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  • 1. MODERN STATE, DEMOCRACY AND ORGANIZED VIOLENCE Complexities in their relations Prof. Gianfranco Poggi University of Trento, Italy
  • 2. Earliest phase of state development
    • War major aspect of consolidation = fewer and fewer power centers controlling larger and larger territories.
    • However, pacification effects in internal affairs = reduction in quantum of actual violence through increase in potential violence (Hobbes paradox).
    • War perhaps less frequent, certainly more murderous given technological advances
  • 3. Later phases
    • Rationalization of domestic organized violence through reliance on law and bureaucratization, professionalization of state agents. Effects: emergence of civil society and “marketization” of economic processes. Durkheim / Foucault effects on punishment.
    • Some rationalization effects also in external relations ( Westphalia ,Grotius)
  • 4. Democracy (1)
    • Ambivalences in relationship with violence, war.
    • See Tocqueville, both Démocratie (reluctance to go to war, great popular commitment when engaged – career aspirations of officer class incline it to war) and Ancien Régime (paradoxical increase in intensity of wars with missionary intents – as in revolutionary, Napoleonic wars but already in Islam)
  • 5. Democracy (2)
    • Some aspects of democratic development (widening of suffrage, some welfare policies) are associated with military phenomena.
    • Awkward association between “entry of the masses into politics” and nationalism.
    • Countertendencies associated with cultural changes: individualism – materialism – consumerism – prevalence of economic concerns – civilizing effects of the market.
    • Growing aspirations to collective security .
  • 6. Impact of World War Two and prospects of nuclear war.
  • 7. Contemporary democratization .
    • Has complex bearing on phenomena affecting solidity, security of established states.
    • Widespread notion that “democracies do not make war on one another”.
    • Persistent nationalism obstacle to transnational developments and inspires secession movements.
    • But major threats to continuity, security of states come from movements denying democracy as legitimacy formula.
  • 8. One major question for today
    • Does increasing economic interdependence make states more or less secure?

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