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Violence and the State in South Asia

image of Asian Journal of Social Science

In reflecting on the contributions to this collection, the afterword outlines three ways of understanding violence—direct physical force, structural violence and cultural or symbolic violence—and relates these to Steven Lukes’ three faces of power. It revisits Weber’s definition of the modern state as claiming a monopoly of the legitimate use of the first kind of violence, and contrasts that with the ways in which the actual practice of South Asian politics implies or requires violence. The example of state and non-state violence in Nepal in 2015 is used to illustrate these themes. This example brings out, as several contributions do, the importance of borders as violence-provoking sites of state sensitivity.

Affiliations: 1: Oxford University


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