wage war is a human universal is unreasonable -we cannot understand warfare without understanding politics and statecraft: just as some groups are more warlike than others, some periods of history have been more warlike as well -wars are largely result of social construction often begin with the social construction of a sense of threat (dangers and enemies) depictions of the enemy follow, intended to confuse & dehumanize the enemy, easier for us to hate -war continues to have important social & health outcomes -though it’s good for economy, it’s bad for living things (likely to get worse due to nuclear, chemical, bacterial weapons) -we need to understand war’s roots in politics, ideology, and religion to understand war and why it happens Politics, the State, and Warfare The Role of the State State: set of public organizations that makes and enforces decisions binding every member of a society (includes elected government, civil service, courts, police, and military) -at one extreme of political life, there is the authoritarian state-tries to fully dominate civil society and penetrate everyday life -Canada’s societypower is shared among competing political, bureaucratic, and economic elites for this reason it’s likely to have difficulty mobilizing the will and the assets to wage war from this we see that decentralized leadership is likely to be less warlike than centralized, and especially dictatorial, leadership 1 Ideology and Religion Ideology: a system of beliefs about how society is or should be organized -any system of ideas underlying and informing political action. In a Marxist sense, ideological ideas justify and legitimate subordination of one group to another another factor influencing politics and war important for social change because it motivates and controls people -fundamentalist religions are gaining power in many parts of the world today-rebirth of religion as political force due to downfall of Communism which had tried to destroy organized religion Christian fundamentalismUS JewishIsrael IslamicPakistan, Iran, and other Islamic states Canadano state religion and no official dedication to preserving religion/religiosity it’s commitment to multiculturalism makes a strong, unified religious or ideological belief almost impossible (although some see the Federal Conservative leaning towards Christian) World System Theory  THEORY THAT EXAMINES THE RELATIONS BETWEEN STATES IN A GLOBAL SYSTEM conception of the modern social world that views it as compromising one interlinked entity with an international division of labour unregulated by any one political structure developed by Immanuel Wallerstein seeks to explain the uneven pace of development in the world by looking at the unequal relations between different countriess show that politics occurs between states as well as within them Industrial core states: US, UK, (and increasingly China, India): financially dominant, take raw materials & cheap labour from periphery states and manufacture into goods , which the periphery cannot always affordtherefore, core always has upper hand on periphery, and profits made in periphery drain out of the local economy and to the core states -core states accused of… imperialism: political & economic control by one state over the territory of another most often through military means, but economically is safer, cheaper, more stable (see above) developing countries most often the focus, stifling their own development 2 -example of military imperialism resurfacing today: Iraq David Harvey, New Imperialism: notes the diversity of different forms of imperialism argues that the move towards a militarized neo-conservative imperialism in the US (seen by the one- sided determination to invade Iraq) suggests weakness rather than strength in the US’s quest to preserve its dominant position in the world Globalization Processes -economic globalizationform of world social organization increasing interdependence between the economies of the world 6 defining features: 1. There is global economic interdependencesocieties trade goods & services with one another 2. Driving force for change is scientific and technological innovation 3. Key actors in global economy are ‘built’ or corporate entitiesesp multi-national corps (eg. GM) 4. Cultures and polities are polycentric found in & influenced by activities in many nations 5. Changing ‘world culture’ homogenizes human ambitionsnarrowing variety of aspirations 6. Economic globalization forces nation-states to changegovernment having less influence & formation of… social movements: broad social alliances of people wanting to stop social change (eg. women’s movements, peace movements, environmental movements…) (but can turn to formal organizations eg. parties, labour unions) The Nature of War and Terrorism Definitions of War War: violent, usually armed conflict between states/people (includes terrorism, civil conflicts, etc.) argued that it is culturally influenced, explaining why some cultures more prone to warfare institution of collective violence: organized group violence, unlike interpersonal violence: violent interactions between individuals, which is unorganized -most countries have war system where their social institutions (such as economies and governments) promote warfare as normal even if war is not being waged at that time Terrorism: The Common Man’s