Violence: A Very Short Introduction [#701]
Violence: A Very Short Introduction [#701]
  • Examines one of the most important issues in the modern world
  • Contextualizes violence around the world over the last two centuries
  • Argues that violence is not in decline, and that that is a very western-centric view of the world
Violence is part and parcel of human history and of human nature. It is one of our most distinctive traits, the one thing that all cultures and societies, across time, share in common. It has defined not only the ways in which individuals relate to each other, but also how collective entities and states have interacted with each other over the millennia. All societies are violent and all individuals have the capacity for violence. However, not all societies and not all individuals are equally violent, and nor does violence exist with the same intensity across cultures.
This Very Short Introduction examines the more visible, physical acts of violence - interpersonal, gendered, collective, religious, sexual, criminal, and political - in the modern world. It explores how violence in the pre-modern world was different from the modern world, and what is significant about those differences. It also discusses what violence is by examining understandings of the ideas, values, and cultural practices embedded in an act of violence, and considering acts of violence as the outcome of a process dependent on the cultural context in which they take place. Along the way Dwyer considers some core questions, asking whether violence is always 'bad', and if there are any limits to human violence? Why is it that what was once considered acceptable - wife beating, duelling, slavery - at some point becomes unacceptable in some societies and cultures, and yet continues in others? And finally, are we becoming more or less violent?

1:Thinking about violence
2:How violent was the past?
3:Intimate and gendered violence
4:Interpersonal violence
5:The sacred and the secular
6:Collective violence
7:Violence and the state
8:The changing nature of violence
Further Reading


Philip Dwyer, Director, Centre for the Study of Violence, The University of Newcastle
Philip Dwyer is Professor of History and the founding Director of the Centre for the Study of Violence at the University of Newcastle. He has published widely on the Revolutionary and Napoleonic eras, including a three-volume biography of Napoleon. He is the general editor of the four volume Cambridge World History of Violence (2020), and co-editor of the Cambridge History of the Napoleonic Wars (2021, with Michael Broers). He is currently engaged in writing a global history of violence, as well as a history of iconoclasm.

"Violence: A Very Short Introduction contains some compelling arguments worth noting." - Madeleine K. Meehan and Todd K. Shackelford, Evolutionary Psychological Science

"This straightforward, accessible introduction examines the different ways that scholars have understood and classified violence... This short introduction comes with an annotated bibliography that readers can consult to learn more. As a resource it is most useful for those who are beginning to build their knowledge of violence and its social consequences." - Choice


ISBN : 9780198831730

Philip Dwyer
152 ページ
111 x 174 mm
Very Short Introductions





Violence: A Very Short Introduction [#701]

Violence: A Very Short Introduction [#701]

Violence: A Very Short Introduction [#701]