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Dismembering and Remembering the Nation: The Semantics of Political Violence in Venezuela

  • Fernando Coronil (a1) and Julie Skurski (a1)

Extract

Although political violence has played a central part in the formation of nations, its historical constitution and its role in representing nations havereceived scant attention. All too frequently the explanation of violence is equated with the identification of its causes, its form is accounted for by its function, and its function is seen in instrumental terms; violence is reduced to a practical tool used by opposing social actors in pursuit of conflicting ends. Whether treated as a cause, function, or instrument, violence is generally assumed rather than examined in its concreteness. Little attention is paid to its specific manifestations, to the way its effects are inseparably related to the means through which it is exerted, and to the meanings that inform its deployment and interpretation. In contrast, typological approaches that postulate a correspondence between types of societies and forms of violence often recognize the opacity of violence yet lose sight of the historical depth and specificity of its manifestations.

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Dismembering and Remembering the Nation: The Semantics of Political Violence in Venezuela

  • Fernando Coronil (a1) and Julie Skurski (a1)

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