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SOC102 War and Terrorism Readings.docx

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War and Terrorism Politics, The State, and Warfare The Role of the State  State: a set of public organizations that makes and enforces decisions binding every member of a society  Authoritarian State: tries to dominate civil society and penetrate everyday life  Canada  power is shared among competing political, bureaucratic and economic elites, would have difficulty mobilizing the will and assets to wage war  less engagement in war than US Ideology and Religion  Ideology: a system of beliefs about how society is or should be organized; motivates and controls  Rebirth of religion as a political force testifies largely to downfall of Commuinsm o Many fundamentalist religions gaining power  Chrsitian fundamentalism in US, Jewish in Israel  Canada  commitment to multiculturalism makes a strong unified religious or ideological belief impossible World System Theory  Industrial core states (ex. US and UK) are financially and politically dominant and take much of raw materials and cheap labour they need from less developed peripheral states  Imperialism: control by on state over the territory of another; core states accused of this  Economic imperialism is far safer, less costly, and usually more stable than military/political imperialism Globalization Processes (6 DEFINING FEATURES OF ECONOMIC GLOBALIZATION)  Global economic interdependence  Scientific and technological innovation  Built/Corporate Identities  multinational corporations  Polycentric cultures and political entities  found in and influenced by activities in many nations  Homogenized human ambitions  most people act like Americans; Europeans act more like French, English, and Germans  Forces change to nation states  governments have less influence over people they rule Nature of War and Terrorism Definitions of War  War: generally, an institution of collective violence; definition of war varies  Collective Violence: organized, group violence to promote an agenda or resist and oppressive other o Relies on impersonal killing and advanced technology  Interpersonal Violence: episodic, unorganized, impulsive; ex. murder, rape, domestic and child abuse Terrorism: The Common Man’s War  Terrorism: the calculated use of violence against non-combatants and symbolic targets to publicize a political or religious cause or intimidate a government/civilian population into accepting demands on behalf of the cause  Rooted in religion, ethnic nationalism, politics, economics, and social differences that prevent people from living in peace  Most accepted theory for terrorism is that violence is the best course of action; rational cost-benefit analysis leads terrorists to terrorism  Terrorists (esp their leaders) are mainly men from middle- to upper-class backgrounds, usually with above- average education; have skills and political motivation afforded to them by prestige of their education and social class  State sponsored terrorism: state sanctioned use of terrorist groups to achieve foreign policy objectives o Ironically, while it is power form of clandestine warfare, it is vulnerable to shifts in international political arena  subject to sudden deprivation of support from foreign supporters (ex. Saddam Hussein initially enlisted as an ally by US, later villainized) Classic Works: Franz Fanon’s The Wretched of the Earth  Internalizing the views of the colonizers = colonized develop lack of self-respect and inferiority= ensured continued economic and political subordination  Thus, freeing colonized people includes promoting self-respect and a sense of identity  Violence is important as it proves the oppressed are just as able to take action as oppressors; binds together the oppressed and engraves in them a national identity Violent Political Protest  TREND: As societies industrialize and become democratic, movements of political protest tend to become less violent  Front de libération du Québec (FLQ) violence was uncharacteristic; wanted to see Quebec as separate from Canada and establish itself as a nation;  Bombed national symbols and kidnapped officials; threatened to kill if demands were not met  War Measures Act: allowed for the indefinite suspension of civil liberties  Worry that efforts to maintain order may blur lines between criminal activities and political protest Revolution  Most developed form of social protest  Revolution: the successful overthrow of the prevailing elite by a new elite who, after having taken over power, fundamentally change the structure of society and authority  Rarely achieve their initial goals, substituting one form of restrictive power for another  Revolutionary crises develop when old aristocratic regimes fail to meet emerging challenges  Outcome of a revolution depends on which social class attacks ruler o Peasants = Communist regime that introduces land reform and social equality o Middle-Class = parliamentary democracy o Military (with support from Church, large business interests) = Fascism Rebellion  Rebellion: Armed opposition by a portion of the citizenry to an established government or other authority  If a rebellion succeeds in overthrowing the government and making significant social and political changes, it is considered a revolution  Everyone who engages in rebellion against a government is liable to the criminal penalties of treason  Widespread rebellion garners recognition of foreign nations  government treats rebels as belligerents  Rebellion succeeds and a new government is formed  rebels no longer criminals; heroes and rulers  Winners typically rewrite history books to show themselves as heroes conforming to a higher moral standard of conduct War Crimes  Many nations hold the view that slaughtering soldiers is an acceptable cost of war while civilians is an indefensible horror  Political violence perpetuate or chnge the relative political status of another political/national group or prevent the group from achieving the changes it wants  Rationalizations are devised to explain away the extent of the violence, effects, or the lack of fairness  Genocide: systematic execution of an entire national, ethnic, racial or political group  4 CATEGORIES OF PROSECUTION OF WAR CRIMES o Assigning responsibility o Trying and punishing criminals o Bringing about national reconciliation o Ensuring that a nation remembers and learns from its criminal past  International Criminal Court (ICC) established to prosecute war crimes and crimes against humanity  Refusal to be part of ICC (ex. US)  don‟t want to pass over jurisdictional control; also claim their own soldiers/leaders may be tried unfairly  Tribunals represent a superior alternative to acts of vengeance; right actions (changing institutions, apologies, etc) following wrongdoing may help to bring about healing and peace  Difficult to reorganize people‟s lives after a genocidal episode (memories of conflict, human and material losses, issues of unforgiveness and compromise) Rape as a Weapon of War  Forcing women into prostitution as “comfort women” for military personnel  Gendercide: genocidal acts committed against women as women (rape) and men as men (separation of young civilian men „of military age 18-45‟ from others for punishment, torture and execution  Rape designed to humiliate and break the determination of enemy nation; used in some African conflicts to
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