This book explores the potential for imagining a politics without violence and evidence that this need not be a utopian project. The book demonstrates that in theory and in practice, we now have the intellectual and scientific knowledge to make this possible. In addition, new sensibilities towards violence have generated social action on violence, turning this knowledge into practical impact. Scientifically, the first step is to recognize that only through interdisciplinary conversations can we fully realize this knowledge. Conversations between natural sciences, social sciences and the humanities, impossible in the twentieth century, are today possible and essential for understanding the phenomenon of violence, its multiple expressions and the factors that reproduce it. We can distinguish aggression from violence, the biological from the social body. In an echo of the rational Enlightenment of the eighteenth century, this book calls for an emotional Enlightenment in the twenty first and a post Weberian understanding of politics and the State.
Jenny Pearce is Research Professor in the Latin America and Caribbean Centre of the London School of Economics, UK. Previously, she was Professor of Latin American Studies in Peace Studies, University of Bradford. She is a political scientist who works as an anthropologist and is also an anthropologist of peace. She has conducted fieldwork in many violent contexts in Latin America and was recognised as ‘Outstanding Latin Americanist’ at the International Conference of Americanistas in San Salvador in 2015.