Volume 19, 2019
On Conflict and Violence
Toward a Phenomenology of Collective Violence
This paper provides a phenomenological exploration of the phenomenon of collective violence, specifically by following the leading clue of war from Plato to the “new wars” of late globalization. It first focuses on the genealogy of the legitimization of collective violence in terms of “counter-violence” and then demonstrates how it is mediated by constructions of “the other” in terms of “violence incarnate.” Finally, it proposes to explore such constructions—including the “barbarian” in Greek antiquity, “the cannibal” in the context of Colonialism, or the contemporary cipher of religious irrationality—as mirror effects of one’s own disavowed forms of violence.