War  CALCULATED USE OF UNEXPECTED,SHOCKING ,AND UNLAWFUL VIOLENCE AGAINST NON-COMBATANTS ,FOR THE PURPOSE OF PUBLICIZING A POLITICAL OR RELIGIOUS CAUSE OR INTIMIDATING A GOVERNMENT definition is difficult since it is ideological Roots of terrorism: religious, ethnic, nationalist, political, economic, and social differences which keep people from living together in peace (inequalities…) 3 -NOT a reckless impulse, & participants feel that violence is the best course of action -many suicide bombers from the middle East come from impoverished families and are recruited by terrorist leaders from middle- to upper-class backgrounds with higher than average educations, often these recruits are young and these leaders are their only role models State-sponsored terrorism: state-sanctioned use of terrorist groups to achieve foreign policy objectives while it can be powerful clandestine?? warfare, it can also be vulnerable to political shifts (in governments) (ex. US supported bin Laden to undermine Russians, but later was villainized) US terrorism list: Cuba, Iran, Sudan, and Syria (3 are Middle Eastern with mainly Muslim populations) Violent Political Protest -as societies industrialize and become democratic, movements of political protest become less violent -political protest is normally peaceful in stable democracies (eg. Canada, violent protests less common) -with exception of FLQ (Front de libération du Québec) who kidnapped Cross and Laport, threatening murder -Trudeau and the federal government responded by imposing the War Measures Act: allowed for the indefinite suspension of civil liberties (Cross was found, but Laporte was murdered) -where there are protests, many worry that lines between criminal activity and political protest will be blurred by efforts to maintain order -in industrialized societies, non-violent tactics have been used, and even urban planning helps maintain order (architecture that is more secure and easier to defend against attack) Revolution Z IMMERMANN :SUCCESSFUL OVERTHROW OF THE PREVAILING ELITE BY A NEW EL,WHO THEN CHANGE THE SOCIAL STRUCTURE AND THE STRUCTURE OF AUTHORITY important events for individual countries and for the politics of the world as a whole rarely achieve their original goals, usually substituting one form of restrictive power for another rarely replace despotism with a secure democracy replace one form of despotism with another -revolutionary crisis developed in the countries France, Russia, China, and Cuba when the old aristocratic regimes failed to meet emerging challengesthese states were not fully bureaucratic or parliamentary, 4 however, they could not offer representatives from the dominant class an opportunity to take part in political decision-makingtherefore, the landed class developed a capacity for ‘self-conscious collective organization’…In effect, the landed aristocracy undermined its own traditional position in the society -Barrington Moore: the outcome of a revolution depends largely on which social class attacks the ruler def the_outcome_of_a_revolution(attackers): '''depends largely on which social class attacks the ruler''' if attackers == 'peasants': result = 'communist regime ' + '(land reform & ' + 'social equality)' elif attackers == 'middle-class': result = 'parliamentary democracy' elif attackers == 'military': result = 'Fascism ' + '(extremely right-wing,' + ' Capitalist)' else: result = '?' return result Rebellion  ARMED OPPOSITION BY A PORTION OF THE CITIZENRY TO AN ESTABLISHED GOVERNMENT OR OTHER AUTHORITY difference between rebellion and revolution lies in the outcomeif rebellion succeeds, it is considered a revolution -people engaging in rebellionsif not succeed, liable for treason -if rebellion is widespreadrebels are merely belligerents -if rebels succeed & form new governmentrebels are no longer criminals but heroes & rulers Revolutions & rebellionscrimes against government, and how they are viewed depends on whether they succeed or not -winners rewrite history books showing themselves as heroes War Crimes  ATROCITIES COMMITTED DURING WAR -many nations hold the viewslaughtering soldiers is acceptable, intentional slaughter of civilians is not 5 -acts of political violence differ from other kinds of violencerepresentatives of one political/national group inflict such violence to perpetuate or change the relative political status of another political/national group or to prevent that group from achieving the changes its members want -rationalizations are often devised to ‘explain away’ the extent of violence, its effects, or its lack of fairnessthese begin by distinguishing between ‘us’ and ‘them’a group labelled as an outsider is more easily attacked most horrific manifestation of this is genocide: systematic execution of an entire national, ethnic, racial, political group. (ex. Nazi extermination of the Jews) -many vowed this would never happen again, yet genocides continue to occur (eg. Rwanda), however the world now has procedures for dealing with genocidal war criminals 4 categories of issues involving prosecution of war crimes: 1. Assigning responsibility for criminal acts 2. Trying and punishing the criminals 3. Bringing about national reconciliation 4. Ensuring that a nation remembers its criminal past & learns from it International Criminal Court(ICC)
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